Autism: My Floor Plan Obsession

11 Aug

Exhausted and dazed due to my medication, I spent all of Monday researching small house plans. Since I was a child building with Lego, and wishing I was small enough to fit inside the houses, I have been obsessed with floor plans.

I am not particularly good at designing them for myself, and do not feel that would be a good career choice for me, but I do like looking at them and imagining what it would be like to live in them.

As a teen and throughout my 20’s, I was hyper aware of my environment. I could walk into any room – a house, a store, a mall – and within seconds have the entire floor plan, best hiding spots, and exit routes all committed to memory. I needed that escape plan as upon entering any space, I could immediately visualize so many things that could go wrong.

10. House in Cabbagetown

When I had my children, my attention, out of necessity, went to them when we were out. So many things could set them into a rage, and they seemed to have little impulse control. Without warning they might try running into traffic, or climbing into the lap of some unknown person (especially in the beginning.)

While I no longer retain this strong ability to memorize floor plans, they still fascinate me. Over the years I have become frustrated with my own attempts to design a dream home of my own, and only return to that activity a couple of times a month, I still spend a lot of time looking over real estate listings and housing designed by other people.

Monday, as has been the case for several years now, I was looking at small house plans. I have been so overwhelmed in trying to take care of my larger home, and considering all of the renovations that need to be done to it, that my desire has turned to the tiny house movement. Sometimes it seems that a truly tiny house would be a good idea – I like small places – but I do need some space of my own. I guess that living in a home under 200 square feet would feel cramped very quickly. A home that is 750 to 1000 square feet and mainly on one floor, seems more manageable for the three of us.

Part of this fixation is due to my desire to try and save income in order to replace some of what I would be making if I was able to continue working. While I was only recently taken off of work, I have known my entire adult life that working was too stressful for me, and have desired for years to reduce the cost of living in order to be able to stay at home.

To have a much smaller house (especially if we could have it built new with good materials) would mean our mortgage could be paid off, our taxes would be much lower, our utilities would be less, and I wouldn’t have the stress in considering the cost of all of the renovations that currently need to be done on our own home.

This however, is one of very few areas where I would like to see a change – and happens to be an area that my husband would prefer to keep the same. So I continue to obsess, as I have my whole life, and nothing changes. I cannot let it go.

When people talk about obsessions or fixations that Autistic people have, I guess I would have to say this is my strongest one.


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One response to “Autism: My Floor Plan Obsession

  1. 21andsensory

    August 11, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I’m just like that too! When I walk in a place I can map out and visualise the buildings floor plan and I look past people and furniture looking at doors and exits instead 😊

    Liked by 1 person


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