BBC Commission ✏️

Hello! I was commissioned by the lovely people at the BBC to create a series of images providing tips on how to be more accessible on social media – check it out on the @bbc account! (see below!)

To mark the 25th anniversary of discrimination against disabled people being made unlawful in the UK, with the Disability Discrimination Act the BBC are sharing a range of content from disabled creatives. 

I will be making sure I add Alt text and image IDs on my instagram posts (in comments section below) from now on, I always have captions on my YouTube videos (I’m someone who loves watching videos with captions and I see so many benefits, for me it helps so much with my understanding and processing difficulties). I’ll make a more conscious effort to caption videos across my social media platforms and capitalise my hashtags for screenreaders.

Swipe / click through the image carousel below! >>>

10,000 Instagram Followers and an International Giveaway! 🎉

HOLY MOLY there’s now 10,000+ (10.2k to be exact) of you lovely people following meeeee on Instagram! It honestly means the world to me that so many awesome people follow little old me and my journey ☺️ Eeeeee! Thank you is all I can say – I’m excited for the future of my Instagram account and there’s lots more doodles to come ✏️ 

To celebrate reaching this milestone…I’m doing an International Giveaway of the below items over on my Instagram!

  • Lendoo Magnetic Rings Fidget Toy
  • Tobar Twist and Lock Blocks Fidget Toy
  • Flippy Chain Fidget Toy
  • Toroidz Flow / Kinetic Ring
  • Pocket Gecko Fidget Toy (Pink) I was gifted 3 of these and want to give one away
  • AND…I’m going to throw in a small hand drawn doodle from me which I’ll sign!

To enter go over to my Instagram!

Giveaway ends in 10 days (Monday 16th November at 11.59 GMT)

Interoception (inner sense) drawing…🧠

Hello! Here is drawing number six (part of a series on our 8 senses, scroll back in my feed to see my previous drawings!) ✏️ which is all about Interoception which is a lesser known sense that actually helps you understand and fell what’s going on inside your body (think of it as an inner sense)…

  • A sensory diet is important! It’s a way of self regulating (like using fidget and stim toys) and usually involves physical activities like rolling on a yoga ball, having time on a swing or trampoline, heavy work activities like using weights or lifting and carrying things. The idea is a sensory diet helps you to become more grounded as you are getting the regular input that your body needs. As a result you may feel calmer and more in control of your behaviour and mood. I’ve definitely seen the benefits of having a sensory diet (for example I use a therapressure brush to do body brushing which has helped me to desensitise my limbs to touch).
  • I never feel full…like my stomach and brain just doesn’t have that sense wired in..it’s really odd and can be annoying (comment down below with a hands-up emoji to join the club) I experience this even more in restaurants, due to the busy, noisy environment I literally cannot connect to what my stomach is feeling because I am filtering so much other information.
  • Visual cues – these can be super helpful, especially to remind ourselves to do daily tasks like personal hygiene, to drink and eat enough and what to expect during the day. I know a lot of people use social stories (google the term for more info, they were developed by Carol Gray in 1991) as a tool to help with self care skills, social skills, changes in routine, etc. You can make Velcro versions so you can easily change out what your day looks like.
  • Hypersensitivity to pain…if you’re a sensory being you may well be hypersensitive (over-sensitive) to pain…I know I am!! I am very tuned in to pain and when something hurts it REALLY HURTS even if it’s something small like a cut it’ll be super distracting to me. Equally you may be hyposensitive to pain (under-sensitive) and not realise if you are hurt/injured.
  • Grounding exercises – these are super useful when your mind is whirring, thoughts swirling and your heartbeat feels a bit rapid and all over the place. Most smart watches have in-built breathing exercises / apps built into them (e.g Apple Watch does, my Fitbit does too!) and these can be helpful in terms of distraction by looking at something visual and timing your breath along with an animation. Of course there are lots of different grounding exercises, another good one to use when you are overwhelmed is to sit and use your senses to ground you, name a few things you can hear, smell, touch, see, etc. This can diverts your brain and distract you.
  • Alexithymia is a difficulty in recognising emotions and identifying feelings. This is something my autism assessor said she think I might struggle with. I definitely find it super difficult to explain my feelings to others because I genuinely cannot recognise or process my own emotions.

