Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD, where certain senses are liable to be more sensitive than in a NT person. Last week, I discussed my own olfactory issues with urban fumes and how they make me feel claustrophobic and unwell.
Noise can also have a similar effect upon me. I’ll give you an example; I’m doing a part time course on a Monday morning. I generally enjoy the course, despite my being surrounded by people I don’t know and only one or two of which I’ve managed to make friends with, I find the subject fascinating. Ambient noise, however can be more than a little intrusive. Two students on the course in particular cause me issues: why? Well, it’s simply because they seem incapable or not talking, very loudly throughout the entire lesson. This is distracting, because I can hear, everything as an annoying distraction – I cannot determine words, but I can hear people writing, shuffling, moving and then idiots who are constantly need to discuss their own things, all of this, whilst trying to digest what the lecturer is telling us and whilst trying to make my own lecture notes.
The net result of this is simply fed to me as a background hum, which I find incredibly taxing to try and filter out. Sometimes, it’s easier to filter than other times, but it’s tiring all the same. It was the first time that I have been on the verge of a meltdown in the lesson yesterday and this was narrowly averted by the person who sits next to me grabbing my arm and squeezing whilst I’m sat stimming.
Does this mean that my hearing is overtly good? No, I lose a lot of audible information because of background. SPD is more about being prone to sensory overload than having exceptional sensitive receptors. Often in a car I lose huge chunks of conversation, but there is a far too many external factors all competing and my ND brain cannot process everything at the same time.
Do other people find the same or similar issues? I would be happy to hear from others.