I have a very different diagnosis and very similar grocery store experiences: I have been diagnosed with PTSD. Grocery stores are hard for me, too, because so many things pull my attention and trigger my fight-or-flight response.
I'm also just a particularly sensitive person. When I notice that I'm becoming overwhelmed, I tell myself I feel "ragged" (like I'm raggedy Ann. I liked her a lot as a kid.) But even with my newfound anxiety, I'm never as overwhelmed as the writer in this article. I would throw a fit first, as a child. Today, I would have already had a panic attack and a migraine.
I'm guessing that someone with high functioning autism isn't quite scared in the same way as someone with PTSD, though? Or maybe we're scared for different reasons? Like I'm scared so therefore I'm on high alert and therefore overwhelmed, and you're on high alert all the time and therefore overwhelmed which is scary.
But anyway, I can sympathize with putting on headphones and sunglasses and using an extreme amount of brainpower to focus on picking up a loaf of bread.

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