The nightmare that is….clothes shopping 🛍👀

Hi everyone, here is a new drawing I did explaining what a nightmare clothes shopping can be for autistic and sensory people! (aka meeeeee)

  • *Needs new clothes* – I have trusty go-to t-shirts, jeans, etc that I find comfy and wear until they quite literally are falling apart. I’ve been like this since I was a child, I could never let go of clothing and really would wear things to the bitter end.
  • Tries searching for exact replacements – this requires much searching online for exact replacements (this is a pain because clothing lines change so frequently and I never think to buy multiples in case I don’t like them…and then I do like them after a while and it’s too late!)
  • They arrive and get put away… so I cut every single conceivable tag, label, instruction booklet out of them and neatly fold or hang them up which is super satisfying and I genuinely feel quite happy that I’ve managed to come across clothing I might be able to bear.
  • 3 years later…still feel too new to wear. DAMN IT. They ALWAYS, alwaysssss still feel way too new to wear. Sometimes washing the clothes a few times helps with this feeling but I am an absolute nightmare when it comes to wearing new clothes (so much so that I prefer to shop second hand a lot as then clothes feel more worn in and after a few washes smell okay enough to wear).

Things I have found that help: I get this a lot with shoes. It can take me YEARS to get into new shoes. Again buying them secondhand from places like @depop help but if I do decide to get brand new shoes (a tip my mum came up with) is to take them out of the box and put them in my room so I get used to the look of them and them being part of my life.

It sounds ridiculous I know but it really is an autistic / sensory thing – I am awful with change and new things and I am much kinder to myself now knowing I am autistic and that this is just a part of who I am and how my mind operates.

Do you struggle with clothing? Any top tips you have feel free to share in the comments below!

New 21andsensory Podcast Episode with Special Guest…My Sister! 🎙

My special guest on today’s episode is…my sister! Subscribe here or listen below!

We chat about:

  • My sisters career as primary school teacher and what Masters course she is studying
  • Her heart condition and how she manages it
  • GCSE’s and ALevels and the stresses of exams
  • Special needs and mental health within Schools
  • Understanding the role of School’s SEN departments and the process that it takes to become a Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO)
  • What it was like growing up with me…
  • Questions from my listeners (taken from my Instagram Stories) for my sister
  • And some bloopers to look forward to at the end!

Two Mystery Fidget Unboxing Videos! 📦

I was gifted* two Sensory ToyBox Mystery Boxes over the past couple of months and thought I’d film a couple of unboxing videos and show you what I received and my honest opinions and reactions!

1st video:

2nd video:

Sensory ToyBox are a UK Etsy shop selling fab sensory and fidget toys as well as mystery boxes.

Check out Sensory Toy Box links below:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sensory_toybox/

Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Sensorytoybox

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@sensory_toybox

*I was sent these boxes for free and was under no obligation to post about them but genuinely loved the contents of the boxes and wanted to film unboxing videos to show you all!

Autistic creatives to support and my thoughts on Autism Awareness Week…🌏

The super lovely Lydia has written an article which she posted today on her website mademoisellewomen.com all about Autistic Creatives To Support This Autism Awareness Week.


Credit Emily @21andsensory

Hi everyone. Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Within World Autism Awareness Week. Within World Autism Awareness Month. (Phew that’s a lot to get your heads around!)

I’ve felt very split about doing a post centred solely around Autism Awareness Week as I am very aware of the online discussions centred around it and many people mentioning that it should be centred around acceptance and understanding rather than just ‘awareness’ of autism.

It’s a tricky one.

I love how Victoria from @actuallyasplings worded her most recent post, she honestly sums up how I feel too so I’ve pasted what her post said below:

‘This week is Autism Awareness/Acceptance Week, the one week where everyone hypes up the awareness. I’ll be honest though; we do need more awareness, but without acceptance what’s the point? I also think awareness should be all year round, not just April; and I think we should be accepted full stop. 

I’ve seen so many puzzle pieces, and so much about AS, and honestly, this is not what we want or need. What we need is appreciation, inclusivity, and support. There are so many wonderful accounts striving for change, using their activism/advocacy to break stereotypes and this is what we need. People need to listen to Autistic voices, rather than try to silence our views. We are here to educate and inform, we have the lived experience and we want people to feel like they can ask questions and learn from us.

By all means, celebrate April how you wish, but please take Autistic people into consideration. Share our accounts, our posts, and more importantly listen to what we are saying’

Victoria Ellen @actuallyaspling

Victoria did such a great job of describing how I was and still am feeling about World Autism Awareness week. Yes awareness is great but we want and deserve more as Autistic people. We really do deserve acceptance, understanding and respect.


Also just wanted to say that my latest 21andsensory Podcast episode has gone live and you can listen down below! I am uploading them every two weeks at the moment.

