Sensory overstimulation (also known as sensory overload) is a debilitating medical condition that affects millions of people, including many autistic people. Project K is aimed at disseminating information regarding the pathology and treatment of sensory overstimulation. The project’s name derives from the chemical symbol for potassium. Potassium (or rather, the lack of it in key places) plays a central role in sensory overstimulation.
The intended outputs of my project include an academic paper, training videos, and treatment guidelines for medical doctors to share with patients.
I owe the remission of my own sensory overload to my friend, the autistic author and researcher Benjine Gerber. Benjine has written extensively on this subject, but has not yet published in a peer-reviewed journal. She does not have the time to co-author this paper with me, and has given her blessing for me to do it on my own.
The scope of my paper is confined to the initial treatment steps for sensory overstimulation, which require an understanding of molecular and cell biology. Conversations which Benjine and I have had with numerous doctors have made it clear to me that doctors in general are not comfortable with the foundational knowledge. This applies even to functional medicine GPs, who tend to be more aware of epigenetics and molecular pathways. My paper will therefore reference a good deal of ordinary, established “medical textbook information” to provide the rationale for the treatment.
I won’t be writing in detail about existing external management and coping aids such as stimming, hearing protection, dark glasses, weighted blankets and joint pressure. I am excluding these from the scope, because as there already a lot of valuable information out there about these, and I do not want to duplicate effort.