Do I Need Autism Services & Accommodations?

Do I need government services or special accommodations?

Yes and no. Having a diagnosis (and the assistance that comes with it) would have been handy for my therapy up to this point, college housing, etc. Most “services” that are available are for school-aged children, or for adults that are not able to be part of the workforce. I don’t fall into either category, so I don’t need (or qualify for) much in terms of benefits. Government aid will help me pay for continued therapy after I am on my own health insurance, and it provides me with services like having Georgie as a service animal.

In terms of day-to-day accommodations, my main issues (that can be helped through aid) are with sensory input. That means that sometimes lights are too bright (though stage lights have never bothered me), sounds are too loud, and smells are too… smelly. For example, I could ask a choreographer to turn the rehearsal track volume down a bit, or for a theatre company to cover fluorescent lights in a rehearsal space with inexpensive filters. The key is REASONABLE accommodation. I don’t need an employer to make me a calm corner with throw pillows and fairy lights (though that would be so cool), give me excessive breaks, or rewrite the script to remove any sudden loud noises like gunshots or shouting from the play we’re doing. I can handle myself to a pretty solid extent. The point of accommodation is asking for easy, cheap assistance that will help me function within my job(s) much more effectively!

I also use fidget toys to help keep myself on track. I was actually already using one pre-diagnosis: I brought thinking putty when I went to movies and shows, because I would get so antsy that I would bite my nails like crazy.

Now I have putty, a rubber rope that I can pull and twist, one of those tiny lava lamp things that is a timer (you know, the hourglass where the drops of lava fall to the bottom within a minute?), and a fidget DODECAHEDRON which means twelve whole sides of fidgety goodness! These tools help me stay calm when I am being sensorially overstimulated. I’m excited to learn about more aid I now have access to that will help me further!

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