Neurodivergent Rebel’s Autistic Solo Travel – Autism at Work – Austin to Florida

Part one of 2! Stay tuned for more!!!!

Transcript

[Intro music]

 

Speaker 1: Hey guys, it is– what is it? Wednesday. I am– I’m packing for Autism at Work in Florida. I need to leave home tomorrow at 5:00 a.m. so that I can get to the airport by 6:00 a.m. so that I can get where I need to go and have no anxiety about getting to my gate in time for my 8:00 a.m. flight. I am always really anxious before travel. I have already predicted that I will probably not be sleeping tonight. I’m supposed to get up at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. Anyway so, I’m gonna try to go to bed early, but that’s not– it’s not my normal routine. It’s not my normal schedule I’m gonna struggle with getting enough sleep today so maybe I’ll sleep in the plane.

 

So, I’ve got my bag packed here I’m gonna be– I’m not– I don’t want to check a bag. I have a really close connecting flight so I’m just gonna be taking that bag. And this backpack because you can carry on two bags. So those are my carry-ons. I will not be checking a bag. I will travel really light. I am only going to be in Florida for three days. So hopefully I can survive for three days.

 

I’m not, actually, I don’t need a lot of things and a lot of stuff. I don’t need a lot of clothes. So I actually don’t have– I’m not too worried about traveling light. I think it’s gonna be fine. Um, yeah, fine. I’m really excited about going to Florida for Autism At Work. I will be– hopefully getting to sit down and chat with some people that I have had conversations with over the internet over the years but never had the pleasure of meeting in person. I will be at the conference Thursday, Friday and Saturday and I fly in Thursday and I fly out Saturday, it is gonna be a whirlwind and I will probably be an incoherent babbling mess by the end of it, but it’s gonna be worth it and it’s gonna be so awesome. Guys, I’m really thrilled to take you with me on this journey too.

 

4:30 a.m., way too early to o’clock and um, not a weekend, glad. Time to get ready, time to get ready to go to the airport. David’s going to drive me which is great which means I don’t have to actually as early ’cause he won’t get lost. Even though I’ve been to the airport many times, I will. So that makes it easier. Time to get dressed.

 

[Music playing]

 

[Inside the car]

 

David: You said Delta?

 

Speaker 1: Yeah.

 

David: I do not know where Delta is.

 

Speaker 1: Me neither, that’s why it’s like, “Ah, I don’t like new airlines ’cause I don’t know what’s going on.” I’m not familiar. This guy’s confused too– I know buddy. I feel you, buddy. I don’t know what to do either. Look, this guy says. Where do we go? This is so confusing. Where this guy supposed to go? So confusing. Hi.

 

Man: You’re dropping off?

 

Speaker 1: Yes. Delta.
David: Yeah, we–

 

Man: Please do me a favor all the way to the very end that way gives you a quick out.

 

David: Not a problem. I appreciate it.

 

Speaker 1: Yes, sir. Thank you.

 

David: Shit, we got up there.

 

Speaker 1: That’s okay.

 

David: Delta?

 

Speaker 1: That’s why I want to be early I have time to figure shit out, you know?

 

David: Delta, there it is.

 

Speaker 1: Okay, that’s great.

 

David: I got you. I help you at the very end. We’re good.

 

Speaker 1: Great.

 

[Airport]

 

Speaker 1: I’m here. I have to go where I’m going now. Maybe this is where I need to go. It’s just the airport. I don’t know where I’m going. I’m a disaster. I’m off Delta. Okay, this might be where I’m going. This is where I’m going.

 

[Inside the airport]

 

Speaker 1: Okay. Gonna find the Delta Terminal. I made it through security. That’s always a good accomplishment ’cause I look like a weirdo. So, yeah. Oh, I smell coffee that sounds like a good idea. Real coffee? Maybe I shouldn’t have caffeine it amps up my anxiety. I don’t know. But I love coffee. Oh, really that’s coffee. I need to at least find out where my– thing is. Hang on. I gotta look at my– I gotta look at my ticket. I got to pull over. I got to pull over. Pullover. Pullover. Okay.

