Week 7 - Building Tall Towers.

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Here’s an analogy to help explain how small achievements build to make awesome things happen.

Achievements are like Lego bricks. My goal is to build a tall tower. In a tall tower there are far more bricks in the base than the tallest tip.

It’s the same with achievements. If I want to get back to doing the tallest tip achievements (public speaking, independent travel, etc) then I need to spend time working on all the small achievements to build a base with.

The last few weeks have all been about the small achievements.

The small achievements I am most proud of this week are all pretty mundane.

  1. I did my teeth twice a day for 4 days.
  2. I showered more days than I didn’t.
  3. I ate 3 meals everyday (!)
  4. I got enough work done to achieve my goals
  5. More speech (!)
  6. I stayed at my flat, night and day, for a week.

The last one is key. For an entire week I didn’t have to give up and abort back to a friends house.

These are all achievements. They are mundane but they are really important. Because without achievements like this I can’t go on to do the more exciting things.

I didn’t manage those achievements alone. My current support level is pretty high.

A friend stays each night, from around 9pm to 8am and i have a babysitter for 1-3 hours each night from 6pm till 9pm.

They both help me with routines via prompting. The babysitter also makes an evening meal (I always eat pasta and sauce). Finally, I mostly shower when a friend is visiting. Showering while home alone is not comfortable at all.

This routine is mostly sustainable. I am finding that I tend to use most of my energy in the time I am alone during the day. So were looking at various options to get me out of the flat, somewhere safe during that time. We have a good find in the local autism hub. We’re talking to them this coming week about me getting a desk there.

The hope is that being somewhere out of the flat where I feel safe for a few hours a day will just make everything a bit easier.

My friends can’t stay with me forever. Thats is not going to work. So we are using the time to find ways to reduce my anxiety so i can built up to being alone overnight a few nights a week. It’s all very slow, but going in the right direction.

Looking into next week there are a few small changes planned. They revolve around lowering the demand for spoons and moving support time to be more effective.

For the next few months i am working part time hours with the BBC. I need more time to focus on my life skills. While i love my job, i need to invest time now in my living skills. It will mean i can enjoy my work more in the future so its a good trade off.

We are making a small change to the babysitter arrangements too. The plan was for the babysitter to come for an hour a night (6-7pm). But thats only worked once. She’s tending to stay until my friend arrives in the evening as i don’t have the spoons to be alone. Paying an extra £15-20 in babysitting is very good value versus struggling on and risking a panic attack. Spending money on support so i feel comfortable is something it it taking me a while to get use to doing.

Its been a good week with lots of positive to build on. Hoping this the coming week is as positive.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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