Em Rusciano confirmed that she’d been diagnosed with autism last November, just one year after being diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).
And now the media personality has revealed that she’s planning to seek refuge in Marvel Stadium’s ‘sensory inclusion room’ when she attends the Harry Styles concert in Melbourne next week.
The 43-year-old said that she may need to use the room, which has noise-cancelling headphones and weighted blankets, in case her autism causes her to experience any sensory overload from the concert.
‘I’m going to see Harry Styles at Marvel Stadium in a week and as you can imagine, live shows, sensory issues, autistic person, is pretty stressful,’ she shared on Instagram.
‘But Marvel have a sensory room with beanbags and noise-cancelling headphones,’ she continued.
Em Rusciano, who is autistic, plans to make use of Marvel Stadium’s sensory room at the Harry Styles concert in Melbourne next week in case she becomes overstimulated
‘Well done Marvel, this is amazing and inclusive and I feel so much less anxious about this live show,’ she said, before adding: ‘Because there’s a whole area I can go to when it’s too much.’
When Em arrives to the stadium to see Styles, she will be able to get a sensory bag from the front desk.
The bag includes noise-cancelling headphones, toys to fidget with, and visual cue cards with different moods listed so people suffering from any sensory overload are able to communicate their feelings non-verbally by pointing to the chart.
If Em chooses to use the designated sensory room, she’ll be able to relax on comfortable beanbags or use weighted blankets to clam herself.
There are also fidget tools on the wall for people to play with, along with other helpful tools.
The room was specially designed by medical professionals, and the staff at Marvel Stadium have also been trained to help people dealing with sensory sensitivities.
When Em arrives to the stadium to see Styles, she will be able to get a sensory bag from the front desk containing visual cue cards and toys to fidget with
The star will be able to relax on comfortable beanbags or use weighted blankets to calm herself in the sensory room
In December, Em explained how she recognised her symptoms, and what living with both conditions was like.
The podcaster said she saw similarities between herself and her son Elio, who has also been diagnosed with autism, then researched how autism presents in women, finding several symptoms she recognised.
‘I can’t make eye contact, I am really blunt, I have a lot of sensory issues around food, smell, tags on clothes, textures,’ she said.
‘I have auditory processing issues, I stim, I’ve always stimmed. I watched other girls as a kid to try and figure out how to behave.’
Stimming is short for self-stimulatory behaviour, and usually consists of things like usual body movements and hand mannerisms.
‘All these things that I developed great shame around, I now realise are symptoms.’
‘I can’t make eye contact, I am really blunt, I have a lot of sensory issues around food, smell, tags on clothes, textures,’ Em previously said of her autism
The podcaster’s young son also has autism, which sparked Em to pursue her own diagnosis
As for what having two conditions at once feels like, she explained: ‘The autism and ADHD hate each other, it’s light versus dark, it’s not great’.
In a recent Facebook post, the former radio host also explained some of her ADHD symptoms.
Her list included struggling to follow recipes, maps and instructions.
‘I can’t wear a hair tie or scrunchy around my wrist, it makes me feel like I’m suffocating,’ she explained.
‘I understand I might not fit your preconception of what autism is but that’s not my job to do that. I was diagnosed by a specialist in the field,’ she said.
Em shot to fame on Australian Idol back in 2004 and then went on to have a successful career in commercial radio.
She now hosts her own hit podcast Emsolation, which is a Spotify exclusive, and still tours as a comedian and musician.
‘I understand I might not fit your preconception of what autism is but that’s not my job to do that. I was diagnosed by a specialist in the field,’ she said
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