 

Gate 9, 12. Down that way and the time is– what time is it? Something– 6:26. My depart– My boarding is 7:20. I’ve got an hour. I’m going to find out where I need to be so I know. Wait, is that right now?

 

[Making sounds]

 

Speaker 1: I don’t know. I have a lot of tickets. I have two tickets. Okay. The guy explained this to me earlier. I was– I went up to the, to the health counter and I was like I’m confused. I don’t know where I need to be. Do I need to show you this? And at first, he was kind of impatient with me. He’s like, “It’s 6:00 a.m., honey. It’s kind of early for all this. What– Spit it out.” And I’m like, “I’m sorry, I’m too sick.” And I looked– assistance and I just want to make sure that when I get to Atlanta, there’s going to be someone to make sure I can find where I need to be. And then all of a sudden, he got really nice. And then he explained everything and pointed me where I need to be. And told me where my terminal. Told me I’m going in that direction. Basically, which– it was little way down. I know I’m going now, but then he got a lot nicer. But I don’t know he should be nice to anyone who’s confused. But I’m really glad he was nice to me. Once he figured out I was needing some help. It is interesting, but then also you start talking to me like a child, so I’m not gonna go into that. He talked to me slow enough to where I could really kind of process it all so it is what it is, you win some, you lose some.

 

I’m walking around the airport and I just found something really funny. Toyjoy. It is a toy store in a box. I’m gonna go and check out the toy store, y’all. It’s awesome. Aw, look at all the cute things. How fun. Aw, what a cute thing. And they have candies and llamas.

 

Wanna see what I’ve got? It’s a squishy Hello Kitty Hamburger. I am so excited about this.

 

[laughs]

 

Ooh, so squishy.

 

[Airport Announcement]

 

Speaker 1: So decided I shouldn’t have coffee or caffeine. We don’t need to get amped up before I go on a flight. But I’m gonna go look for smoothies, and something that will nourish me since it’s too early to eat food, but I really should have nutrition because I am gonna be in the air for a while. I probably won’t have a chance when I land in Atlanta either. So, okay, now that I know where I’m going, I think I’m all right. I think. Oh, I smell eggs but, actually can’t eat eggs. It actually smells good and bad all at the same time. Sensory stuff is weird. Like it’s like I smelled it and I wanted to eat it and I simultaneously wanted to throw up. Why? That’s why I can’t eat eggs. I have to cover them on salsa or cheese so they don’t taste like eggs, so I can eat them. I used to like eggs. Now it makes me puke. Hey, gonna find smoothies. Other end.

 

Oh, coffee. No. I do not need coffee. I keep saying coffee, going, “Oh, coffee, coffee.” You don’t need coffee. All right, the smoothie shop is on the other side of the airport. Our airport is not that big though, but we don’t have any of those fast walkways. The guy that talked to me like I was 5, he is trying to be helpful. Um, it’s like, “Oh, they have to fast walkways.” Yeah, I actually got excited about that. Embarrassingly excited, I go, “Yeah, I love those, hee hee hee.” Such a dork. But I love those things. I could use one right now. My arm is tired for holding up my phone, it’s so heavy.

 

Healthy food. Mad Greens. Juice Land. That’s my smoothie. Smoothie. So we order. Okay, I gotta figure out what I want. I gotta, I gotta put this out.

 

[Drinking smoothie]

 

Speaker 1: Oh, my God. I’m gonna get juice stop. Juice me. Okay, let’s see if I can vlog and hold a juice and roll the bag. This is precarious. I’m gonna drop something.

 

[Airport announcement]

 

Speaker 1: No. Not me.

 

[Airport announcement]

 

Speaker 1: Blah, blah, blah. What was I saying? I was saying something I don’t remember anymore. It’s been too long. Goldfish brain. What was I gonna say? I literally don’t know. I literally don’t know what I was gonna say now. I’m sorry, maybe I’ll remember if I turn the camera off.

 

[Open camera]

 

Speaker 1: I literally have no idea what I was gonna say but I need to walk all the way back over there now because I just walked probably halfway across the airport or more to get my smoothie. And it was totally worth it. Like without a question it was so good. They’re my favorite local smoothie shop. Austin, everything here in the airports local. Oh, I love the song.

