MY TOP 10 AUTISM ACCOMMODATION ITEMS
My 10 most important autism accommodation items for use by myself to accommodate my own needs. Meaning these have nothing to do with other people which is good because often other people aren’t willing or able to accommodate my needs.
The order is random. I love them all equally. Click the spoilers for some detail about each item.
NO. 1 – BASEBALL CAP
PRICE: 5 € / 5 $
Accommodation for light hypersensitivity.
It blocks bright ceiling lights or the sun without actually making it any darker. That is important because I often need bright light but not directly in my eyes like when I’m crafting or often at work.
NO. 2 – POLARIZED SUNGLASSES
PRICE: 13,95 € / 13.99 $
Accommodation for light hypersensitivity.
Mine are worn over regular prescription glasses. These are plastic so I can just put them on, take them off, throw them in my bag, leave them on the table etc. without worrying about damaging them. They also are very big and shield my eyes from top and bottom as well as from the sides so I get a lot of relief and they are very practical for everyday use.
The polarized part is important because it means they minimize reflections which is my biggest problem with light hypersensitivity. I use grey lenses as colored lenses trigger my color hypersensitivity and make me dizzy.
NO. 3 – EAR DEFENDERS
HONEYWELL Howard Leight – Leightning L0 for everyday
HONEYWELL Howard Leight – Leightning L2 for noisier environments
Leightning L0 – 22 € / 14.95 $
Leightning L2 – 17,99 € / 19.99 $
Accommodation for sound hypersensitivity.
I have a love-hate relationship with my ear defenders. I love them because they really help manage sound hypersensitivity. I hate them because wearing them doesn’t feel natural to me and they cause discomfort and pressure dizziness after longer periods of time.
It does take quite a lot of trial and error to find ones that fit your personal needs. And while most are very affordable that necessary trial and error really adds up financially because usually return shipping has to be paid by the buyer.
NO. 4 – AAC DEVICE
APPLE iPad mini 4
TOBII DYNAVOX Snap+CoreFirst app
JOY FACTORY Axtion Bold Case
OTTERBOX shoulder strap (part of OTTERBOX Latch II Harness)
APPLE iPad mini 4 – 390 € / 445 $
TOBII DYNAVOX Snap+CoreFirst app – 180 € / 180 $
METACOM symbols – 50 € / 50 $
JOY FACTORY Axtion Bold Case – 65 € / 74 $
OTTERBOX Latch II Harness – 30 € / 18 $
Accommodation for non-verbal periods and exhaustion from speech processing.
My insurance covered the iPad mini 4, my amazing autistic twitter friends crowd funded the app and symbols (bought while on sale). This is by far my most expensive accommodation and the only one my insurance at least partly covered.
Using an AAC device has changed my life. I have Selective Mutism and am intermittently non-verbal because of my autism. But even when I can speak, speech is always exhausting. Using my AAC device to manage my speech has helped me so much already.
I use it when I have to because speech simply won’t come out. But I also use it when I feel I need to preserve speech energy even if I could theoretically speak with my mouth. And when I need help sorting my thoughts, when I need a little more time to figure out what I want to reply to a question etc. This allows me to have a lot more energy left over for other things than when trying to force oral speech.
NO. 5 – VIBRATING WRIST WATCH
PRICE: 59,95 € / 37.50 $
Accommodation for Executive Dysfunction.
For this to work I need an item that is always on me with no way of putting it aside and forgetting about it. Cue a wrist watch I put on as part of my morning routine and take off as part of my evening routine.
I need prompts for all kinds of things. Especially for ending and switching tasks, but also to remind me to eat and drink something. I use a vibrating wrist watch for this as the beeping ones are extremely irritating for me.
NO. 6 – FLAT, TIGHT SHOES
I need shoes without heels and with flat insoles. I have severe problems with the bones and muscles in my feet meaning the wrong shoes cause severe dizziness and balance problems. Heels disrupt my balance too.
I also struggle with managing heat so my shoes must be breathable. If my feet heat up too much I get circulation problems, dizziness etc.
And finally shoes must be tight and heavy enough to help with my body perception.
NO. 7 – PLANNERS
HANDMADE weekly wall planner
FILOFAX Refillable Notebook with handmade cover
FILOFAX Refillable Notebook – 16,99 € / 18.95 $
Accommodation for Executive Dysfunction and memory problems.
I love planners and I hate planners. I love them because when I do remember to use them they help me immensely. And I love making them myself, being creative with them, and decorating them. I hate them because I keep forgetting to use them.
The calendar part of my planners helps me remember things which I desperately need because I have severe memory problems. It also helps me to not schedule more than I can handle. My planner has a ton of lists in it for everything and anything important which really helps me in my everyday life even if I can’t manage to keep the calendar part updated.
I previously wrote about my weekly wall planner in detail HERE
NO. 8 – ROUGH FABRIC CLOTHING
You might have heard that autistic people hate tags. That’s because many of us are hypersensitive to touch. Many autistics also hate long sleeves and pants. Personally I can’t handle light touch. I need rough fabrics. But not scratchy like wool. I need strong sensory input on my skin. I cannot handle soft fabrics like silk or satin. I also can’t cope with open clothes on my legs like dresses or skirts.
Rough fabrics help me to feel my body. Soft touch feels like it reaches inside of me and the diffuse signal really messes with my nerves. 100% cotton and linen work best for me. I also strongly prefer long pants and sleeves, again to help me feel my body.
NO. 9 – ESSENTIAL OILS
The wrong smell can cause a lot of problems for me. Especially artificial smells like perfumes or chemicals almost always cause immediate headaches and often nausea, dizziness, even migraines.
I use a small spray bottle filled with a mix of ethanol and essential oils I like smelling (usually lavender) to counter harmful smells. I spray a bit on my clothes to give my brain a good smell to focus on.
Because of my hypersensitivity to smells I also cannot use any deodorants with fragrance with does pose a problem because due to a hormone disorder I often have quite strong body odor. So I use a fragrance free deodorant and essential oils instead. A drop on my clothes under my armpits does the trick.
NO. 10 – HARD BOX SPRING MATTRESS
Like most autistic people I struggle with sleeping. It has been a problem all my life. Finding the right mattress is an ongoing struggle. For now I have switched to the hardest model box spring I could find, courtesy of my parents.
I recently realized the soft foam mattresses cause sensory problems for me. Something I had never considered before. The sensation of laying in the mattress rather than on it messes with my proprioception and causes muscle tension which in turn causes sleep problems.
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