In particular, the DSM V - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders now includes "hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interests in sensory aspects of the environment" (autismspeaks.org) as part of the diagnosis, demonstrating that for many it is a core feature of the disorder. Many of the simulations that can be found at the link below highlight this sort of "sensory overload" to help us better understand what that is, as well as better appreciate and empathize with how these individuals feel and their ways of reacting or coping with such overload and resulting distress.
"These sensory challenges can be very impairing, turning a normally comfortable environment into a struggle for individuals with ASD. The severity of discomfort can range widely: Anything from the cuffs of one's short-sleeve shirt to loud noises to perceptions many of us experience without thinking twice can cause distress" (mashable.com).
"5 Autism Simulations To Help You Experience Sensory Overload" by Matt Petronzio (Mashable)