Category Archives: ReBlogs

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Autism and expectations

I’m in the middle of reading Luke Beardon’s new book, “Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Adults” and I’ve paused to splurge this. I am frantically typing because I want to get back to it, but didn’t want to lose my train of thought.

I’m on the chapter about autistic resistance to change. Luke is sympathetically describing why, in a life of instability, we may need the small things to always be the same. It makes sense. It all makes sense. He does that. He’s one of those sense-makers. We need more of them.

It got me thinking about my routines, I have a lot of them. Every day I wake up about an hour before my alarm goes off, I have a coffee (always the same way), and one of those effervescent vitamin-energy-godawful-tasting things in a pint of water. That’s my breakfast.

You may say breakfast is the most important…

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Are Asperger’s / autistic people bossy?

the silent wave

As most bloggers are aware, Google encrypts keyword searches, and has been doing so since 2013. ”User protection” makes for a flimsy claim, but it’s Google’s story and they’re sticking to it. Which might have been halfway believable if it didn’t also extend to users who weren’t even logged in. But I digress.

Nevertheless, I see keyword search strings from other search engines, and the words “Asperger’s” and “bossy” have shown up in relation to each other. Apparently, curious minds want to know.

So, I’ll deliver, at least one (that’s me) person’s take (because although practically every well-recognized informative source talks about Asperger’s/autism in terms of “we/us”, there’s an unwritten rule somewhere against my doing that, even if I’ve issued the applicable disclaimers that hardly anyone else feels the need to, but ah hell, I digress again lol.

(Maybe the heat, humidity, and sheer absence of breeze have really…

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So What Is Executive Dysfunction?

So Much Stranger, So Much Darker, So Much Madder, So Much Better

Executive dysfunction. It’s one of the trademarks of developmental disabilities such as autism and ADHD along with many other possible sources such as depression or schizophrenia. For those of us who went undiagnosed for a long time or who never learned about dysfunction, we often view ourselves as lazy, worthless, or many other terrible things. Things that others seem to find so easy can seem incredibly difficult or even impossible to those of us with executive dysfunction. So what exactly is executive dysfunction and what can I do about it? Today we’re going to talk about what it is and in a later post we’ll delve into strategies for dealing with it.

Executive dysfunction is when a person struggles with aspects of executive functioning. (I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes at the statement of the obvious). However, what exactly is executive function? That can be tricky to…

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Asperger’s / autism vs ADHD (Attention Deficit) ~ My perspective 

the silent wave

(Beginning note 1: this is the post that I began Monday night–yes, three full nights ago–that I had no reason not to think to myself, yeah; I’ll bang the rest of this out tomorrow in between meetings, no problem. Little did I know that it wouldn’t be nearly that simple; my brain would be kidnapped by Nicotine Withdrawal Elves overnight, which, “they” don’t tell you, essentially makes the brain feel like it perpetually just woke up. Therefore, this post is the product of sheer perseverance, if nothing else. It’s probably not my best writing. But please be gentle with me; it’s a miracle I got it done. Seriously, I can’t explain how hard I’ve worked on this over the past three days just to write something coherent enough to hit “publish”; you probably wouldn’t believe me, and I probably wouldn’t blame you.)

(Beginning note 2: this post is about my…

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How not to do an autism conference

autisticmotherland


Reflections on the NAS Autism and Mental Health conference 2017

It’s now two days since I attended the National Autistic Society’s ‘Autism and Mental Health’ conference at the Hilton in Reading. The event was attended by around 400 people and starred Tony Attwood and Wenn Lawson alongside other speakers. I was really looking forward to learning more about autistic mental health, but came away disappointed on many levels. Here’s why:

The venue was easy to get to and I arrived early as the pre-conference documentation indicated that parking was limited and that the alternative was parking further away and getting a bus. I struggle to use buses, they make me very anxious and to get through the day I needed to do as much as possible to reduce the avoidable anxieties.

  • Please consider using venues with sufficient parking.

The conference was held on the ground floor of the hotel, but…

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My very ordered “disordered” life

Aspie Under Your Radar

cable span bridge sliced in three sectionsIt always puzzles me, when people call Autism a “disorder”. Seems to me, a lot of autistic folks have a hell of a lot more order in their lives than the rest of the world.

I have my routines. I have my regular stuff done at regular times of the day. I have my regular activities pursued at regular intervals. I have a really great cadence which, unless it’s interrupted, allows me to get a whole lot done in a very small window of time. In the course of an average day, I can have a to-do list that runs off the page of the 4×6″ stickie note I keep in my daily minder. And I will get everything done — and then some — in a seamless flow of “Okay, that’s done – what’s next?”

I tell people what I do each day, and they shake their heads and tell…

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‘Special interest’ vs obsession 

the silent wave

The diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s/autism includes the tendency toward:

“Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g., strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).”

…At least, as described by those with cultural authority (a topic that will in itself be the focus of a future post).

(That criterion is Part B-3, for the curious.)

This is often shorthand-termed “special interest”, by some on and off the spectrum, and although I’ve used this term myself, you’ll see that it’s usually enclosed in quote marks, which I intend to indicate that although it’s a common and recognizable term, I don’t particularly like it.

For the record, I prefer terms such as “niche specialty”, “subject area of expertise”, “topic/subject of interest”, and so on. (Don’t those sound more dignified, not to mention more accurate?). Mix and match Dignified Terms until your heart’s content…

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CBD, Psychedelics, and Alternatives

MentalTruths

Since we’re on the subject of alternatives, let’s talk about CBD.

CBD, if you’re not aware, is an acronym for the Central Business District and Common Bile Duct and the Convention on Biodiversity.

It’s also is a shortcut way of saying CannaBiDiol, a compound within Marijuana plants. It accounts for about 40% of the overall extract from the plant, it’s highly known for being non-psychoactive, and is one of 113 cannabinoids within Cannabis.

You all know I have a long history with Marijuana, Mary Jane, that sticky-icky-icky, just as long as I’ve had a history with psychotropics, the psych meds, the poison, the Rx’s, whatever. Medication made it impossible to wake up in the morning, impossible to last throughout the day, impossible to not gain weight, impossible to feel like a human. Marijuana made it possible to tolerate the day, and not be present for it, which kind of sounds…

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Is there an #autistic way of being friends?

Aspie Under Your Radar

four groups of four people, with one person in front Friendship means different things to different people

I want to take a step back and reconsider something that comes up a lot in discussions about Autism / Aspergers – the concept of friendship. I’m not sure we’re thinking about this clearly. It could be that we’re applying neurotypical measures and values to the criteria for who’s a friend and what friendship constitutes. And I’m not sure it’s serving us. I think it may be causing a lot of us to think we’re lonelier (and more alone) than we really are.

I am beginning to suspect that Autism / Aspergers comes with its own unique brand of friendship. And that distinct “friendotype” is no less valid than the neurotypical type — it can be every bit as fulfilling, and it might just help to make the world a better place.

The sooner we stop measuring our friendships by neurotypical measures —…

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