Scented Surroundings: Sensory Overload

You are shopping with a friend and have already visited several stores he/ she enjoys when you notice your favorite store.  You take a deep breath, already enjoying the scents, and start to head into the store.  You notice your friend has stopped and doesn’t want to go in. You may feel like your friend is acting selfish. You’ve already gone into the stores he/ she picked.  More likely, your friend is experiencing a sensory overload.  It may be extremely difficult for him/her to walk through that door, after all the scents are so strong they are even wafting out of the store.

Think of your reason for shopping with your friend.  Are you there to do errands? To check things off your list? Or, more likely, are you there to spend time with each other? Understand your friend’s difficulty with that store, and come back to it another time.

Rebecca J Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD. Need help creating your success strategies? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.

A Quick Tip on Plans

When planning for everyday outings, and special events, remember things can always change.  Make a preferred plan and have an alternate plan in case of unforeseen events.  Share these plans with the ones going on the outing, so that they have an idea of what to expect.

Rebecca J Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD.  Need help with mental flexibility? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.

An Ounce of Prevention…

Benjamin Franklin wrote “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Although he was referring to fire prevention, this phrase applies to so much more.  It is especially true for helping people that have Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome.

When approaching a new experience, the more we can prepare for the expectations of that experience, the better off everyone will be.  There are many ways to do this.

Here’s one idea for you: If you are going to a new place, find a map of the location and then play with it.  Notice the different ways you can begin the experience.  Are there multiple entrances? What will the experience be like if you start in one entrance versus another.  Plan your journey. Draw the path on the map that you would like to take, draw a second path to present another option and also be prepared to draw another path on the map when you get there, if something unforeseen should occur.  Being aware that your plan may need to change, is a big part of the preparation.

Rebecca J Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD.  Need help creating your success strategies? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.

Communication Breakdown

Situation: The Bill

You are enjoying lunch with a friend.  It’s time for the check, and your friend offers to pay for your meal.  You gladly accept.  The next time the two of you go out, your friend is surprised when you want to split the bill.  What happened?

Aspie and autistic friends:  The social expectation is that when someone pays for you, the next time you should be prepared to pay for them. So the next time you go out, offer to pay for your friend’s meal.

Neurotypical friends: Your Aspie/ autistic friend may have missed the cues that it is their turn to pick up the tab.  Explain why you are feeling surprised, and decide how you both want to handle these types of situations in the future.

Quick Tip

During the Holidays:

There are a lot of exciting things to do this time of year.  Try to spread it out, and take breaks to keep everyone at their best.