UK’s National Autistic Society has created a powerful video to try to show what an autistic child experiences when they have a sensory overload.

Women’s Weekly reports Renee Bugg, writes regularly on her blog , About a Bugg, her experiences with her daughter, Poss*, who was diagnosed with autism when she was five-years-old.

“Once we had a diagnosis and understood what was happening for Poss we cared less about people’s judgement and more about calming her down and removing her from the situation,” Renee tells.

“I’ve had people say in the past “she’s too big to be in a stroller” or “why is she behaving like that?” or even older women walking passed and giving me the tutt,” she says. “Some people are really understanding and just get it and other are just waiting to pass judgement. Your job as a parent is just to focus on your child in that moment.”

The last thing a family needs during an episode is the judgement of bystanders, but sadly many people love to judge a child’s behaviour in public.

The campaign hopes to spread the message-
“I’m not naughty – I’m autistic. Sometimes I get too much information. And if you only see a naughty kid, you haven’t got enough.”

A must-watch for World Autism Awareness Day the caption on Youtube reads…

“I’m not naughty, I’m autistic. And I just get too much information.”

That’s the message that one young boy with autism is hoping to spread ahead of World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April, as a new report suggests that people with autism feel trapped in their own homes due to negative public perceptions.

The video shows what it’s like when a person with autism experiences sensory overload. And it’s certainly an eye-opener.

The clip follows a young boy who is walking through a shopping centre with his mum.

Everything is fine, but then all of a sudden he begins to hone in on certain things and his senses become enhanced. Noises become loud and overbearing, there are bright flashing lights, it’s terrifying.

The young boy begins to lash out and tries to run away. While some onlookers might see it as naughtiness, the reality is that the boy has autism and sensory overload is scaring him.

It has been released alongside a new report called ‘Too Much Information’, which reveals how poor public understanding of autism is isolating people with the condition.

In some cases, it leaves them feeling trapped in their own homes.

NASS research found that 90% of families questioned said people stare at behaviour associated with their child’s autism, and almost three-quarters (73%) said people tut or make disapproving noises when they encounter such behaviour, while an overwhelming number of autistic people (85%) said they feel other people judge them as being strange.

The study shows that these attitudes can have a severely detrimental effect on people with autism and their families – almost half of those surveyed said they sometimes do not go out because they are worried about how people will react, and two-thirds said they feel socially isolated.


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  • You shouldn’t judge others and the video will help people understand.


  • I would like to add another comment to this from a different angle. I don’t know whether this will be applicable with Autism or not.
    I have a relative with ADHD. As an early teenager her Grandma asked her not to do something which was dangerous and she suspected she was just testing the girl was testing the boundaries as she had mentioned herself that she wasn’t allowed to do that and some other unacceptable things (I won’t list them). When she asked her not to do something as I mentioned about she put her face right in front of her Grandma’s and very aggressively said “I’m ADHD”. Initially Grandma was shocked at her response. She waited for her grandaughter to walk away then informed her that was no excuse, they she knew she wasn’t supposed to do that. For a change Missy was lost for words. I happened to be visiting, and knowing Missy had a fascination for sharp knives I was worried as I knew there was some on the sink which had just been washed after being used from the meal we had just eaten.
    I suggest that children with disabilties such as this are not taught to respond by saying “I’m not naughty…………” We found out afterwards she was pulling the same stunt at school – deliberately trying to get herself suspended.


  • A very powerful video. Hopefully people will learn that situations aren’t always clear cut and that they shouldn’t be so quick to judge.


  • People need to think before they speak – or judge.


  • Whether a child is having an autistic moment or just throwing a tantrum, I like to smile at the parent – I’ve been there, and sometimes that look of sympathy or an offer of a hand is all it takes to take that parent down from having their own meltdown.


  • I honestly wonder if people with autism are very empathetic and can feel the emotions of others. I’ve battled a large part of my life with anxiety when being in public, feeling overwhelmed and needing to go home. I’d look strange to others if they saw me flee. Same sort of judgement, something you can only understand if you’re experiencing it yourself. Poor kids, can imagine how hard it would be, and the parents who get judged.


  • I hope this video will help people understand.


  • It is very difficult sometimes to tell if a child has special needs or is just throwing a tantrum. I saw a Mum with a crying baby sitting in a trolley one day while the Mum was trying to cope with a toddler who obviously had issues. I recognised that it wasn’t just a tantrum. I offered to try to calm the baby down, just talk to him/her while the Mum coped with her older distressed child….which I did. Another person walked past and commented that I should mind my own business……I have a special needs relative and I know how difficult it can be just at home and people have no idea how hard it is and how embarrassing some people make the parents/carers feel.

    • So often people who need help the most are walked past by many. Wonderful that you stopped and helped the mum and her family.

      • What a wonderful thing to do. Good on you for stopping to help. I bet the mother really appreciated the help!

      • I would like to add one other comment. When the child is 9 or 10, I hope children aren’t taught to say “I’m not naughty………..” I know a child with ADHD. One day a friend calmly asked her not to slam a glass door and Missy laughed about it. It had been explained to her several times and she had given up doing it a couple of years before. Had she broken the door she could easily have cut herself, especially as she had no shoes on. On this occasion she turned around to the person and yelled at the top of her voice (she knew it was scare the person concerned) and said “I’m ADHD” to which the reply was “yes. but that’s no excuse you knew you were doing wrong”. I walked in as this was happening, and was glad I witnessed it. What I didn’t know was that her Dad was in the back verandah and heard the whole “discussion” and then walked in one way after I had walked in. The fact that Missy was laughing he knew that she was playing on having ADHD. Turns out her School Teacher had discovered the same behaviour when she deliberately misbvehaved. She then admitted she deliberately played up at school, hoping she would get suspended, sent home and miss a few days at school. The school then got smart, made an arrangement with the Librarian and assistant and sent her to the library if there wasn’t a class in there. She wasn’t so keen on misbehaving in class after that.


  • great video to help people understand what they are going through on a daily basis and to be more tolerant and accepting.


  • All that staring must be awful! I hope this video will help people understand more about autism.


  • Very powerful video and message . These children are often misunderstood.


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