Smells, Scents and Odours…👃

Smells, scents and odours 👃 this is the next drawing in my little series of the ‘8 senses’ (see my first one on food and drink struggles by scrolling back on my blog posts or Instagram feed!) 

  • I ❤️ the smell of fruit 🍋 just a natural and refreshing smell that I enjoy and I’m really familiar with and fruit is comforting to me 🍏🍓🍉🍊
  • I find cleaning sprays, fancy perfumes, aftershaves and paint too strong and really overwhelming. They are almost like painful to smell? Don’t know if anybody else struggles with that…❌🧴🚿🧹 
  • Ah the familiar smell of pens and markers 😍 🖊 they sort of act as a ‘grounding’ thing for me they keep me present and remind me that I’m doing something arty! 🎨 
  • Cooking smells and the way things smell when they sizzle is tooooo much for me! Especially fried things…🚫🍳🥓🥩
  • I find crackling fires, camp fires, heavily scented candles and any form of smoke really difficult to deal with because of the way it’s sticks/clings to my hair and clothes 🔥🌋 🚬 🚭
  • The sea is the bestttt smell! (And the best sound to be honest too!) 🌊🏖 again it’s quite refreshing and keeps me in the present moment 😎

What smells do you love or hate? Are there particular smells you struggle with? Let me know in the comments below! ⬇️

Organising my Stationery and Desk Drawer… 📎✏️📏

Here is a little ‘vlog’ style video of me organising my stationery, washi tapes and my desk drawer.

Links to products:

Pens I use:

  • STAEDLER Coloured Fineliners
  • STABILO Coloured Fineliners 0.4pt
  • UniPin 00.5pt-0.8pt
  • STABILO Swing Cool Pastel Highlighters
  • MUJI 0.38pt Black Gel Pens
  • Faber Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pens

Food and Drink Struggles…

Hi everyone! Coming back at you with another drawing – this time on the struggles of food and drink as a sensory / autistic person. The struggle is REAL. I am a slight nightmare when it comes to food – I am a picky eater (even now at the age of 26!). I like to stick to food I know and especially bland food – I hate anything even slightly spicy, hot or flavoured. So let me explain my drawing above….

  • I tried peanut butter for the first time the other day (I couldn’t stand the texture it was WAY too sticky but I like the smell of it!)
  • Meat is pretty much a no-go food group for me. I HATE the texture, it’s chewiness is way too much for me to handle
  • As I mentioned about spicy food  before it usually = Emily running away
  • Cereal is my FAV. The crunchier the better! The same with fruit and veg which I also love White chocolate is great especially when it’s left in the fridge before eating! I love the way it snaps
  • Jelly and other ‘set’ desserts are a NOPE from me. The texture and sound sends me running!
  • I really love fruit and veg – avocados (which I’ve got more into recently), apples and blueberries are my favourite.
  • I ❤️ TEA! Just bog standard english breakfast tea is my favourite with a bit of milk. It’s a go-to drink for me and I enjoy just drinking water too (I don’t like alcohol at all smell/taste is too much)

..And there you have it! I am particular about what I like food-wise and obviously this is only a small list I could go into way more detail about food and drink!

Let me know what you love and hate ( or can/can’t tolerate) food and drink-wise down below in the comments. I’m thinking I might do a drawing on each of the senses after doing this one…let me know what you think.

A new 21andsensory podcast episode!

In this month’s episode I had a chance to speak to the very lovely Emily (find her @autie__eevee on Instagram). We spoke about a whole range of things such as her self diagnosis of Autism and her journey to be formally assessed, her first year studying Fine Art at university, her special interests and hobbies and about her amazing Instagram account!

Search for the 21andsensory podcast wherever you get your podcasts from!

Apple Podcasts   Google Play Music  Overcast   Pocket Casts  Spotify

A Self Isolation Doodle 💛

Hi everyone – back again with a doodle. I started this drawing a little while back and I kept coming back to it and adding stuff before I felt happy with it. I think this relates to being in self isolation / lockdown / quarantine / whatever you want to call it.

Some days can be mega productive whereas other just…aren’t. And that’s okay. It’s important to have downtime and to step back from things in order to come back refreshed and to return with a new outlook, whether its work, studying or a special interest.

And…just existing takes alot of time, effort and patience. Be proud of yourself for hanging on in there..

