Fidget and Stim Toys โœจ

I did a little photoshoot with my small box of fidget and stim toys (because why the hell not?). I think I underestimate how helpful these can really be and I forget to use them if they aren’t in my line of sight, which is when I end up biting my nails, bouncing my legs or flicking / fidgeting using my eyelashes and eyebrows.

I appreciate those might sound weird but literally if I have nothing in front of me I somehow unconsciously resort to doing these things which can end up being a little bit destructive. I’ll list the links to the fidgets below (or head over to my YouTube channel and they are linked in an older sensory box video I did)

Most of the fidgets are from Amazon, The Works, Flying Tiger, The Entertainer or direct online stores:

Sight and Visual Processing…๐Ÿ‘

Sight and Visual Processing…here is a new drawing (part of a series on our 8 senses, scroll back to see my previous drawings!) โœ๏ธ

  • Mood lighting is…THE BEST. I have @philipshue lights in my bedroom and it makes the world of difference especially before bed as it’s such a calming way to unwind rather than having my main light on ๐Ÿ’ก
  • DO NOT get me started on a rant about fluorescent and neon clothing. I once ranted for a solid few minutes on my podcast (search 21andsensory hehe sneaky plug right there) about a guy who worked in my open plan office who ALWAYS hung his bright yellow fluorescent cycling jacket in my view EVERY DAY. Gees it was too much to handle visually! I knew he was unaware the pain it was causing me but it’s the little things like this that can really affect my mood and ability to generally function! ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธ
  • Visual stims such as bubble liquid timers, desktop and fidget spinners are the best! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป
  • Lights flashing such as sirens, alarms and cameras can be disorientating and bewildering ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿš”๐Ÿ“ธ
  • Bright screens = not okay with me. I always have my screen brightness down whether it’s on my phone, tablet or laptop โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ž
  • Aaaah clean and tidy places fill me with joy visually! Tidy room = a tidier(ish) mind for me ๐Ÿ˜
  • Okay ewww colourful shelving at supermarkets = NOT cool. I cannot find what I need (cereal aisle, confectionery aisle, you know what I mean) it’s borders on physically painful to walk down these aisles and it messes with my mind trying to process all the colours at once ๐Ÿ‘€
  • And finally…hello sequins. I have sequinned fidgets, notebook, doorstop and a pillow! I love the sight of sequins especially in sunlight (and the sensory feedback in terms of texture too!) ๐Ÿ’š

So there you have it, what do you love and hate in terms of visuals? Comment down below!

Self Isolation Achievements โœ…

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Hello everyone, Iโ€™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. Iโ€™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 youโ€™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).

Itโ€™s that time of the year again: Halloween ๐ŸŽƒ

Itโ€™s that time of the year again: Halloween ๐ŸŽƒ I hope everyone has a Halloween that suits them – whether you are going all out and dressing up, trick or treating or even partying (or if youโ€™re just having a nice quiet night in with a book and a bath!)

Iโ€™ve done a little doodle above describing some of the things we autistic / sensory people struggle with when it gets to this time of year ๐Ÿ‚ It can be quite an overwhelming season (Halloween, Bonfire / Firework Night and then the Christmas festivities ๐Ÿ˜ฑ) it all seems to follow one another in quick succession!

What is masking? ๐ŸŽญ

Hello everyone Iโ€™m here again to share another little doodle, this time on masking ๐ŸŽญ. So what actually is masking? Masking involves trying to hide being autistic so others will accept us. Itโ€™s also referred to as camouflaging. This means we act in ways that other people will think we are โ€˜normalโ€™ and to try and be accepted socially. My doodle includes a few examples of trying to mask.

