Ever wondered why some autistics prefer to eat at the same place or order the same meal EVERY time?

For me several factors apply

My family always choose to eat at the Coffee Club.

The lay out is the same, the menu is the same and their ordering system is the same. You can find a franchise in any location throughout Australia.

Basically, it’s predictable.

Ordering something new at times can be overwhelming.

Sometimes the smell is overwhelming or the texture triggers a gag reflex.

But what is overwhelming for me is what if I order something different and it isn’t how I visualised it to be in my head or it looks nothing like it did in the picture

I then have to overcome the massive emotional feeling of disappointment.

The feeling of disappointment is a huge beast to battle and get under control.

To fuel this emotional struggle even more with, what if it tastes horrible.

What if someone else paid for it?

I don’t want to offended them by not eating it

But I don’t want to go hungry either.

Sometimes I am in burn out mode and making a decision on food choices just is far to challenging for me at that moment.

Sometimes having the same food or the same location is an anchor, something familiar, giving me the emotional balance for example, meeting new people.

My brother eats the same food at the Coffee Club because he relates that particular food to happy , together family time.

I would love to hear other autistics perspectives on this topic , please share below so we can help others understand .

Summer

* This post is from my own personal perspective, not all autistics will have the same experience *

Published by Autistic Perspectives

__________ Summer Farrelly is 15-year-old Autistic Advocate, Public speaker, Inclusion & Education Consultant, Artist, Chicken Whisperer, Animal Assisted Learning Program Creator & Facilitator , Animal Therapies LTD Ambassador and The A List Ambassador. A daughter of a late diagnosed autistic mother and a sister of two autistic brothers. Summer believes her lived experience as an autistic individual and living within a family that consists of multiple autistic members, each with their own complexities, will provide both a relatable and diverse perspective For the last 5 years Summer has been sharing her personal insight and the benefits of human and animal connection. Often stepping out of her comfort zone sharing vulnerable, raw, and real moments of life challenges faced by young autistic teens in hope to educate and inspire others. Summer has become a recognised and valued contributor within the Animal Assisted Learning and Therapy platforms. Summer’s connection with animals has provided her with the strength needed to navigate life as an autistic teen who faces daily challenges of self-harm, ADD, PTSD, anxiety, Reactive depression, and Dyslexia. Summer’s journey is about understanding herself emotionally through their connection with animals more importantly this journey is about understanding herself and practicing self-care. About Animal Assisted Learning Program ‘Chickens to Love’ Summer developed Animal Assisted Learning Program Chickens to Love for Autistic and other Neurodivergent people (this includes anyone who may be ADHD, ADD, ABI or anyone whose brain is not considered “typical”). I created Chickens to Love as an inclusive program, to benefit everyone and include everyone, because neurodiversity is part of biodiversity. We all can benefit from understanding ourselves, our emotions, and the perspectives of others. Our communities must understand and learn the importance of a deeper level of compassion, empathy, and acceptance of differences. Neurodivergent people, are often encouraged or forced to fit in to everyone else’s way of seeing the world. The Cultivation of self-esteem in ones self-starts with self-love, self-acceptance and having the ability to embrace one’s true authentic self. Chickens to Love is designed from a neurodivergent and animal (Chicken) perspective to better understand social dynamics, emotions (ours and other people’s), other people’s perspectives, consent, respectful touch, resilience, self-acceptance, empowerment and how to self-advocate. Animals can change our lives. Never underestimate the power of them!

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