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Hello everyone, 

I'm a 25 yo male on the spectrum, never had a full-time job but I have a zoology degree and am doing a Masters' degree in Medical Entomology for Disease Control, with a wide range of interests but particularly insects (that's what entomology is in case people didn't know), also general science, travel, health, history, politics, music, food and drink. My mind is forever questioning everything and everyone I come across, every day life is a constant struggle, but somehow I manage, mainly because I have support at home. Outside home it is much, much harder.

If you met me, even if you knew me really, really, REALLY well, you would not know that I was on the spectrum. For years, I convinced myself that I wasn't, because I didn't have any of the traits people normally associate (wrongly, in many cases) with autism, such as poor social skills and empathy. I had not known that sensitivity was a key part of it. 

Here is a list of things that I find invasive (sights, sounds and textures) and have to manually block out on an almost daily basis, I am wondering how many people can identify with?

-Bright lights
-Music (unless it is my own and I'm in control of the artist and volume)
-Ice cream van chimes
-Groups of children
-People talking loudly
-People in the same room or on public transport having separate conversations
-Barking dogs
-Any change, no matter how miniscule (for example to a company logo, colour scheme)
-Tannoy announcements (e.g at stations)
-Doors slamming, shutting and opening
-People walking along in the opposite direction, or ahead of me
-Smells (paint, petrol, urine, anything)
-Bells or keys jingling
-Cutlery on plates
-The texture of certain clothes, especially socks