Neurodiversity Thread


#81

Yeah I should do, I’m going to book it for next weekend.


#82

Honestly kind of tempted to paint one if the rooms in the house I am hopefully buying completely black and fill it full of nice-feeling things so I can just roll around and whatever. If I had one more room I would definitely do it. And if anyone wants to buy me a senssensoff deprivation tank as a housewarming present I’ll find a way to fit it in.


#83

Diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 3. Went through speech therapy, which helped a lot in that I basically learnt to talk from scratch, although it still means that I’ll have something in mind, say it, and it goes through a long-winded internal translation which makes it come out in a strange, roundabout way. I really struggled with the nuances of social interaction when I was younger - I still do now, although to a lesser extent than when I was in primary school. I moved to a special needs school in my teens, which helped in the first year, and then as I grew up and gained new interests, I felt like a square peg in a round hole again, which fed anxiety and depression. It’s taken a while to deal with that too.

(As per the internal translations, this took several attempts to write over the space of a day.)


#84

I also had speech therapy when i was 4 or 5. I was also a big daydreamer and when i was 8 or 9 my teacher told my parents that I’d never amount to anything in life. Lovely women.

I ended up going to Uni and getting a decent job. My mum saw her manyears later in town, and told her what I’d achieved and exactly what she thought of her.


#85

I am like this when someone has bright lights on in their house. It automatically puts me on edge. I like to just have a low lit lamp on in our living room but my housemate will regularly turn on the big bright light and sit under it. I have to leave cause I can physically feel the unease in my shoulders and arms.

I also have major issues with light coming into my bedroom at night. This extends to anyone turning on a light outside my door and it coming through the cracks/under the door. I just can’t take it and it’s caused me many issues in houseshares. Even if i’m dead asleep and someone turns on a light outside my room, i’ll wake up and suddenly feel dreadful.


#86

Hi ccb, sorry if I go on a bit, this may be several losts over the rest of the day, though feel free to tell me to shut up and please don’t feel pressured to respond to everything as I might drift away from relevance. Also, everything I am saying is very much coloured by my experience of autism, so may not apply to your daughter because of course autism is a very varied thing (which your comments on the limitations of the the ‘spectrum’ description show you obviously understand).

I can’t agree with this more - ttf is spot on here. It is so frustrating that so mamy people seem to only think what they can see outwardly is what is there, if there are symptoms they can identify with their stereotyped idea of what an autistic person should look like. The thing is though with autism it is so much about what is going on internally, and with people in the aspergers kind of area of diagnosis you tend to learn behaviours to make you pass for normal when you can, but it is exhausting. Which is why it is total bs when people dismiss there being a difficulty because they don’t see it, or say there are too many diagnoses when they don’t understand the people need them to access support that can be vital for them.

(part one)


#87

Thanks to @PocketMouse for creating this thread.

Whilst i do suffer from anxiety and low moods, I’ve never felt comfortable opening up in the depression thread, even though I know there are elements of depression, I feel far more comfortable here.


#88

Just to echo the comments that your daughter sounds like the best.

Honestly, I still struggle with managing meltdowns, anxiety, and overexcitement/ overstimulation at nearly thirty! I probably always will. But I manage with them just about, and I’m prepared to take some hits in return for the brilliant stuff.

This is talking very much in the long term, but one of the top pieces of advice I can give is to be patient and expect most things to take much longer. Tenn years ago (at 19) nobody would have believed I’d one day have a degree from Cambridge, a full time supervisory level job, and be about to buy a house.


#89

That’s really good advice, and super encouraging :slight_smile:


#90

i’m definitely hypersensitive to sounds if i’m not focused on something
noticed recently that i’m able to enjoy concerts much more when i’m wearing earplugs because it helps me tune out the people around me, might try them in other situations too


#91

Can’t quite get my head around this tbh and would love to read something by a medical professional to try and gain some insight. Like I thought it was accepted most people were on the spectrum, kind of a byproduct of how we evolved? Also, I’m wondering how they tell the difference between neurodiversity and someone just having intense likes and dislikes, or standard feelings or irritation or fear of loud noises/darkness/light, etc, or really deep interests/passions in particular hobbies or activities?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, the stuff I’ve read via google hasn’t helped much so far.


