Beep beep beep, it's time for...
So, if you have a disability, you might find that you need to use a timer. If you're wondering why a timer would help someone function better, congratulations! You don't have to think about some things that are a big part of my life.
(Yeah I should chill out and be nicer but sometimes I get tired of feeling like I can't talk about things like timers because they are too weird.)
I liked to use timers when I was little just because I would time myself while I was singing. My family had a classy timer with three different displays--one would count the time something was taking, one was a typical timer that counts down, and one was a clock. There wasn't really any reason for me to time myself singing but I guess even at that age I could tell that I was going to have a long love affair with timers and I liked being around them.
When I was in fifth grade I spent about half a year being pretty organized and independent about getting ready in the morning. Until then, I would always have trouble getting ready because I would start thinking, spacing out, or reading books in the middle of doing things. But in fifth grade, I decided to start getting up at a certain time and turned my morning routine into a race where I was supposed to take a certain amount of minutes to do every piece of the routine. There was a natural reward in that if I finished everything fast enough, I'd have a bunch of time to watch TV and eat before school. I did pretty well with this for the rest of fifth grade, but in middle school I had to catch the bus earlier so the motivation to work that hard wasn't there.
In the last two years of high school I started getting a bit better at these things again because I would use music and timers to do all kinds of things like getting ready for school, taking showers, and studying. At that point in my life I really didn't like to think of myself as Autistic or disabled so I didn't really think about what I was doing, and I didn't know that other disabled people used timers. When I went to college and started living in a dorm with a roommate, I stopped using timers and music as much, because I had to do so many activities of daily living with someone else in the room, and I felt self conscious about it. Obviously, I wasn't able to do things as well or quickly once I decreased my use of timers. But I never totally stopped using timers and when I would play guitar, I really enjoyed timing myself and playing my songs in 5- or 10-minute intervals.
About the time I started writing this blog, when I was 20, I started using TV shows in a similar way to the way I use timers and music. In the last two years of college, I used timers and timer equivalents more than in the first two years, and the year after college I probably used them more than I ever had since I was in high school. I wouldn't say I use any of my timers or timer equivalents as effectively as I should, but I'm continuing to develop new ways to use them and learning more about them, and so I'm going to write some timer reviews, which will take into account what something is good for and how well it fits into my life. These are the things on my list so far:
1. West Bend timers
2. Update International timers
4. alarms on my phone
5. listening to CDs
6. YouTube videos
7. TV shows
9. trains and buses