Without a chance to calm down people with Asperger’s suffer from sensory overload which can make them very irritable and prone to meltdowns.
"Alone-time" helps them to recover, particularly if they have been engaged in a lot of social activity.
You could be forgiven for thinking that alone time means time spent in a room by yourself with no distractions.
This is certainly a great way to achieve it however alone time can be obtained in a variety of other ways not all of which are silent. This is particularly important if the person with Aspergers is at school or work and cannot easily find a room to themselves.
Removing StimuliSince one of the main reasons alone time is to reduce stimuli, the best ways to get the same effect depend upon removing one or more stimuli from your senses. For example, wearing darker glasses or a hoodie will reduce the amount of light entering your eyes. Wearing headphones can remove the babble of speech or general ambient sounds and wearing a scarf can often reduce sensitivity to odours.
Sometimes just choosing extremely low irritant (ie: very comfortable) clothing is enough to reduce overall sensitivity.
An alternative to actually blocking out stimuli is to replace it with more regular or more pleasing options. This is called "habitation".
Key ways to do this include playing music through headphones. This puts you in charge of your ambient environment. While it doesn't necessarily drown out external sounds, your brain follows the familiar beats and this makes it easier to ignore the other sounds around you.
If you have an easily overloaded sense of smell, chewing mints or gum can serve as a form of habitation for these sensitivities.
This is why many schools allow the chewing of gum or the use of headphones in exams.
Sometimes sports, particularly low contact (with others) options such as skating, running, aerobics, bowling and weights can create a "touch habitation" effect where the body becomes less aware of touch sensitivities while the exercise is in progress.
Choosing Low-People Options
These could be individual activities like computing, pets, reading, crafts or television.
They could also include activities such as swimming, diving or climbing which include groups of people but have very limited options for contact and communication.
Alone time is available even in the most crowded of places. You just need to know how to find and use the opportunities.