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Always be prepared… Going Places

Always be prepared …


I grew up at a time when the girl guides had a motto ‘Be prepared.’ I lived by that! And still do! Many Autistic people like to be prepared for every eventuality. My husband’s ADHD brain says ‘let’s go do…’ Even if it’s just for a walk! An hour and three bags later I’m ready!

So what is it about ‘being prepared?’


Anxiety

Autistic people are more likely to have high anxiety. Being fully prepared can help to ease that anxiety. I like to take a water bottle with me everywhere for rehydration. First aid kit in case of emergency… spare clothes… sensory bag… snacks… you never know… So maybe I take more than is needed, but for me, I can’t fully enjoy something if I am worried about not having the right supplies. What if I am injured? What if I’m stuck in traffic and have to spend hours without water?


Weather

The weather can be unpredictable, especially here in the UK, so I will think carefully about temperature and clothing…maybe bring extra layers or cooler clothes. Some of this is knowing the pain of sensory issues and trying to avoid being uncomfortable. An umbrella for rain, sun screen and glasses for summer, snow shovel for winter…


Details

I need to know the details so that I can plan. What kind of surface is it that we will be walking on?- for shoes. How long will the walk be? -for clothing. How many people will there be? -for ear defenders. I am not just demanding details because I like to know… but going anywhere can be a sensory nightmare. I need to minimise that pain and prepare.


Location

I need to know the location. I like to see places on Google maps! I guess it eases anxiety but it shows me a lot of information like how we will get there, how long it will take, how easy is it to get home, what kind of things we will need to take… etc. Knowing where I’m going is vital.


I don’t like surprises…

Many Autistic people don’t like surprises. The unfamiliar can feel overwhelming. I have enough to think about with the already familiar! Part of being prepared is that mental processing. I might be fully against going somewhere but when I’ve fully processed it, perhaps seen photos and talked about it, been allowed to prepare… then it’s ok.


What can help.

Allow yourself or your autistic person time to process and prepare. They are not asking for details to be awkward they are trying to mentally and physically prepare. Google maps, photos, social stories can all help when going somewhere unfamiliar. Be patient with yourself and others. Being prepared, and not rushed, can mean a better experience for everyone.


If you would like to support me…

If you have enjoyed my work and would like to support my mission to help the Autistic Community, feel free to buy me a coffee. Please only donate if you can afford to do so. Everything given is very much appreciated. ❤️ You can also help to spread the word by liking, loving and sharing my posts. ☺️



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