Would Using Wheelchair Help Keep Me Safe During an Autistic Meltdown?

Anonymous asks, quote:

I’m thinking about getting a wheelchair soon but I feel guilty about it? I can walk, but a wheelchair would make going out easier for me. I’m autistic and have some pain issues (if I walk a lot, I get pain on my hips and legs). I would also use it as a confort thing, to prevent me from falling when I’m having a meltdown. I just don’t want to look like a faker and I don’t know if I can have a wheelchair.

end quote.

I’m not 100% sure that a wheelchair would meet your needs. Here’s a basic wheelchair on Amazon; it’s 33lbs. Assuming you’re looking at a simple folding chair and not a custom‐built one (those usually start in the thousand‐plus dollar range), that’s what you’re looking at.

That’s a lot of weight to move around and using a chair — even a custom built one — is going to draw a lot of extra attention and create a lot of stress when you encounter inaccessible areas.

I don’t know a lot about autism, but I do know that, for a lot of people with autism, it can take a lot of extra planning and preparing both mentally and physically in order to handle the stresses of everyday life including social situations. 

Using a wheelchair is going to make those social situations much harder to plan for and navigate than they already are.

My advice is this: see your doctor about the aches and pains in your joints and also to discuss ways you can avoid injury during a meltdown without the need for something as expensive and heavy as a wheelchair. I would hate for you to go through the stress, effort, and cost of acquiring a chair only to have it not be what you truly need.