Tag Archives: Asperger’s Syndrom

Recommended Reading

All of the following titles can be found either on Kindle or Audible – Yes I have read or listened to every one of the following books personally.

How Autism ‘Awareness’ and the School System Failed My Brother and Me

Wow THIS article by Nora Burritt contributor to The Mighty is AMAZING!

I can take no credit for the article below, although so much of what Nora had to say could be my own words. The little girl below could easily have been me -or a million other invisible Autistic women.

There is a huge problem in the way Autism is treated and how women and girls are being missed . We really are invisible and grow up wondering why we always fall short of others expectations of us.

We wonder why we are not good enough. We wonder why we are different. Eventually when the pressure gets to be too much we implode and find ourselves staring down an official Autism diagnosis – despite all the signs being visible at childhood.

Boys are diagnosed as toddlers. Women are diagnosed in their 20’s and 30’s (or older). I know a woman who was diagnosed at 68. We NEED to do better. We owe it to our sisters and daughters.

There is a photo of me at 3 years old. I am standing in a meadow on the tips of my toes, arms scrunched up like a t-rex, hands blurred from excitedly flapping.“You were so cute!” my family members coo when they pass this photo. These are the same people who look at me and say, “You can’t be autistic, you’re a girl!”

I hit developmental milestones quite differently than others. For instance, I never learned to crawl forwards, I was speaking complete sentences at a year old and reading books by 3. I wasn’t potty trained until I was almost 4 and said to my mother, “I am finished with diapers,” and that was it. I would bolt and hide in clothing racks in stores and cry when my parents made me try something new.

Sensory wise, I was notoriously known for my aversion to dirt, anything soft, loud noises, flashing lights, and many other things. I walked on my tip-toes constantly, chewed apart all of my shirts and gel toys, rocked and spun enthusiastically. I struggled with math concepts to the point where I barely skimmed by. I used to cry constantly in preschool and elementary because I couldn’t regulate my sensory system or handle my surroundings. I was often in the principal’s office because teachers misunderstood me trying to comprehend with me being insubordinate. In middle school, when a psychologist brought up Asperger’s syndrome with my mother, she laughed and called him “crazy.”

See full article here.

Finding Out About My Autism as an Adult

When you find out you are Autistic as an adult your world is suddenly completely different but still exactly the same.

My entire life I’ve felt out of step with the world. I am awkward, clumsy, often confused, but at the same time I can be shockingly clever – probably why my Aspie nature went undetected for so long.

Once you learn and begin to see yourself and the world from the enlightened perspective of Autism you can no longer return to pretending you might be “just like everybody else.” It is a shocking and undeniable truth that strikes you in the face like a cold hard fist.

Finding out you are Autistic as an adult feels so final. Before there was more hope that I may someday outgrow some of my more eccentric traits. Now I am more aware of my unique (or not so unique) habits and needs than ever. They are inescapable.

People who knew me before discovering my Autism still see me as the same person that I’ve always been. Most of them can’t believe I’m an Aspie and are questioning and skeptical – which literally leaves me speechless and unable to explain myself.

The people who know me the best hear me out and many actually seem to find the answers to their own unanswered questions in my explanations.

I literally cannot handle confrontations with anyone. They leave me speechless. If I do not get away panic sets in, I become unable to think and may lash out verbally or cry. It is childish and shameful so I run. These are the nightmares that I may never outgrow.

Autism is so – final. When you search for Autism resources online almost every result is focused on children, but Autism is a lifelong “condition”. Autistic children grow up to become Autistic adults – so here I am finding out about my Autism as an Adult.

 

 

I’m Not Built For City Life

I hate the city. I don’t like the noise, the smell, the large concentration of strangers.

I’m a numbers person. I like facts and statistics. Numbers don’t lie.

Violent crimes happen more often in a big city – rape, burglary, and random acts of violence. We don’t have those where I could from.

All that and still I find myself here sitting in the 8th floor parking garage downtown almost an hour before my shift starts. Why? Because letting myself be defeated is not an option. I can make it through a day in hell – one step at a time.

I left the house at 5:30a.m. this morning in order to make my 6:30 a.m. shift start time.

Perhaps the worst thing about the city is the traffic. A drive that should take 20 minutes can take an hour and a half depending on when you leave and the time of day.

Being late gives me anxiety so I arrive at least a half hour early to anything important. Back home I don’t have to worry about traffic, but migrating into the city for work bring unpredictable traffic patterns.

