Neurodiversity Thread


#101

Home now. Worst flight of my life.

Going to go dissolve in the bath with the lights off, I think.


#102

Good choice :+1:


#103

This has just piqued my interest. It’s not something I question much, but I have just found myself wondering why it is I sometimes feel a strange reluctance to say peoples’ names when addressing them / trying to get their attention. Not when referring to them, so much.

edit: and a couple of other things. Not about to start diagnosing myself with anything, but it’s an interesting read, as other’s have said

edit 2 son of edit: hence thanks :slight_smile:


#104

Hey ccb, I hope what I wrote earlier was at least a bit helpful.

So I started writing a lot about meltdowns but it was getting extremely unwieldy and complicated. Could you possibly elaborate a little on what her issues are, also do you find for yourself you need more of an idea how to deal with them?

wrt anxiety, I am afraid I don’t have much advice to offer as I still suffer from horrendous anxiety and unfortunately I don’t think it is ever completely avoidable for autistic people. However, to echo a bit something ttf spoke about upthread, being diagnosed in childhood is probably going to be a great help to her mental health as she gets older because she will have better support, especially with understanding parents, which will be a massive help. A lot of people like me who didn’t get diagnosed until adulthood only get recognised after years of deteriorating mental health. Getting a diagnosis young should hopefully help so much in making the most of all her positive traits and building self-esteem through that, as well as hopefully getting good support and guidance in education to help her use her talents to find a fulfilling way to spend her life.

Despite what a lot of ignorant people might think, there is absolutely nothing that autism will get in the way of your daughter doing in life that she wants to. I think in the autistic population of this forum you can see really positive examples of how people have done brilliant things even with late/no diagnosis - excellent education, jobs, independent living, success in hobbies. I mostly consider myself a failure in a lot of areas, but then I am doing something that a lot of people right off autistic women as being able to do in raising a child (I have encountered a lot of prejudice about this) - and I won’t lie, I often feel like I am not coping and doing a terrible job, but you know what? My son is totally thriving: well on track developmentally, eating very healthily through my cooking and becoming a very personable, caring and bright little human and we have a great bond. Someone from the children’s centre commented to me earlier how well I was doing with communicating with him and teaching him - they even pointed out how good my eye contact is with him and that is something very not-autistic.
Basically what I was trying to say there is to ignore limitations other people might think autism brings, and to encourage your daughter to think the same :slight_smile:

Oh, and with getting over-excited about things… I am not sure, I guess try make boundaries/expectations clear and maybe just try to find ways to channel it more productively into something focused? So with the Christmas example… maybe it might be too early to bring out the Sufjan box set, but there might be calming and preparatory things that are Christmas-y that could reroute her enthusiasm to to less likely to over-stimulate? I don’t know much of what her interests are, but if she likes anything crafty maybe she could use the excitement to make decorations/cards, or if she likes to write make Christmas stories, or I think I remember you saying she reads a lot? Perhaps get some Christmas books you might think she will like - anything that can feed the interest in a more calm and patient way. Or, just see if she will be content listening to other works in Sufjan’s catalogue for a little longer :wink:

Edit: believe it or not, this is shorter than the other post I have drafted, brevity is not a strength of mine.


#105

Thank you! Both your posts have been very helpful… It’s been really useful to get an insight into life as a female autistic adult (both from you and @PocketMouse) and it’s been encouraging too; as you said, it’s easy to write someone off or fear the worst about the future.

I’ll have a think again and reply tomorrow (my brain is not fresh enough at this time of night!)


#106

the names one, I’m not sure if I have read about in books, but it is something I’ve read lots of people say on aspergers/asd forums. I know it is something I have a problem with and that had been pointed out to me lots of times.