 

[Singing]

 

Speaker 1: Oh, here we are.

 

Airport Announcement: All right. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, my name is Orlando and I’ll be assisting as we’re traveling this Air Flight. We’d like to welcome to Delta flight number 2774 direct services to Atlanta.

 

Speaker 1: That’s me. Okay, well, it looks like I got here just in time.

 

Airport Announcement: Main cabin two passengers you are welcome to start forming a line on the general boarding lane.

 

Speaker 1: That’s me. Oh, boy. Got the bus– back of the line.

 

[Airport announcement]

 

Speaker 1: Lane 2, way back here.

 

[Airport announcement]

 

Speaker 1: Wow.

 

[Inside the airplane]

 

Airplane Reminders: As we leave the gate, make sure you’re seatbelt is fastened. To fasten insert the metal tip into the buckle and adjust the strap so it’s low and tight across your lap. To release the belt, just lift the top of the buckle. Please remain seated with your seat belt securely fastened anytime the seat belts sign is on, and even if the sign is off, please keep your seatbelt fastened in case we experience unexpected stuff.

 

Speaker 1: It smells like jet fuel.

 

[Music playing]

 

Speaker 1: My anxiety is really rising right now. There is no one who helped me when I got off the plane.

 

[Airport announcement]

 

Speaker 1: I do not know if I am going in the right direction but my plane is already boarding by the time we landed. My plane is boarding for 5 minutes already. I panic.

 

[music playing]

 

Speaker 1: I made it just in time. Oh, my gosh. I can’t. I only cried a little. I need to pee really bad. I am just this close on peeing my pants. I am not even joking you. I needed to pee on the airplane and they turned on “fastened your seatbelt” sign and I’m like, “No, I need to pee.” And then like an hour earlier, I got off the plane and I still have to pee. And it’s been half an hour now.

 

[music playing]

 

[Airport announcement]

 

Speaker 1: Okay, it’s actually cold in here. I literally have to stop and put my jacket on. I got my active noise-canceling headphones on. Really saving my life but this airport is so quiet compared to all the other airports I’ve been in so far. Oh, I got my jacket.

 

[Wore the jacket]

 

Speaker 1: Okay, I am warm now. Now I need to find the exit. I see a sign that says ‘Exit’ and then I have to get an Uber pool– Uber pool. That’s not the way I go.

 

[Exit]

 

Speaker 1: Feeling a lot less stress now that I’m not trying to like– the next place I have to be is at 5:00 p.m. which is like four or five hours from now. My hotel is about a half-hour away. So I’m officially in the no stress mode now. Yes. Yeah. Need to get out of here.

 

[outside the airport]

 

Speaker 1: You know, I don’t know if it’s raining or not because it doesn’t say anything about rideshare just a taxi– Hi, where are the rideshare like uber and stuff?

 

Woman: It is just outside.

 

Speaker 1: Thank you so much. So, it’s just straight this way?

 

Woman: Around the block.

 

Speaker 1: Thank you. Okay, I found my answer. That’s really good.

 

[walking]

 

Speaker 1: 1966 Batmobile. That’s pretty freakin’ sweet. Except its only half of the Batmobile. Really cool. Really cool. Okay, going this way.

 

[outside]

 

Speaker 1: All right, I need to call my rideshare now so, let me stop recording and do that so I can go now to my place.

 

[music playing]

 

Speaker 1: All right. That’s the hotel. So, it’s right across the street. I know where I am going now. Hopefully, I could check-in to my room we’ll see. It’s probably the question. It’s raining. Oh, my god, it just smells like food. I hope there’s stuff here. I am hungry.

 

[inside the hotel]

 

Speaker 1: So, the room is not ready. Check-in is 4:00 p.m. My event starts at 5:00 p.m. It’s almost 3:00 p.m. I feel a little nervous. I’m not going to the event like this and I smell bad from like sprinting my ass across the airport. I’m gross.

