|Sunset, Lighthouse Beach, Erie, PA|
As I write about in my "my monkey brains" section, my partner, Marcy (or "Frog"), has been helping me attempt to organize this different brain probably since we met. She was the one who, eventually, with her background in education, figured out what was actually going on as we made our way to the Autistic truth of my brain.
She figured out that I worked best with visual schedules and cues, for example. (And I will write about these in the future.)
She also figured out that for me to go out into the wider world could be, well, a bit challenging, and maybe there was a way to prepare better.
And thus came the idea of an "Aspie Emergency Kit."
My main Christmas present last year was the core of this kit: my Kindle Fire.
Books, television, internet, and stimming/soothing games all in one tiny, perfectly sized and weighted unit.
Also in my kit:
Headphones: Often the world is TOO LOUD and putting on headphones and listening to Brad Mehldau or Philip Glass is a great, calming remedy.
I have, for example, a really hard time when I go for my haircut and color. There is so much miscellaneous chatter in a salon. By the time I go home (and this is not a judgment of chatty people...that is what they like to do...chat)...but by the time I go home, it can feel like my ears are bleeding, which sounds dramatic but that is what it feels like to me.
The headphones with the right music save me from feeling bonkers.
Bach's Rescue Remedy: This is a little homeopathic trick for calming. And it works. If I am feeling highly agitated, a bit of this under the tongue makes me feel calmer within twenty minutes.
Squeezies: I have a collection of small squeezables. Just soft, plushy sorts of things that I can hold onto and squeeze for dear life. It's grounding.
Paper & Pen: Always. Tons of it. All over the place. In all my bags, in the car...everywhere. Just writing myself some notes can help alleviate stress.
Lavender: A lot of the time, smell triggers me, and smell can fix me, too. This smell is known to simultaneously calm and stimulate the brain.
Notes: Often Marcy writes me little notes and reading her words -- even old ones -- can bring me back to myself.
Scarf: A scarf around my neck makes me feel secure. Summer is hard for this but I just replace it with well-fitted clothing in general.
I am also learning to be over-prepared for weather. For cold. For rain. For change that doesn't seem like it will come.
If you have this sort of kit, what do you have in it? What do you need to have in it? What issue have you not figured out how to solve with your kit?