10 Things I Keep in My ‘Toolkit’ as an Autistic Person – The Mighty

I am super excited to share that ine of Anonymously Autistic’s most popular blog posts,  10 Things I Keep in My ‘Toolkit’ as an Autistic Person, has been turned into a video on The Mighty!

I really am beyond excited about seeing my words hit a new medium.

Check out 10 Things I Keep in My ‘Toolkit’ as an Autistic Person on The Mighty.

1. Noise-canceling headphones: for when I need to take a break from my surroundings. Sometimes I need to check out to avoid sensory overload or block out distractions so I can work and focus on other things.

2. Sunglasses: for light sensitivities. I try to stay in the shade when outdoors, but I need sunglasses even on rainy days (and sometimes indoors). I have special colored lenses to help with the florescent lights in stores and office.

3. Hats: Hats with brims are great to block out glaring lights. I also like hats that come down around my face on days I do not feel like looking at people or being looked at. On sensory days or when I am tired, I honestly don’t have the energy to socialize with strangers, so I don’t.

4. Something to fiddle with: if I need a break or distraction, I use a book, iPod, smart phone, or fidget toy such as a rubix cube. I always like have an audio book or music available (and headphones) when I need a break.

5. Hand wipes: If you have tactile sensitivities like I do, sticky hands will annoy you. It is nice to have something to clean up with. I recommend avoiding scented wipes or finding a smell you like.

6. A snack: I get fuzzy and agitated when I am hungry. I can’t think, and my sensory issues get worse. If you have a sensitive stomach or are sensitive to tastes and textures, it is good to have something with you that you can eat if you are venturing out for the day.

7. Something that smells good: My sense of smell is sensitive. Public bathrooms, household cleaners, chemicals, and air fresheners all make me queasy. I like to have good scented lotion or perfume (that smells like food or candy) in my bag to apply when I need to smell something pleasant and block out something obnoxious.

8. Gum/mints/candy: My stims are less obvious, possibly because I’ve turned to an oral fixation. I like to keep organic mints, candy, or gum in my bag. Personally, I cannot handle aspartame or artificial sweeteners as they aggravate my stomach. I tend to be more sensitive to any non-organic chemicals than most people.

9. Taking breaks: I’ve found it is better for me to step away for a quiet moment alone than to have a public meltdown or shutdown. Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself and step away to take a break if you need one.

10. Knowing my limits: I get a certain feeling that seems to increase as I get closer to a shutdown or meltdown. It normally starts with the lights getting brighter and sounds getting distorted. Next is a headache and general mind fuzziness. Pay attention to how you are feeling. Learn to recognize the signs that you are getting overwhelmed.

Remember everyone is different. Autism really is a spectrum. These are just some of the tools I use.


37 thoughts on “10 Things I Keep in My ‘Toolkit’ as an Autistic Person – The Mighty”

  1. I just love reading your site! You have some of the most awesome tips 🙂 I’m also super excited to see that your blog post has been made into a video by the Mighty. That is so cool!

    Would you mind if I did my own version of an Autistic Tool Kit, siting your original work as my inspiration of course? Give credit where credit is due!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, thank you so much! I am so happy that you found this helpful. Please feel free to share and totally take this inspiration wherever it takes you. More than anything I want to help people and spread awareness so I am not offended if anyone “steals” my ideas. I want this info to be common knowledge.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for this. It’s good to know after only 11 months of my daughter being diagnosed with Aspergers that I already had figured out something along these lines and have a bag in the car like this with some of these items. It was more of a calming activities to keep her from being bored in the car and to have when we go places she would be bored but I do have things in there like a Rubik’s cube for fidgets and sunglasses. Thank you for the other suggestions. We do have the other things around the house, just not packed and ready for travel….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I can only hope so. Goodness knows most days I feel like I am failing her when she snaps at me with her teenaged attitude at only 9 years old because she seems to think she is already an adult and has the authority to act and make decisions like one.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you for that insight! That does help me understand her perspective. She constantly goes up against us as if we are her peers and challenges anything she doesn’t think she should have to do or doesn’t want to do. I do know that Aspie kids will generally not do things if they don’t see a point in them. But it is also the manner in which she speaks to us, when we have never let her get away with speaking disrespectfully. Any advice on what might help her at 9 speak more respectfully? I don’t mind her pointing out things that we do wrong or that don’t make logical sense, I respect that, it’s the tone she speaks in, as if she is our peer or as if we are beneath her. I try to let her make as many decisions on her own and “do what she wants” as much as I can, but she still doesn’t think I do. Any thoughts from someone who has lived on her side of the coin?


          2. I know you’re not a psychologist! 😁 I just thought knowing the thoughts from someone who is living it thatbis older might help. I have let her know it hurts my feelings. It doesn’t seem to phase her. She just tells me back that I am hurting hers or making her feel bad (and says it in a reprimanding way to me as if it’s something I shouldn’t be doing). Thanks for responding! I do need to keep in mind that she’s not trying to be disrespectful.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. As a veteran in the Nursing Field, I can say clinically, these are brilliant tools. As a Bipolar, Hypersensitive Intellectual OCD Science Geek living with multiple amputations & disfigurement, I find your toolkit ideal for making it through life. Thank you !!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you dear. You don’t know how much I appreciate your tips to help you along the way. I am raising my autistic grandson and for the most part I don’t have too much trouble with him. But when I come in contact with a new sensory issue, I can further help him with things like these tips you shared. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sooo glad I happened upon your blog! 🙂 I don’t have autism, but I do have sensory problems, and often wondered how my problems relate to autism. I love the sunglasses idea, and I’m still looking for a good hat. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for coming into my page and following it. When I discovered your page in the last twenty four hours I was like “where do I start reading?”. Your blog is super informative and very helpful to me as I have been considering going to my GP here and asking him for a referral to see a psychologist as I have been struggling with various things in my life that simply have not added up.

    My nephew suffers from mild autism and it is possible that my sister and I could have variants of it although mine is more pronounced. Coming in here has been fantastic for me and where I am currently having ‘ah huh’ moments just reading some of your posts. I have also discovered I have a connective tissue disorder this year so if I am able to see a psychologist in the next year it would certainly help to make my life more bearable knowing what is going on in my world. My nephew and I get along fabulously too and relate to each other on so many levels.

    I look forward to continue to read more in here. Keep up the brilliant work. Warmest wishes from New Zealand 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, sorry for the delay getting back to you. Here in New Zealand it may take awhile before I am able to get an appointment as they often want to see children before adults. It could take some time but once I get the appointment it will be very good to be able to find out about things. Are there any sort of questions that you asked when you were diagnosed?

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s