Tag Archives: Life Hacks

I Live By The Rules – My Own Rules (Autism and Social Rules)

I live and learn by rules.

Social situations are unnatural to me and simple social skills that “normal people” learned naturally were completely lost on me growing up. The way I learned social skills was a bit different and required a lot of trials and errors.

Every time I had a social blunder I made a rule, to try and not duplicate the same mistake again. Sometimes the rules I make are not quite perfect so I have to tweak and change them.

Below are 10 of my  own social rules:

  1. Say hi to people when they look at you.
  2. Smile at people when they look at you and look friendly. (My resting natural face is serious and can be off-putting.)
  3. If a next step is needed compliment something about the person in front of you or add a quick comment about the weather.
  4. Act friendly in public – smile and laugh when people tell jokes. (I forget that laughing on the inside doesn’t count when you have a blank flat face.)
  5. Don’t bring up your special interests unless someone else asks or is on that topic.
  6. Be careful NOT to talk too much. (I limit myself to one or two sentences at a time to give people time to talk.
  7. Wait until you hear a LONG pause before talking unless someone asked you a question. (I NEVER know when it is my tern to talk – the pauses sound like eternities and I still end up interrupting even when I don’t mean to.)
  8. If somebody turns their body away from you let them leave and don’t keep talking. (I also have a hard time ending conversations.)
  9. Let the other people talk and practice listening.
  10. Try to remember what you friends have going on in their lives. Remember to bring theses things into conversation if timing is appropriate. For example – if your friend tells you they have a sick loved one – don’t forget to ask them how that person is doing the next time you see them.

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.

Autistic Confession – I Still Do Best With A Visual Schedule

I know it’s a bit stereotypical, but I learned to keep my schedule written out in front of me and always had a calendar / appointment book with my schedule and due dates handy.

When I was younger I was the dorky kid with a Casio electronic organizer and planner.

As an adult, these tools have evolved. Thanks to modern technology I am able to use Google Calendars and Outlook to stay organized. My mobile phone allows me to access these things easily from anywhere. Everyone has a phone these days so I hardly stand out because of this.

It is important that I use my calendar, and check it regularly otherwise I forget to do things and miss appointments. I need my calendar to be an efficient adult.

Staying Anonymously Autistic – Tip 3 (Get Dressed)

Even if you have no plans of leaving the house or seeing anyone – still take the time to get dressed. Enjoy your morning routine. Participate in it with mindfulness. Take your time getting ready and enjoy your tasks.

Style your hair, put on your favorite shirt, do your makeup, splash on your favorite scent – do anything you would do before you normally leave the house. Be ready for anything. If you are prepared to start the day, even if it is a day spent at home, you will have more confidence in unexpected situations that may arise.

Aspie tip # 3 – Be ready for anything. Being prepared bring confidence. 

Staying Anonymously Autistic – Tip 2 (Take a Bath!)

Do I really have to say it? Yes I do, because even I am guilty of going longer than I should without bathing from time to time. Take a bath AT LEAST twice a week. Take care of yourself and your body. You may not realize that you feel better when your skin is clean but being fresh can elevate your mood and help you have a better day.

Brush your teeth, wear clean clothes, fix your hair. If you do not do these things Neurotpicals will be suspicious of you.

Aspie tip # 2 – Hygiene – if you want to blend in you have to smell good. 

Life Hacks for the Aspie

I stumbled across this amazing blog post today. It was too good not to share!  Please check out the original blog post by clicking on the link below for more great tips.<3

My Aspie Eyes

lifehacksTo tolerate places you don’t want to be at:

Take your glasses off

If you wear contacts or glasses, wear glasses that day.  If you are going somewhere that are dreading or think it will be kind of invasive like the dentist, eye doctor, or hair dresser, take your glasses off when you are able.  Blurred vision means less visual cues to take in and fully process.  It also means less cutting eye contact and less details of others’ facial expressions to hold on to and worry about (cuz you can’t really see it as clear!).  When already stressed or on alert mode, taking away even just one stressor can be very beneficial.

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