The term meltdown - does it cause offence?

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.

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