Growing up I didn’t have my own Lego set. I do desperately wanted legos but my mom always said she didn’t have the money to buy it. Now as an adult, I treat myself to Lego sets whenever I can afford it because I feel that I owe that to my inner child that’s still healing from trauma.
Our home is loaded with legos. I do have children so they obviously love it. But legos is more than just a toy for me. Whenever I complete a set, my confidence level goes through the roof. As someone who struggles with confidence development, legos is an easy way to help boost that. Legos also helps stimulate my brain and helps me with problem solving. I also love the opportunity to be creative. The instructions that comes with it are visual so I’m able to understand it just fine. It’s the perfect sensory tool for me and very therapeutic. It helps decrease stress levels and sensory overload. It helps me build patience and encourages my need to hyper focus on something I really love. It also helps me build a stronger bond with my children. Legos is one of the few things we can all do together that makes us all happy. Also, since I never received occupational therapy as a child for my needs, playing with legos is the best thing for my physical development because it develops dexterity and strength in the fingers but also teaches me control of the pressure applied when building things with intricate detail. I lack body awareness and I’m often heavy handed. Building with legos has taught me what gentle touch is.
I recently released my autism poetry book called “Beautifully Wired by Jessica Jenkins”. It explains autism and my personal experience and perspective as an autistic person in poetry form. The same day I released that book, I opened up Microsoft word on my laptop and started typing up my next book. It’s going to be a personal memoir about growing up autistic and masking. I’ll be sharing many raw details of my life and I really hope that my readers are able to connect with me when they read it. At this time I don’t know when it’ll be finished and released but I’m very confident that it won’t take me anywhere near as long as the poetry book took. I’ll keep you all updated. In the meantime, you can find my autism poetry book on Amazon. Click here to order your copy and please don’t forget to leave a review after you receive it and read it!
DISCLAIMER: As an Amazon associate I earn commission from qualifying purchases. It does not affect the price for you in any way.
Here is a list of all my favorite Amazon items that accommodate mine and my kids autistic support needs. You’ll find all our sensory toys here and other important things we use.
**This list will be updated from time to time as more items come my way so please keep an eye on this post so you don’t miss anything**
Also, if you shop on Amazon a lot, you can scan all your receipts and e-receipts to get points. Once you reach a certain amount of points, you can earn a gift card of your choice. It’s a great way to save money. The app is free! Click on the following link to sign up https://fetchrewards.onelink.me/vvv3/referraltext?code=FQQ95
I really wanted to make this post to update everyone about an ongoing issue that’s been going on. I’ve seen a bunch of autistic content creators on TikTok being banned for talking about their autism. TikTok is saying that the words “autism” or “autistic goes against their guidelines and that it’s hate speech. I’m pretty confused as to why us speaking up about our autistic experience is hate speech. It really bothers me that they’re trying to silence us. It’s not fair to us that we put in so much emotional labor to educate everyone and our content just gets shadow banned. That’s discrimination and it needs to stop.
A BIPOC content creator on TikTok who is also autistic (Tim Boykin), came up with a hashtag that autistic people can use.
The purpose of that hashtag is to make a point that autistic content creators aren’t going anywhere and we are not going to be silenced.
Please give Tim a follow on TikTok
He is a song writer and an author. It’s very important that we support and uplift BIPOC content creators because their voices matter too.
This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. I’m so happy to announce that my autism poetry book called “Beautifully Wired” is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase and let’s see how many copies I can sell in the first month. Thank you to all who have supported me this far!
I’m really excited to announce that my autism documentary is now released. I really was hoping to have it released this morning but it was taking forever to export and upload it so I had to find ways around that and I didn’t want to wait until next Wednesday to post this because I’m very impatient.
I’ve worked really hard on this and I really hope that whoever watches it enjoys it and continues to support me and uplift mine and other autistic people’s voices.
The documentary is free access to the public but if you would like to make a donation to help support me, that would be greatly appreciated. The only thing I do ask for is that you share my documentary with your friends and family to help it reach more people. Also, please subscribe to my Youtube channel if you haven’t already.
Everyone is diving deep into the holiday spirit now but for a lot of autistic people, the holidays can be stressful for us to process. Between all the noise and lights and family gatherings, it can all be overstimulating. A lot of autistic people, including myself, sometimes feel like our needs during this time of year causes way too much inconvenience to the people around us and some of us may find ourselves feeling shame when having to ask for our needs to be accommodated during a time where everyone is expected to be having a good time. A lot of us mask our autism heavily during this time in fear of people seeing us as burdens and annoying. We don’t want to be seen as the party poopers.
This blog post is to remind myself and the rest of the autistic community that we are not burdens just because we have specific needs. This Christmas I want you to know that you’re a gift, you are valid and I see your needs and I want you to freely express them with no fear. Don’t force yourself to tolerate anything unpleasant for the sake of others. Do as I did in the picture above and place a bow on your head and get under that Christmas tree because you are the most precious gift. We’re able to see the world in ways neurotypical people cannot and that’s what makes us special. Being different is so beautiful and I want you to embrace your quirks.
I hope this blog post was able to reach whoever needed to read this. I hope it uplifted you in any way and I want you all to know that you’re not alone.
I was dealing with a lot of sensory overload. I was all touched out and fed up with any kind of sensory input. I decided to run off to the room and draw. Drawing was my very first special interest ever as an autistic person. I still have a binder full of my drawings when I was a little girl.
