Rebecca Garcia Mendez, Writer

Did you know that if you see a child in distress and overwhelmed, they may have autism? Today I will be giving an informative writing about autism and the effects of overstimulation and how to cope with it. So let’s get started. I’ll begin with autism and overstimulation, then move to how children deal with it. It’s important to understand what autism is before we begin. According to Autism Speaks (2020), Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Although it is seen in both males and females, it is more common in males. Children who get diagnosed with autism will normally get the diagnosis by the age of 2. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. Social communication can include having a conversation, giving a presentation, or simply talking. It’s a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave. So essentially autism is a brain development disability that causes social abnormalities. So we know what autism is, now moving on to overstimulation. Let’s explore it. Another key question would be, what is overstimulation? It occurs when there is “too much” of some external stimulus or stimuli for a person’s brain to process and integrate effectively. The world around them is too much and they cannot seem to calm down. They become extremely sensitive and this will cause a breakdown.  In a person who is not affected by autism, the best way to describe it would be someone getting overwhelmed, and unable to express how they feel. Each person is different, so the breakdowns won’t look identical but the feeling may be the same. Now that you know what the disorder is and what overstimulation is, allow me to explain and move on to how they’re affected when overstimulated. You may be asking how they act when overstimulated. According to Autism Spectrum News, (24 Sept. 2021) A common thing, seen when the breaking point is reached, is crying, screaming, and thrashing out. Kidsmasterskills, claims that the child may do this to drown out the other noises around them. This is a form of self-regulation. This is an effective way for them to calm themselves down as they try to get used to the environment around them. Another common form of self-regulation is the child rocking their bodies, covering their eyes and ears, or becoming incredibly tense. How else can they calm themselves down? Autism Spectrum News, says that parents creating a safe space for their children can be incredibly effective. The safe space can include pillows, blankets, toys, etc. This area gives them the space and time that they need to calm down. The only con that comes with the safe space is that the space will normally be in a room at their house. This isn’t portable and this method cannot always be used. Although overstimulation is extremely common in autistic kids, the main question is can this be avoided? The answer is yes and no. This is because overstimulation can never completely go away, but there are some ways to reduce the risk of it and avoid a big meltdown. A parent can create a plan for their child. Schedules can help those with autism to know exactly what is going on. They will not be confused about what is going on and will have a solid idea of what to expect. Letting them know what will be going on at the outing will allow them to be prepared for everything. So again, Autism is a neurological developmental disability. Overstimulation is when there is  “too much” of some external stimulus or stimuli for a person’s brain to process and integrate effectively. The person affected will lash out and cry when overstimulated. To calm themselves down they will find things that balance them and allow them to feel confirmed. Autism affects a lot of individuals today, it is important to know how we can help them.


“What Is Autism?” Autism Speaks, 

Bogart, Lauren. “Helping Children with Autism Avoid Overstimulation.” Hopebridge Autism Therapy Center, 24 May 2022, 

Minot, David. “Four Faces of Overstimulation.” Autism Spectrum News, 24 Sept. 2021, 

Dr. Lisa Marnell, OTD. “Frequent Vocalizations in Some Autistic Children: A Strategy for Self-Regulation.” Kidsmasterskills, Kidsmasterskills, 14 June 2021,