AUTISTIC NICK GOES SENSORY SHOPPING
As readers of my blog know I’ve been struggling and having some sensory issues with items that were in my sensory box that should’ve been able to but ultimately failed to bring me the sensory pleasures that they once had.
I’ve gone back and forth with these items, taking them out one by one and examining them and accessing and scoring them on a sensory scale.
It’s been a real struggle to even muster up the energy to even bring myself to open the sensory box in the first instance, which is why I wanted to go and visit the Happy Hubble.
I’ve felt the pleasure that a crisp, white, virginal word search untouched by a pen would usually bring me and I’ve been left dead.
Solitaire a card game on my I-Pad would’ve been another sensory item that after winning a game I would look in awe at the shape the cards would make as I celebrated my win.
I felt like Jon Snow, out in the cold, walking in thick deep snow wondering where I would find something that would bring me something.
But I had no map, no directions to take, I was lost out in the cold snow as flakes began to drop and a new thicker layer was covering the ground.
I was confused and unsure of my next move.
A thought has just occurred to me, maybe I’ve outgrown those sensory items that had once been beneficial to me, and it was merely only a matter of time before I reached this conclusion and that all along this was what was happening.
I needed time to think and to re-evaluate my sensory needs.
So, on Friday I went out and paid a visit to the Happy Hubble shop.
I had written about them in this article, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-06/businesses-break-down-disability-barriers-through-inclusive-toys/100788460 but I wanted to view their products for myself, experiencing handling the items, before I purchased them.
THE HAPPY HUBBLE
The Happy Hubble was set up by mum to three Autistic children Simone Hubble.
The Happy Hubble sells disability-friendly sensory toys, which support the needs of families with children who have Autism.
Without all three of her children all having Autism, she would never have known this enormous need amongst the Autism community, and that her kids are 100% my inspiration.
So, I booked a support worker and off we set for Malaga.
I was excited after checking out the website to see the wide range of products that they had on offer.
Unfortunately, the owner Simone wasn’t there when I visited but I hope to meet her sometime in the future.
I pulled up with my support worker and we climbed the stairs to the second floor.
Upon arrival various products made themselves visible to my eye line!
Ohhh I went and Ahhhh I went.
This would be great, or this would be good, were statements that I echoed.
Inside it was very quiet and I was able to concentrate and have the time to feel and sample the sensory need that each product was bringing me.
I soon became the Marie Kondo of sensory toys!
I began asking questions like does this item spark joy?
If not, why not?
If yes, what is the joy that it’s bringing me?
This could be like on a sensory scale this item whatever it maybe me brings me a sensory experience of say 6/10.
Or this sensory item is a 2/10 and then I might have to go and look for another item.
By the time I had reached the counter to pay I had selected two items that had been put through my rigorous sensory testing process and I left with a happy smile on my face.
I bought a fidget spinner and a squeezy banana.
So, in conclusion I guess what I’ve learnt from this is that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and put a lot of unnecessary sensory pressure on myself to force a positive sensory experience when there may not be one to be had.
It’s ok to seek other items such a pebble coaster for example.
If there isn’t a sensory experience to be had then an alternative then needs to be found, don’t beat yourself up if that takes some time like I clearly have been doing!
Also, one sensory experience for one Autistic person isn’t the same as it is for another.
And that finding those sensory items may take some time and resources.
Be kind to yourself with this.
There is never a quick sensory fix.
To find out more about the Happy Hubble and the products that they sell click on their website link here https://happyhubble.com.au/
Or visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/happyhubbletime
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
As always, I can also be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU and on the Autistic Nick Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AutisticNickAU/
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.