 

[hotel room]

 

Speaker 1: I finally got my room. It’s after four which is after check-in and I went up inside to look. “I have somewhere I have to be in less than an hour. And if you don’t get me a room right now, I’m literally going to shower in your lobby restroom.”

 

[crickets]

 

[laughter]

 

Speaker 1: And then she got me a room. I just told her this is what’s gonna happen. So here we are. Let me show you. This is a nice suite here. So this is like the living room and the bedroom. TVs on both sides and I have a patio. I don’t know how to open it so I could go outside and I could see the pool or whatever that is- fountain? But I don’t have time to enjoy this right now or rest. I need to clean myself up and get changed.

 

[outside the hotel]

 

Speaker 1: So I think the thing starts in like a few minutes. Assuming about a 15-minute drive. Assuming the last uber driver was right.

 

[event]

 

[speaker speaking]

 

[Back in the hotel]

 

Speaker 1: All right, I’m back here in my room now. Hi. I got invited out to dinner. And I wimped out because it’s like 10 something right now the clock is backward because the phone is way past my bedtime. On a day I didn’t get up at 4:00 a.m. So I decided to come back to the room because I’m a wimp and I have an early morning in the morning and I have to fix my calendar because my time zone is all wrong in all of my events since I landed in Florida, I’ve been an hour late. And that’s going to annoy me tomorrow because I’m going to be depending on my visual schedule to get me where I need to be on time. So I guess, I am going to open my laptop. Goodnight guys, I’ll see you tomorrow.

 

[end]

 

Autistic Self Care – Weighted Blanket Relaxation & Anxiety Relief

 

 

Transcription

I’m here on the couch under this weighted blanket. I am just taking maybe 10 to 15 minutes to just unwind and decompress. I have been in very stimulating environments frequently, and for prolonged periods of time fairly often recently, and I’m feeling a bit overstimulated.

It’s like too much energy is in my body; it feels horrible. And so, engaging in soothing activities is one way I regulate, so this is me taking a break and trying to slow my body down manually.

So, I’m going to lay here and close my eyes, and just take some deep breaths. Kinda like ya know, almost like meditation, in a way. Just make effort to calm and soothe myself.

Do you have any calming and soothing routines or rituals that you use to help unwind and slow yourself down if you find yourself moving a bit too quickly?

Let me know, because these strategies – we can always use more of them. Thank you, guys. I’ll talk to you next time.

An Autistic Stimming – Flying Glitter Discs

Transcription

Hi!  So, continuing in my fun stim series I’ve been doing, I have some new fun and exciting stim tools.

So, these are Frisbees that David and I picked up at the dollar store for three dollars each, and they’re beautiful and glittery and light and fun, and you can just kind of keep them, you know, here and …

They are, of course, that change the pattern flippy glitter that everybody loves this stuff.  I’m so excited that this stuff is everywhere.  Where was this in my childhood?  This stuff is so cool.  And this one has a really smooth feeling, like I just need to rub it.

It’s smooth.  This fabric is really smooth.  Sometimes I like to rub smooth things on my face, and this one – the sequins are so small and packed together so tightly, if actually feels really good on my fingers.

David pointed this out, that this one doesn’t feel the same.  This one, I think, is beautiful.  This one is my favorite.  I like – visually, this is just gorgeous.  How do I do it?  Oh, this way.  It’s so cool.  It’s just … is that not just awesome?

I think this one is so pretty.  I think it’s gorgeous.  Bye-bye.  Hello.  But this one is really scratchy on your hand.  But, isn’t that just so pretty?

So, I mean, have you ever seen this glittery stuff?  I think it’s all over pillows and so many, many things right now.  It’s really popular.  I’ve seen backpacks and purses.  I’ve seen a lot of stuff with this glitter.

Do you like this or does it bug you?  Some people don’t like it.  I love it.  Alrighty guys, I’ll talk to you next week.  Bye.

An Autistic Visually Stimming

 

Transcript

Hi everyone!  So, I’ve been doing a series where I talk about stimming and shared some stims of mine.

This stim – I want to talk about visual stimming, and this is a stim that I have had (or this specific stim tool) since I was probably … I don’t even know.  I may have been in diapers still when I got this.