In this episode I speak to Glenn who is the manager of Waltham Abbey Focus which is a disability and SEN football team at the top of their game! Glenn chats about all things football-related and we discuss a documentary that’s being made about the team with the intention of raising awareness of disability football, and promoting it as an inclusive sport that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Celebrating sensory processing with Sensory Street Article 🗞

If you weren’t already aware I currently have the privilege of working on an Oxford University project called ‘Sensory Street’ more info here.

Why not follow along with the project here: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

A blog post has just gone live on The Department of Experimental Psychology website to coincide with World Autism Week as a useful resource to help people better understand what it means to be an autistic person with sensory processing difficulties.

The Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford includes over 30 research groups with upwards of 400 undergraduates, graduate students and researchers. Key areas of research include Behavioural NeuroscienceDevelopmental PsychologyPerception and CognitionSocial Psychology, and Psychological and Brain Health

See the quote below from me and have a read!

The 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique…

Image ID:

Each section of wording hand drawn in large capitalised text:

5 things you can see with a blue eye drawn underneath
4 things you can touch with a drawn hand outstretched
3 things you can hear with an ear drawn
2 things you can smell with a nose drawn
1 thing you can taste with an open mouth drawn showing a row of white teeth and a bright pink tongue

Hi everyone I’m back again with another lil’ drawing of a very sensory based grounding technique I find useful when I am anxious. You may of heard of it before, it’s usually referred to as the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. I find it useful because I am (obviously) a highly sensitive individual and it distracts me to tune into each sense separately (might be hard to do in a busy situation but I find it helps in most other situations!). It just turns your thoughts entirely to your senses and off cycling and worrying thoughts even if it’s only briefly. Below are some pointers that might help you…

👁 Really look for 5 things you can see: what’s in front of you? Really look and pick out some small details, maybe it’s a wooden surface which you can see the grain of, your own hands and your fingerprints, the fabric of some curtains and the way they hang, the specific colour within something like a hanging picture, what’s pleasing or not so pleasing to look at?


✋ Feel 4 things with your hands or even feet as you walk (please be careful in these COVID times with this though!) the fabric of your own clothes, the seat you are on, if outside the grass or pavement or brick wall you pass by. Even just the sensation of your feet within your shoes, try and really tune into that feeling.


👂Acknowledge 3 things you can hear right now. Can you hear traffic in the distance? Conversations going on a couple of rooms away? What can you tune into? Even if it’s a ticking clock, sound of a pet pottering about…


👃 What 2 things can you smell? Maybe it’s your own deodorant, perfume or aftershave…or someone else’s? Or the smell of a room, cooking smells, air freshener or cleaning smells, etc. Is there any sort of smell to the air surrounding you?


👅 Can you taste anything? Even if it’s a drink you’ve just had or something you’ve eaten is there any taste at all in your mouth?

21andsensory Livestreams…

I’ve been doing regular livestreams over on my YouTube Channel and on my Instagram and TikTok.

Above is a link to a livestream that I am going to be doing this Saturday 27th at 7pm UK time. Please join me in the live chat and feel free to ask any questions!

I really enjoy doing these as it gives me a chance to speak to everyone and answer anything you might be wondering about. Also I get to just chill with my fidget toys and recommend good ones that you all might like!

Chewigem Chewelry and Fidget Tour! 🍿

Hi everyone! In this video I take you through a tour of all my Chewigem Fidgets and Chewelry…

My Chewigem affiliate code: https://www.chewigem.co.uk/ref/12/​

Product links:

Chewigem Berries: https://www.chewigem.co.uk/product/be…

*Chewigem Hand Fidget: https://www.chewigem.co.uk/product/ha…

Chewigem Raindrop: https://www.chewigem.co.uk/product/ra…

*Chewigem Board Pendant (Glossy): https://www.chewigem.co.uk/product/to…

*Chewigem Chunk: https://www.chewigem.co.uk/product/ch…

DISCLAIMER: Whilst all opinions are 100% my own, sometimes I use affiliate links in my description box and feature products that were kindly gifted to me (using *). I will always disclose when I work with a brand on any paid campaign.

Masking and Camouflaging 🎭

Hi everyone. I did a series of drawing on Masking and Camouflaging as an autistic person (see slideshow above!) So what actually is masking? Masking involves trying to hide being autistic so others will accept us. It’s also referred to as camouflaging. This means we act in ways that other people will think we are ‘normal’ and to try and be accepted socially.

I usually don’t include a lot of wording in my work but I had lots to say about this topic and could have made more designs! Image description is in the individual image alt text on my Instagram post here

I’d love to know what you think and if you relate to anything I mentioned, feel free to comment down below! And yes I have been in a situation before when a hospital consultant (yes really) told me I didn’t look autistic 👀 honestly baffling.

