NASET News Alert

Understanding Overstimulation in Autism

June 11, 2021

Most parents have witnessed a tantrum or two. A meltdown, or an autistic brain trying to control sensory overload with a challenged filtering system, cannot be equated to a tantrum.  A tantrum is usually about getting something: attention, candy or an extra video on the iPad. A meltdown is about regaining control or escape. When someone on the spectrum is overloaded with stimuli—and a sensory processing condition hampers the filtering of excess input—the only way to express and escape being overwhelmed may be a complete shutdown or meltdown. An area that is receiving increasing attention from researchers is the processing of sensory stimuli in autistic children. The fact that almost all children on the spectrum have some sort of sensory issue should be enough to encourage clinicians and researchers to determine the precise brain mechanics behind why autistic people find the world so overwhelming. Read More