My supersonic hearing is overwhelmed while walking on the city streets. The noise of birds the perfume of flowers washed away by the sounds of car horns and smells of human waste.

Homeless people ask for money as I walk  from the parking garage to the convention center, some forcefully. I’ve heard on the news people were attacked for not giving. I don’t carry cash.

“Please don’t ask me” I say to myself. I can’t read their faces or decipher their intent. It is almost impossible for me to read strangers. Is this person dangerous? I have no idea.

As a child I had no fear of strangers. I would wander right up to them and star talking at them – monologue style. Spouting off information about my favorite hobbies.

The older I get, the more I am aware of my impairments. This has sparked a fear in me that was not there before. I’ve always been an anxious person, but when I was younger I couldn’t see danger – so I did not know it was there.

Now I know that I cannot always see or hear danger – and that in itself is terrifying.

I get lost in the little details, and being alert in the city demands that you be aware of busy surroundings. It is hard for me to not get draw into one little piece of my surroundings.

My shift goes well but my batteries are running low. Back to the parking garage I race not sure how much more of the “real world” I can handle.

Darkness is just sinking in as I get into my car. Driving during rush hour traffic is difficult. I have a hard time with depth perception / judging distance. Driving at night is terrifying because I can barely see the road.

My mother always pointed out that there was something wrong with the way I interpenetrated distance (probably because I walked into a lot of walls and doorways as a kid). It wasn’t until learning about being an Aspie that I began to understand how badly I am affected by this issue.

Unfortunately I am just not built for city life.

New 360 Virtual Reality Video Attempts to Help NT People Experience Sensory Overload

I saw the original video (without the 360 VR) a few months back. However this new 360 VR video takes another stab at offering an Aspie experience to neurotypical people. Once again I can NOT take credit or this video.  This video belongs to The National Autistic Society.

I Had a Meltdown the Other Day

I had a meltdown the other day. Quite some time had passed between meltdowns, looking back it is impossible to remember when my last meltdown even was. Long ago, months, years maybe?

When I was younger my meltdowns were more explosive – fits of rage, yelling, screaming, breaking things. As an adult my meltdowns are far less frequent and have become more of an implosion, folding into myself, alone in my own hell.

My body aches and my stomach twists in knots. There is no air, it becomes hard to breathe. I cry and hyper ventilate.All I want to do is hide in my dark room under a pile of blankets. Lights hurt my eyes, every sound makes me jump, anything touching me becomes painful, even being around people hurts, especially if they ask me to communicate with them.

Over the years I’ve gotten better at predicting and preventing them. I try to avoid encountering too many triggers in one day.

When I’m tired or feeling as if my energy levels are off, I always take some time to relax alone. If I pay careful attention to my mind and body, there are certain hints that my mental energy bank is getting low.

Certain activities take up more mental energy than others. It’ like I’m a video game character with a life bar. Every thing I encounter drains a little of my life away – florescent lights, trying to pay attention to multiple conversations in a crowded room, meetings & phone calls with people at the office.

Some items tick away slowly at my life bar, while others take away chunks at a time. When I run out of energy a meltdown is eminent. Nothing is going to stop it when it gets to this point.

There is one thing that makes life extremely difficult. In general I am a pretty nervous person. Although I’ve learned to push myself through my anxiety, doing so takes up a lot of my energy. Unfortunately I have only so much to give in one day.

Finally, as I get older, I am learning to say no to people when I am not up to going out. The people in my life are of my own choosing. I spend time with my family at least once or twice a month and I can count my true friends on one hand.

My friends seem to understand that I don’t have a lot of social time to give. They don’t know I’m on the spectrum. Most people would have no idea. When I am out in the world, I give 100 percent. Being “socially acceptable”  is work, and I can’t do it when I have limited energy available to me.

Fortunately, there are a few ways that I can regenerate some of my precious (& limited) life-force. Naps are wonderful, soaking in long hot baths, taking my dog for a walk in the woods, reading a book, and writing are all things that help me purge excessive anxiety.

I have to be kind to myself. Learning to listen to my body, though yoga, was one of the best things that I’ve ever done for myself. Many Aspies can feel disconnected from our bodies, but when we reconnect something amazing happens. My body tingles and my brain becomes sharp – cutting like a laser.

