autistic sports fan time

Tonight I’m going to a large, crowded, loud sporting event. Because I want to. And because I love sports and we got really good tickets. I actually find sporting events to be easier to deal with than regular crowds, concerts, plays/movies, etc. As long as my team is the home team–if I have to deal with unfriendly crowds the level of emotional contagion gets so intense that I panic and get really stressed. But other than that, sporting events are easier for me, because everyone gets their own personal space, is free to move around whenever they want, is free to make noise if they need to, and can leave whenever they want. It also helps that the noise is predictable and generally positive.

But I’m going to be making a variety of accommodations/planning ahead anyways.

  • I’m taking lots of layers so I don’t have to touch anything I don’t want to.
  • I’m agreeing with my dad on a spot outside the stands (i.e. where they sell food and stuff) where I will go during the game  if I need to take a break from the crowd and watch on a TV.
  • I’m bringing my cell phone fully charged, with headphones, and my stuffed animals, and maybe a book too.
  • I’m drinking a lot of caffeine so that I don’t get tired and meltdowny.
  • If I just can’t handle it, I’ve agreed with my dad that I’ll just leave and take the bus home on my own (the bus that takes me straight home has a stop just outside the stadium, and I’m 21, so I’ve taken public transportation on my own at night many times).
  • I get to come up with my own outfit in team colors and it matches and I am very pleased.
  • I have made clear that I require a hot dog or hamburger for dinner, and that I must purchase a tiny basketball at the game, and both of those conditions have been accepted as reasonable.


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My dad is wearing a red sweatshirt and a beige beanie and carrying me in a back-pack-style carrier. I am like less than a year old, and am wearing a white/beige bonnet and a red jacket. We are on a boat. The colors we are wearing in this photo are the appropriate team colors for the game we’re going to tonight. Also we match. This is normal. 


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