Leone Centre Glossary

Sensory Overload in Neurodiversity-affirmative Therapy

Sensory Overload

Sensory Overload affects how individuals perceive, process and respond to sensory information. In neurodiversity-affirmative therapy, recognising and accommodating these differences is essential for providing supportive and impactful care.

Sensory Overload and Sensory Process Disorder (SPD)

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a diagnostic term referring to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioural responses. For those diagnosed with SPD, sensory information can be misinterpreted, leading to various challenges in daily life. SPD can lead to sensory overload and be overwhelming or to insufficient responses to sensory stimuli, impacting daily life and mental well-being.

Inclusive approaches

Neurodiversity-affirmative therapy values and respects sensory differences. This approach involves adapting therapy to cater to the unique sensory needs of individuals who experience Sensory Overload. This may include personalised processes and supportive practices adapted to enhance therapeutic experience and outcomes.

Therapy benefits

Neurodiversity-affirmative therapy supports individuals experiencing sensory overload by recognising their unique sensory profiles and providing specialised support. This approach creates a more inclusive and respectful environment, enhancing the therapeutic experience and overall well-being.

Therapy approaches

In neurodiversity-affirmative therapy, therapists use various methods to accommodate sensory needs. These can include modifying the sensory environment, employing sensory integration practices, and using calming or stimulating activities as needed. The goal is to create a supportive and adaptive therapeutic space.


What is Sensory Overload?
Sensory Overload happens when the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. This can result in being overly sensitive or over-responsive to sensory stimuli.
How does neurodiversity-affirmative therapy help with Sensory Overload?
This type of therapy recognises and respects sensory differences, adapting therapeutic approaches to meet the individual needs of those experiencing sensory overload, thus creating a more inclusive and supportive environment.
What are some practices used in therapy for Sensory Overload?
Therapists may use sensory integration practices, modify the sensory environment, and incorporate activities that either calm or stimulate the sensory system to support the individual’s unique needs.


  1. Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder
  2. Neurodiversity-Affirmative Practice
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision