Showing posts with label autism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label autism. Show all posts

Monday, 20 September 2021

Aspie burnout.

Hey readers,

As someone with autism, I have many a time experienced a phenomenon called burnout.

What does autistic burnout mean? 

To put it simply an autistic burnout is when you are exhausted mentally, physically, or emotionally (sometimes all of it sometimes some of these elements). 

It comes about as an autistic person you are making much more effort to navigate in a neotropical world, sometimes you have to put more focus on trying to get thinks correct and that takes a lot of energy out of you.

 Over time it climates vary decries but there are times when your body and mind need a rest because it gets too much and you simply need a break from constantly second-guessing, remembering how to behave in certain situations that don't come naturally to you.

 Autistic people (myself included) are very good at masking i.e faking it as most things don't come naturally to the autistic person they just learn A LOT.  This like I said is very exhausting work. 

 That is how I feel today, I am shattered beyond belief even after six coffees (that is correct) just this morning.

I think because I am more involved socially with taking my both boys to school. It involves going into two different environments and trying to remember all the social rules when dropping my children off. 

aspie burnout

Then again collecting them is very tiring for me socially. I feel so guilty as I am getting worn out from it all and I just want to shut down and not think about anything but rest. 

I can handle about three hours max at the moment going out and then I am exhausted. I find it hard to focus on conversation, eye contact, dealing with social situations where I don't automatically know what to do. I get very dizzy and lightheaded. 

Particularly yesterday I went to a new place and got overstimulated. It causes friction between me and my partner. He wants to know why, why, why and all I really wish to do is scream or hide wide which I can not do either, doh being an adult sucks!

My eyes find it hard to focus after intense periods of time out where I am constantly working and focusing all my energy on being 'normal '. People don't know when they see me. 

I am constantly consciously aware of my environment and what I am doing. My body aches from all the tension as I am hyper-alert that I should be playing out this role of mother. Not to mention if a child accidentally touches me, it freaks me out inside. God, I feel so lonely and sad.

Today I hate being autistic and when your husband hints that your child may be autistic. As the older, he is getting the more traits there are that could be hinting towards Autism. God, I don't want my children to have Autism. 

OK, there are some positive autistic traits such as we pay attention to detail, loyal, and intelligence but it all comes with a price. I'm scared as sometimes I look at my oldest and he is so like me. I wish it was just him mimicking my behavior.

Cheers for reading X

Friday, 11 June 2021

Autism and heat intolerance.

 Hey readers,

I hate the heat! I used to think that it was just what I didn't enjoy. But researching and reading more on other people's experience of how heat affects their autism. Like autism, it's always the two extremes whether it be tolerance or intolerance for something. The subject I want to talk about is heat and how that affects me. Let's start off with the major thing I like to say about heat is the fact I HATE IT.

Now don't get me wrong I like sunshine however I don't like humid and unbearable heat (into the late 20s and 30s degrees). It really impacts my mood and makes me really, really irritable. I literally can not think straight in such hot temperatures and anyone around me really irritates the crap out of me the moment they speak to me.

Autism and heat intolerance.

No control of the heat 

I don't like sweating, the feeling of it, and just makes me feel nauseous. I have to take a shower after every time I go out. Sometimes 3 or 4 showers in a day at home when it is in the 30s temperature as my flat is like a bloody greenhouse due to the fact where my corner of the tower block faces the sun, absolute joy I can tell you

I don't like having sweat constantly dripping when it is so hot, it feels like my skin feels really dirty. I hate the sensation and feel the need to frequently wash my hands, face, etc. It can take over my thoughts of having these horrible thoughts and again impacting my mood making me feel grumpy AF as within minutes of washing I can feel yuk again. 

I think the heat sucks all your energy out and you don't want to anything. This is even more prominent when you get little sleep due to the heat. Therefore impacting my mood and being less rational in my thinking. 

