How I use Habitica to manage my executive function

One thing that is difficult for many autistic people, including me, is executive function. If you don’t know what that is, check out this post by another autistic person. I have an extremely difficult time managing my life and doing basic things like feeding myself and remembering to do important chores. My executive functioning skills are even worse than usual when I have migraines, which is a lot of the time. Using the app Habitica really helps me so I am going to give you some tips for using it optimally in case you are interested.

sample screenshot from Habitica Here is a random Habitica screenshot I pulled off the Internet.

Habitica is a tool that turns your life into a role-playing game. It can be accessed at https://www.habitica.com and there is also a mobile version for both iOS and Android. I have the phone app but I also use the website on my laptop. The basic idea is that you create a character and earn XP and gold for doing things you need to do. There are three sections to the “tasks” section of Habitica: Habits, Dailies, To-dos, and Rewards. I’ll start by explaining habits.

Habits are at the far left of the screen. It is easy to see them in the web version. If you are using the mobile version, you can only see one section at a time and may need to swipe left to get to the “Habits” section. To add a habit on the web version of Habitica, type in the bar under “Habits” and click the plus sign. On the mobile version, there should be a plus sign that you can access no matter which screen you are on. If you can’t see it, try scrolling up and down a bit until it appears. When you tap the plus sign, you have the options of “New habit”, “New daily”, “New to-do” or “New Reward”. You can click on whichever one of those you want to create and then type it in. Habits will have a plus and minus. The idea is that if you do the good habit you click on the plus sign and if it’s a bad habit you click on the minus sign. However, I usually disable the negative habits because of anxiety about being “bad” and strong tendencies toward self harm. If you have similar issues, especially if you are a survivor of emotional abuse, you may want to try disabling negative habits. This can be done by clicking on the “edit” icon of the habit, which looks like a little pencil, in the web app and then finding the plus and minus symbols and clicking on the minus symbol to deactivate. In the mobile app, click on the habit (but NOT the plus or minus sign, click on the text area of the “habit” box) and that will take you to the editing screen. Note: habits start out yellow when first created, but turn green and then blue if you do them a lot, or orange and then red if you don’t or if you get the negatives. Dailies do the same thing. However, habits turn back to yellow every day if you disable negatives or disable positives, so if you do this, don’t be alarmed if your habit won’t turn green. It doesn’t mean you’re not doing it. A lot of my habits are self care stuff. I have one for “eat a piece of fruit”, “eat vegetables”, “drink water”, and “exercise”. I also have “write” and “work on knitting” as habits because it is good for my brain if I engage in a variety of activities and do productive things. I also have things I want to do every day that other people might have on “dailies”. The problem for me is, Habitica has an option to “rest in the inn” which stops you from taking damage for missed dailies. I used to rest in the inn every time I had a migraine and I would just not use Habitica and I didn’t even start again when the migraine was over. I had to radically change the way I used Habitica in order to be able to use it even during a migraine. So now my only “dailies” are basic self care stuff like eating every meal and doing important chores like cleaning the cat litter box, and I have things like “Spanish lesson” (I use Duolingo) and “coding lesson” (Codeacademy) under Habits. Not Dailies. Anyway, I’m just trying to give you ideas for what sort of thing to put under “Habits”. It can be anything; the app is very flexible.

To the right of the “Habits” tab is the “Dailies” tab. Adding a daily is similar to adding a habit, only there is no positive/negative feature. In the “edit” function, you can edit a daily to repeat every day (most of my dailies are like this) or only on certain days of the week (a feature I just discovered). For instance, if you want a daily to only repeat once a week, say every Tuesday for instance, click on the “edit” pencil button on the web version or the text part (not the checkmark) to edit on the mobile version. Then on the section where it says “repeat every . . .” it will have by default all seven days of the week. If you want to only have to do the daily on Tuesdays, click on every day of the week EXCEPT Tuesday to deactivate them. It also works if you want to do something twice a week, three times a week, or every day but have one day a week off, or weekends off.