Over the course of my life I feel I have perfected the art of masking (which isnโ€™t necessarily a good thing). I am extremely good at with-holding my feelings and emotions, bottling them up until I get home. I would cry when I had to go to primary school each morning. Then speed forward a bit in time and Iโ€™d come home from secondary school each day very tearful. I even used to cry up in the SENCOs (special needs support) room at break and lunch times because secondary school is quite literally THE most overwhelming place I have ever had to cope in ๐Ÿ‘€. But slowly through sixth form and university I began to build up a resilience to the world and although I still get overwhelmed I can always come home, have a bit of a sensory meltdown (and a good cry) then move on with things.

Socialising will always be hard for me and I think I will always cope with the world like this. But thatโ€™s okay. I have to actively remind myself that โ€˜normalโ€™ isnโ€™t real. And I think you should too. Masking is an autistic and sensory way of coping with the everyday and just trying to get by. Now that is brave. To go out in the world and just exist is a huge thing. Do you have any tips related to masking? Feel free to share below โ˜บ๏ธ

Things that are difficult for Sensory Beings…๐Ÿ’ญ

I did a quick little doodle on what us sensory beings find quite difficult to do in our daily lives (Obviously these things arenโ€™t exclusively difficult to just sensory people, these can apply to many different people).

Is there anything that you find particularly difficult to tolerate? Feel free to share coping tips and tricks below in the comments and letโ€™s all help each other out โ˜บ๏ธ

What is stimming? ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Hi everyone ๐Ÿ‘‹ this is a post in collaboration with the wonderful @agonyautie. Sara suggested working together on a post together all about stimming and what it looks like visually. Here are some wise words from @agonyautie:

โ€˜Stop shaming stimming. Stimulate yourself through your senses. Have fun, Stim freely, be respectful of others and Stim Shame Free. Make sure to stim safely and stim boldly!โ€™

Iโ€™ve tried to visually represent in my two illustrations โœ๏ธ the wide variety of things that can be referred to as stims (which is short for self-regulatory behaviour). Stimming helps a person to self calm and process overwhelming environments. Some stims can be quite subtle such as hair twirling or chewing whereas others are more noticeable and can be destructive such as skin picking (dermatillomania) or hair pulling (Trichotillomania) which can cause damage.

Itโ€™s important to recognise that stimming safely (whether you are a child or adult) is okay and not something to ever be ashamed of. It should not be looked down on or discouraged. Go forth and stim freely! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Link to my original Instagram post here

An important pie chart ๐Ÿฅง

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Hi everyone! Hope you like my important pie chart drawing โœ๏ธ does anyone else have a range of clothes but also just stick to your favourite, old, most worn and comfy clothes? I find it SO hard to wear new clothes and new shoes ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ (it has taken me actual years to get into new shoes!). Itโ€™s so difficult sensory-wise to get used to new clothing ๐Ÿ‘• and it always ends up that my clothes have to be washed multiple times before I feel comfortable wearing them…

Do not get me started on itchy / scratchy tags and labels, ugh! They are the worst ๐Ÿ˜ญ how do you cope with clothing and footwear? Any top tips? Feel free to share them in the comments below. Please feel free to share my post on social media platforms but do please credit me @21andsensory thanks!

Can you turn the sound down please? ๐Ÿ”‡

Hello everyone – hope you are all having a good day. Iโ€™ve done another little drawing which I thought I would share with you all. I am very sensory defensive when it comes to sound. I am constantly asking my parents to turn the sound/volume down on the TV ๐Ÿ˜‚ Itโ€™s always too loud for me ๐Ÿ”ˆ

Iโ€™ve also been struggling this week with a busy open plan office at work which is noisy and bustling and generally wears me out! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I also jump at anything even slightly loud (even people sneezing ๐Ÿคง) Iโ€™ve been using my noise cancelling headphones but does anyone else have any other good tips for dealing with loud noises?

Also: Iโ€™ve reached 1,000 followers on Instagram! Thanks so much to everyone out there who follows along – my main aim when setting up my blog and Instagram was that if I could help out one person out there by providing sensory advice / tips / support / etc to them then I would be happy!