The sunshine so bright with the blue skies and no clouds about really affects me visually. It is not uncommon for me to have frequent headaches during the summer due to my sensitivity to sunlight and trying my best to say in the shade.

I am lucky I guess being in the Uk that we may have a few spells of a heatwave but during that time it is hell. I wish I could afford air con. However, until that day I try and make it through the day. 

I am thankful that I actually like the white noise of the fan and actually find it quite comforting. I tend to avoid going out because I just hate it and much prefer if I have to go out in the evening because just about bearable. 

Another couple of ways to help manage heatwave intolerance is to have black-out blinds to reduce the lighting coming through the room. Also, making sure having cotton clothing to keep cool has been a blessing. 

Keeping hydrated and eating cool food such as watermelon help keep me cool. I also like ice cubes which I normally hate in drinks. But during the heat, I can manage with them and they are a lifesaver to keep cool in hot conditions. 

Another tip is to put the pillowcase covers in the freezer and get them out at night, it is so soothing and helps keep you cool which in turn gives you a better night's sleep. 

Of course, I am always looking for tips from other people who have knowledge on autism and heat management, Thank goodness for the internet as it is really useful to read what helps other people like myself who struggle with the heat.

If you have any tips I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below.

Cheers for reading X


 

3 Little Buttons
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Friday, 30 April 2021

guilt over every moment.

Hey readers, 

 I have a kinda confession to make and that is when someone says, time goes fast embrace every moment of your child or similar times of things. 

But the whole idea was that I should embrace that moment. Maybe I find it difficult because I am autistic and I take every word literally. I feel stressed or guilty because I don't embrace every moment.

 I might be selfish may be preoccupied. I just feel suffocated with this feeling of trying to encapsulate and treasure every moment. This is the side of social media that I found not helpful for parents and truth be told adds more pressure/guilt. It really can drag your mood right down and feel not good enough.

guilt over every moment.
 I bet if I weren't around in the social media time it would be a lot less stressful and less pressure to be perfect and enjoy every moment of my child. 

 The thing is life gets in the way, sometimes I really can't wait for my kids to go to bed, does this make me a bad mother? Of course, I love my children dearly but life isn't always peachy. I just get so bogged down with the guilt about not enjoying every moment or not fully occupying my time with my child. 

But when I reflect back I don't miss it. I don't miss the times I had. There are fun times, sad times, anxious times. It is an experience and something I am glad that I have experienced but would I seriously want to encapsulate that if I had the magic powers to make time stop? Honestly no I wouldn't. I am trying to let go of the guilt, I make mistakes and coming to terms with that and accept I am only human. 

I can't stop time or my children growing up that is just the nature of the beast. I do weirdly actually like seeing the change and growth in my child's development. Seeming them grow and become their own person in their own right. 

 Motherhood is tiring and challenging and all the other emotions are attached to it. I am trying not to be hard on myself and just take each day as it comes. As long as my children are happy, healthy, and achieving the best they can that is the goal for me. I need to accept my best is enough. 

 Cheers for reading X


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
3 Little Buttons

Monday, 29 March 2021

Why I don't support light it blue for autism

Hey readers,

The 2nd of April is a day dedicated to Autism Awareness Day. Autism Speaks raised awareness for lightening buildings, landmarks or homes on the colour blue for Autism. I won't be supporting this campaign as I object to it.

Why I don't support light it blue for autism


Firstly, it is the colour blue. No problem with colour but what I do have a problem with is Autism Speaks admits that they chose blue because boys are diagnosed more than girls. 

To me this is sexist, it is almost as if to say that if you are a girl with Autism your condition is not as important. I may add that I am female and autistic and I know first hand the battle we female autistic individuals have to deal with!

Why blue? I mean it feels like it is targeting one type of person. We all know that is not the case with the condition. It is a spectrum and no one person is alike.  I like the idea of the association with autism with a spectrum of colour. 

It celebrates the diversities in the condition.
That leads me to my next point is Autism Speaks attitude is if people don't donate money to the organisation they won't be saved and then that will lead to being left hopeless and useless.