I’ve had this since I was a very small child, and it is a – well, what I call … my family called it … It was my magic dream wand, because I would sit in bed and just do this and watch the glitter fall until I was calm enough to fall asleep.  Because I was stimming and relaxing my mind at the end of the day by just watching the glitter fall.

It’s like visual ASMR, I guess.  You know how people say ASMR gives you a relaxing, pleasant sensation that helps you go to bed?  I watch slime videos and glitter videos and visual stim videos before bed, almost every day on Instagram, and it’s how I fall asleep.

Visual stimming is just something I’ve always done, and this is something I’ve had, like I said, for a very, very long time.  I love this thing, and it’s actually like, messed up on the top from me chewing on it when I was little.  “What’s up, Doc?”  That’s not what this is for.

Do you have any … have you ever had one of these?  I think a lot of us had these as kids.  Let me know if you had one too, and if you loved it as much as I love mine.  I’ll talk to you guys next time.

An Autistic Stimming – Why ANYTHING Can be a Stim Tool

Transcription

Continuing in my stimming series, stimming with regular, everyday objects. Because, before I was diagnosed autistic, I didn’t have stim tools or “stim toys.” I mostly would just pick up things and naturally stim with them.

So, this is a phone cord that I have made into a loop. Look! A primitive fidget spinner! Or like, if I would have a necklace, I might do something like this with the jewelry, just very naturally.

I do a lot of things with my hands. Jewelry – anything with jewelry. Just, anything I naturally find around me, my hands will just pick up and automatically turn into a stim because I’m just naturally always in motion, unless I’m fighting myself to stop. Everything … anything … can be a stim toy. Seriously.

Let me know. Do you pick up random objects and stim with them? Just anything and everything? I do. Let me know in the comments below what are you favourite household objects to stim with?

I’ll talk to you guys next week. Bye!

An Autistic Stimming with Ice Pops – do you LOVE them or HATE them?

Transcription

 

I really love popsicles because they are so crunchy and cold.

I like things I can chew on, so I don’t like my popsicles when they start to get melty.

I also like things that have a lot of flavor.  This is just one of my favorite sensory things here, is a nice icy pop.

Do you like icy pops?  Who doesn’t like icy pops, right?  Do you like these things?  I love them!  Let me know.

An Autistic Stimming – Stimmy Hair Toy

 

Transcription

I’m going to share with you something from my childhood here.

This is this really awesome metal doohickey I have had since I was, ooh, probably in my early teens… maybe a pre-teen.

And when I had hair – I used to have long hair, I have thick hair – I would put my hair in a bun, and then I would actually put this little ball on top of my bun on my head.

Pop on my little bun, and I would do my hair, like pop this out and put my hair through it so I could take it with me because I really liked it, and I liked carrying it around.

It was one of my favorite things, and I still have it.  I still like it.  It’s still fun.

 

An Autistic Stimming – Stimmy Liquid Sand Phone Case

 

 

Transcript

Hey guys.  So, I want to show you something really fun.

This was like, six or seven dollars at Walmart, and I love it.

It is a liquid sand filled phone case, and I need a phone case because I drop my phone a lot because I’m clumsy.

And I like that it was really affordable.  I’m always a girl who loves a budget; I’m always on a budget.

And then I discovered also what’s really exciting about this is the sand glows in the dark.  This is the best.

An Autistic Perspective – Stimming & Masking

Back from summer break!!!

Transcript 

Hi everyone.  NeuroRebel here, and I was diagnosed autistic before turning 30.  That means I went almost 30 years of my life not knowing I was autistic, and one of the big “a-ha” moments for me when I discovered I was autistic was learning about stimming.

For those of you who are new to my channel, stimming is just one of the ways that autistic people express and regulate energy and emotions.

For example, when I experience a very intense emotion, maybe extreme joy or startle or fear, those emotions are often seen in my hands as movement.  Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy.

Or I naturally, like right now as I’m thinking, I’m rocking back and forth, and I’m moving.  And when I allow myself to go with the natural ebb and flow of my energy, I am always in motion and talking with my hands, and many other things.  So that is one thing that stimming is.

