Tag Archives: Aspie

Autism’s Not So Bad – Why I Focus on The Positive

On this blog I share my difficulties so that others who have similar troubles will know they are not alone.

In life I try to focus more on the positives. It is better for me to focus on the things I can do versus worry over the areas I’m lacking.

I could beat myself up over my flaws until my self-esteem is in the toilet and I slip into a deep darkness. Trust me I’ve been there before and getting down like that is not helpful. Sure, I have limitations and disabilities but we all have troubles and obstacles to overcome.

When I was younger adults pointed out my flaws. Teachers and school highlighted all the ways I was a failure. I felt completely inadequate and was physically ill from anxiety.

My skills and artistic abilities were always discouraged. Nobody pushed me to peruse my talents. People assumed I would grow up and never make anything of myself.

It has taken years to recover from this trauma. The past few years have been the best years of my life – especially since discovering my Autism. The amount of self compassion needed to accept this truth helped me shift my thinking.

My Autism has given me quite a few gifts that I would like to highlight. These are the things I think about during my day. Reflecting on the positives keeps me going, making sure I don’t fall into a pit of self-pity. I have to keep moving.

I am extremely detail oriented (almost to a fault sometimes) but when doing the right types of tasks I am better than most at catching certain things.

My personality – these traits I believe come from my Autism. I am very loyal, honest, and self motivated. Above all things I value the truth.

I am a very dedicated employee and am great at following a list of tasks. I don’t socialize when I should be working and generally try to do work I love. I work hard and follow the rules.

Peer pressure does not get me. I am able to see when others are being illogical. I am a VERY logical person. I can also be calm when others panic (depending on the situation).

I have a bond with animals and nature. A walk in nature cures anything in my soul.

I’m not afraid to go against popular opinions – and will often comment when I disagree with them.

My perspective is different. Autism affects the way I intemperate the world so I have a unique perspective. This can be very helpful in a group when looking for new solutions.

I see music videos when I close my eyes and recall songs in my head like a jukebox. The movies come alive in full color. This is just magical. I also memorize songs and know all the words to just about every song I enjoy.

I can write in a way that comes from my Autistic experience. I’ve read so many books. As a child I read fiction, Stephen King, Dracula, and many more adult books. I remember the beautiful patterns in the words. I’ve read all the classics and now I read non-fiction. These things have rubbed off on me.

Patterns are everywhere and I see them. I see pasterns in everything – people, objects, concepts. Sometimes I get lost in them but I’ve learned to use these things as a guide for my life. It makes things more predictable – which most Aspies can appreciate.

Synesthesia – I enjoy mine but am not ready to put the experience into words. Sometimes it is distracting and even distressing. It made driving very difficult. Until about a year ago I didn’t even know there was a word for my experience. Still – I actually love this part of myself and would NEVER give it up.

So despite the days where I am sharing a painful experience, these are the things in my mind on a day to day basis. I remind myself every day of the ways I am blessed so that I am not overcome by darkness.

Temple Grandin Explains Why It’s Necessary to Pull ASD Children Out of Their Comfort Zone

I agree – although it was difficult, my mother forced me out of my comfort zone and made me do things I did not want to do while my sister “the baby” of the family was treated much more softly.

The difference in our independence is night and day. We both suffer with problems with anxiety and social situations, but I have learned to push through the anxiety  and she seems to have a much harder time than I do.

Once again I can NOT take credit for the following article, but I wanted to share as it was worth a read.

Temple Grandin is a huge inspiration to me and listening to her audio book actually sparked the “aha moment” that led me to realize that I was on the spectrum. If Temple is “the woman who thinks like a cow” than I am the woman who thinks like a dog.

A new autism book, The Loving Push, encourages parents to gently and lovingly nudge children on the spectrum to perform activities outside their comfort zone. This book is written by Dr. Temple Grandin, a leading spokesperson on autism, as well as psychologist Debra Moore.

In the book, Dr. Grandin gives an example of how her mother encouraged herto step outside her comfort zone; she urged her to go to the store to get lumber for something she was building. Grandin’s mother had deduced that her child’s motivation to do the project would help her overcome her anxiety. She was right. Dr. Grandin encourages other parents to do the same for their children, gently pushing them to reach their full potential.


Please read full article here.

As the Anxiety Kicks In

The anxiety rushes over me like a title wave. Every sound and movement around me sends my heart racing. I feel a strong urge to get away, far away – what am I running from?

I try to shake it off, searching for something to distract myself with. After all, I know that I’m in no actual danger. The crazy is all in my head.

People around me do not seem to notice that I’ve gone someplace else, drifting far away into my mind. I’m still and quiet, keeping my silent torment all to myself.

