Week 28 - Achievement

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note: I wrote this yesterday and edited it for clarity today.

I am at my friends house. My whole body is tingling and I am shaking but in a good way.

I just traveled in bee (the babysitter’s) car for first time. It’s the first interaction I’ve ever had with her alone over a few minutes.

Huge huge achievement. After 8 months of getting to know her I have finally been able to have a proper interaction.

Normally I just hide from her, with any direct interaction causing massive anxiety.


Today has been really positive. I didn’t spend any time alone. I’ve been busy. I went with a friend to see his mum and ended up taking apart Lego models of famous buildings and cleaning then for her. Then assembling a new one for her.

I walked home after and had been home about 3 minutes when the babysitter arrived.

Weirdly, I did okay for a short while but I ended up with a small meltdown. :(

Discussing ‘the future’ with the babysitter over SMS I got extremely upset. The future is very uncertain. I was tired. I’d ‘coped’ all day and I went from managing okay to really intensely anxious and upset in a few minutes once triggered.

It all go so much I ended up throwing my phone and my glasses across the room in pure frustration. At that point I knew I needed to go a hug lion. So I climbed into bed and hugged lion.

After a short while the babysitter sent me and SMS to say another one of my lion plushies was outside my door with somebody to help me relax.

I went out and it was a lion plushie with a baby bottle of hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate in a baby bottles is magic for me. I don’t care about age appropriateness.

The babysitter is awesome and she suggested hot chocolate in a baby bottle about 4 months ago.

I’ve always liked baby bottles however until her suggestion it was very rare i used them. I tended to use sippy cups. I had one in the cupboard, I’d had it about 6 years.

I thought I hated hot drinks. Her insight was that it wasn’t the flavour which put me off but the feeling of hot liquid over my lips. She was dead right. Hot chocolate + baby bottle is a fantastic combination for me. I now have them often. I don’t like hot chocolate from cups or even Sippy cups. It feels horrible.

The bottle really helped. It’s very calming to slowly drink a warm milky drink. I also wiggles my toes into my duvet and cuddle lion. Super snug and warm and with good textures and weight. I’d turned all the lights off in my room before. The light was really hurting.

Earlier in the evening the babysitter had run me a bath. This is part of our normal routine. The routine had been delayed as I got upset. After the bottle I had the bath (following my bath routine) and came out the bath feeling good.

The babysitter had put another bottle in my room waiting for me. While I was drinking it I felt much much calmer. I’d been feeling dirty all day. I felt clean.

The light still hurt my eyes (It still does, I’m typing this with my eyes closed). I was due to walk back to my friends house which seemed very difficult.

This is normal. I have been walking back each evening for a few weeks. However a few days ago I’d met the babysitter’s car Bee.

Earlier in the evening she had suggested perhaps now I had met bee I’d be comfortable in the car with her.

After so much emotion I was achey. But I felt relaxed and bold. I was really desperate to achieve something from the evening.

I sent an SMS to ask if perhaps we could try bee. The babysitter liked the idea but we had to do it fast. Within a few minutes of suggesting it I was sat in the back of the car. I’d not finished the bottle and my hair was still wet. I was in my PJs with lion wrapped in my arms.

It worked. I got to my friends house and gave him a massive hug as I got through the front door. I was excited and scared and flapped and bounced.

I then went up to bed. And that’s where I am now.

This was all in the last hour. I’m still excited and hyper. I want to write about it before the sense of excitement and achievement is lost.

In the back of my mind i can hear the voices now. Of people who don’t understand. People who would find the entire concept perplexing and demand I be more normal. To them I just blow a raspberry. Thuuuurrrrpt.

This works. Tonight I achieved something we all thought was months away. I can’t sit in the same room as the babysitter for more than a few moments so to ride in the car with her is a massive step forward. It opens up so many options.

This evening she was amazing. She really understands how to read me and help Me recover and bounce back from meltdowns.

She didn’t tell me off or tell me I was wrong for getting upset. She just gave me some help to get back to being calm and from that came a bounce back in the opposite direction.

What an insane day. Such is autism :)


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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Jamie: @JamieKnight
Lion: @Lickr