Showing posts with label actually autistic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label actually autistic. Show all posts

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Things not to say to an autistic person.

Hey readers,

As a person with autism, it can be frustrating at times talking to people about my condition as they have these preconceived ideas about what it must be like for me. Here is a list of things that I think don't need to be said to an autistic person like myself.

1.  You don't look autistic?

I got a feeling that a lot of autistic people have had this said to them. It is so frustrating because assume autistic people either sit and rock in a corner somewhere or are Rain Man, which I am neither extreme. Autism is a spectrum condition and it affects people differently and at different times. Not to mention that autism is constantly fluctuates depending on the circumstances and mindset of the person with autism.

2. Rain Man.

Like I said above some people assume you are Rain Man or you can excel in maths or computer studies. Yet again this is not me, I am not really good at either and enjoy fashion, ummm what about then.

3. Girls.

The amount of people who think autism affects only males is shocking. Ok, the thing is with the whole diagnosis is it is a bit outdated let's be honest. 

When we look at the criteria it is hard to see the complexities as its focus on certain characteristics and autism does not always correspond in that way. Because girls get diagnosed a lot later than the male counterparts they have to survive and that is where masking comes in, hence why they say girls are better at it, but that is one of the reasons why. 

Masking is basically mimicking the behaviour that the individual has observed someone do. The downside to this coping mechanism is that it is restrictive behaviour. The autistic person is not able to adjust if something changes because again you haven't learnt that pattern. The changes are you don't know what you are doing just basically blagging in order to try to fit in. I know because I still do it now and fail often.

4. Adults and autism.

A classic assumption is that children, once they reach adulthood magically, do not have autism anymore. People believe that the condition just vanishes overnight and the person when they reach adulthood can somehow function normally. 

However, I can assure you that this is not the case as autism still affects me and many more autistic adults. Autism is a condition that you have for the rest of your life, though you can create coping mechanisms to help manage living in a neurotypical world. 

I think this assumption is down to the fact sadly that there is little information or research was done on adulthood, yet but I feel optimistic that in the future there is more awareness about autistic adults.

5. Empathy.

People assume that a person with autism is cold and has no empathy. Yes, we do struggle with emotions and putting emotions in the wrong context etc. However, there have been times when I have been too empathetic with someone and literally felt their pain go through my body.

6. You can't have relationships. 

Yes, relationships of any variety are hard but I am married still going strong and raising two boys. It can be done with a lot of patience and understanding, it does not come easy and definitely not a smooth ride but if you work at it then it can be obtainable. 

Cheers for reading X

Friday, 25 January 2019

Being an autistic mum at school.

Hey readers,

Today I feel defeated once again. Once again I feel like I have let my children down in the fact that I can't perform as good as the other parents. I have decided to say no to going to school assembly because it is too much for me and my autism. 

I will confess that I hate my children's assembly which is held every Friday morning. I have done it for over two years and now I admit defeat. It is getting more crowded with classes and my senses are getting worked up. 

I get sensory overload as a result of being autistic. I get it really bad and sadly attending assembly is just unbearable. I feel rubbish because I wanted to be this perfect parent but I am not. It is making me feel physically sick from being exposed to the bright lights, the noise, the anxiety and the general chaos of kids coming and going. 

It appears I suffer from motion sickness, only recently has been bothering me. Therefore when kids run to take a sit and go past to go back to their class my head is in a spin. Don't get me wrong nothing personal, I think kids are great and much prefer them to adults - simple and you know what you are getting. 

Sadly, I don't mix well and occasional can be found to put my foot in it. I notice now that parents in cliches and chat. It hurts me because I feel rejected and the black sheep. Ok, my husband is here but I full well know next week when I am not he will be one of them. Yes, I am envious that he can jel and be a normal person, where I will always struggle. 

With having a disability that affects my parenting and stops me from doing things I am constantly trying to compensate for this as a way to balance it out. I don't know why because to be honest my kids love me, they understand and we discuss my autism. 

My eldest completely emphasises and never says a bad word. He has potential autism and that is the one good thing in a way is that with my autism I have inside knowledge and can help him in some areas. Just don't expect me to deal with emotions and relationships because that is not my area of expertise. I am practical-minded, I can come up with things to do that can distract him but if it is grey then I fail yet again. 

It is non stop guilt for me not being good enough. I know it is only me and I put this pressure on, maybe I care too much and have high expectations. I just wish I could drop them because I love my children and I am very proud of them with whatever they do. But we all have our limits and I am designed differently to most parents. Maybe one day I will find a way to drop this horrible guilt when I can't do something. 

Cheers for reading X 

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Sensory autism wish list.

