Autism Accommodations

Self accommodations you might not have thought about.

There are lots of suggestions for self accommodations on line. Things like ear plugs and other sound protective devices, dark glasses, fidget toys, sensory things like adjusting temperature, the kind of clothing we wear. We have access to special sound systems, things such as special furniture, special diets, special selected therapies.

We can surround ourselves with conditions that give us the most comfort and the least distress (changing lighting, special blankets or special diets, how to set up sensory friendly spaces, etc etc.
While these are great and can be extremely useful depending on our struggles, I want to suggest something else that might not be evident at first.

Have you thought about changing your routines or changing the way you do every day things in your life to give you less stress and less pressure. We can change things that trouble us about our social struggles too! One of the best things I was able to do for myself was to excuse myself from participating in large gatherings of any sort. I have been able to adjust my self expectation (and family or friends social pressure) to allow for my deep struggles to do things “in real time” with others, especially in large groups or in loud public places.

A family vacation at a resort which has planned activities would be a nightmare. A family party for individuals for weddings, birthdays, promotions/graduations or any other reason either in the individuals home or at a fancy restaurant always has me with a huge headache leading to vomiting from the stress/distress.

Instead I have learned that I can adjust my schedule and avoid the distress these situations cause by writing a note, Sending a gift, giving a telephone call, or doing a brief one on one visit or having the celebrant over for a quiet dinner at home and explaining that I have already made other plans but that I will be wishing them well on their special day. This applies to funerals, wakes, and memorial gatherings too.

I have given recognition to the special occasion and the special celebrating individual/s and they will not miss my personal presence when surrounded by teeming noisy others who are actually present for the big event.

Going to the store can be helped by home delivery services.

Going to the doctor or dentist can be helped by advance planning for accommodations such as being allowed to wait in the exam room or being called from your vehicle by cell phone when they are ready for you rather than waiting in a crowded “waiting room”.

Things that you hate doing around the house, like cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc can be tackled in similar ways. You can bathe without taking a shower or a bath, for example, by washing your hair and face in the sink, washing yourself with damp cloths or using wipe/on/wipe off lotions. There are dry shampoos and many ways to clean and maintain hair and skin, too.

WE can change the cleaning routines we use if we think through the things we hate most and make adjustments for them. There are probably a hundred ways we can do routine cleaning chores, using different products and going about it in different ways.

We don’t have to cook, ever! There are so many meals completely prepared in the freezer sections of most stores, so many foods available today from the store deli or from carry out places.

Self accommodation is possible for almost every “every day living” activity.

Think it through. How can you change the things that are difficult/ that you hate to make the activity easier and less difficult?

Self accommodation is not about only changing our environment and our tools but also adjusting our routines and activities to make life better for ourselves every day.

One thought on “Autism Accommodations

  1. I can’t recommend active noise canceling headphones highly enough. I use Bose, but they’re pricey. Honeywell makes some for work use that are less, on Amazon. I haven’t tried them. Jabra makes active noise canceling headphones too, as do JBL and Beats. Worth a try if you frequently find yourself in overload due to noise. I also recommend concert ear plugs for places like my Church, where the organ is too loud. You can still hear the sermon, but the organ is somewhat muted. I use Vibes, which are on Amazon too.


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