Also if you have a pet go pat it. Right now. Say it’s a pat from Emily 😉

A day in my life (Autistic Graphic Designer) 💻

Hi everyone – this is a day in my life working from home as a Graphic Designer. I usually work in an open plan office but due to UK lockdown I have been working from home for the past 3 months (and I much prefer it!).

This is the first ever ‘vlog’ style thing I have uploaded so naturally I’m quite nervous about it. If you are interested in how I work from home my latest podcast episode on this topic went live on May 31st so if you would like to hear me talk about the pros and cons of working at home in more detail (and just generally rambling on like I usually do) search for 21andsensory wherever you usually get your podcasts!

Mental Health and Special Needs in School – with Thomas (@aspergersgrowth)

On Tuesday 9th June 2020 I did an Instagram Live with Thomas from @aspergersgrowth 🙂 we talked all things mental health and special needs related at school. I did a doodle of all the things we were chatting about (above!) as we took questions beforehand and in the comments. The livestream has been uploaded to my IGTV so check it out below! Thanks again to Thomas for an awesome chat 💭

A new doodle and a new podcast episode! 🎙

Working from home by 21andsensory

Here’s my latest doodle…Working from Home (Autistic / Sensory Edition) My latest podcast episode on this topic has just gone live so if you would like to hear me talk about the pros and cons of working at home in more detail (and just generally rambling on like I usually do) search for 21andsensory wherever you usually get your podcasts! Here’s some more info on the episode:

In ‘Episode 19: Working from home and managing life in lockdown’ I chat about:

  • How I have found working from home and the process from the very beginning 👀
  • Struggling with meltdowns, overwhelm, change and routines 🧠
  • My current work set-up and how I’m coping ✏️
  • The pros and cons of working remotely 👩🏻‍💻
  • And finally an advice section for those working / studying / revising / teaching / generally trying to live and survive at home during lockdown 🏠

Screenshot-2018-12-30-at-11.30.04

A collab on an illustration ✏️

IMG_4487

Hey everyone – hope you are all doing okay. Emily (@autie_eevee) reached out to me during the week to ask if I wanted to collab on a lil’ drawing with her – she designed the circular graphic and we each filled out a half (I filled out the sensory defensive half and she filled out the sensory seeking half) Zoom in to check out all the little details and see her great description below:

Sensory Seeking and Sensory Defensive

For me, this is a topic which I struggle with and causes me anxiety, because I doubt whether I am autistic because my sensory issues aren’t as heightened as others. However, I think that it is often forgotten that sensory issues – just the same as autism – is a spectrum. Everyone has different sensory issues and needs and so I have teamed up with the lovely Emily from @21andsensory to create this infographic about the sensory spectrum. 

Sensory sensitivity is a spectrum, on which you can be situated anywhere – and it can actually differ from person to person, with some people having a range of sensitivities for different things. For example, you could be highly sensitive to sound but not sensitive to touch.The terms for ‘being sensory sensitive or not’ is “sensory defensive” or “sensory seeking”.

As the names suggest, sensory seeking people are often HYPOsensitive to sensory input, meaning that they search for it and enjoy the sensory experiences. Sensory defensive people are HYPERsensitive to sensory input, meaning they actively avoid it, due to it being uncomfortable and causing physical pain or discomfort for them. 

I am still learning about where I am on the sensory spectrum, although I know I am a mix of the two and it very much depends on the situation I’m in as well. However, I hope this post has been helpful and informative in a little talked about topic! 💖

My recent 21andsensory interviews 💬

So I’ve recently had a few requests through (from some lovely people) who wanted to interview me and chat all things sensory! These posts have now gone live so I thought I’d link them below…

Screenshot 2020-05-20 at 14.34.00

The very lovely Victoria Ellen (Actually Aspling) reached out to me to do an interview for her site: actuallyaspling.wordpress.com And here is my interview with her: Interview with 21andSensory!

Go check out her instagram account: @actuallyaspling

Screenshot 2020-05-20 at 14.25.50

Also Jenna Gensic from www.learnfromautistics.com very kindly reached out to interview me on my diagnosis and SPD here: ‘Autism Interview #130: Emily on diagnosis and Sensory Processing Disorder’

Jenna’s links: Twitter | Facebook

Please do go check out the interviews above if you have a minute and let me know what you think!