Would the sound of a faucet dripping in the other room drive you mad? How about a dog barking in the distance? An ambulance siren a few blocks away?
Noises like these may not seem like that big of deal, but for many people with autism, they are too much to handle.
"Many people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty processing everyday sensory information such as sounds, sights and smells," according to the National Autistic Society. "This is usually called having sensory integration difficulties, or sensory sensitivity. It can have a profound effect on a person's life."
More people than ever are being diagnosed with this condition. About one in every 68 children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Things you don't think twice about, like a patterned wallpaper or bright lights, can appear to jump around to people who suffer from sensory sensitivity. Noises can sound magnified and distorted. Smells and tastes can be extremely overwhelming. It's overall incredibly unpleasant.
It's probably hard to imagine what that'd be like, but now you can experience it for yourself. The National Autistic Society created a short video that simulates what sensory overload can feel like for people with autism.
The video is only about a minute long, but it's incredibly uncomfortable. Watching it can help people better understand what those with autism deal with on a regular basis. Understanding their struggle is an important step we can all take to be more compassionate.
You can check out the video below: