The first, and only, box of fidgets, sensory hacks, and unexpected special interests curated by individuals on the Autism spectrum, for anyone.
When fatCoffee got it's first "big break" this past summer as being included in a curated subscription box (Abel James’ Quarterly.co Biohacking Box), it got us talking about these popular boxes and their various niche markets. And, inevitably, it came up -- first as a sort of joking, rhetorical question: "What would you put in a box that was curated specifically for people on the autism spectrum?"
It took about one point five seconds for that to go from "amusing" to "enormously exciting". Autism acceptance and understanding is our family's passion, and joy. And, as anyone with an autistic loved one can tell you (or your autistic loved one can tell you themselves), it's SO much more than changing your mindset -- about how people think, or act, or speak. Autism creates an entirely different relationship with the material world. Materials -- that frequently fit in boxes.
Could a subscription box specifically geared towards autistic people and their loved ones -- curated entirely by people on the autism spectrum -- be a good business proposition? We have no idea. So this time around, we don't plan to even try to make it one, and are just going to see if it's a good idea -- an idea that makes anyone happy or enthusiastic.
Tucker James Collins -- neurochemistry major, mask-maker, puppet-maker, Aspie -- has curated a single box. It will contain 8 to 10 items with a retail value of about $125. We will be offering the boxes for presale for the cost of $99 (shipping is free).
To further incentivize (and help us continue the discussion), the first person who e-mails us about the presale signup gets their box free. (UPDATE: This has been claimed! But read on!)
And the first person who identifies as being on the autism spectrum who volunteers to curate the NEXT box (should there be one), gets THEIRS free. (UPDATE: This has been claimed! But keep reading on!)
(You get your box free whether the next one happens or not.)
That leaves only forty-eight boxes left. What do we really have to lose? Not much, since Tucker chose the items in the box, and would happily use, re-use, and very likely lose and need to replace, all of them, forty-eight times.
But you don’t even know what’s in them. Are you sure you can stand not to?
"Throughout my life I have carried things I was interested in. I would gather rocks and leaves, and even had a bag of disembodied doll heads. As I got older, I carried a larger variety of things with me - Gameboy, books, a Rubik's cube - not knowing what would capture my attention best over the next few hours. I enjoyed sharing these things with other people, though I was not always attuned to other people's own interest in them. I share for the joy of the moments when I have found like-minds or at least good conversation, and hopefully some understanding.
Since discovering that I am on the autism spectrum, I have spent time specifically looking for fidgets and stim tools, as well as solutions for other things that I realized were problems for me. And I continue to share them when the opportunities arise.
I have two goals for Try It Aut:
- That I may share with other people who I am, what my struggles have been, and some of my solutions.
- That I can help to paint some picture of what Autism means in my life, both for other neurodivergent people, and for neurotypicals.
Reading and hearing about the experiences of other people on the spectrum has been really helpful for me in my journey to understand this, and with Try It Aut, I hope to provide a tactile adventure, inviting anyone to come and feel some of the solutions out with me, whether it is by giving some time to a fidget, breaking down a task into small manageable pieces, or feeling your hands get wonderfully and tolerably clean."
Those are the only hints we are giving about what’s in the box.
#autism #stimming #aspergers #respectthestim #fidget