My gifts outweigh my curses, when allowed to live my own way. Don’t expect me to conform to all of society’s norms. Autism Awareness is being aware that people have autism. I am asking for Autism Acceptance. Please give us the freedom to be ourselves.

So much of my suffering comes from the negative stigma associate with being Autistic, and the amount of energy spent trying to look “Neurotypical” every day is massive. Until we have more compassion and understanding, I am always – Anonymously Autistic.

 

 

 

Hannah Riedel Shares What She Likes About Being Autistic

Original video by Hannah Riedel on YouTube. I do not own the rights to this video. Hannah is amazing and you should check out and follow her channel on YouTube.

This month, Autism Awareness Month, I am sharing awareness of Autism through the eyes of real Aspies. Hannah shares her stories on YouTube and helps show the world what being on the spectrum is like for her.

 

Autism Awareness – Autism Stories

For Autism Awareness Month, I will be sharing some of the Autism stories that I found inspiring.

Let’s spread awareness of REAL Autistic people. We don’t need a cure, we are not diseased, we need understanding.

Amythest Schaber’s Ask an Autistic – What is Autism?

Amythest Schaber is an amazing Autism activist. She spreads a positive message about what being Autistic is really like. Amythest builds up our community and educates the world. I can NOT take credit for her video. Please check her out and subscribe to her on YouTube. She is amazing – you will love her! ❤

This month is Autism Awareness month. I believe that Autistics are the best people to educate the world about Autistics.

See video HERE.

I am Not a Person With Autism – I am Autistic

I realize the term “person with Autism” is supposed to be a respectful way to describe people like me, but the truth is that phrase implies that Autism is something bad.

There is nothing wrong with me. You may find me socially unacceptable from time to time or notice that my way of thinking is different from your own.

Different does not equal broken. In fact, I wouldn’t ever choose to stop being an Aspie, even if I could.

Despite what psychologists and medical professionals say about Autism, many Aspergians do not feel as if our unique way of thinking should be classified as a disorder.

Parents with newly diagnosed or severely Autistic children often wonder if their child’s “condition” is due to something they did wrong. Many people, myself included, believe that Autism is genetic. Looking around at my family only strengthens my belief that AS runs in families of exceptionally bright people.

In fact it has been said that “a touchof Autism is necessary in order to succeed in fields such as computer science and engineering”. A popular article, Autism The Geek Syndrome, suggested that most of the brilliant minds in Silicon Valley could be on the spectrum.

I truly believe that Neurodiversity is a necessary part of human evolution and Aspies habe been around throughout our existence. Great minds, such as Einstein, Mozart, and Tesla are now though to have been on the spectrum.

Autism seems to be tied to giftedness. Many of the greatest thinkers and world changers likely land somewhere on the spectrum. Wiping out Autism could very well be the end of progressive society as we know it.

Society has a bad habit of only wanting to focus on the negatives. Can you remember the last time you saw a happy story on the news? How often do your favorite shows get interrupted in order to bring you information about something positive?

Google-ing Autism brings up pages and pages of results. It takes considerable work to find information about the best parts of Autism. Our gifts are hidden online and in the media, buried beneath all the problems and drama.

You easily find stories about the severely affected child, and the nonverbal adults desperately in need of lifelong care. The parents of these children are crying for help and their stories fill the headlines, but these extreme cases are in the minority.

Nobody wants to hear about the “high functioning” adults who can pass (with exhausting effort) in society. Parents dealing with the hardships associated with having a child who has been labeled “low functioning” something feel as if Aspies like me are somehow hurting their case by saying that Autism is not something that needs to be cured.

Every time I stumble across articles talking about finding a cure for Autism or isolating the “Autism gene” my frustration and worry rises. Don’t these people realize they are talkinggenocide and Eugenics.

Aspies are just like any other minority. People would be outraged if these same articles replaced the world “Autism” with “Hispanic” or “Anglo”. I am reminded of concentration camp stories of Nazzi Germany and the quest to create the perfect race.

Stop trying to cure me. Stop trying to prevent others like me from being born. There is nothing wrong with me or my genes. Just support me, and help us succeed in this world. We deserve to live just as much as everyone else.

This is why I am NOT a person with Autism. I am Autistic and proud of it, even if you can’t understand that.

Please be respectful, and understand if I am irritated when non-Aspies try to govern what is best for us. Many of us are perfectly capital of advocating for ourselves.

We do not need or want a cure.