Who has sensory sensitivity?
First, we all have sensory sensitivity. We are all sensitive to our senses! Second, for some people, this is a problem because they are over or undersensitive compared to the rest of us. Third, this extra level of sensory sensitivity includes people of all ages. Fourth, extra sensitivity can occur to any of the eight senses. Fifth, it can also occur to more than one at a time. And lastly, it can occur as a short-term thing or something that happens across the life span.
So, we are all sensitive to our senses. That just means we experience them. To clarify, we all see, hear, taste, touch, smell, move, balance, and have an internal body sense.
But as mentioned, some people have more sensitivity to their senses. They have difficulties with them. What is more, their body and brain do not receive information from their senses in the same way other people do. Likewise, their brain might interpret sensory information differently. As a result, they may not respond to their senses in the same way as most other people.
Examples of more sensory sensitivity
- For instance, noise may bother them. You may see people wear noise-canceling headphones to listen to music or even children wearing earmuffs to block out sound
- Alternatively, flickering lights or blue light may bother them. So much so, they wear special glasses.
- On the other hand, they might be bothered by the touch of small things like tags. Sensory-friendly clothing helps!
Moreover, many different disorders, disabilities or differences can contribute to people having sensory sensitivity. Besides, sensory sensitivity can happen to anyone at any age.
Furthermore, people with sensory sensitivity may even experience what is called sensory overload.
There is no rule.
However, having a disorder, disability, or difference on the helpful list we provide below does not mean you will automatically have sensory sensitivity. Nonetheless, it just means you are more likely too.
Furthermore, this list has been generated by our primary research with interviews, surveys, and polls. Likewise, we have completed a review of the literature.
In addition, we have also added to the list when people or groups reached out to us to self-identify as having sensory sensitivity.
Finally, if you think something else should be added to this list, please reach out to us.
You are more likely to have sensory sensitivity if you also have or experience:
- Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism, Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorder, High functioning autism, Autistic person
- Concussion, Post-concussion Syndrome (PCS)
- Hearing loss, hard of hearing
- Highly sensitive person (HSP)
- Intellectual disability (ID)
- Learning disability (LD)
- Lewy-Body Dementia
- Low vision, vision loss
- Meniere’s disease
- Mental disorders, mental illness
- Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
- Non-verbal learning disability (NVLD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sensory disorder or Sensory processing disorder (SPD)
- Sensory integration disorder (SID)
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Trauma, early childhood trauma
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)
- Vestibular disorder
Furthermore, most of these disabilities, disorders, or differences are long-term and chronic. In other words, something that someone will experience for a long time.
Helpful infographic on sensory overload
As well, to help spread the word and awareness, we have created an infographic. Moreover, it lists all the disabilities, disorders, or differences that contribute to people having sensory sensitivity. Thus, they are people who are more likely to experience sensory overload. Additionally, you can also download it. First, open the link. Then, save it as a picture.
People who experience sensory overload.
Christel Seeberger has been an occupational therapist for more than 25 years, helping people of all ages who experience sensory sensitivity and sensory overload. Christel understands how sensitivity and overload feel, she has hearing loss and wears hearing aids. Christel founded Sensory Friendly Solutions in 2016 to bring together people around the world looking for sensory-friendly living and the individuals, businesses and organizations who create sensory friendly experiences.