Also, stimming can be certain types of behaviors that we engage in intentionally to soothe the senses and to regulate energy.

For example, I have these wonderful scented pens, and I like to smell them.  They smell really good, and sniffing something yummy is a stim.  Drawing and coloring, for me, is a stim.  I would say enjoying fun visual … things that are visually pleasurable is a stim.  (This is stuck because it’s been sitting still.)

But there are many other things that can be stims for when you’re intentionally stimming, because a lot of autistic people have realized that stimming is really great, and now even non-autistic people are starting to realize that stimming is really great.  But, autistic people, we need to stim.  And we really, naturally, engage in stimming behaviors.

And so, the other part of stimming that doesn’t get enough discussion is masking.

And because autistic people are often constantly told “Sit still, be still, quit fidgeting,” some of our stims are more obvious sometimes, or are considered “obnoxious” by other people, or noisy or disruptive, may be put away in favor of stims that are less disruptive to the people around you.

So, like, squeezing my fingers, or I might clench my jaws.  Typically, when I do things that are less obnoxious to other people, it might be like scratching at myself or holding myself tightly, or holding myself tense, or biting the inside of my mouth.

Those stims that I do when I’m trying to be quiet and still, and not disruptive, tend to actually be stims that aren’t very good for me, like ripping off my fingernails, and things that hurt.  So, it’s much better to let my body just stim naturally.

So, let me know.  I talked a little bit about stim suppression last week, and tell me about your stims this week.  Alright guys, thank you so much.  I’ll talk to you later.  Bye!

Autistic Stimming – My First Chewy Necklace

I LOVE this chewy necklace from Stimtastic.co – this is not a sponsored advertisement.

I ordered this, paid $3.00 USD (plus shipping) for it, and love it. Today I ordered another one in Peacock!

 

Transcription (thanks Kara!!!) 

Hi guys!  So, this week, I wanted to share something with you that’s really new to me.  I recently got from StimTastic (stimtastic.co) this awesome piece of chewable jewelry that you see me wearing here right now.  And it’s just this little – I assume it’s a silicone – feather, and I put it on a chain that I already had because I really like this smooth, silky chain.

And no, it didn’t irritate my skin, but it came on a little cloth lanyard.  But it’s just a little chewy that you can wear, and when I take this out of my mouth, it doesn’t look like something for teething.  (Because it’s kind of an adult pacifier, basically, right?)

But let me tell you about why this is great for me.  Personally, I have always had the habit of (yeah, it’s got slobber on it … mmmm, slobbery!)  So, I’ve always had a habit of – when I’m focusing really hard or when I’m thinking about something – I bite my lips inside, and I chew on my mouth, and I bite my tongue, and I’m licking and licking and licking my lips, and I’m doing a lot of things with my mouth that are really, really destructive for my mouth.  For a while I tried gum, and a lot of gum has aspartamine or aspartame in it, and for me personally, that particular ingredient irritates my digestive system, gives me gas, and I also am prone to migraines, and that’s something that triggers migraines for me.

So gum, because of that, is not really good for me, and the gum that doesn’t have that in there is really expensive, so not cost-effective.  And then I did a lot of candy and mints and things for a while, and then I was just eating a bunch of extra calories, and the candy and the sugar was not great for my teeth.

So, without doing all of those things, the other habit I happen to do that’s really destructive is I will like, clench my jaws.  So, I will clench my jaws just like tight, tight, tight, giving myself migraines from clenching so hard.  This little feather here – I’ve had it only for a few days already – but, it’s when I realize (I have to notice I’m doing it first, because a lot of the stuff is really unconscious).

But when I realize I’m chewing or doing something with my mouth, I just plop a little feather in my mouth.  And now I’m engaging in a behaviour that is better for my health.  I’m a little self-conscious, I need to admit, that I am an adult chewing on something, but I’m going to get over that because this is just so much better for me than biting holes in my lips and mouth.

So, let me know – have you ever tried chewable jewelry?  Let me know your favourite chewable jewelry because I’m into this – I’m so into this that I think I’m going to want to build up a chewable jewelry collection.

Alright guys, I’ll talk to you next week.  Bye!