There is a box to the left of the text on each daily. Click on it once you have done the thing and the box will have a check mark and the daily will turn gray. If you do it consistently every day, the color of the box will go from yellow to green and then blue, or if you don’t do it, I suppose to orange and then red. If you do not do a daily by midnight, you will lose a small amount of health. Checking off a daily grants XP, a small amount of gold, and often, a random item such as an egg, hatching potion, or food. An egg can be hatched into a particular color of pet with that color of hatching potion, and food is fed to a pet to turn it into a mount your game avatar can ride. Gold can be used to buy better equipment for your avatar, a health potion to restore lost health from missing dailies, or a custom reward you can set under “Rewards”. If you are doing a quest, the monster in the quest will inflict additional damage for missed dailies and if you are in a multiplayer party, it will also inflict damage on the other members of the party. When you are first getting started with adding your dailies, the most recently added one will be on the top of the list. You can move them by dragging, which is easiest in the web version of the app. I like to have my dailies in order of the time of day I do them. Tip: I have trouble remembering to check off the dailies I do right before bed. So I changed the evening ones to stuff like, for instance, “brushed teeth last night”. Then I check it off the next morning. Also, make sure Habitica has the right time zone for you. Otherwise, there is no telling when your dailies reset, and if their “midnight” is the middle of the day for you, then you could be taking damage for stuff you were going to do before the day is over.

To-dos are brilliant for keeping track of projects and other one-time things that need doing, such as changing out the batteries in an appliance or some other chore that doesn’t need to be done very often. I put anything I intend to do that I don’t want to forget about under “to-dos”. To-dos can be set to have a due date, or not.

Habits, dailies, and to-dos all can be set in the “edit” thing to “easy”, “medium” or “hard”. If you don’t edit it will default to “easy”. The harder a task is, the more rewards you will get for doing it, but the more damage you will take for not doing it. Damage only applies to dailies and to-dos with a due date. Also, to-dos will turn orange and then red the longer you do not check them off, and the longer you go without doing them, the more reward you will get for finally checking them off. They get set to a harder setting automatically if you go a long time without doing them.

There is a new feature I just discovered which is amazingly helpful. You can make dailies and to-dos into checklists. Do this by going to “edit” on your daily or to-do, and clicking “add checklist”. Hit enter to add another item to the list. The checklist feature is great for multi-step things. Don’t be afraid to break a simple task into steps if it helps you. You can check off the individual check boxes and when they are all checked off, check off the thing itself. You will get more rewards for a checklist task than a task that only has one step. Today on my Habitica, I have added a to-do for trying to go for a walk three times a week and turning in three reading logs a week for my library’s summer reading program. For both of those I have set the due date for next Sunday. When I have to do laundry, I put it in to-dos in three steps: wash laundry, move laundry to dryer and hang up any items of clothing that have to hang to dry, and lastly put away dry laundry. Before I discovered the checklist feature I made it be three separate to-dos, but having them organized helps me focus better. I cannot recommend the checklist feature enough.

There are also rewards. Some things are in the rewards tab by default, like game armor, weapons, and potions. I think when you first start out there are some default rewards like “10 minute break” and “watch an episode of Game of Thrones”. I deleted those because they aren’t relevant to me. Feel free to do the same. You can also add your own rewards, which can be anything, and you can set the price to any amount of game gold coins. Most of my rewards are buying stuff, and I am trying to do this to save a bit of money, by only spending money if I have earned enough Habitica gold to get the item. It is difficult for me to do this consistently though.

You can join guilds for a wide variety of interests in Habitica. There is one called the Autistic Adventurers Guild I believe. Guilds often have challenges you can do, so if one is relevant to you check it out!

You can form or join a party for group questing, but don’t be afraid to do quests on your own. It just takes a lot longer to complete the quest if you are doing it by yourself. Quests usually involve either fighting a monster or collecting a certain number of items. You deal damage to the monster by checking off dailies, and that is also how you collect items for a quest. You can go to Social>Party to check your quest progress. To quest on your own you will still need to create a party, but it can be an empty party with just you. There are usually skills, depending on your class, which can deal more damage to a boss or do other things. I am a Mage and I like to cast Burst of Flames on tasks which I need extra motivation to do. Completing a task I have cast Burst of Flames on deals more damage to the boss. But, I have no idea if other classes have any similar skills or not. Please do not be overly concerned with what the quest is called. If the quest is called “Dish Disaster” or “The Laundromancer”, it does not matter if you are not able to do dishes or laundry, or whatever is implied. No matter what the quest is, you just have to do whatever your dailies and other tasks are, and there is no need to use Habitica to pressure yourself into doing things you are unable to do. I had one friend be confused about this so I am clarifying.

