Autistic burnout can pose significant challenges, impacting mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Recognizing the importance of managing burnout, here are six effective strategies tailored to individuals on the autism spectrum

Self-Care Rituals:

Prioritise self-care by establishing daily routines that cater to sensory needs and emotional well-being. This may include allocating time for sensory breaks, engaging in activities that bring comfort, and ensuring adequate rest. Establishing consistent self-care rituals can contribute to a more stable and resilient mindset.

Websites With Free Self Care Resources:

  • Mindful:
    • Website:
    • Mindful offers a variety of articles, guided meditations, and resources focused on mindfulness and well-being.
  • Calm:
    • Website:
    • Calm provides guided meditations, sleep stories, and relaxation exercises aimed at reducing stress and promoting mental wellness. While some content may be behind a paywall, there are also free resources available.
  • Headspace:
  • Headspace is known for its guided meditation and mindfulness exercises. While it does offer a subscription service, there is also a free basics course and some free guided meditations to get started.

Effective Communication:

Enhance communication strategies to express needs and boundaries clearly. Advocating for oneself is crucial in managing burnout. Whether in personal or professional settings, fostering open dialogue about sensory sensitivities, workload, or emotional needs can help create supportive environments that contribute to overall well-being.

Websites With Free Communication Resources for Adults With Autism

  • Autism Speaks:
  • Website:
  • Autism Speaks provides a variety of resources, including communication tools and strategies. You can navigate their website to find helpful guides and materials for enhancing communication skills.
  • The National Autistic Society:
    • Website:
    • The National Autistic Society offers resources to support communication for individuals on the autism spectrum. Explore their website for guides, articles, and downloadable materials.
  • Communication and Autism Resource Center (CARC):
    • Website:
    • The CARC provides communication resources, including visual supports and social stories. Check their website for downloadable materials designed to assist with communication challenges.

Setting Realistic Goals:

Establish achievable and realistic goals, recognizing personal limits and strengths. Breaking larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps can prevent overwhelming feelings and foster a sense of accomplishment. Celebrating small victories along the way contributes to a positive mindset and resilience in the face of challenges.

Several websites are designed to assist with accountability and goal setting. Here are some popular ones:

Websites With Free Accountability and Goal Setting Tools for Autistic Adults

  • Todoist:
    • Website: Todoist
    • Todoist is a versatile task management tool that allows you to create to-do lists, set deadlines, and prioritise tasks. It’s suitable for both personal and professional goal setting.
  • Trello:
    • Website: Trello
    • Trello is a visual collaboration tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to help you organise and prioritise your projects. It’s effective for goal setting and tracking progress.
  • Habitica:
    • Website: Habitica
    • Habitica turns goal setting and task completion into a game. You create a character, set goals, and earn rewards for completing tasks. It adds a fun and interactive element to accountability.
  • Strides:
    • Website: Strides
    • Strides is a goal tracking app that helps you set and track habits, goals, and targets. It provides charts and progress reports to keep you accountable.
    • Website:
    • Formerly known as Lift, is an app that combines goal tracking with coaching. It offers community support and personalised coaching to help you achieve your goals.
  • Beeminder:
    • Website: Beeminder
    • Beeminder is a goal-tracking tool that uses financial incentives. Users commit to goals and pledge money to stay motivated. If they fall off track, they pay up.

Remember that the effectiveness of these tools depends on personal preferences and the type of goals you’re setting. It’s often beneficial to explore a few options to find the one that aligns best with your needs and preferences.

Sensory Regulation Strategies:

Develop a toolkit of sensory regulation strategies to navigate sensory challenges. This may include the use of fidget tools, noise-cancelling headphones, or creating sensory-friendly spaces. Identifying and implementing sensory regulation techniques can help prevent sensory overload, a common contributor to burnout.

Popular Sensory Regulation Tools for Autistic Adults Recovering From Burnout

Weighted Blankets:

These blankets provide deep pressure, helping to calm the nervous system. They come in various weights and materials to suit individual preferences.

Fidget Tools:

Fidget spinners, stress balls, and other handheld tools offer a tactile outlet for restless energy and can be used discreetly in various settings.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones:

These headphones help reduce auditory overload by blocking or minimizing background noises, creating a quieter environment.

Chewable Jewellery:

Necklaces or bracelets made of safe, chewable materials provide a sensory outlet for individuals who benefit from oral stimulation.

Sensory Brushes:

Soft-bristle brushes designed for gentle skin brushing can provide tactile input and may be used as part of a sensory diet.

Compression Clothing:

Compression shirts, vests, or socks provide gentle pressure to the body, aiding in sensory regulation and promoting a sense of security.

Sensory Swings:

Swings designed for indoor use can provide a calming, rhythmic movement that may benefit individuals seeking vestibular input.

Sensory-friendly Clothing:

Adaptive clothing with tagless designs, seamless seams, and soft fabrics can enhance comfort for individuals sensitive to textures and clothing tags.

Aromatherapy Products:

Essential oils or calming scents in the form of diffusers, rollerballs, or sprays can be used to create a soothing olfactory environment.

Visual Calming Tools:

Visual timers, weighted lap pads with textured surfaces, or visual schedules can assist individuals in managing their time and expectations.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of sensory tools can vary from person to person. Consulting with an occupational therapist can help identify individual sensory needs and determine the most suitable products for specific preferences and sensitivities.

Building a Support Network:

Forge connections with a supportive network of friends, family, or peers who understand and respect neurodivergent needs. Sharing experiences and challenges with others provides a sense of community and can be instrumental in managing burnout. Support groups, both online and in-person, offer valuable platforms for mutual understanding and encouragement.

While specific online communities for late-discovery autistic adults may not be as prevalent as broader autism communities, here are some platforms that often have discussions and support for individuals who discover their autism later in life:

Websites With Free Support Groups Adults With Autism Recovering From Burnout

  • Reddit – r/aspergers:
    • Subreddit: r/aspergers
    • Reddit has various autism-related subreddits, including r/aspergers, where late-diagnosed adults often share experiences, seek advice, and offer support.
  • Wrong Planet:
    • Website: Wrong Planet
    • Wrong Planet is an online community and forum for individuals on the autism spectrum. It includes sections for adults, including those who have discovered their autism later in life.
  • Autistic Not Weird Community:
    • Website: Autistic Not Weird Community
    • Autistic Not Weird is a platform with a focus on autism acceptance. The community includes forums where individuals, including late-discovery adults, can share experiences and support each other.
  • The Mighty – Autism Spectrum Disorder Community:
    • Website: The Mighty – ASD Community
    • The Mighty hosts a community section dedicated to autism spectrum disorder where individuals, including late-diagnosed adults, can connect and share their stories.
  • Facebook Groups:
    • Search for Facebook groups specifically dedicated to late-discovery autism or adult autism communities. These groups often provide a space for discussion, support, and resource-sharing.

Always remember to approach online communities with a sense of caution and prioritize platforms that emphasise positive and supportive interactions. Additionally, seeking guidance from healthcare professionals or autism organisations can complement the support gained from online communities.

Managing autistic burnout requires a multifaceted approach that addresses sensory, emotional, and communication aspects. By incorporating these strategies into daily life, individuals on the autism spectrum can cultivate resilience, foster well-being, and navigate the challenges of burnout more effectively. Recognizing the unique needs of neurodivergent individuals and embracing these strategies contributes to creating environments that prioritise understanding and support.