I think so clearly, my mood is stable, digestion good, my stiffness has resolved and flexibility returned, chronic pain disappeared, and overall quality of life has improved greatly, despite the diet being quite restricted.
My home is my haven: an ode to woollen blankets, beeswax candles, glossy plants, locally-roasted coffee and home-baked cake. But I often forget that drawing my comfort zone too close can be cloyingly claustrophobic.
At school I was that kid who was always playing with his hands, tapping on a desk, or a wall, or a lunchbox, or anything really.
#AskingAutistics What are your top tips for getting to sleep and staying asleep?
I am an autistic woman, I have been working in the autism field as a mentor, adviser and advocate for many years but I trained as a Pilates teacher in 2016 with the aim of providing more autism friendly teaching and classes.
This experience changed my life. I’ve become much more confident with who I am and I’m now able to use running as a strength, its become more than an interest for me, its become a passion.
What I didn’t ever consider when I began the gym was how good weight lifting is for self regulation. When the barbell is on my shoulders, it almost has the effects of a weighted blanket – it feels really comforting and grounding.
Encountering the extremes of cold drew us both into that most clichéd space, the Moment, forcibly pulling our minds away from ruminating on the past or future, or tilling over an endless to-do list.
Once I found out I was autistic my body started integrating more of these moves and so I started to realise that when I’m me, being my open self, it’s normal behaviour and this is a way to cope.
In 2019 I carried out a study to explore how late-diagnosed autistic women (like me) managed their health and wellbeing. This is the last of four blog posts describing the themes I identified when analysing the interviews