- “Suddenly everything is too loud, too bright, too much, and you just want to run to a dark, quiet corner to curl up in for hours.”
- “It’s like everything is amplified and I can’t hit the pause or stop button.”
- “I hear everything when in sensory overload. But it’s not as if I can hear what is being said; rather it is just many, many sounds, unfiltered and loud. It feels like sounds are coming at me from every direction. Lights from all directions also seem to glare in my eyes. Sensory overload is horrible.”
- “Imagine walking into a room filled with 25 72-inch flat-screen TVs that all have super-high definition and surround sound, but they’re all playing different movies. On full blast. At the same time. And the door is locked, so you can’t get out. Feeling anxious? Now imagine getting the same reaction just from being at the grocery store and having to drive home with your infant in the backseat. Yeah, that’s what it’s like.”
This is what it’s like to be sensory-sensitive or have sensory overload according to contributors at The Mighty, a web site for those who have autism, chronic illness, mental illness, Down Syndrome and rare diseases, and for their family and friends (themighty.com). When you are sensory-sensitive, even the ticking of a clock or overhead fluorescent lights can be too much. Recognizing that there are individuals here at Epworth who live with sensory-sensitivity, the Special Needs Ministry has created a space where children, youth, or adults with sensory sensitivity can find calm. Room 202 has been developed into a Quiet Room. There are comfortable places to sit, calming lighting, and low noise for those who feel anxious around noise and crowds. The team is in the process of supplying the room with helpful tools, including noise-cancelling headphones and tactile toys for younger children.
The room will be supervised by a volunteer educated in the needs of sensory sensitive people and in the requirements of our education program. If a child needs time apart in order to relax and become centered again, an adult volunteer escorts the child to the Quiet Room, so there will be two adults in the room with the child.
Contact Pastor Beth using the contact form below to volunteer or with questions.