If they knew what was happening to me they’d stare or try to help. More than anything I want to be alone. Trying to talk or interact only makes things worse.

Keeping my breaths slow and relaxed takes nearly all of my focus. The rest of my energy is used up trying to  anchor myself to the ground, fighting a strong urge to run.

Where would I go if could run? To a dark quiet room without any people – anywhere with a locking door and soothing lighting.

I like the dark. When I was a child the sun outside and florescent light bulbs in commercial buildings hurt my eyes. They still do. Being undiagnosed, I was often chastised for my whining. Apparently normal people didn’t have the same complaints that I did.

Reading and writing are relaxing and help to ease my anxiety (that’s why I’m writing now, because I know I will feel better by the time I’m finished).

Writing is one of my lifetime special interests.  I’ve had many interests over the years. When I am doing my current “thing” I am happy and all my troubles melt away.

Sometimes, when the anxiety and darkness are really bad, all I can do is my favorite thing. I cling to it, like a person grasping onto a life preserver beside a sinking ship.  It keeps me afloat, distracts me from what is uncomfortable, and gives me focus on something good.

My ability to hold things in came from a mother who was not very understanding when I tried to explain my feelings. She couldn’t relate to my struggles and always told me to toughen up, deal with it, and stop complaining. So that’s what I did.

I learned to keep my feeling to myself, learned to blend in with a crowd, learned to be tough.

As a teenager my inability to express myself would often leave me exploding like a violent volcano. I knew I could not act that way at school or in front of my parents, so I kept it in. Sometimes I felt so angry that all I wanted to do was throw or break something but I held back, at least until I was alone – most of the time.

The older I get the less and less of a volcano I seem to become. Now my eruptions have shifted to implosions. I fold into myself, running away, sometimes crying or hiding in my bed. I don’t yell, scream, or hit things – not any more.

Shutting down is far less destructive when you are trying to stay Anonymously Autistic as the anxiety kicks in.

Life Hacks for the Aspie

I stumbled across this amazing blog post today. It was too good not to share!  Please check out the original blog post by clicking on the link below for more great tips.<3

My Aspie Eyes

lifehacksTo tolerate places you don’t want to be at:

Take your glasses off

If you wear contacts or glasses, wear glasses that day.  If you are going somewhere that are dreading or think it will be kind of invasive like the dentist, eye doctor, or hair dresser, take your glasses off when you are able.  Blurred vision means less visual cues to take in and fully process.  It also means less cutting eye contact and less details of others’ facial expressions to hold on to and worry about (cuz you can’t really see it as clear!).  When already stressed or on alert mode, taking away even just one stressor can be very beneficial.

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Spring Makes Me Happy – Poetry

Spring makes me happy

Sunny skies and warm breezes

Open windows

Fresh air

Calming sounds of nature

The air smells like flowers

and the birds sound happy

I feel their joy inside me

Finally spring is here

awakening me from frigid slumber


Another Emotional Intelligence Test

I recently took an Emotional Intelligence Test online. This is not the first time that I have taken one of these tests, and I could not find the test that I took last time but this one is not bad if you have 45 minutes to spare.

At the end there is a section that asks you to read faces and determine what the emotions on them most likely are. I knew this was an area that I have problems with but it was interesting to really see my own confusion. The obvious emotions like joy and anger I am able to pinpoint but the more neutral ones leave me lost.

However the situational questions that give context clues were much easier for me. I remember learning about context clues in elementary school. I use context clues in my every day life to help patch together situations and things that I don’t hear correctly due to my auditory processing problems. Sometimes I may only understand a few words in a sentence, but I can normally arrange them in a way that makes since in my mind to figure out what someone has said if I am feeling sharp.
This emotional intelligence test consists of two parts; a self-report portion and an ability portion. I scored a 61 and the test gave me the following description of my score.

You appear to have at least some basic skill when it comes to identifying, perceiving and expressing emotions in yourself and others. However, there is still a great deal of room to improve on this core ability. . . By improving your skills in this area of emotional intelligence, you will be in a better position to read others, understand how they feel, and effectively identify your own emotions. These skills form the basis of your ability to relate to others as well as your ability to understand yourself.

Emotional Intelligence Test 

Aspie Connect Message Board

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of questions, comments and discussions happening in the comments sections of this blog so I started a message board.

My goal is to provide a message board where Autistic people (Aspies) have a place to network, support each other, share stories and help educate Neurotypical people who have questions about AS.

The forum is open and anyone should be able to post and create topics. I do not believe you need an account to post.

Please forgive me if it is not what you are used to, as I have never created a message board before.

There is a link to the new message board in the menu to the Anonymously Autistic website, but just FYI the web address is below. 🙂

Welcome to Aspie Connect!