Autism and Anxiety

Imagine living in a world where you can’t rely on your senses to give you accurate feedback because your brain misinterprets the information it receives and gives your body instructions based on this misinterpretation.

It feels like walking in the dark in an unfamiliar territory not knowing what dangers lurk in the darkness. Would it make you feel anxious? Now imagine living your whole life like this with the territory and dangers continually changing so that you are not able to predict them and protect yourself from them. Would you feel constantly anxious?

This is how many of us feel all day, every day, all our lives, and why we feel the need to be in control of our environment, and react unfavorably to loss of control over our environment. We may come across as control freaks, but all we are trying to do is create order in chaos and make our world a little more predictable so that we feel safer and not constantly on the verge of a freeze/fight/flight response.

Here are a few things that make us feel unsafe:
  • sudden changes
  • unexpected events
  • unfamiliar people, places, things
  • unknown situations
  • unpredictable circumstances

Here are a few things that help us feel safe:
  • routine
  • structure
  • schedule
  • planning
  • preparation

Here are a few things that you can do to help:
  • give us advance warning if there are going to be any changes in routine
  • equip us to handle sudden changes by introducing little changes in our routine and teaching us how to handle them
  • prepare us in advance when we are going to experience anything new and unfamiliar
  • give us clear and concise instructions to follow (through words and/or visuals) in unknown situations
  •  make checklists for us to refer to to make sure we have not missed anything



  1. This so well explained...sharing it on my page with the hope it reaches more people


Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post