Divergent News

Autistic Seka | City Shopping, Sensory Over-Stimulation| Danijela Turner

Translation in English.

I’m here in the city. I rarely go to the city because I don’t like shopping much but tonight I felt an urge to go.

So, I want to show you what happens when I enter some shops and experience sensory over-stimulation.

I can’t stay here long but as I enter the shop, look at the billboard with it’s moving words and pictures. It’s too strong and all these smells from perfumes and cosmetics. A lot of colours and a lot of strong lighting. The only thing that is not too bad here tonight is that there is less people as it’s night-time but otherwise there is a lot of music, lights, all different smells; 20-30 different smells.

If I go up that escalator it will get better and I’m now moving away from the music. This area of this store is the worst area for me. There’s just too much happening here sensory-wise. I experience difficulty comprehending how people can work here eight hours a day as I couldn’t work here for two hours. Why are so many lights needed here?

Every time I walk to a different area, different music is playing. Some of the cosmetics have such a strong smell. I use cosmetics on my face but I don’t use ones with a strong smell.

I really don’t like this billboard with the moving pictures. It’s just ugly to me with its large pictures and constant movement. Okay, that’s enough for me now [chuckles] and I’m leaving. I just wanted to show you what happens with me when I enter shops with too much going on sensory-wise.

This is why I don’t come shopping here much. As I’m walking out now, it’s already getting better straight away. You can see that there are not as many lights. I can’t hear as much music and the smells have gone but what the problem here is that there are too many people.

I can hear them talking. If they walk closely behind me and talk, I can hear them. If their phones ring, I can hear that. I hear everything. I don’t like people too close to me. When I feel that they are right behind me, I will straight away move to another area. But it’s not too bad in this outdoor area as it’s a large area and this means I can move around where I want to be.

Tonight, I’ll be in the city for two, maybe three hours and that will be fine but as soon as I am finished here, I will need to return to my house where it is calm and quiet. I can control the environment in my home; noise, lights and only my husband and I are home.

Well goodnight. I’m shopping now for warm clothes as we are coming into cold weather and I don’t like feeling cold.

By Eve Reiland

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