Sensory Processing Disorder: “Working Overtime”

chloe rothschild autism advocate

Imagine for a minute what it’s like to live in a body that is always having to be on alert, always having to pay attention to the environment and what’s going on around you. If you let down your guard, you’ll be letting your neurology down.

My body, my neurology is vulnerable and sensitive. I hear every single little beep, the air conditioner, others conversations…I feel the lightest, slightest bit of touch, as we sit on an airplane, in close quarters, I recognize, notice and feel your body brush against mine occasionally, nothing more than the usual when sitting on an airplane, but I must pay attention to it, every movement you make. Every time your body touches mine, even in the slightest way, so that I can prepare myself and my body for the input, in an attempt to help me react in a more socially acceptable manner, and keep from startling, flinching, crying and screaming and other intense reactions to a minimum.

To most people, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but you see I have autism and sensory processing disorder. I have to pay attention to every little ounce of stimuli that is coming my way, and prepare myself for it to the best of my ability. Sometimes I do a better job at it than others. Sometimes, I  make mistakes, I’m human just like you and am not perfect. If you see me or an individual who seems to be reacting to the environment in an unusual manner, try and remember that their neurology may be different. They may, like me always have to be on alert, always thinking about the simple things that most people do without thinking or don’t even think about.

Sometimes it’s not so easy having so much to think about, so big of a responsibility, and lacking the regulation skills most people just seem to know. I work overtime, I try my hardest each and every time. Sometimes despite my efforts, my very sensitive neurology and body get triggered, and I may react in a way that isn’t perceived as acceptable or ” normal”. Please know, that I’m trying, very hard, and would really appreciate others understanding, acceptance and patience.

Remember don’t judge others, there may be more to their stories than what you know…than what meets the eye. Thank you.

chloe rothschild autism writer

Chloe autism advocate and speaker

**Chloe is a Penfriend Project contributor. Find out more about the Penfriend Project and how you can empower an autistic writer through sponsorship.

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About Jodi Murphy

I am the founder of Geek Club Books, autism storytelling through mobile apps for awareness, acceptance and understanding. My mission is to use the art of storytelling and technology to entertain and educate for the social good. I am a 'positive' autism advocate, mother of an awesome adult on the autism spectrum, lifestyle journalist, and marketing specialist.


  1. Valerie Maples says:

    I figured out just a year ago that I likely have Aspergers. After parenting four medically fragile kids (none autistic), all of the sudden I realized that with the heartache of sensory and social skill challenges and judgment they brought, my Aspergers was often more of a gift than a challenge since it made me more in tune with my kids tiniest changes and I “knew” things without ever really knowing why. Thanks, Chloe, for sharing your story and validating how others can experience life without others always understanding…

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