Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year for many people with autistic spectrum disorders. The combination of sensory exposure and social exposure can lead to sensory and emotional overload, often without the usual safe spaces to go and decompress because there are so many people present in the house. Equally, Christmas can be an opportunity to travel though some well-rehearsed and pleasing rituals with beautiful sensory experiences. I hate and love Christmas in equal measure.
Most people find it hard to settle down to work, especially a new task that begins with a blank page or pile of materials. Some of us rush out and buy a brand-new set of pencils, brushes or whatever tools in the hope that the thrill of opening some lovely, new toy will into a thrill for the job in hand. The reality is that work is often work — and if you have a job that is play, that is absolutely wonderful. (Some of the best work I do is play, where my interests and my work are exactly the same thing, so nothing holds me back from starting and keeping going). Mostly, though, work takes effort.
These are some of my techniques to create a space in which work is easier and more productive. Although I am talking about writing, because most of my time is spent putting words into documents, the techniques might be applicable to all kinds of other work leisure.
This post was stimulated by watching and discussion about “My Curious Documentary” on BBC One, which will remain available on the BBC iPlayer for a while at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06phq27/imagine-autumn-2015-3-my-curious-documentary. The makers describe the documentary as follows: “This feature documentary uses the highly successful stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to frame a cinematic exploration of being on the autistic spectrum.”
Sonia Boué presents an alternative take on the documentary and labelling in fiction, which is an essential counterpoint at “The Curious Incident of the Documentary in the Nighttime: An Apologia for the Autistic Label in a Work of Fiction.”