I'm an avid journaler. Have been for several years now. So, naturally, when I learned I was autistic I wanted to know if there were any specific spreads out there that I could use.
After a short search on the internet...I found nothing. There weren't any clear and obvious journaling tips for autistic adults.
So I made my own.
I started by thinking about what would help me gain a better understanding of myself now that I know I have autism. Trackers and logs were definitely big ones, but I also didn't know a lot about stims and needed a way to track all these realizations I was having about myself, at present, and in the past.
I began by brainstorming some ideas and thinking about what these spreads might look like. The habit tracker was an easy one, as it's a widely used bujo spread. But I thought about how I would put together a grid to learn more about stimming. And at the bottom I wanted to add in information about burnout and shutdowns/meltdowns along with some selfcare tips if I experience burnout. It's my own mini selfcare package that includes stimming, special interests, and favourite foods.
I also made a monthly/future log for the first time that would actually be if benefit for me. One of the hardest things for me is keeping track of bi-weekly or monthly tasks like changing my bed sheets or washing my weighted blanket that I sleep with every single night since the day I got it. So I planned out, on every Sunday, I would do one of these monthly tasks. Mostly so I don't go way too long without washing my sheets or my water bottle.
There were also other areas I wanted to explore more, such as masking and what that's looked like in my life so far, and thus how to go about unmasking. Also making lists of my favourite foods, my special interests and hyperfixations, and any repetitive restrictive behaviors I recognize within myself.
Thus, I sectioned these items into logs. A basic table where I can list these types of items and keep track of them.
Gathering all this information together helped me realize specific ways I could use my bujo to help me understand my Autism while also keeping record of my journey and building healthy habits.
The spread I use the most, however, is the one I call Autism Realizations. If you've been diagnosed later in life you know exactly what I mean.
For those of you who don't: it basically means we have these moments of clarity or curiosity where we realize something we did as a child, or even just the other day, and they can be linked to autism.
For example, I have always sucked at sensing when I'm hungry or thirsty and will wait until I'm starving to realize I need to eat. This is what we call poor interoception, which is very common in autistic people.
I like to write these things down as I think of them. For one, it gets it out of my head and onto paper, and two, it acts as a record of my autistic journey that I can look back on. I also believe it could be useful if I ever need to explain Autism to someone and how it's affected me personally as with this spread, I can provide very specific examples.
Have you created any useful or fun spreads for your Autism?? If so, share them in the comments below or tag me in a post on insta! I know if I come up with anymore ASD spreads you will be the first to know.