Experience 60 seconds of how it feels to live with autism.

Sensory sensitivity is just one battle someone with autism may face every day.

Certain things can drive me up a wall.

Like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet.


Make it stop already! GIFs via the National Autistic Society/YouTube.

Or deafening, nonstop police sirens outside my window that just. won't. quit.

Nope, nope, nope.

That's why a video made by the U.K.-based National Autistic Society really struck a chord with me.

For the first time, I was able to get a glimpse into the world as it's experienced by many who have autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) — a developmental condition that can hinder a person's social, emotional, or communication skills.

A lot of these folks experience sensory sensitivity, which makes it hard to process sensory information like sounds, sights, or tastes.

For someone who has ASD, a sound (like those obnoxious police sirens I mentioned earlier) can be magnified and distorted. Or a fabric used for everyday clothing might feel very uncomfortable to the touch.

To people without sensory sensitivity, those police sirens may just be annoying. But for someone with autism, hearing them could be downright painful.

Autism is more than just sensory sensitivity, though.

In case you don't know too much about ASD, here are some basic facts:

  • You can't "see" it. "There's often nothing about how people with [ASD] look that sets them apart from other people," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • It's more common than you might think. The CDC estimates that about 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism.
  • ASD isn't a one-size-fits-all label. "Every person with autism is different," according to a video by the National Autistic Society. "That's what makes it so difficult to understand."
  • And the verdict's still out on precisely what causes autism. No one knows for sure, but research has led doctors to believe there are likely multiple factors — environmental, biological, and genetic — that can increase the chances of a person having ASD. (And, just FYI, getting vaccines isn't one of them.)

Watching a one-minute video on sensory sensitivity certainly doesn't mean I know what having autism feels like...

...especially because having ASD can mean many different things to different people.

But watching the PSA below can really spark empathy for those who experience the world a bit differently than many of us.

Check out the video by the National Autistic Society below:

More
Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Last month, the Chicago Public Library system became the largest in the country to eliminate late fees thanks to Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.

While the move, which was implemented October 1, was intended to "remove unfair barriers to basic library access, especially for youth and low-income patrons," it had another positive outcome. Since the removal of overdue fees, along with the elimination of any outstanding charges on people's accounts, libraries across the city saw a surge in the return of overdue books over the last several weeks.

"The amount of books returned has increased by 240 percent…We're very, very happy to have that. … Those books have a value and cost money to buy. We want those assets back. We also want the patron to come back," Library Commissioner Andrea Telli said at a City Council budget hearing, the Chicago-Sun Times reports.

According to a press release from Lightfoot, late fees rarely have the impact they're intended to. "Research from other fine-free systems has indicated that fines do not increase return rates, and further that the cost of collecting and maintaining overdue fees often outweighs the revenue generated by them."

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
popular

We all know that social media can be a cesspool of trolly negativity, but sometimes a story comes along that totally restores your faith in the whole thing. Enter the KFC proposal that started off being mocked and ended up with a swarm of support from individuals and companies who united to give the couple an experience to remember.

Facebook user Tae Spears shared the story with screenshots from Twitter, and the response has been overwhelming.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Twitter / ESPN

Madison Square Garden in New York City is known for having hosted some legendary performances. George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh in '71, Billy Joel's 12 sellouts in '06, and Carmelo Anthony's 62 points in a 2014 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats, just to name a few.

But it's hard to imagine one person holding the legendary arena in the palm of their hand quite like Pete DuPré, better known as "Harmonica Pete," did on Veterans Day.

Keep Reading Show less
popular