#92

I can’t speak for everyone but when my daughter was assessed, they looked at three areas: social interaction, social communication and social imagination:

http://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/myths-facts-stats.aspx

Look up “triad of impairment” for further info.

I can see why people quite often say “oh, we’re all on the spectrum somewhere”: it’s natural to want to identity with people and make them feel like they’re not alone. The difficulty comes with the implication: “we’re all on the spectrum so why isn’t your daughter coping?

Of course I know that not what you’re saying / implying :slight_smile:


#93

I’m not a medical professional but always recommend Tony Atwood.

It’s complicated, it isn’t any one thing but a combination of things.
-a person will need to have problems in all three of the triad of impairments, they’d need to have been apparent from early childhood rather than developed later
-language delays in childhood are common
-physical things, hypersensitivity to sensory experience, difficult to hold eye contact, awkward inexpressive posture, stimming (fidgeting to calm oneself)
-uneven profile of ability, typical people will have strengths and weaknesses, but with asd people tend to extremes with strengths in some area and actual deficits in others
-empathy (as in the ability to read people not the ability to care which the word is often used for)
-difficulty with ‘theory of mind’ the ability to imagine what others are thinking
-language quirks, muddled prounouns (linked to theory of mind), aversion to using names, aptitude/enjoymy for wordplay and making up words
-tendency towards routine and sameness
-easy to become overwhelmed and meltdown, different from a tantrum as not goal orientated and hard to stop
-intense special interests
-difficulty communicating in large groups
-difficult knowing when to take turns speaking
-strong systemising intelligence

Sorry this is a bit of a rambling unstructured list and not exhaustive. Not all these things are diagnostic criteria, point I was trying to make us the profile of ASD is quite well understood, so if someone does have the triad of impairment, from an early age, and they have a lot of these other traits, and fit the profile it is probably ASD. Lots of assessors say they can often tell straight away rather than at the end of their battery of tests, I kind of agree with that, once you know what to look for you can just see it.

I agree everyone has a few traits, I don’t think any of these behaviours are unique to people with ASD, it’s more a case of the combination of traits, the threshold at which things become problems, the frequency, and the intensity. Ultimately it comes down to whether these things are causing people problems in life, if they are then an ASD diagnosis is warranted


#94

I think you’re amazing :heart:


#95

I didn’t know the pronoun thing! I’m forever using you/I the wrong way round, especially when talking to clients at work. That’s kinda cool to know.


#96

Really good thread all and pleased some of you have found a space you feel suits you better than the depression thread :slight_smile:

@meowington: one of the things I’ve started to think recently is not being “normal” can be pretty great at times and I like the things that make me different/me - be they my struggles with depression or the fact that I’m in my 30s and still play with plush animals at times. For all that, it obviously can still make life much harder for a lot of people, because i think even when you embrace the things unique yourself, I think many of us want other people to accept us for who we see ourselves as, not the person they want us to be. And yet there’s little understanding in society of many of these things, nor a huge amount of tolerance yet for those differences.

Not sure if that makes sense (or is appropriate in here - apologies if not)


#97

it was one of the first clues for me, I was seeing a counsellor and they always commented on how difficult they found it to follow me because of the pronouns I used (and would always comment on my poor eye contact), so i’d become quite aware of it at exactly the time I started looking into aspergers


#98

Nearly had a meltdown in the airport now, so that’s good.


#99

@ttf

Cheers guys, this is really useful stuff. Lots to think about here, the stuff I’d read didn’t even mention the triad. Very interesting :+1::+1:


#100

Transport places can be the worst for this. Had a major one in a tube station when I couldn’t work out how to buy a ticket and because it’s London everyone just ignores you.

The best thing I’ve found with meltdowns that works for me is just to forget everyone else and do what you feel you need at that time. So for me that might be getting my soft toy out and rocking or just tucking my chest into my legs and closing my eyes or draw imaginary things on the ground or whatever comes to mind. That’s no real help for you, but maybe you can find a thing? For me, trying to suppress a meltdown doesn’t work, so I just let it out as soon as possible before it gets worse.

Hope you’re feeling a bit better now x