Imagine the building you’re in just went up in flames. Sirens are relentlessly sounding. A firefighter in an oxygen mask just burst in, grabbing you by the arm and barking commands—can you say scary? I’m a sheriff reserve and that Darth Vader-esque voice still freaks me out.
Autism and High-Stress Situations
Now, imagine you have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Loud noises cause unbearable pain. A touch on the arm feels like the roughest sandpaper on your skin. When instruction and commands become too difficult to process, you freeze or completely shutdown.
Now, put those two scenarios together. Autism: the “invisible” disability, whose symptoms often affect social understanding and sensory input, can make communication extremely difficult in everyday-life, let alone a high-stress situation.