Also just want to mention I’ve got a new 21andsensory Podcast episode going live tomorrow at 1pm U.K. time with the lovely @zara.bethx who last night hit 1 million followers on her TikTok account which was a huge achievement! So make sure you tune in via Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you usually get your podcasts!

Change…🙅🏻‍♀️

A square digital illustration with a white background and a large title and subtitle at the top. The main title says ‘Change’ with ‘Autistic / Sensory Edition’ underneath it.

The main design is broken up into 8 sections with the following titles below each:
Organising and labelling: drawing of a stack of messy paper with an unhappy face above it on the left and on the right a stack of organised ring binders with a smiley face above it to show the change. A green tick is shown above this to show it s a positive thing.

Products that change: A drawing of a pink shampoo bottle, a roll-on deodorant and a packet of digestive biscuits. There is a green ‘new’ stamp in the middle of the three drawings and the words ‘ingredients and recipes’ around it to show the sorts of changes to these things that can occur. There is a red cross above this design to show it’s a negative thing.

Cleaning up at home: A drawing of a bucket with a spray and bottle of cleaning fluid, a washing up bowl with running tap and bubble and a hand cleaning with a sponge. A green tick is shown above this to show it s a positive thing.

Last minute change: A drawing of a February calendar month with some days crossed out completely. There is a red pen beside the calendar and a large ‘cancelled’ stamp over the top to show last minute plans being cancelled. There is a red cross above this design to show it’s a negative thing.

Decorating and painting: A drawing of a paint roller, a paint can, a grew tableside lamp, two blue and green colour paint swatch samples and a light blue sofa. There is a red cross above this design to show it’s a negative thing as change in scenery can be difficult to deal with.

New special interests: A drawing of a book with lots of page markers in it open at a double page spread of information, a magnifying glass, a red love heart, a tangle fidget toy and a google internet browser tab opened on a computer. A green tick is shown above this to show it is a positive thing as finding new special interests can be exciting.

Change in smell/ scent: A drawing of a perfume bottle, a lit candle, a washing detergent bottle and an air freshener hanging from a car interior mirror. There is a red cross above this design to show it’s a negative thing as change in smell /scent can be difficult to deal with.

Seeing growth: A drawing of a brain above 3 potted indoor pants with wording mental and physical surrounding them. A green tick is shown above this to show it is a positive thing as growth can be a good form of change.

Hi everyone! Here is a new drawing I did explaining how change can affect autistic / neurodiverse people and those with sensory issues. Below I’ve summed up some positives and negative parts about change. So here’s the little explanation of each doodle!

• Organising and labelling: I LOVE TO ORGANISE. It makes not only my space feel tidier but my mind too and I am able to more freely think. Also when it comes to paperwork I have dedicated separate folders for life admin, finances, freelance stuff, autism research, etc and although it took me a while to set-up it’s totally worth it in the long run! Now I don’t have to frantically search through paperwork to find things and dividers and my label maker = my best friends.

• Products that change: OMG do not get me started on thisssss. I will rant. Here goes. WHY DO PRODUCTS HAVE TO CHANGE? My safe foods get changed in the form of packaging or recipe and it just causes absolute chaos in my head. Also my shampoo changed its ingredients and branding / look and feel a while ago and I was NOT OKAY. I know many people like to buy products and clothing in bulk or multiples because they know it works well for them and they don’t want to find them gone the next time they go back.

• Cleaning up at home: Again a bit like organising things this gives me a sense of purpose and it’s a nice change to see in your house when everything has it’s own place and you know where to find things. I like dusting and cleaning my shelf’s and workspace regularly just to keep it clean!

• Last minute change: UGH. I hate when plans change last minute or something or someone cancels on you when you’ve sort of worked yourself up for something social. I know this is probably happening less as a whole due to the pandemic but even if one one cancels an appointment or video call with me its really unsettling.

• Decorating and painting: I am TRULY AWFUL when it comes to this. I find a change in my immediate environment HUGELY distressing. It took me ages to liking our family bathroom once it was renovated and it didn’t feel like my comfortable space anymore. I just hate visual change and I cannot describe my emotions or feelings (alexithymia) at all it’s just complete shutdown / meltdown inducing.

• New special interests…ARE THE BEST! It’s a good sort of change as you become deeply focused into a new topic and dive deeper into random wormholes and research avenues and truly loose and immerse yourself in information!

• Change in smell / scent: Again this is not cool. I can’t use an air freshener in my car because it’s so overwhelming to have such a strong scent in such an enclosed space and I stick to one detergent religiously because I can only stand that smell when it comes to my clothes (I even take it on trips with me I’m that rigid with it).

• Seeing growth: This can be both mentally and physically. If I try and challenge myself with a small bit of change I do see some growth in terms of succeeding at something I found difficult.