    Do comment down below if you can relate to anything in my drawing or anything I’ve said, I’m always keen to hear how everyone copes with these things. Two more drawings to go in this little series!

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! ⬇️

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 😉

All Things Quarantine…🌱

All things QuarantineAll Things Quarantine…this doodle may have taken me quite a while to do…but here’s an overview of some things I’ve been enjoying (and yes loving plants as always ❤️🌱). I’ve been drinking ALOT of tea, falling into YouTube holes, organising and tidying my room and life and just generally doodling and creating things here and there.

I’ve been working from home up in my little bedroom, which I’m enjoying as it’s an environment I can control and…no need for masking! (apart from on video calls lol). My next podcast episode is going to be me chatting about all things working from home related and the differences I have found between working remote and in an open plan office. It’ll go live at the end of May so keep an eye out for when it goes up and tune in!

Also let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments below!

Self Isolation Achievements ✅

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Hello everyone, I’m back again, this time with an illustration of some self isolation achievements. I know that all the news on TV and online seems to be constantly swirling around and being updated continually (which is fine) but it can be really difficult not to get anxious, stressed, upset and triggered by it all. I’m trying to hold on to the small positives each day and the little autistic and sensory achievements I have been making along the way.

Why not comment down below any wins or things you’ve done with your time (they can be big or small – everything counts).

I hope you are all doing okay and staying safe (as much as you can be with all this going on).

A sensory being in a currently very confusing world…🌍

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Hi everyone. Everything’s a bit weird and out of sorts at the moment. I just wanted to pop on and say (in the least cheesiest way possible)… I’m thinking of you all. I know that a lack or structure, routine (and just general widespread panic) is more than enough to cause sensory meltdowns and autistic burnout 🧠 This can put a strain on our wellbeing and mental health. It’s important to try (if you can) to keep communicating with your family and friends about your feelings. Change is difficult for us – no matter how big or small.

I’m waiting to hear if the company I work for are going to make us work from home 🏠 No update yet… but I’m already thinking about working out my own little daily schedule to organise my time ⏱ – and I’ve seen lots of fab people sharing great weekly planners and colour blocking out their time ✏️ Comment down below any good resources you know of!

UPDATE:

Tomorrow is going to be my last day in the office – my work has split us into colour groups and we can occasionally come into work but in alternating groups and days / weeks over the next 3 months.

I know I am so so lucky to be able to work from home but I am so worried about all this change in routine and structure and I feel so sensory and overloaded by this.

If you have a look at my story highlight called ‘Workplace’ you’ll see I’ve struggled in my open plan office for a while, and maybe I’ll grow to love working remotely (but again this is a change and a shift and I am so rubbish with even teeny tiny changes.)

Fellow sensory and autistic people: I feel you. Right now is the weirdest most confusing time and I hope you are all doing okay – I love this little community and I know how supportive we all are of each other.

I’m going to be setting up my own little home office (I have a desk in my bedroom) if you might be interested in me documenting this head over to my Instagram and keep an eye out.

Sensory Achievements…an illustration✏️

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Hello lovely followers – just here to share another illustration I’ve done on some sensory achievement badges / stickers that I think should exist! 😉I think it’s hard to recognise the daily achievements we make especially when the world is so loud, bright, busy and generally too much to cope with.

It’s important for those of us dealing with sensory processing issues to congratulate ourselves when we achieve these things. Just managing okay in a social situation, taking time off to reset and even surviving public transport are huge things to be proud of 🙌 Things can be tough but I like to think I’ve got some sensory super powers (spidey sense tingling? 🕸 E.g ridiculously sensitive hearing to everything!👂)

What are your sensory achievements? Share them in the comments below!