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!

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).

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!

I was interviewed on the ‘Thoughty Auti’ podcast! 🧠

Hey everyone! Last week I was interviewed by the lovely Thomas from @aspergersgrowth on his podcast ‘Thoughty Auti’.

It went live last Saturday so go check it out! It’s everywhere you’d normally listen to podcasts and also on his YouTube channel too! Was such a nice chat and we talked all things sensory and autism related. Let me know what you think 💭

Links to the podcast:

Or search ‘Thoughty Auti’ wherever you usually listen to podcasts!

Aspergers Growth / Thomas’s links:

Public Transport Doodle ✏️

Coming back at you with another doodle, this time about coping on public transport! 🚌

I’ve had 3 (day long) training courses in London throughout November (you might have seen some photos on my Instagram Stories which are now under my ‘London Trip’ highlight) 🇬🇧Commuting is hard like generally (I don’t think anybody truly loves commuting especially not long distances) but commuting can be just that bit more difficult for those who have sensory issues and are autistic.

It can be loud (like underground tubes seem to squeal on the tracks in London 24/7…listen below!

Add to that the change in smells, proximity to other people and just general rush everyone in it can be very overwhelming. It’s disorientating at the best of times trying to find your way around train stations, bus stations, airports etc!

So my doodle above includes some things that have helped me before. Of course (as always) I can’t include everything in one small drawing and these thing may not help everyone but I thought I’d share the sensory aids I use. Any top tips for using (or just generally surviving) public transport? 🚃

Products from my doodle: