December 17, 2020

It’s probably a little late for ordering holiday gifts, but just in case, here are some of the products that have improved my life the most as an autistic adult. I’m not endorsing any particular brands, just pointing out types of products that solved problems for me.

1. Microwavable bean bag. It’s meant for muscle tension, but feels great as a weighted cushion on my chest as I sleep. I prefer it over a weighted blanket, because it targets just the right area, and it’s warm like a cuddle.

2. Handheld vacuum cleaner. It keeps hair off my carpet, making the texture smooth and nice to lie on, without the louder noise or clumsier weight of my full vacuum.

3. Swing-arm floor lamp with 150-watt bulb. It provides a warm glow to sit under after showers, when I’m shivering from the discomfort of damp skin but don’t want the draft of a heater or hairdryer.

4. Rubber brush. It’s meant for pet hair, but feels amazing on my arms. I got the idea from someone who works with autistic kids who need extra help with sensory regulation – before that, I had never thought of brushing my arms.

5. “Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder” by Sarah Hendrickx. That book contains information that changed my life. Okay, so I’m breaking the “types of products” pattern here – but if I had to generalize it, I’d say books by autistic authors.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.