I don’t have any problem referring to someones name e.g. ‘have you seen [name]?’ but find it really hard to address a person by their name e.g ‘[name] can I ask you something’ or ‘how are you [name]?’ but have no trouble asking someone what their name is, its weird it just feels really uncomfortable, at work literally can’t get someones attention without adding a big ‘ummmmm’ before their name which sounds really stupid, just can’t say their name without doing that first. So yeah, not sure how official a trait it is, I just remember when I first started exploring aspergers/asd it was the combination of realising I had the triad of impairments, along with lots of other little things I had only ever considered idiosyncrasies that made me think I was on the right path after exploring others that never quite fit


#107

It really varies. Sometimes she’ll get really tearful; sometimes she’ll lash out at a friend or colleague, or shout at a teacher. It tends to happen when either (a) something unexpected has happened (e.g. a DVD freezing suddenly) or (b) when there have been a number of minor stresses that make her more sensitive to difficulties. She has had a cold the past few days and she’s definitely a lot worse when unwell.

This is really encouraging, thank you :slight_smile: you and PM are both great examples and it’s been great to hear about your stories and take inspiration from them. My uncle lives in the USA and has lectured in engineering over there for about 25 years before retiring. And he was saying that there are loads of former students of his with strong ASD traits who have excelled in their field. But she’s a girl who has many strengths so I think she’ll have options open to her. We’ll just try our best to help her to learn independence and to help her wellbeing.

Regarding Christmas - we can do a certain amount whilst she’s at home to focus on calming activities. Mrs CCB is making an “advent calendar” of Christmas books and craft activities - one for each day - and that will help. We find that we have to manage her screen time otherwise she gets overstimulated, so we keep the Christmas TV to a minimum. The main issue is regarding school - they seem to stick a DVD on every afternoon in December, plus things like school plays are disruptive to routine. Plus all the other kids are mega-hyped for Christmas so it’s not an easy environment for her at this time of year! But on the other hand, I don’t want her to feel like she’s missing out. I guess that if we can at least keep her home environment calm then that’ll help.

And I might see if I can persuade her to listen to Illinois between now and next weekend :wink:

Thanks again for the advice!


#108

Sorry, I intend to reply to this, I have just not quite had the energy. Hopefully tomorrow.


#109

Thanks @Flashinglight and @ttf for the book recommendations. I’ve got the Tony Attwood complete guide and also “I Think I Might Be Autistic” by Cynthia Kim because it was cheap and seemed… apt.

I’m mindful that I’ve only had an informal diagnosis and I probably won’t pursue a clinical one, so I’m trying to figure out how much of this is relevant to me and what adjustments I can make to cope better. Books help this.


#110

I’d forgotten about that Cynthia Kim one, it was very useful in actually showing how the criteria play out in real life. Another good Atwood one is called ‘been there, done that, try this’ it’s good because it is more aimed at practical things, it’s a collaboration with lots of autistic adults about how they’ve adapted to common problems. Also neurotribes by Steve Silverman is a fascinating read on the history/politics of it. Probably one of the things I found most useful was reading forums like wrongplanet, as actual people discussing their experiences was really informative


#111

Thanks! I’ll look into those too. I’ve also got “Pretending To Be Normal” on my wishlist but I’m not sure if that’ll be particularly beneficial - (I think) I mostly pass as mostly NT most of the time, I’m more interested in getting a better handle on the internal stuff.


#112

As an Aspie birthday treat (set in motion by the Chris Packham documentary and after an argument about ABA), my wife bought me a new copy of Attwood’s Complete Guide to Aspegers, plus Neurotribes and Autism Revolution. I feel that for all I’ve learnt about me, I probably need to read up on more on what has defined what made me, if that makes sense. If anyone has some other reading recommendations, would love to add them to the list :slight_smile:


#113

Have you read ‘in a different key?’ I have not but keep meaning to, think it is in a similar vein to neurotribes, but from a less celebratory perspective (which might be annoying but I’m interested in different takes)


#114

I wouldn’t be surprised if I had Aspergers. I struggle with empathy (I think I’m pretty good at reading people’s facial expressions, but I could not give a fuck whether people are happy or sad most of the time, which sounds horrible), I find eye-contact uncomfortable sometimes (I feel like people can read all my private, horrible thoughts, as though my soul is being stared into or something) - I can pull it off well, but I feel like I’ve trained myself to do it because I know I probably have Aspergers, rather than it being a natural thing for me to want to do - I also have a slight aversion to using people’s names (mainly when I’m in the company of someone, not when they’re not there).

