About

Autism Inked

Inspiration & Resources

 

Autism Inked Author

All About AI

Hi, I’m Rachael, the creator of Autism Inked. I’m a mother, an introvert, and a keen observer of this crazy thing called life!

A little about me

My journey with autism began when my youngest daughter started primary (elementary age) school. I had always known she had a strong character, had certain particularities and was as stubborn as a mule! But I’d always just put this down to her personality (which, in part, it is). However, once external forcing factors were added to the equation due to school starting, certain aspects became more apparent. For example, the ‘tantrums’ weren’t grown out of, changing tasks was a nightmare, and social play was very rigid.

So, after the school suggested an assessment to help support my daughter, I began looking into the umbrella of characteristics and diagnosis criteria that make up autism and ASD.

Several years and assessments later (diagnosis was a painfully slow process), my daughter was diagnosed with ASD, more specifically Asperger’s Syndrome. By the time this diagnosis eventually came around, it was no surprise. It was one of those things where, as I discovered more about autism, everything just seemed to ‘click’. All the behaviour made sense, the strengths and the struggles. I was even able to identify how I had naturally adapted my parenting method to suit these needs and demands without ever knowing exactly why at the time.

One of my favourite quotes that I live by from a book I once read was ‘don’t go to war over a bag of peanuts’. I mean, this just about summed it up for me! I believe it was given as an example of the more patient and laid-back approach needed to avoid meltdowns. To choose your battles wisely, as there’s no point causing unnecessary stress (for your children or yourself!) when some things simply aren’t that important. Living with autism means you adjust and fall into a new equilibrium with your family life. It’s natural. As a single parent, this approach was even more critical for me. There was no tag team in place; the baton was always mine, so I had to make sure I could carry it.

 

What I’ve learned

Over the years of discovering more about the world of autism, from characteristics to education and care plans, I have come to love the unique way of thinking of those with ASD. I love reading a book and being amazed at how people can think in colours and communicate through pictures. I love how the work of others makes autism so relatable and easier to understand. It has offered both insights into the world of autism and comfort that I wasn’t the only one that found certain things hard to manage. It has been suggested by many who know me that I most probably lie somewhere on the spectrum myself. I’m sure many of us do. But being able to find words and experiences from others that make your own life experiences make more sense is a brilliant thing.

 

Life changes

During the progress of my daughter’s diagnosis, there were many life changes. I had finished my first degree and had begun studying towards my Master’s. I had a good job, and life was stable and functioning for some time (if a little demanding!) However, things were thrown out of kilter when I had to adapt to the demands of family life. The school that my daughter was attending had a funding cut, and her support was quickly diminished. After a slow downward spiral of my daughter’s ability to cope in school, the drawn-out battle of finding a new school place and then trying to get back on track again had taken quite some time. This process was made even longer due to the need for staggered timetables to get used to a new school, and then Covid came, following which my daughter joined secondary school.

Needless to say, my original career plans were thrown out of kilter right along the way. It is such a challenging task to try and be there for your family, offer the support they need, and provide financial support. Anyone who wears both those hats will know the struggle I refer to and the guilt you feel when you fail at any one of those responsibilities. So, the only way I could see to course correct for my family was to begin to try and earn a living online. This decision was not a matter of the entrepreneurial dream of sipping margaritas on a beach, but more so, a means to be there for my daughter and support her as best I could, yet still be able to continue work.

 

A new course

During this time in my life, I had to step back from my traditional career aspirations, press pause and reassess my situation. Growing up, I loved writing and art. I attended art college, took a keen interest in graphic design, and took English Literature at A-Level. When I found out I was having my second child, I decided to continue my education within the science sector, which I still love, but I chose it to be the ‘’safer’’ bet for employability. Adaptability, however, has brought me back to creative endeavours. I love to write and have now built a couple of websites. I enjoy designing sites, and I love creating graphics. I have begun creative writing again and have won several lyrics competitions with my ’ditties’!

 

So, what is Autism Inked all about?

With Autism Inked, I share my creativity and experience of this life with others who are in a similar position to me. To those who support amazing people with Autism and ASD. To the parents and carers (and parent carers)! Autism Inked is where I share resources, products and amusing antidotes. If I can brighten just one person’s day or save them a little time, it will bring me great joy! Through the celebration of art, writing, and the creative thinking of those with autism, I hope to bring more awareness to the world of the brilliant and unique capabilities of others.

The blog categories will range from autism and Asperger’s quotes to informative posts, autism book reviews and autism concepts and life stories. You’ll find that much of the content is focused on creativity, art and writing. I believe that allowing yourself to be more creative is genuinely beneficial, and I know that it’s a fantastic help for children with autism. You will find posts on prominent authors, writers and creatives on the autism spectrum, and maybe a few lesser-known names!

It is worth noting that you may experience somewhat of an Asperger’s Bias on this site. Please allow me to apologise in advance. Due to my experience with Asperger’s, the work and words of other Aspergians resonate strongly with me. I love how a person with Asperger’s will say it like it is, and if you’re struggling with a problem, you’ll likely get an intuitive solution at speed when consulted for assistance.

 

I do not suffer from Asperger's syndrome, I embrace it

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Art & Graphics

As I love creating inspirational art, I have combined my more traditional hobbies of watercolour painting with graphic design and developed many quote graphics from these. I enjoy digitising my artwork and combining this with other graphics to produce new designs. I now sell many of these designs as either digital downloads to print at home or printed ready on various items ranging from notebooks to magnets. You can find my designs and products here on Autism Inked, and they’re also available in my Autism Inked shop on Etsy.

Thanks for visiting Autism Inked!

Here’s to celebrating the unique and wonderful world of autism and to those who share and support this world every day.

Please come and celebrate this journey with me!

Much love to you all x

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