Reasonable Accommodations?

Rhi at Autnot recently wrote a wonderful post about the need for accessibility of autism services.

Along with the parts about being terrible at contacting people and balancing energy, these sentences in particular resonated with me and made me want to cry because I felt so understood and that’s been such a rare feeling for me throughout my life:

I worried that I didn’t deserve them if they did exist. I didn’t want resources that were needed elsewhere for the most basic of support, to be put towards making my liveable life less of a struggle.

In my comment, after thanking her for writing the post, I wrote this:

On a more basic/personal level, I’m still struggling with knowing when to even ask for accommodations. How do I actually know when it’s difficult enough for me to need them? I have no idea. I’m so used to struggling through it all that I often can’t determine what would help in the first place, let alone how/when it would be appropriate to ask for help.

The very thought of then, whenever I do figure those things out, having to contact someone to ask for those accommodations – the ones I’m still not even sure I deserve or need *need* NEED – is daunting, while I continue to flounder in other areas of my life.

Currently, I think that part of the problem in my case has to do with grief. Losing two loved (people) ones earlier this year and then both of our cats so abruptly in such a short period of time has taken a toll in many ways. Add to that the exhausting evaluation process and this has been a tough year in many ways.

Anyhow, on a wider scale, even accessible services and accommodations aren’t any good at all if one cannot determine which supports could be vitally important to one’s quality of life vs superfluous/overkill/unnecessary.

After all, I’m used to muscling through life until I crash and burn (usually on a much smaller scale nowadays as opposed to how I’d crash and burn when I was younger), then I rest/recover for a few days and start the cycle again. I often don’t know how I feel emotionally until the feelings become overwhelming and by then they’re so removed from the precipitating event(s) that it becomes difficult, even in retrospect, to pinpoint what would’ve helped, practically speaking, before the point at which I got overwhelmed.

At the most basic level of services, a good first step might be having someone to sit down with and help wade through the details of one’s life and figure out what would help the most in various situations. Seems as though a therapist might be able to help with that, which means that I might need to work through some unresolved issues from my past regarding therapists too.

After hearing back from a couple friends, I think it makes sense for now to continue looking for things that I can do myself (mainly things that facilitate the avoidance of sensory triggers) while I mentally tackle the hurdle of figuring out what else might help and then how/when to ask for those supports.

 

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