I’ve been told that the term meltdown ought not to be used because it’s offensive and the term sensory overload should be used instead.
To my mind sensory overload and meltdowns are two different things. I have suffered sensory overload today but I didn't have a meltdown, I left the overstimulating environment for a quieter environment to recover. I do believe though that prolonged sensory overload will usually result in a meltdown.
I don't think this is coming from the autistic population, I could however imagine parents saying it.
I do find it offensive when neurotypicals use it to describe being angry/upset/frustrated because it diminishes its meaning to what we experience as a meltdown.
What do you think?
I had meltdowns at my previous workplace because of impossible social and conflict situations that I was put into on purpose by my colleagues and that I just couldn't handle, because I wasn't allowed to do anything about the way the others were treating me or else I'd be criticised for standing up for myself. Then when I eventually reached my limit and had a meltdown, I was criticised for that as well. It had nothing to do with sensory overload. When I do experience sensory overload, I shut down or withdraw. I don't think I've ever had a meltdown from sensory overload, though loud sudden noises make me really angry but only for a second.
The same here as well.
Me to but had never understood why I suddenly reacted this way, A sudden loud noise or just lately certain sounds not so loud( Hyperacusis) feels like a massive over powering sensation that grips me and my whole body cringes, I react angrily for a second, I don’t really say or do anything as it is a fraction of a second thing,
I have only really shut down once that I can say for sure and that was recently, it was when a work colleague raised his voice and told me I had no right to talk about autism or say I was until I had been formerly diagnosed. It overwhelmed me as I have a lot of respect for him and considered him to be a kind man and a work friend. I couldn’t talk straight after, I was shaking, my vision blurred, I couldn’t orientate myself,I tried to write my diary for work but my hand wouldn’t move, I had lost the connection between my hand and brain. I eventually left the office in a daze, got in my van, sat a while, started driving and cried out loud and screamed, I had tears running down my face and I was lost within my mind, it took me many hours to settle down once I got home.