One of the most calming tools , for me, used to be drawing tiny icons and images. Sometimes really random stuff and sometimes stuff I wanted to remember, like ingredients for a recipe.
Drawing these little icons has been a great tool for me to use for my high anxiety, allowing me to get to know my surroundings, study objects and practice my drawing skills.
I haven't really been doing many of these drawing lately, but I should. It's great fun! Plus, people seem more accepting of my staring if they know it's because I am drawing something.
This is eerily close to what I look like when I am "in my head" and am completely unaware of what or who is around me. lol.
Life can feel very lousy, overwhelming, sad and unfair.
In these times I am reminded to think about the things that are good and well. . .things to be thankful and grateful for, even if it's seemingly few.
I invite everyone to make a list of 1 to 5 things that are good, positive, or grateful for.
Here is mine:
There is a beautiful, faraway view of Mount Rainier
from my front porch.
Sam Noble and Eric Wible
There are wonderful, loving people in my life.
Change. It often feels horrible, but I always feel worse with very little change. Being too "comfortable" often results in more ritualistic behaviors, OSD and fear. I purposely mix up smaller things in my life because of this.
Me in my body pod.
Whenever I make a list like this, I usually put it up somewhere in my home, until it has been up so long that it becomes part of the background (forgetting about it) . . . then I am reminded again that there are good things in life, things to be grateful for, and the cycle continues :-)
Things to consider when gift giving:
What are his/her interests? (games, music, sports, art, shows, hobbies...)
What are his/her dislikes? (can help narrow what NOT to do)
How much time and money can I spend on this gift?
Is this gift thoughtful?
Am I making sure to have his/her interests in mind, not mine?
Today is the birthday of my dear friend, Christina!
She always gets me the best presents, and like to do the same for her.
Even though I had no money to spend on a present, I believe I have succeeded!
After pondering the usual questions when gift giving, I decided to create a piece of fan art for her.
I took things she enjoys: thought, love, the color blue, art, and the character, Mayaya
, from the manga Kuragehime
that we both enjoy. . . and created this:
*SPOILER* This is Mayaya (out of her usual attire) from the manga Kuragehime. This is from the chapter in which Mayaya is pushed to model one of the jellyfish dresses. It's also the only time her eyes are ever shown.
Happy Birthday Christina!
Christina, you can have your Mayaya-goodness once it's framed!
Fun note: the original is super shimmery, squee!
“What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool?
You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done.”
― Temple Grandin
, The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger's
Life is full of change and change, no matter how stressful, is very important. Change often means growth.
Growth often means something new has been learned.
Learning is an important part of life.
Using visual schedules, cues, and helpers is what helps autistic individuals most with growth and change.
Today, I am creating change by erasing an old visual schedule that I have grown out of and creating a new one using the same dry erase board.
A clean board!
New schedule attempt for the web routines I've been having issues with.
It is a happy moment when I really realize that I have grown enough to be able to replace an old visual with a newly created, usually challenging, visual.
There is no one schedule or visual that will solve everything. Just like other areas in life, visuals grow and evolve.
But, processing time can really slow things down!
It took me over a year to be able to erase this board to create a new one. The reason I gave myself that much time to transition is to allow a smoother transition for myself.
sufficient processing time = fewer meltdowns = more comfortable = more success
My IPA Spinner
says "More wiggling and dancing!"
My good friend Christina is one-of-a-kind and one of the nicest people I know.
One of the things I love most about her is her ability to be so understanding, with most anyone. She is also one of the only people who can get me to push myself to try new things, without feeling/being pushed too far or too hard.
She has this strangely-effective way of helping me transition (Transitioning is one of most undesirable, unavoidable processes in my life).There are still many triggers and stressers involved. With Christina, transitioning is a mostly meltdown-free experience.
I think a big part of why, is that she explains future situations, possibilities, and Plan “B” scenarios before we do most anything. On the opposite end, we are both very distractible and it creates a unique, yet strangely desirable balance. ADHD meets extreme planning, lol! And when things are too much, she is right there to distract me or grab my arm and get me out of any situation. Complete trust.
Earlier this week Christina got me very excited about going to the new Lego store
, at the Alderwood Mall. I hate malls. To me, malls are one of the worst sensory experiences, ever. Perfume smells, loud people, horrible acoustics, bad lighting, so much accidental touching and much more. Ick. On a bad day, malls are an instant meltdown.
At first I was reluctant to go, even for Lego-e-goodness, but I was convinced once she told me they had individual pieces for sale, kind of the same way you might see bulk candy being sold. An organizer and color lover's dream!
The store was visually exciting. There were LOTS of people there and it was very loud, but still enjoyable. I would have enjoyed it even more if I had remembered my ear plugs!
After the Lego store, we both decided to visit the Disney store. We both love all the soft plush toys and the colorful characters.
At the back of the Disney store, we spotted a giant promotional board game for the new movie Brave
Again, Christina worked her magic!
-presented (to me) the idea of asking the Disney employee if we could play a game round
-she let me observe my surroundings, the game difficulty, etc
-she let me wander the store
-and then she received a positive response from me.
Information and processing time.
Two things I treasure highly in life.
We played a round with two girls, and it was quite fun. Not only did I learn a a new game/thing in a loud public place, I interacted with several strangers and could still utter some words afterwards!
It helps to know I can always grab Christina's hand and say, "I need to go" or just make eye contact with her. She is a true friend. And I will always be a true friend to her. Honestly, respect, communication, love, understanding, acceptance and reciprocity are all things I consider important in friendships and relationships.
I helped my mom today by doing what I do best:
observing & analyzing!
My mom is currently in culinary school and she has a test today.
So, last night I observed her to see where she could improve her knife skills for some last minute practice. :-)
She is now feeling really confident because of a few things that I was able to point out. She even let me boss her around a little by trying some different practice exercises.
I love when my observent-ness comes in handy instead of just causing someone else frustration! Many times I just pointed out something they didn't want me to point out, which either frustrated, upset or bothered them.