I work in a lab. There are lots of toxic chemicals.
I wear gloves a lot. (Which, by the way, I sort of really dislike A LOT because I have unusually shaped hands. Small gloves have too short of fingers and medium gloves have too fat of fingers, so I get my eppendorf tubes stuck on them.) (But it is less of a sensory issue and more of I-keep-closing-the-fingers-of-my-gloves-in-my-Eppendorf-tubes issue.) But I can handle gloves and they are rather important, because I don't want to die. Or get paraformaldehyde or ethidium bromide and such on myself because that stuff is nasty.
The thing I struggle the most with is not putting things in my mouth. If I bring my phone to lab (which I do, because, you know, knowing the time is nice) (and also being contacted and stuff) (and also I'm in lab all day), then I have to be very careful not to touch it with my gloves at all. Because I do put my phone in my mouth (well, to the edge of my lips a lot).
I have to remember to not put my hands in my mouth. Or my face when I am wearing gloves. And pens.
My new solution to this is just to really strictly segregate my chemical and non-chemical section of my desk. Take off gloves COMPLETELY when not doing lab work. (Which really I should be doing anyway for safety reasons.) (Gloves are a good reminder usually to not put my hands in my mouth, since I can always feel them on my hand.)
And then not to bring my phone with me to my bench, but keep it at my desk. Also, I got a timer, now, which was quite useful, since I don't have to use my phone as a timer anymore.
And for my pens, I put a piece of lab tape on them near the end to keep myself from chewing on them.
I can do a lot of other stimming in lab. (I bounce and flap around lab all day, as long as I am not near chemicals or breakable things.) I have a brain-shaped stressball at my desk that is fun to play with. I have a string that I tie knots in. (For goodness sakes, the guy on the other side of the lab has tennis balls that he bounces off the wall where my desk is when I am not there, so moving around in lab really isn't all that abnormal.) I just really shouldn't be putting things in my mouth, since I like to not ingest carcinogenic and toxic materials.
P.S. I AM CHOOSING TO ALTER MY BEHAVIOR ON MY OWN. NO ONE ELSE IS TELLING ME TO DO IT. I JUST WOULD RATHER REPRESS STIMMING THAN EAT PARAFORMALDEHYDE ACCIDENTALLY. OR BREAK A MICROSCOPE THAT COSTS MORE THAN A HOUSE. BECAUSE CONFOCALS ARE EXPENSIVE, YOU GUYS.
Labels: asperger's, autism, autistic?, grad school, me, stimming