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StarlessEclipse

Sensory Overload - Virtual Reality Experience

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StarlessEclipse

 

The National Autistic Society have recently taken advantage of YouTube's new 360° video feature to show people what a sensory overload can feel like for people on the spectrum. Click and drag in any direction to change the view.

http://www.autism.org.uk/VR

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aspieguy

The video evokes feelings of sensory overload, but sensory overloads do *not* feel like blackouts for me, sorry. I have had near-blackouts before, and they aren't like this video.

What the video actually feels more like, to me, is when I get motion sick on the bus. One time when that happened, I actually did start breathing weirdly, went numb all over, and blacked out so badly that I couldn't see anything at all for a few seconds at a time. It was scary, and I needless to say I had to use the nearest bathroom when I got off the bus. But sensory overload does not feel like motion sickness for me.

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Whoknows

Most of that happens in my head, while I'm having nightmares, yet not when I'm outside. :huh:

Maybe, when there's a lot of people, but I don't get to see bloom lighting and my vision going black.

I get the sounds and the little details, but this is way too exagerated for me. :mellow:

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RiRi

I think it's pretty cool. I also think that the noises and little things was well depicted. However, to be honest, when I saw this video I did wonder what a sensory overload feels like and wondered if I'm autistic or not. I think sensory overload is more like when you can't take it any longer, the noises just become too much. Maybe that's just how it feels like me. I get frustrated more easily and just want the noises to go away.

Could someone explain to me what a sensory overload is like to them and how it feels like? Maybe I've had sensory overloads before, but they're different in nature from everyone else's. 

Yes, I think sensory overload for me is that there's too many things going on at one, too many noises.

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Harrow

The sound in this video for me was spot on. But the blur and the heavy breathing don't happen. But overall I think it was well done.  

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RiRi

I got this from one of @Nesf's posts which I thought was helpful, maybe she has a better way of explaining it, but for the time being, it explains how a sensory overload is more like for me. "Meltdowns can be the result of sensory overload - when you've had to put up with noise all day, then suddenly it gets too much and you explode or get upset..." I've had this happen to me a lot (the sensory overload) at the apartment complex I live at. There's too much noise which just made other things more difficult to cope with. So I guess it is essentially what I said earlier that there's too many noises going on at on, then I can't take it any longer, the noises become too much for me and I get frustrated. It's just too noisy where I live hence why I most of the time am with my earphones in listening to music because at least it can be calming.

I'd still be interested in reading what a sensory overload is like for other people, I hope it's not taking over the thread.

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aspieguy

Yes the sound is interesting. Obviously for us, it sounds too exaggerated, but maybe for a neurotypical it'll sound like how things always sound for us. I also liked the focus being drawn to things such as the trolleybag, spilled coffee, cleaner's trolley, and so on, because these are things that I usually notice in real life and that I can sometimes find overloading.

I also think that the VR aspect detracted from the content really, because the sound doesn't change as you rotate your viewpoint, and if you're looking the wrong way then you miss important details.

EDIT: Did anyone else notice the stuffed animal directly below the viewer?

Edited by aspieguy

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aspieguy

Here are two other sensory overload videos that I've seen before.

This one is also produced by the NAS and I think it's pretty accurate, and better than the newer one.

 

This one is produced in association with Carly Fleischmann and while it's intended to show the viewpoint of a severely Autistic person I did find it quite accurate as well and it highlights a lot of the things that I hate about coffee shops.

 

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Nesf

The sound was accurate for me, as well as focusing on various things going on, but not the flashing lights or the blurring or blackout. I don't get that in a mall. For me, the lighting in malls is glaring rather than flashing. The flashing in the video looks more like what I experience when watching documentaries or films with flashes between scenes or fast moving images - I made a thread about this a while ago. The heavy breathing is the result of a panic attack, I experience this sometimes, but not very often. That kind of thing in a mall would make me leave or seek out a bench in a quiet corner to sit down on for a while. It wouldn't happen like that anyway, because I always wear headphones and listen to music. A few times I've had a kind of confusion from too much going on around me too suddenly and inability to focus so I've kind of gone around in circles stuck in the same place or to and fro on autopilot without being able to process and move on, or sometimes I've had a dizzy light-headed feeling, but no blackouts - these are the ways I experience sensory overload, or at least, I think that is what caused them. As @Makelets says, I'm bothered by noise a lot, and that can build up to a point where it gets too much, I get really irritable and snap at people or get upset.

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RiRi

@Nesf Thank you for describing how your sensory overloads are. The same is for me regarding the glaring lights.

@aspieguy I did notice the stuffed animal the child, perhaps, was holding and I'll need to watch the videos later as I'm interested in this. Also, something interesting that you mentioned is that for us it may appear exaggerated, but maybe it's because we're used to hearing all the noises at once, without any filter, but NTs might be able to filter things or hear things at a lower volume. Like I was at a drive through once, and then I stopped and realized how many noises at once I was hearing, it kind of sounded like Carly's Cafe experience.

To anyone who wants to answer, I just would like to confirm, when someone says "sensory overload" they're just referring to the series of noises we hear all at once, right? If not, could someone please people define it for me.

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