When I was a kid a half-century ago, more or less, there was no lock on my bedroom door.  But my two younger brothers knew there was a “line” and they delighted in crossing it.  I didn’t care if they crossed that line and entered my precious bedroom “SPACE”.  On one condition though:  that I was totally in the dark about it.  They would usually tell me though as if their crossing the line wouldn’t count as a victory if they didn’t tell me.  If I caught them in my space, it was sheer bedlam.  My brothers seem to delight in my agony; that is if I didn’t have one on the floor, with me on top, asking for my mercy.

A common autism trait is being protective of one’s space   I saw this trait played out many a time while subbing as a teacher’s aide in autism units.  A child’s meltdown over another child merely touching their desk, chair, pencil, and dare I say, toy, reminded me of my reaction to my brothers’ trespassing of long ago.

Since moving in with my mother after retirement, my space has cramped considerably.  I doubt you’d find many bedrooms like mine.  I don’t mean lacking in open floor space; although, it certainly does.  It is unusual by what resides in my space.  I’d only have to take a picture of my space for one to know if more people were like me, the Best Buy electronic store chain would never go in the red.

I confess of having three desktop computers, one sitting pretty on my desk in front of me, one to the left of me roosting on a wooden stand, and another one behind me.  I’m almost closed in!  If this wasn’t enough, I have three voice-activated gadgets on my desk and another one across the room.  They are a combination of Amazon Echo and Google Home products.  I have three TV’s with one of them situated on a bedroom wall.  Logically, I know I could get by with one computer, one Echo or one Google, and one TV.  I know how this looks, but it’s MY tech-cramped space and that’s all there is to it!

I’m as protective of my space as I was when I was living in this bedroom as a child.  My brother who is now in his mid-50s lives with us and is much better at not trespassing into my space.  I have had close “meltdown” calls when my dear, sweet Mom comes in to log on her computer.  She has more right than I have to go anywhere in the house since she owns it, including MY space.  But those moments when she comes in while I am fully entrenched into whatever passion of mine I am pursuing, I fill anxiety running through my veins.  Sometimes I just have to give up my space to her and find a place to stim to calm me down.  There’s no space like my space.  And sharing it doesn’t come easy to me.

My space is like a photograph of my ASD.  The multiple items that are powered by a half a dozen power strips reflect my obsessive with technology.  Recently, my 6-year-old grandnephew and 11-year-old grandniece came over to visit and immediately noticed my new computer…one of three in my space.  Whenever they  learn their great aunt has ASD and what ASD is, I imagine them thinking, “Now we know why she has all those computers.”








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