Some things, like extra quest scrolls and some skin and hair options for your avatar, can only be bought with gems. It is hard to get gems. Theoretically some guilds have gems they award to winners of challenges, but I have never got gems from challenges. You can buy gems or pay a monthly fee to upgrade to the paid version of Habitica, in which case you can use gold to buy gems. On the mobile app on my Android phone, I was able to use some of my Google Play gift card money (which I saved up from doing surveys on an app called Google Opinion Rewards) to buy gems. If you code, it is also possible I believe to earn gems by helping to code for Habitica.

You can add emojis to your tasks. I find this fun and also helpful to me where processing information is concerned. There are a lot of emoji codes, most of which are supported by Habitica, on this emoji cheat sheet. I am not able to find emojis for every task, because some of my tasks are a bit unusual, but a lot of my tasks are enhanced this way. I use a cat emoji and the poop emoji for cleaning the cat litter box, and I use a hamburger emoji and a pill emoji for remembering to take my medication with food (it has to be taken with food to be properly absorbed). So you can have fun with this, or skip it if it would be distracting.

I hope my advice helped, but if you need more info, try this Habitica intro guide.

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How diets to cure autism gave me an eating disorder and internalized ableism

I was 11 when I was officially diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum. I’d been assuming I had Asperger’s syndrome since I was 7 because my mom told me I had it, even though I found out years later that the psychiatrist said I didn’t have it, though he said I was “somewhere on the spectrum”. I had always known I was different and it was good to think I was not the only one like me, even if I didn’t know any others. Anyway, somewhere around the time I was 11 my parents checked out a book from the library called “Freaks, Geeks, and Asperger Syndrome” by Luke Jackson. He wrote the book when he was 13. I had a memory from childhood where my dad went to another church parish to visit while traveling for work, and told us about it when he came home. He mentioned there were several autistic kids, and at first I was confused and thought he said “artistic” and he explained what autistic meant. I said “that sounds like me” and gave evidence to support my claim. My mom said “you are not autistic, believe me”. I know the kids at the other church were older and more severely disabled, and my parents didn’t know how diverse autistic people could be. Anyhow, I only mention that because the book I read when I was 11 (and kept checking out from the library myself for years afterward) was the first time I learned that Asperger’s syndrome was a type of autism. I don’t use that label anymore because it is an outdated diagnosis and insistence on using that word instead of autism is tied to some problematic ableist stuff.

Anyway, the reason I bring up that book is because the person who wrote it said his life was changed by the gluten free casein free (GFCF) diet. There’s a theory that autistic people have a leaky gut and the protein in wheat and milk products is not digested and turns into opiates in a person with a leaky gut, and that is responsible for some autistic symptoms. I now know that there was someone who found opiates in the urine of people with autism and schizophrenia several decades ago, but no other scientist has been able to replicate his research. So for a while my mom was trying to convince me to try the GFCF diet, and it might help me, but I didn’t want to because all my favorite foods had cheese in them. Then, months later, when she had given up on trying to persuade me, I decided to try it myself. I thought maybe the fact that my head felt fuzzy sometimes was from gluten and casein. Looking back, it was probably the medication I was on for anxiety that made me feel that way. Also, I do not consume gluten or cow’s milk now because gluten gives me stomach pain and I am allergic to milk and it makes my asthma much worse. But I am still autistic.

Anyway, the first weekend I was off gluten and dairy my mom pointed out that I was being more social and not hiding in the corner at church. Usually after church there is a potluck meal, and since it could get noisy I would usually hide under a table and listen to Mozart with headphones and a portable CD player I brought with me in my bag, and rock back and forth. Probably the real reason I was being more social is because there is another woman at the church who has to eat gluten free and is allergic to milk, and I have always enjoyed her company, and I was talking to her about gluten free food because that was something I was interested in talking about. But the “you’re being more social” comment wound up turning into an obsession for me. Over the weeks I noticed that I always felt more social before eating and got tired and introverted after eating. This made me think, maybe something else in my diet was causing a problem and if I just figured out what it was and stopped eating that particular food then I would be able to eat a meal without getting tired and introverted. It took me years to realize that it is normal to have less mental energy after eating because blood is going to your digestive system instead of to your brain. I was already pathologizing myself and blaming everything different about my brain on food.

