Sensory Overload

also known as sensory overstimulation; it occurs when sensory experiences from the environment are too great for an individual�۪s nervous system to successfully process or make meaning from the sensory experience. A common example of this is a carnival/fair including the smell of barn animals and food, sound of other screaming children, amusement rides, and buzzers from games, car engines revving, touch stimuli from bumping into people within a crowd, the visual input of fast paced movement including blinking lights, fast moving rides, people and cars etc. In this example there is an abundance of sensory experiences entering the carnival goers nervous system all at once, which commonly leads to shut down, tantrums, or other negative behaviors that are associated by an overwhelmed nervous system (or sensory overload) that can not efficiently process the smell, sound, taste, touch, sight, and movement of the environment all at once.

GLOSSARY

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