Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Creating an Aspie-friendly habitat

I live alone.  This does sometimes get lonely and it means I'm the only one here to do the dishes and attend to the kitty litter, but there are also a lot of advantages for the solo-living Aspie.

For a start, it means I can stim and pace as I please, watch My Little Pony or listen to the same song over and over again without disturbing anyone else.  It also means I'm guaranteed peace, quiet and solitude when I need it.

Solitude

Here is a very interesting article about "autistifying" one's home - a magnificent word and a fantastic concept, both of which I plan to adopt.  I particularly approve of the 'if I can't see it, I won't remember it' school of checklists and reminders stuck on walls in unmissable places.  It's something I use, too, and have done ever since my high school physics teacher recommended we stick up our formulae list beside the bathroom mirror and memorise one every night as part of our revision.  I barely scraped by in that class, with a final mark in the mid-forties, so the value of sticking things to walls is possibly the only concept Mrs Smith managed to get into my non-mathematically-inclined head.

I'm particularly fond of refrigerators, because not only are they large and oft-looked-at objects, but their shiny white surfaces also work very well with whiteboard markers.  Over the years I've used my fridge to plan the renovations of my first home, record shopping lists, keep frequently-used phone numbers at hand in the days before our phones remembered them for us, and these days I keep a colour-coded checklist of household chores.  They're broken up by how often they should be done - green, at the top of the list, is daily things like washing up, litter tray cleaning, and putting dirty clothes in the laundry hamper.  From there it works its way through vacuuming and sheet-changing to 'whenever' stuff like window cleaning and picture rail dusting.  (This being a rental, that's likely to get done exactly once - by the cleaners at the end of the lease.)

I use it at work, too - I have all sorts of checklists and things that go 'ping' to remind me to do stuff.  It might seem overkill, but I need all the help I can get.  And if that help's free and easy in the form of a whiteboard marker or a Google Chrome app - why not take advantage of it?