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AUTISTIC LINCS: We need to be diverse in showing love

This Sunday marks Valentine’s Day and with our world separating loved ones, keeping the pressure on those living together as well as fracturing the traditional dating scene of physically meeting people, we need to be diverse in our approach to showing love.

Rainbow Stars , the charity based in Sleaford (above), has revealed news that it will be getting a new sensory room and this is not only a fantastic resource for the local community but a reminder to us all of how to connect with our loved ones.

Not exclusive to autistic people, humans are complex sensory systems feeding and filtering information for us constantly, and yet it seems to only occur to us just how differently we can connect with others when we examine ‘others’ outside of our communication norms.

Rainbow Stars (44307432)
Rainbow Stars (44307432)

Gifts to our loved ones this and any other Sunday can be in so many forms.

Senses get overwhelmed and we cope in various ways. From merely covering our nose or ears if we want to protect our sensory systems to giving a tight hug to relieve spatial dysregulation.

With those in your bubble, those physical types of sensory relief and enrichment can still be employed, but for those of us far away from significant others/friends or feeling contained in a bubble fit to burst
under the pressure of COVID news and restrictions, we are primed to invent other ways to express ourselves.

Of course, hugs aren’t permitted between strangers but in this age of social distancing, we have never been closer.

Earphones for a bit of peace and quiet for autistic people are uber-beneficial.

Stim objects to fiddle with during times of anxiety.

Lights for visual delight and calm.

Personally created song playlists, videos and pictures are easily pinged across the universe offer those in need of some refuge and structure in confusing times.

Our love promotes self-love.

Self-love of their autistic being.

Instead of being a ‘problem child,’ we embrace the sensory needs but beyond that, we see the world as it is. A dense sensory canvas for us to paint on. Together.

We should not infantilise or invalidate those that are engaging in the sensory-rich bliss of flapping, squeezing a stress ball or chewing their sleeves, but embrace it.

The effect is unifying.

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