I also read somewhere that taking a bit longer than everyone else to understand jokes is another trait. For example when I’m watching Have I Got News for You with my parents, there are some things that Ian Hislop/Paul Merton will say that I just don’t get, or will take a long time to get, and sometimes my parents have to explain it to me. I don’t like memes or puns either which seem to be very neurotypical forms of humour. I mean what’s the point in them? I get them, but 99% of the time they’re not funny that you actually need to laugh. I feel a similar way about most conversational topics. I generally like talking, but I’d say a lot of conversations I have seem to be mundane, ineffectual and just a waste of time (but it really depends on who I’m talking to, I’d argue it’s possibly the case that some (most) people are just on a completely different wavelength and are not very stimulating to talk to).

I’ve also been told I have quite a monotone voice which is also apparently a trait (even when I was at school, teachers would bring this up). Apparently I sound quite monotone, but I’ve never noticed this myself and my family/friends have never commented on it either, it’s just when I’m feeling uncomfortable in my own skin (speaking in front of lots of people I don’t know).


#115

You have mentioned a lot of minor trairs, but not much of the core of the condition. If you think that it is something which is relevant to you, I would recommend reading up on it properly, the National Autistic Society have a lot on their website autism.org.uk
Just to clear up, lack of empathy in the way you describe is absolutely NOT an autistic trait, when empathy is spoken about wrt autism it is more about difficulty identifying/recognising emotions and knowing what to do with them. It is absolutely not an autistic thing to not give a fuck about people. I am autistic to the point of actually needing a fair bit of support with daily life, but I care a lot about the feelings of my family and friends, even just about people I have fleeting interactions with - I spend a lot of time feeling guilty that I could have negatively impacted someone’s emotions and not realised it.


#116

Pretty, pretty burned out by the Christmas socialising season. I’ve avoided as many optional things as possible and I still have a strong urge to lock myself in the spare room until this all blows over and everyone’s too poor to go out in January.


#117

Yep. The empathy part is very definitely not a lack of caring about people’s feelings. It’s more difficulty reading and reacting to those feelings. So basically the other way round to how it is for you. That isn’t to say you’re not on the spectrum, but that is certainly not a trait.

It’s why a lot of autistic people are very good at caring for animals - you don’t need to read expressions or “between the lines” and they will usually respond predictably, so there’s less anxiety.


#118

Only just found this thread. We’re going through the diagnosis process with my 5yo son at the moment. He’s struggling a lot with transitioning from activities he enjoys and reacting violently on occasion. Also getting a bit obsessive about his best friend - not letting anyone else play with him etc. Fortunately his school are super-supportive and looks like theyve managed to secure additional SEND support, which is wonderful news.

Anyway, just wanted to say that I’ve found this thread really, really helpful at improving my understanding. Thank you all. X


#119

^this sounds really familiar - our eldest still struggles with this from time to time. (For instance, they were watching a film in school yesterday and they had to pause it at a really exciting bit, which triggered a bit of a meltdown. Non-violent but lots of tears, wailing etc).

EDIT: I should add that she has got loads better at coping with things over the last few years

I remember you mentioning your son at a Fenino a while ago and I meant to ask how he’s getting on. Really glad the school’s being supportive; feel free to message on here / DM if you need to! (Though I really do feel like I’m winging it and learning stuff all the time).


#120

Thank you! The offer is mutual of course- always happy to talk if you want to chat!