Quoting Meg ♥:" We went to the science center today.... ugh, probably a horrible idea on my part, but I like to expose ... [snip!] ... like this? DD has never did this before and normally DH is the first person she runs to when she needs comforting. Thanks!"
Both my kids are hypersensitive to sounds and light. School for Jason in kinder garden was hell because of that. Even a room with too many people, or colors/poster are overwhelming. Same with Emily. Jason will cry and get into a fetal position then kind of shut down. Emily will turn violent towards herself and others.
What helped best for Jason is that I bought him a pair of skull candy aviator ear phones. He chose the color he wanted. We don't plug in the earphones anywhere but wearing them helps bring comfort because his ears are "protected" and it muffles some sound but not as much as ear plugs or soundproof headphones. So we work at the desensitizing at the same time. He can still hear others around him too.
We also got him some sun glasses for the light or when he feels a room is too much. Again he feels as though his eyes are "protected". It does tone down the brightness a little but he still sees colors just toned down a bit. So we can still work on desensitizing.
He has his chant when things are not well, but it's made up because of his speech delay and to make sure he can express his needs.
We actually went to the museum of Nature about a year ago. We had his sisters babysat on that day. 1 kid to help desensitize at a time is enough hahaha. It was crowded, bright. Some places they had loud noises for the dinosaurs and animals etc. We walked in not 2 minutes later he FREAKED. Total meltdown/shut down. So I took his headphones, his sunglasses out of his backpack, and my husband had taken a hoola hoop. Cut some off because it was quite large. We taped the ends together, the circumference was smaller but still wide enough to be considered personal space.
It will sound funny but Jason walked half an hour with his glasses, headphones and standing in the middle of and carrying his hoola hoop so that his personal space was respected. We got weird looks lol. But he did it for 30 minutes! He winced and had to breath but he did it! Then we went again the weekend after with the same things for 2 hours. Then again later but without the hoola hoop this time.
Teach her a catch phrase that could be polite and to the point with everyone. Like you could practice with her showing her hand in a "stop sign" in front of her (anyone can understand that gesture) and say "please stop, I'm uncomfortable"
or anything you feel would be appropriate. Then she can specify to back up, or tone it down or be careful with showing objects to close to her face etc. She could get a sense of control from it and know there is a solution to her discomfort. There is also the option of stepping back and taking a breather from the situation. Nothing wrong with that as long as she tried and will keep trying after
That would help with stress big time. Also I found the earphones and sunglasses to be such a great help.