Loud Hands: Avoiding Autistic Shutdown and Sensory Overload

Normally on a Tuesday, I’d be posting about crafts, fashion and DIY, but surprise–April is Autism Awareness Month! I’ve decided to post more “Loud Hands” series throughout this month for two reasons: 1. it will help me integrate my former blog onto here and 2. it will spread awareness and acceptance. April is a hard month for many autistic folks. There is lots of ableist rhetoric floating around, and I’d like my blog to be a safe space where they can avoid that.

Let’s take a look: what is autistic shutdown? It’s basically the autistic version of getting no sleep and not enough nutrition or water for several days. You know how you feel when you’re running on 3 hours of sleep for work, you didn’t take the time to eat breakfast or drink a glass of water, and you’ve already been sleep deprived for weeks? You don’t remember things. Where do you usually park? Who knows. Was that big project due today to my supervisor? Who knows. Maybe. You forget things. You’re unable to concentrate. Lights seem brighter and you can feel your eyes closing; your body wants to shut down.

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Fashion with a Heart: Wearing to Support Non-Profits and Social Justice Organizations

There’s only one thing I’m more passionate about than the arts – and that’s helping others. Whether it’s through donating my time or my money, I love non-profit, service work and social justice organizations that are dedicated to helping someone else. (Even if – okay, especially if, that someone is furry.)

I remember when my obsession with helping people and animals really began. I was eight at the time, and I found a local cat outside who looked hurt. His ear was bleeding, and he was scared. I suspected that his owners – my neighbor – abused him, so I coaxed him into my arms and snuck him into my house.

When my mom found me with the black-and-white ragamuffin a couple hours later, it warmed her heart that I cared so much – but she told me that we had to return the cat to its home. Fortunately, several weeks later, the wife showed up on our doorstep holding the poor cat. “Can you guys take him in, please? My husband says he’s going to drive down the highway and drop him off on the side of the road if I can’t get anyone to take him in.” The cat looked worse than before, and we instantly said yes.

We nursed our new cat, Drew, back to health and kept him safe. He was always afraid of certain things, like yelling and people raising their fists, but I was just glad that we could help him. Because of this, my love for helping animals and people alike was born.

These days, I’m known by those around me for my writing, my fashion sense, and the way that everything I do is really colorful and sparkly. Only the people who have actually spoken to me know how much I still care about helping non-profits. But the absolute best thing is when I can have the best of both – when my fashion and crafts can also be supporting causes that I care about.

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