Faced with sensory or emotional overload, people with autism can suffer some very surprising crises.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex condition that affects not only the sufferer, but also family and close friends. On a societal level, we are far from understanding the needs of people with ASD. in fact, Some of their behaviors and symptoms can be disturbing or confusingThis article discusses two realities: meltdowns and shutdowns.
Both terms are Responses Autistic People Must Protect Against Sensory OverloadIt’s not the most appropriate way to deal with it, but it’s how autistic people deal with overwhelming situations.
As a general rule, the closest family members and people to ASD sufferers are accustomed to these crises and find them difficult to deal with, but they can understand them better. tend to cause prejudice, misunderstanding, and rejectionIn order for this not to happen, we need to understand why this behavior occurs.
Sensory overload in autism
To address meltdowns and shutdowns, we must first talk about sensory processing in people with ASD. Let’s start by remembering that our senses are how we obtain, process and utilize the appropriate information from our environment. Combined and transformed by the brain before generating the appropriate response.
People with ASD process environmental stimuli differently.This can cause hypersensitivity and hypersensitivity Hypersensitivity. Hyperesthesia can make it difficult to discern pain or cause stimulus-seeking behavior. Hypersensitivity, on the other hand, makes the patient highly sensitive to certain environmental stimuli, promoting sensory overload.
Loud noises, bright lights, strong smells, certain types of clothing or materials. These elements, which are harmless to most people, Really annoying and even painful for people with ASDThey overload and overwhelm them, causing crises.
meltdown and shutdown
meltdown and shutdown are two consequences or responses to sensory overload, which is an antonym of symptom but caused by the same process. Individuals become overwhelmed and collapse, experiencing a crisis that can be expressed in one of two ways.
As mentioned earlier, this is mainly caused by sensory saturation, It can also occur due to emotional overload or overflow. For example, when an individual experiences frustration, stress, or excessive exercise, is in a hostile environment, or has to face change or uncertainty.
But what do these two terms imply? Meltdown is an externalized response to discomfort what the patient is experiencing. You may scream, cry, self-harm, hit things, and eventually lose control temporarily. These episodes can be very disturbing to watch.
Shutdown is the internalization of discomfort. Frustration and saturation lead the individual to experience an internal “short circuit” and disconnect from the environment. I have. In this case, the episode can even go unnoticed.
This is due to the inability of both reactions to handle certain situations, despite their differences. In both cases Temporary loss of basic skillsIn fact, during any of these crises, individuals may find it impossible to communicate, socialize, think clearly, or even remember how to tie their shoelaces.
how to handle them
Understanding the causes of these crises and knowing how to act when faced with them is very important for families of people with ASD and for those who deal with crises on a daily basis. That being said, we should all be knowledgeable and aware. Act and respond to patients you may encounter with empathy and respect.
Although these crises cannot be completely controlled or avoided, taking certain measures can reduce their occurrence. for example, Adapt the environment so that it is not too exciting or challenging. It also provides coping resources and emotion management strategies for people with ASD.
During these episodes it is essential to remain calm, do not get upset or yell (this will only make the situation worse), and act sensitively. Validate the victim’s feelings and show respect is the key. This means knowing how to read nonverbal language, understanding when physical contact is necessary, when silence is preferred, and so on.
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