I became uncomfortable with my weight and started trying to eat less. I thought I was a glutton. Really, I was on a medication notorious for causing weight gain. My doctor just assumed I was not getting that side effect because I was still technically in a healthy weight range. Then I was taken off the medication, and since in  my own head I believed I couldn’t eat the amount of food I naturally wanted to eat, I lost a lot of weight after getting off the medication. I became underweight and went to see a nutritionist. She told me how much food I needed to eat, and something clicked in my brain. Oh, I need to eat more. I can do that. I just have to stop trying to eat less. I thought everything was going to be okay now. Little did I know it wasn’t.

Around that time I had the habit of eating little else than bread rolls I made myself that were little more than flour and water, refried beans, almond butter, rice milk and fruit. I would also nibble on salad and alfalfa sprouts. I would eat meat if it were served for dinner, but never chose to eat it if I was on my own for a meal. I was also taking enzymes which were meant to help autistic people digest problem foods better. I remember looking at the product brochure that came with the enzymes I was taking and there was another kind of enzyme meant for autistic people on a different diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). One night I felt really awful and I was crying and I told my mom there was another diet for autism but they “couldn’t have anything good” but there were enzymes and maybe I should try those. My mom hugged me and  promised she would look into the SCD diet. I was able to sleep peacefully with the hope that maybe I would feel better soon.

My mom turned out to be really interested in the SCD diet and was reading about how it was better than the GFCF diet. She convinced me to try it. This meant eating no grains or starches at all. At first I was only supposed to eat a few foods, like chicken soup with carrots, and bananas, and I was supposed to introduce one new food a time after a week or so to make sure I didn’t react badly to it. The one good thing that came out of doing this was it got me trying new foods. I started eating cooked carrots, and green beans and avocado, which I never would have tried before. After all, it wouldn’t work if I didn’t eat those foods and I wanted to get better. I was  also supposed to have yogurt made from goat’s milk to get probiotics. The whole idea behind the SCD diet is that autistic people have the wrong gut microbes and the diet fixes that problem. There’s also a belief that you will initially feel worse on the diet before you feel better due to bad microbes dying off and releasing toxins. Of course this put the idea in my head that everything different about my brain was caused by toxins from bad microbes. Not just the self harm but the stimming  and being introverted. If you have the autism acceptance viewpoint (which I do now) think about how devastating that idea is. I thought I was broken.

I felt really good on the SCD diet for a few months. I’m not sure why. I know it is nearly impossible for me to get enough calories on grain-free diets, and some people think they feel better on a restricted diet when it is actually an anorexic high. But after a few months my mental health started going seriously downhill. I was convinced I had to stop eating bananas because I thought I had a yeast overgrowth. I was having paranoid delusions about food. I was barely eating anything and was seriously underweight. I thought I would be better if I ate nothing but yogurt. Instead I became catatonic and had to go the emergency room I was in the hospital for 10 days. They said I had a major psychotic break. I got put on several different medications (and still am on some, just different ones). It took me years before I stopped having hallucinations, and even though I am much better now I still don’t feel like the same person I was before the psychotic break.

For many years after that happened, I went back and forth between different diets, and just eating whatever. I tried grain free diets again several times, but had to stop after a while because my mental health would start going downhill. It took me years to stop pathologizing myself. Now I know it’s okay to be autistic, and to rock back and forth and flap my hands. I still have a lot of trouble eating due to sensory problems, and my brain stops functioning properly if I go to long without eating. I’m not on any special diet, except not eating foods I am allergic to or that give me migraines. Ironically I am not eating gluten or dairy. But I am still autistic, so I know diets are not a “cure” for autism. I think the autistic people you hear about being cured from diets aren’t really cured of autism, but they happened to be allergic to the foods they are now avoiding, so they are physically healthier and are not having constant meltdowns from being in pain anymore. I wish their parents wouldn’t say they are cured, because that will make them not have supports anymore, and they might need those supports later.

 

What Autism Acceptance Means

Today I came across an article called something along the lines of “My son’s autism is caused by autoimmune encephalitis and no, I won’t accept it”. I was uncomfortable with how much of what the author said aligned with the antivaccine/vaccines cause autism/autism is curable narrative. But I’m going to pretend like most of what she said is true.

If this person is diagnosed with both autism and autoimmune encephalitis that does not *necessarily* mean one caused the other. It is possible to have more than one neurological condition. Or the autism could be a misdiagnosis, or the autoimmune encephalitis could be a misdiagnosis. But even if a child does have autoimmune encephalitis that doesn’t make it okay to hate that child’s neurology. When you say “I hate autism” autistic people feel like you hate them. How would you feel if I said “I hate blue eyes” or “I hate brown hair” and you had blue eyes or brown hair?

