F.E.A.R.

Public places can be a nightmare to navigate, this is a quick reference guide to make that a little easier. Mental and physical distraction is an essential, fidget toys are great for kids but as an adult can make you stand out too much. Getting a spinner ring (or something like that, for example keys are good) allows for discretion when stimming. A way to regulate without drawing attention to yourself. Calmer and Loop earbuds are recommended for audible triggers. Which frankly are completely unavoidable, so frequency adjusting ear buds are beneficial. Playing music is also a way of reducing the impact and keeping calm. Wearing sunglasses indoors can stand out but after a meltdown adjusting light levels can make a difference. Getting prescription or non prescription glasses (if you don’t need them) with tinted lenses can help. Find a colour that you find visually soothing and use that as a way to adjust light intensity. Externally, to other people it will just look like a fashion choice. Proximity to other people can be an issue, but there are small adjustments you can make. Picking the time of day to go can help to avoid the busiest periods. Wearing a backpack if that’s comfortable means people behind you don’t stand so close. Also if you are with someone you feel comfortable with, if they stand in front you can create a buffer and reduce anxiety that way. Planning is also beneficial because it can reduce exposure time. Getting in and out will have much less of an impact than spending a hour in the shop. Doing multiple trips over several days and getting 2-3 days worth of shopping may be a better choice. Less time in the shop means less time to recuperate and can prevent the likelihood of meltdown in public. If you do feel panicked find an isolated space but not a small room. If you can, get outside and somewhere quiet or natural like a park. Going to a bathroom or something like that will just continue that feeling of being trapped. Finally have a plan in place for when you return home. A set routine that allows for you to regulate and find your balance. Something comfortable and soothing that is maintainable. All the best Ross www.mylifeautistic.com Words – Ross A Fraser Graphic Design App – Canva #NewLifeAutistic

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