Autism is a complex phenomenon with an extremely broad spectrum of effects that vary in every individual, a new interactive simulator aims to provide only a hint at what it is like to experience just one symptom of autism - sensory overload.
To try the simulator for yourself click here. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move and the mouse to adjust your perspective. According to the creator the aim is not so much to recreate sensory overload as experienced in someone with autism, but "to elicit the same kind of reaction from a neurotypical person". The simulator seems to be receiving a good response from many on the autism spectrum apparently coming forward to commend the simulator on its accuracy, though there are also comments stating how it does not come close to demonstrating the reality of autism. The consensus seems to be that the shrieks go some way to emulate the feeling of anxiety and the haze of static helps communicate the feeling of confusion, that can be induced by sensory overload. The emulator "doesn't explain what the world looks like" to someone with autism "but rather what it feels like". We'll never be able to simulate autism properly but hopefully projects such as this might help create empathy and provide at the very least a small degree of insight and understanding in to what it must be like to live with autism.
Update: I just received a video which attempts to achieve the very same goal, also worth checking out:
Via: Ars Technica
Image Credit: Auti-sim