Secondly, I have noticed in general that allistic parents of autistic children think everything about their child is an autism thing, even things that are not autism and that make them and their child miserable. Many autistic people have gut problems, but that doesn’t mean that the gut problems cause autism, or are caused by vaccines, or that fixing the gut problems will “cure” autism. It could just be that the same genes are responsible for both things, which actually happens a lot with other conditions which are proven to be genetic. So when autistic people talk about autism acceptance, we are not saying you should not seek medical treatment for gut problems or seizures or anything else that is causing your child distress. You should. Gut problems are not autism. Seizures are not autism (though 1 in 4 autistic people also have epilepsy). If your child is crying all day long there is probably something wrong either with the sensory environment or with the child’s body. Autism is the way an autistic person’s brain works. Being autistic does not mean you cannot be healthy, happy, or loving.

Lastly, I want to say something about the whole food allergy-gut problem-diet thing. A lot of people think special diets can cure autism. This is not true, and believing it was true gave me an eating disorder and internalized ableism. But that does not *necessarily* mean that changing an autistic child’s diet is *always* a bad thing. Diets that remove entire food groups are probably a bad idea. But I am autistic and I have a lot of food allergies and sensitivities. Ironically I have to avoid both gluten (because it gives me gut pain) and dairy (because I’m allergic) but I’m still autistic. If an autistic person has celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or a wheat allergy, avoiding foods containing gluten is essential to being healthy and happy. If an autistic child is constantly having meltdowns it might be because they are in pain and cannot communicate that they are in pain. So if your whole concept of autism translates into “having meltdowns constantly” and your kid has meltdowns constantly, and you remove foods they are allergic to from their diet and they feel better and have more spoons to learn to communicate, maybe it looks to you like they are “cured of autism” because they are no longer having meltdowns constantly and they communicate better. But autistic people always grow and  change, and it is harmful to an autistic person to lose their diagnosis and lose their supports. That sets them up to burn out when they are older. If you go from having a sick autistic child to having a healthy happy autistic child, that doesn’t mean they are now neurotypical.

I have food allergies which give me atypical reactions that result in increased anxiety. I also get migraines from artificial sweeteners and colors. Artificial sweeteners and colors are very unhealthy and worse if you are sensitive to them, and it will not hurt your child to remove the artificial stuff from their diet. If your child has food allergies, it is vital for their health to stop eating foods they are allergic to. Allergies can affect autistic people’s health and behavior, but that does not mean they are the cause of autism. Once I saw a YouTube video of a popular parent of an autistic child who believes she cured her son’s autism with chelation. Chelation is very harmful if used improperly, and using it for autism is using it improperly. But this video had her son talking, and it was obvious to me from listening to him talk that he is still autistic. I feel very sad for him because he is probably not getting the supports he needs, because everyone around him believes he is not autistic anymore. Autism is largely a developmental delay, and just because an autistic person cannot do something allistic people their age can do, does not mean they will never do that thing. A nonverbal autistic child learning to talk when they are older does not make them suddenly nonautistic. I wish parents of autistic children would stop panicking when their child isn’t doing something neurotypical children their age are going, and think their child will never grow up. Autistic people don’t stay children forever. We grow and  we never stop learning. Please accept us.

More thoughts on Church and other things

When I wrote my first post on this blog I was very surprised by how many people saw it, and how much positive response there was. Due to the responses I got, I am considering taking this blog in more of a religious direction than I was originally planning.

I want to clarify some things from my first blog post. I am not constantly miserable in church, every single week. The degree of my sensory issues varies. A few years ago my experience sometimes, but not always resembled a blog post entitled “When Church Hurts”. I was embarrassed that as a teenager, a parent often had to take me outside of church while I was having a meltdown, as if I were a child. Even though I was told I was only having sensory problems and not misbehaving, there was no way my mind could absorb that. I felt like a failure.

