Autistic Empaths

Sensory Processing Sensitivity on the Spectrum and Beyond

Autistic Empaths is a project and book in the making about sensory processing sensitivity as a trait and how it manifests on the Autism Spectrum (ASD), in Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), ADD/ADHD, synesthesia, BPD, addiction, and other conditions. Sensory processing sensitivity is the official term for what has been called the trait of high sensitivity; people who self-identify with it call themselves Highly Sensitive People, or HSPs. The trait includes increased empathy, depth of processing, overstimulation, and sensitivity to subtleties.


Learning from you

I want my work to be relevant and useful. The best way to do that is to know what experiences are important and what questions remain unanswered for you, my fellow HSPs (and SPDs, ASDs, ADDs, empaths, syntesthetes...). Your answers are confidential; no names or identifying information will ever be used in my writing without your explicit consent. This is primarily to guide my research. If you are open to being contacted for follow-up questions or clarifications by email, please indicate so below. I couldn't do this without you. Thank you, tribe! 

If you need more information about my project first, check out the description on the Welcome page.

Please indicate your age or the age of your child for whom you are answering the survey.
If you are open to answering clarifying or follow-up questions via email, please indicate so here.
Many studies look at the differences between biologically male and female brains. Please indicate your (or your child's) biological sex rather than gender for this purpose only. This question is optional.
Diagnoses by Physician/Professional
Please indicate if you (or your child) have been officially diagnosed with any of the following conditions.
Suspected Diagnoses or Identities
If you and/or a clinician suspect you (or your child) are or have any of the following, please indicate.
What associations do you have, if any, with the term "Autistic Empaths"? What does it make you think of?
I process things deeply.
I feel others' emotions strongly (or take them on as my own).
I am sensitive to subtleties in my environment others may not notice.
I am sensitive to/easily overloaded by stimuli (visual, auditory, tactile, etc.).
Sensory Styles
How would you classify your sensory experiences or that of your child?
What sensory situations (places, activities, stimuli, etc) are a particular challenge for you or your child?
What do you do to either help yourself when you feel overloaded, to recover, or just to make yourself feel good? (stimming, time in nature, meditation, weighted blankets, etc.)
What gifts (strengths, talents, positive sides, etc) do you feel being highly sensitive offers?
What is your diet like? Describe a typical day, or any plans or approaches you follow. Please indicate if you have any food sensitivities/intolerances/allergies and their severity.
How is your digestion? Do you have IBS, diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, Celiac, Crohn's, ulcers, etc?
How many hours of sleep do you get a night, on average?
How many hours of sleep do you WISH you could have most nights?
What do you wish your physician/counselor/other medical provider could answer for you? What lingering questions do you have about your own experiences? Basically - what would you like this project to explore?
If there is anything else you find important to share, please do so here.