I used drawing as a way to escape reality when I was little. I was constantly abused and needed an outlet. Since I’m a very visual person, my drawings seemed to come to life right in front of me and it almost felt like I was in a whole different world. When I was little, my favorite things to draw were flowers and cats. In the picture above, I’m working on a drawing of a bush with hydrangeas from our garden outside. I took a picture of it and now copying the picture.
My inner child felt happy doing what she used to love to do. I felt at peace drawing. I never liked coloring my pictures so this time I went out of my comfort zone and used colored pencils. I tried my hardest to capture every detail and shade everything correctly. I’m not the best with shading color but I feel like it turned out pretty good regardless. I plan on doing more drawings with color as soon as I finish this one.
I have no idea when this picture will be finished because the baby still doesn’t give me many breaks. It will be posted on my Instagram so please follow me on there. Scan the QR code below!
A lot of people seem to be confused between meltdowns me shutdowns. In this blog I will explain how they’re similar and how they’re different.
Meltdowns are more of a physical or external response to too much sensory input. It may look like screaming and crying, sometimes throwing objects, squirming around and doing self injurious behaviors. It’s a more obvious sign that an autistic person is in distress. It’s actually what most people are used to seeing. You’ll mainly see this with autistic children but autistic adults still have them too.
Shut downs are more of an internal response and it’s not always so noticeable to other people. It may look like the autistic person is dissociating or zoning out. They may seem more quiet and disengaged and may hide away or distance themselves.
I tend to shut down way more than I have meltdowns because I was abused as a child for having meltdowns so it’s one of my autistic traits I had to suppress and mask. I still have meltdowns but it comes with a lot of shame and embarrassment especially when others have witnessed it. I also have this constant feeling that people see me as immature and childish when they do witness me meltdown.
With my shutdowns, if you don’t know the signs of it, you can very easily miss me experiencing it because it’s so subtle. People just think I’m not paying attention and they move along without taking into consideration that I’m in distress. Then I feel all alone and abandoned because at that moment I don’t always have the words to express how I’m feeling and may not even feel 100% safe to express myself. I always fear others invalidating my struggles and emotions which makes it much worse for me so I just shut everyone out to avoid that kind of hurt and gaslighting.
Meltdowns and shutdowns are very similar because they’re both triggered the exact same way. They’re both triggered by sensory overload. It’s just one is more obvious and the other is more subtle. Both require attention in order to be able to function better.
I’ve experienced many situations where I shutdown instead of having a meltdown and the person around me says I seemed fine when I later try to express that I was in distress at that specific moment. I’m sure this will be a shocker to most people that know me, but I have shutdowns daily and sometimes several times a day. Most times when I say “I’m fine”, I’m really not. I’m just scared to express myself. I bottle up a lot inside to protect my feelings while at the same time breaking myself down even more. It’s very overwhelming for me to always have to go through this and not always knowing who is the safest person to communicate with. It’s also very hard to feel safe in general in a world that wasn’t made for me and my specific needs and when I’ve already experienced so much trauma throughout my life.
Now before I end up trauma dumping on this blog post, I’ll end it right here.
Stimming is just another word for self stimulation. Most people stim but what makes it so distinct with autism is the frequency of it. There’s different ways to stim. You can stim using any of your senses. Some of my stims are rocking back and fourth, spinning in circles, flapping my hands, tapping my finger tips together, pacing, tapping certain parts of my body like my thigh or my neck or head. I also shake my head, eye track, sniff everything, and love stroking and rubbing against my favorite textures. I’m under responsive to touch so I’m very much a sensory seeker but I can also can very sensitive to certain kind of sensory input which would cause me to stim excessively. If I receive bd sensory input, I immediately need to receive a good input to fix it or I can’t unfeel it. Different stims also go with different emotions. You can tell which emotion I’m feeling just by the way my body moves. If I’m flapping my hands open palm, I’m most likely happy. But if I’m hand flapping with my fists clenched shut, I’m feeling some kind of tension.
My brain is gathering information at all times. My senses are at work all the time. My brain processes sensory input differently than a neurotypical person. Sometimes my brain receives way too much information to process and it sends me into a meltdown or shutdown. Quite often I find myself having to take many breaks and do some stimming that’s comforting for me to help restore myself. Even after having a meltdown, I require a lot of after care or self care to be able to function again.
Stimming helps me be able to process information better and it counteracts the bad sensory input. Stimming helps release intense emotions that I’m not able to regulate. It helps me feel my existence when I feel nothing at all and like I’m floating away. I don’t know any other simpler way of explaining it so I hope this made sense to you all.
It’s important to know that stimming is perfectly fine and you should never stop an autistic person from stimming unless it’s harmful. I would appreciate if my friends and family encourage my stims and don’t ever make it seem like it’s a problem. Me stimming doesn’t always mean there’s something wrong. As I said before, different stims can mean different things. I want to be able to move my body in a way I feel is necessary so I can navigate through this world effectively. I’ve suppressed my stims for way too long and now I’m easily burned out. It’s not healthy for an autistic person to suppress stims or any of their autistic traits.
In the merch section of this site, I have different shirts I created and one of them says “JUST KEEP STIMMING”. Head on over to place an order for one if you’re interested.