So my Asperger’s was ‘playing up’, if you will, at my gaming club last night. A lot of kids on the Autism spectrum struggle with sensory overload, hence why some Autistic kids have enormous meltdowns in shopping centers and whatnot. It could be any one of the senses… I know my niece and nephew hate people touching their hair.
For me, I normally only really struggle with sound. Sometimes my skin can get very sensitive and I don’t like people touching me, but that only happens on rare occasions. Sound overload happens a lot. Last night I was playing Dungeons and Dragons at my gaming club with a bunch of friends. That night there was at least 4 or 5 games going, including mine, so it was quite noisy to begin with. On top of that, the game next to us was easily the loudest in the building. Icing on the cake was that we were playing in a cubicle of sorts, so all the noise my fellow dungeoneers were making was echoing and bouncing back at me… and as much as I love these kids, they are so loud. So really struggling with sensory overload to begin with, but that’s okay cause i’ve learnt to deal with it somewhat.
Unfortunately said overload makes me a bit short tempered. On top of all the noise already bouncing around my brain, while the Dungeon Master was talking about what was going on in the adventure, The other half of the table started varying conversations over the top of him about completely unrelated topics, all really loudly, both conversations overlapping and bouncing around my head… not a happy chappy. I was sitting right next to the Dungeon Master and I barely had a clue what was going on…
Halfway through the game it came to rolling loot, and since i didn’t get any (I failed my roll) I took the opportunity to go stand outside the club in the night air and take some deep breaths. I shook myself out for about 5 minutes, calmed my brain and went back in. I was tensed back up again within 10 minutes.
At the end of the night I apologised to everyone for being tetchy, in case i offended or upset anyone accidentally, and explained I was very tired. Which was true… but I was tired because of the overload.
Sensory Overload sucks.