Hey readers,

I am autistic (if you didn't know, I just put it out there!). One thing that helps me is some sensory depending on what the item is. I find sensory items really beneficial and can be a real comfort especially when I am feeling really anxious. So, here are some products that if I had the money I would definitely buy them, till then I just wish for them.

1. Weighted blankets.

folded Gravity Blanket

Can't start without mentioning the ever popular their ever so popular weighted blanket. I love the feeling of heavy material (I sleep most nights with a quilt, a throw and two sleeping bags, I sh*t you not). I just feel secure when I feel that entrapment on my body, I feel like I am in my own little bubble, especially when I am going through a meltdown a weighted blanket would benefit me a lot. I picked this one because it looked well made. The fabric looks super soft and comforting.

2. Sensory light explosion prism.

Image result for light explosion sensory

I respond very well to low, soft lighting. I am very hypersensitive to lights so it works for me. I really love this sensory light explosion, it looks amazing and the colours are subtle which I appreciate a lot. I don't like really bright lights as they trigger headaches and make me quite stressed due to the sensory of it. This explosion light is 3D and it also changes colour. This light would be a great distraction especially when I go through obsessive thinking and it could help calm me down when I am anxious.

3. Massage Mat.

Image result for Massage Mat* - Sensory massaging mat with different massage combinations
Basically, this item is a massage mat with Five 12v motors inside a padded mat. Choose different combinations of speeds with the hand-held controller. I like the idea that you can control the strength and there are different settings depending on performance. Personally, I am not a fan of soft tough so I would 100% be hitting the hardest speed because I respond well to really strong and firm movements.

4. Large liquid filled sensory floor tiles.

Sensory Floor Tile - Purple/Pink

Now if you have even been to a soft play then you may have come across these sensory floor tiles. I have been lucky too and love them. I think they are amazing to play with, lovely colour arrangement and just all round great tactile product.

5. Giant bubble tube.

Related image

I have wanted a bubble tube for so long now. I think they are stunning with colour movement and so calming. They would really help especially if you had a sensory room (that would be the dream right there). The tube has different soothing colours along with bubbles to relax anyone. It absolutely transfixes me for hours as I love light shows to calm me when I am hypo anxiety and would definitely benefit along with my eldest - which  I could imagine both of us together sitting watching it.

Cheers for reading X

Sunday, 20 January 2019

How to deal with an autistic burnout.

Hey readers,

Some people may not be aware but I am autistic (I was diagnosed as a child with Asperger Syndrome). One of the things that a person like myself experiences is a thing called burnout. An autistic burnout can be short - as an experience of totally, exhaustion every week as I have two boys who go to school and that for me with all the social interactions is mentally exhausting. Short term burnout is what it says on the tin, I feel tired and very exhausting.

Tend not to get very motivated and just collapse on the sofa for a few hours or sleep to recover from all the mental processes because when you are autistic a lot of things are scripted (rehearsed or memories to help deal with a social situation) probably hence why can't cope with a new situation as I haven't got a coping strategy for it. I digress.

Depression, Sadness, Autism, Body

Long-term burnout is more severe in the sense of that it last longer and it can have long-term impacts such as regressing. For me sometimes when I have long-term burnout I regress, I can't cook, communicate probably or leave my home by myself (these are a few examples). It is basically I believe where I just had enough of constantly doing something over a long period and I just shut down because it is exhausting, to say the least.

Fidget Spinner, Various Fidget Spinner

So, how do I cope with burnout, well here are some ways that have helped me?
I suppose the most obvious one to help reduce the burnout feelings in to rest and you would be right. Rest is so important just to have that break to breathe and not focus on too many stimuli has really helped me. Also, keeping things simple and do things that help me relax like reading a book or listening to music.

When you have suffered a burnout you can beat yourself up especially when you have you have commitments like being a parent, you want to do your best so your build self up when you don't meet the expectations. No one is perfect and something that even now I still learning and that is it to be kind to myself.

Autism, Brain, Dyscalculia, Health

This may help some people, it does for me but after a period after resting from burnout as I generally struggle to put my thoughts into words after the immediate event. It is ok to take your time and speak to someone if it helps you.

Like I have said previously to help rebuild your strength you have to start slowly and build from that. I have in the past wanted to go and too much which actually just sets you back further. Taking my time and doing things at a slower pace is fine. I used to be also on the go and feel that is what I had to do but mindfulness and allowing a slower pace has made a tremendous impact on my health.
Finally, writing down triggers to find out ways that help reduce or eliminate the triggering behaviour works for me. I am a bit of a sucker for a solution, sometimes we don't have a solution and that is ok, just focus on managing the situation the best you can.

Cheers for reading X