A debilitating, invisible feeling that any of us get when we feel stressed, under pressure, nervous or scared.
Anxiety is SO underestimated and is one of the most misunderstood parts of Autism in my opinion.
Managing and being aware of how my sons anxiety levels are seems to be a thread that runs throughout everything we do.
It can be affected by so many things- tiredness, environment, the weather, what’s being asked of him that day, transitions, certain noises, textures and situations.
This picture perfectly describes one of Charlies own little strategies to release his anxiety – he felt a bit sensitive and anxious before bed and so he asked for “teddies in a circle” – teddies because they are a comfort, a circle because it’s reassuringly predictable for his black and white mind and gives him a sense of safety and security being surrounded by them.
So much of managing anxiety is linked to Charlies sensory needs. He does the “fruit jobs” at school, delivering the fruit basket to each classroom – “heavy work” that helps him to feel grounded and focussed.
Big cuddles and piggy backs are often a favourite- the feeling of closeness and pressure can help him to feel calm- I know I get funny looks piggy backing him to school – but quite frankly it works for us so there you are!
We are learning and growing all the time and both myself and Charlie are getting so much better at noticing what will trigger anxiety and how is best to manage it. We don’t always get it right though, so your support is always gratefully received.