This month we have launched a brand new version of our anxiety journal especially designed for autistic users of all ages.
It's been a long time in development and we've been working with local charities, non-profit organisations as well as members of the autistic community to design a journal that works for everyone and still achieves the main aim of helping with anxiety!
In this blog, we have listed some of the main adaptions we have made to this new journal and how it differs from our existing versions.
First things first, the aim of this journal is exactly the same as set out by our current adult and teen journals which is to find triggers of anxiety and track mood but with some key design differences and physical changes.
1. Cream Paper
It was factored in very early on in the design process that this journal needed to be printed on off-white/cream paper. Autistic individuals and those who struggle with dyslexia find it far easier to read and understand text without the harsh black-on-white print. You might have noticed more general use of cream paper for other things such as bills for this very reason.
In this journal, we have used icons and smaller images to accompany the text and this journal needed to be suitable for all ages. The icons are simply used to reinforce the section and limit the amount of text or explanation needed, making the journal more approachable and user-friendly.
3. Colour Palette
Unlike our other journals, we've featured a bit of colour! It's not that we have an aversion to colour, it's just we want our journals to be less distracting. A lot of wellness aids and gratitude journals focus too much on illustration and bright colours and that's just not something we want to take away from the purpose and content of our Discovery Journals. On this occasion, we did some research and used a palette of 4 colours, all of which are commonly used by interior designers who work specifically for autistic clients.
All 4 colours were shown to increase concentration and relaxation in the home.
4. Meltdowns & Shutdowns
Having anxiety disorder we all know the fight or flight response well. For those who have ASD this response can be triggered more easily and have various different causes.
We've dedicated a page of this journal just to this response and trying to determine the factors which could be contributing in order to find ways to control the response in the future. We've also included an area for which the user can highlight their physical and mental symptoms which go along with the meltdown or shutdown. The user is guided to this section after first acknowledging moments in the day which caused heightened relaxation and heightened anxiety.
5. Encouraging emotive language
Many who have autism struggle to use language to express emotion. Regardless of the user, all our journals encourage the use of emotive words rather than using dismissive terms such as "tired" or "stressed" which have become our "go-to".
That encouragement is more enforced and structured within this journal. We have categorised the emotive words and accompanied them with icons for a relatable understanding of each one!
Of course, we haven't forgotten all the bare essentials you'd expect to get with our Discovery Journal!
Yearly Mood calendar
Choice of 3 binders in 5 colour/material variations
Interactions and environmental ratings
To see the full journal format you can download it below!