But those feelings, even then, were more on and off than anything else. Momemts of pain and struggle are interspersed with joy. Two days ago I went to Vespers and Confession Saturday night, and yesterday morning I went to Liturgy. I have an as-of-yet undiagnosed neurological condition which sometimes causes my arms to twitch and jerk around, and makes me fall down or have difficulty walking. I am thankful for the acceptance of my parish. We have a man with Down syndrome who serves in the altar and no one has ever said anything unkind to me in church about my twitching or autism. I enjoy prayer and there are moments when the sound of the choir chanting feels like audio stimming, or the words strike a chord in the depth of my soul. I am grateful for the Orthodox Church and how far it has brought me.

Book Review: I Love Being My Own Autistic Self by Landon Bryce

I have been thinking that if I had a blog, I would like to do book reviews – particularly of books about autism or with an autistic character. Since I have a book coming in the mail which I will *probably* review after I read, I thought I would take the time now to review a book I bought a couple months ago.

I Love Being My Own Autistic Self is a sort of cartoon/comic book. Technically, on the actual book underneath the title it says “A thAutoons Book by Landon Bryce”. Landon Bryce does (or did; I don’t know if he still posts) a blog called thAutcast. A few years ago I followed that site on Facebook and he often posted these little cartoons. I really don’t think that blog exists anymore, but at least there is the book!

The words in this book are very simple and the pictures are fun and creative, involving cartoon people with blue, purple, green and yellow skin and no hair. It basically explains autism, both the good and bad parts, and gives a basic introduction to person-first vs. identity-first language, autism acceptance, and how some sorts of autism awareness campaigns are harmful to autistic people. The book has a total of three autistic characters, one of whom is non-verbal, which is good because it helps guard against the idea that all autistic people are the same. There is also a neurotypical friend and a neurotypical sister who sometimes don’t understand everything, as well as a doctor who is trying to find a cure for autism (and being bigoted towards autistic people in the process).

I think this book is a good super-basic introduction to autism for all ages. It would be appropriate for an autistic child, I think, or even a neurotypical child to help understand their autistic sibling better. An adult would probably be able to read it in one sitting (or at least that is true for me!). When I first got it I was a tiny bit disappointed that it was so short. But it is a good book. I would give it five stars. If you would like to buy a copy, here is the link.

Church Survival Kit

So, today is Sunday and this morning I went to church. Although I usually enjoy going to church it can pose some difficulties for an autistic person. Specifically, in my Orthodox Christian faith the church has a lot of loud singing, bells on the censors, microphones and more. It is designed to be a multi-sensory experience, and is very nice, but can become overwhelming very easily. Sometimes I don’t feel well enough to go to every single service, but I seem to have been going more lately. I thought I would share some ways I have figured out to cope without having a meltdown in church, in the hopes that it would help other autistic people who are religious whether they are Orthodox or Christian or not.

Lately I have been carrying a fanny pack with me wherever I go. It is part of a strategy to have the things I need (stim toys, anti-anxiety essential oil remedies) with me wherever I go in order not to hit myself on the head (after I gave myself a concussion I realized I need to break that habit!) Currently I have in the pack: my asthma inhaler, a hairy Tangle toy (my favorite Tangle so far; it has rubber hair like a Koosh ball), a DNA ball (A stretchy, squishy clear ball with a bunch of squishy colored balls inside) and the gel stress ball from Stimtastic, (I wanted to post a link to where you could buy one, but they appear to not sell it anymore or else they are sold out.) and some earplugs meant for swimming which also block out noise pretty well. In  the other pocket I have chapstick and a bunch of different little rollerball bottles with different aromatherapy blends. One is for anxiety, another supposedly helps with sensory issues and meltdowns, etc.

In addition to the fanny pack I sometimes bring noise-blocking headphones in my purse. They are kind of big and bulky, but luckily I have a big purse. I use them because they are easier to use than the earplugs a lot of the time, even though sometimes they hurt if I use them too long. Today I was wearing a knit hat and I pulled it over my ears before putting the headphones on. This made them hurt less and seemed to block out noise better. For the most part I really like the way the hat feels. I found it at Goodwill and it has colored stripes on it, and fits quite snugly.

I also usually try to make sure I am wearing a chewable necklace which I have from Stimtastic. The one I have is the chewable chunky bead necklace, in the rainbow and cool spectrum. I wear the rainbow one more often; it is my favorite.

When I have all these things I am sure I look rather odd in church, but I have never heard anyone say anything rude about it. Probably everyone is used to me by now. I hope that if you are autistic and go to church or other religious event this might help you, or if you have an autistic child in the same situation. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments and I will try to get back to you!