I don’t necessarily get upset that easily.

It takes a lot to push me to my Autistic breaking point.  

For me it depends on the situation- what’s happened? – what’s occurred? – who said what? – how did they say it? – what was the conversation about that led up to the point where it became clear/it dawned on me/ it affected me?

I have to assess each situation individually and make an assessment based on how I perceived what was said and what happened.

But what happens afterwards is where today’s blog is looking at.

How do I as an Autistic person convey to a non-Autistic person that I’m upset?

Let me tell you the signs to look out for.


I abandon my sensory box and all it’s contents. This has occurred a few times since I put together my own. The sight of them makes me sick and I don’t want to look at them. They are not providing me with the sensory stimulation they once were. I have written about it here. https://autisticnick.com/2022/02/14/autistic-nick-abandons-his-sensory-box/ An incident occurred recently and whereas I would have picked up and selected a puzzle box and done four on the train to work and then four on the return journey I did two and then placed both the pen and the book back into my backpack and sat in silence for the rest of the train journey.  

My Sensory Box


I barely say two words. So, here a couple of things have happened. One is that the incident had been that horrible that I am still in the processing stage. This is where I will replay what happened repeatedly in my head on a continuous loop. I will analyse each section piece by piece.  Dissecting as I go along. Two I am about to or am in the early stages of a shutdown. Here it’s best to leave me alone to experience this. Shutdowns are when the Autistic person is still experiencing perceived sensory overload to an environmental trigger. Shutdowns can be defined as a person’s brain going into a protective mode, where it ‘shuts off’ momentarily.

Autistic Individuals experiencing sensory shutdown often appear immobile; they may lay in one position and not move or blink. They may not hear their names being called and are unable to respond.

These individuals in the midst of a shutdown often retreat from the outside world, by going inside, or within themselves for comfort, in an effort to self-calm and remove whatever caused their stress.

During my shutdown, I partially withdraw from the world around them. I didn’t respond well to communicating with anymore, and I retreated to my room a lot more. You can read more here https://autisticnick.com/2022/10/10/10-signs-that-autistic-nick-is-heading-into-a-shutdown/

Me Having a Shutdown


I just want to read a book and nap heaps. It’s usually the latter. Sleeping for me is something that I know will calm me down and give me security and peace. My bed to me is my safe space and it’s where I can collect my thoughts and not have to deal with things until I am ready.

My Bedroom


I’ll go for long walks all by myself. I like to breathe in the fresh air and take time to clear my head.

Me Going for a walk


If I am upset at work for example, I’ll go very quiet, and I will pull out the noise cancelling headphones. I will not attempt to communicate with anyone and seek an exit strategy at my earliest convenience.

My Noise Cancelling Headphones


If I begin stimming or fidgeting in any way, then that’s a big sign that I’m upset. It could be stretching my fingers, or playing with my staff pass cord, I may also start twirling my hair, or slapping my chest with my hands. You can read more here https://autisticnick.com/2022/10/05/10-signs-that-autistic-nick-is-getting-overwhelmed/

My Stimming Items


Conversations are brisk and my word count/vocabulary becomes limited. You may start a conversation with me, and I will do my best to end it as soon as I can. It’s not you and I’m not being rude (if this happens to you). I may not be able to communicate with you how I’m feeling, or I maybe so overwhelmed that I simply cannot tell you what’s happening to/with me.

Me being left alone


I will do my best to live in my own bubble and have every possible means available to make that happen. If I am wearing my noise cancelling headphones, then take that as a polite sign that I don’t wish to chat with you.  

My Noise Cancelling Headphones


I also will spend anytime that I have on my own and I will retrieve from engaging with others in anyway, shape or form possible. I will live my life as a monk to some degree. Just know it’s something that I need to experience and when I’m ready I’ll chat about it.

Me being left alone


If whatever’s happened has occurred at work, then I may take myself off for a walk. I’ll let you know where I’m going, I just won’t say anymore. It may come to it that it’s all becoming too much for me and in that case, I’ll just inform you that I am leaving for the day and that I’ll make up any hours at home. I won’t feel the need to explain any further. It also means that I won’t wish to discuss it there and then.

Me At Work


As always, I can also be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU and on the Official Autistic Nick Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AutisticNickAU/ Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.


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