Too Much Information: by Beatrix, aged 8

To mark the end of World Autism Awareness Week, Beatrix, my amazing autistic daughter, would like to share her personal experiences of Asperger’s.  She would really like to make a difference, to make her own little mark on the internet, so please share…

To some of us autistic people it’s like a big dangerous world out there that we just don’t understand: having Asperger’s is like constantly having a heart attack that can’t kill you.

Walking into a room full of people is like trying to look into the sun.  I would just have to walk out, I wouldn’t be able to bear it.  Being in a busy place is really hard, I probably wouldn’t be able to cope, people are zooming fast and coming out at you all the time.  I have to try to keep myself hidden.

I don’t like to be looked at a lot of the time, for me that feels like it’s rude.  I like to be hidden because I feel like lots of people stare at me and it makes me feel worried.

If there is a loud noise, it feels like a big boom that can kill you.  I also don’t like super-quiet noises because it feels like a really terrible thing, it tickles in an unpleasant way.  I’ve super-sensitive hearing so when there are tannoy-type announcements (at the supermarket or at the train station), it is really scary and hurts my ears.  I am always very scared that a fire alarm or a siren might go off.

When people touch me, it feels like a spider or something else that you are absolutely afraid of and it makes you go crazy, it’s just a horrible, horrible feeling and people need to respect that and it’s one of the things that they don’t.  They think I’m the mean one.  I can’t go into a lot of shops and restaurants because they smell too strong and because the waiters and assistants come up too close so I don’t want to look at them but I know they think I’m rude so I have to try and suffer it.

If there’s a weird texture it can make me feel sick or crazy, it can make me do something that wouldn’t be “normal” like wriggling my arms or jerking about because it makes me feel like I need to make my actual bones shake, to get air onto me, and to get rid of the bad feeling as quickly as I can.  Sometimes I have to scratch feelings off my skin.  I can see how things feel, it sounds crazy but it’s true.  For example, I don’t like carrier bags for how they feel so I can’t even see one without feeling sick and angry.

Sometimes if there are too many things going on at once I can feel crazy and act mad like a dog or a cat or something… I can make noises to make myself feel better as I feel more in control but that makes people look at me and that makes me feel worse.

For me, a surprise can make me rage.  Even tiny things can make me really badly cry.  Sometimes I feel like my body has a mind of its own.  Something happening suddenly that I can’t immediately explain can make me run away, even if I might be putting myself in danger.  If I have been out somewhere, I might need to spend a couple of days in bed to try and recover and get my sensories under control.

Some people think that because some autistic people don’t wear clothes, or wear ear defenders, they think it’s rude or annoying and bad and think we’re bad people or we have bad parents but that’s just not true.  For example, I like to stick my tongue out because it feels really good, I’m not being rude.

BUT IT’S NOT A THING THAT NEEDS TO BE FIXED, NO ONE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF ME OR ANYONE LIKE ME, I’M JUST ME.

If you would like to make a donation to the National Autistic Society who support and advocate for autistic people like Beatrix and our whole family, please click here.

To learn more about the #AutismTMI (Too Much Information) campaign, how it feels to be autistic, and how you can help, please click here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  Please share.

US readers: please note that autistic people would like you to Boycott Autism Speaks and choose not to “Light It Up Blue” this April, Autism Speaks spends 12% of budget on autism prevention research (eugenics) and only 4% on support for autistics.  For more info and how you can truly contribute to create a world where neurodiversity is accepted, then check out the Twitter hashtag #RedInstead. where you’ll find amazing #ActuallyAutistic adults to follow…  Thank you.

19 thoughts on “Too Much Information: by Beatrix, aged 8

  1. Dear Beatrix,

    This is totally brilliant writing. Thank you for helping people to understand what this feels like. I especially like what you say about plastic bags, HORRIBLE. I have a padded sleeveless jacket that makes me feel this way and I’ve had to put it in the charity shop donations bag. It makes me feel sick to my finger tips, especially if I have to touch it – so wearing it is not going to happen. I hope someone else really enjoys wearing it.

    Do you ever find some things feel okay indoors but become HORRIBLE once you get outside? A lot of my sensory issues are visual. So I quite often find that light changes affect me. Something like a t-shirt colour which seems okay (even nice) indoors goes garish and hurts my eyes in natural light. Textures sometimes do this when there is different air – again an indoors/outdoors thing.

    I’m really glad you wrote about this as it helps me to say the things that are TMI for me too. You made it feel good to speak out and okay to be sensitive.

    It also means I can be an artist as feeling things so intensely and in a visual way makes me good at it.

    MUCH LOVE,

    Sonia xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Beatrix, your description of how sensory overload affects you is really insightful and helps me to understand my son and what he goes through better. I love reading yours and your mum’s posts!
    😊 niki

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thank you Beatrix, what a wonderful writer you are. My daughter is also 8 and has her assessment on Tuesday. I will ask her to read your work I the morning. I understand your hatred for carrier bags. for me, it is stickers. I HATE the feeling on my skin; it makes me shudder and feel sick. People think it is weird but is just a part of me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Beatrix for putting into words how you feel….your writing has helped me a lot as I have a daughter who is non verbal she is almost 5 and she has a multitude of sensory issues which we are learning to understand and manage as we go along. I can recognise a lot of what you describe in my daughters behaviours and reactions to situations. She cannot bear to have her hair brushed, teeth brushed and will only wear joggers over her pjs. It is challenging but I am so grateful to people like yourself who are able to inform others about how you are affected by this.
    Your mum should be very proud xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thankyou Beatrix, I have a daughter called Aimee, she’s almost 4, and she can’t talk to tell me how things are for her. I know what upsets her and what scares her, now I know a little more about how she actually experiences these things. X

    Liked by 1 person

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