 Well, I sure as hell don't feel like that and I don't give money to Autism Speaks. I am not perfect and have my faults but I don't think I result in anything. I don't believe any human is nothing, I am a strong believer that it is good and bad in everyone.

Here's the thing with psychological research if you have the funding then you have more power of influence. It is more likely swung towards quantitative (numbers, questionnaires, tests) as a pose to qualitative (which is about people taking more about personal experiences and longitudinal studies which observed over a long period of time in the individual's natural environment). It is well known that qualitative wins the day most of the time. This is because it is cheaper, quicker and measurable. 

Compared to qualitative which takes a long time but hears the voice of the person. Therefore you can manipulate numbers and that has an impact on the power of research. Then trickles down to treatment and assessment. If it is based on certain criteria and that cuts of other certain behaviours that are less typical and more found in females due to the response from their background. 

This is going to sway what we perceive as Autism and therefore will only see the popular characteristics. This is not to say sex is separate it is to do with the way that gender is segregated and wrongly taught from an early age. Male aspies are more computer/geek but this could be argued that it is not down to their own natural personality more of a choice/opportunity.

 What the parents buy for them or what they see in their childhood through experiences can have a direct response to want impact s their behaviour. We all want to fit in and be accepted. Our parents most of the time try to adapt to the messages.  Not because they are being mean it is what their education or financial implications have on the behaviour. 

As a parent, you try and do your best for your child. With the times and what is deemed as socially acceptable, that will influence decision making and performance. I.e. It was acceptable in the 70s to hit a child. Whereas now the vogue thing to do is use positive parenting where the focus is listening to the child and allowing them to be a person with a voice. The chances are if you were hit you became more sneaky and lie better to your parents. 

You were less like to be heard and lore forced. Whereas the modern way the child may be more open and talk about issues. You can already see how behaviour can change due to standards and teaching. Hence why money is powerful and can easily sway judgement. 

It just reiterates the ideas of certain criteria to fit Autism. Is ticking the correct boxes and not seeing the contextual identity within making the assessment for the individual. If you are put in a room with a stranger how can you possibly see the real you? There are many factors that influence behaviour.

I'm not denying that Autism comes in all different manners. But I get the sense that Autism Speaks is narrow-minded. They have money to do the research. They also send out a strong message that Autism can be curable that somehow it is a disease that can be removed or treated. Somehow it will go away with treatment and be cured. Not denying that therapy can help and change responses. 

But it doesn't get rid of. It just provides coping mechanisms to follow. The downside to Autism is we are flexible and we can have a set formula but if a change is made or too many stressors that is where the problem lies.

What we need to do is not think of Autism as a problem that needs to be fixed. Rather there Autism has differences that need to be understood.

Just look at the logo for Autism Speaks. It has a piece that is separated from a jigsaw. It says you are a problem to a parent or a caregiver and that problem needs to be fixed.

I think we need to understand the condition and accept the person for who they are.

Cheers for reading X

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Ways to help deal with anxiety

Hey readers,

I have autism and what accompanies that is anxiety. I don’t think you can permanently get rid of it, sadly it interlinks with the condition. That being said you can help reduce the anxiety with finding ways that can help minimise the anxiety.

One of the things that I really struggle with my anxiety is really badly shaking especially with my hands. They literally cannot stop moving, it is normally triggered in social situations. It is hard to hold a cup – and yes I have dropped a fair few in my time.

Therefore, I have spent much time working ways to reduce shaking hands because it really annoys me. I get so frustrated and embarrassed.

ways to help deal with anxiety



The first technique to help reduce shaky hands is to focus on my breathing, keeping my attention on the basic principles with breathing in and out. 

Making sure I am aware of my lungs up and down and making sure that all the thoughts are put aside, even if it is just constantly reminding myself to focus on the breathing. 

At first, it is really hard because it is training your brain to think different but stick with it as it does get easier with practice and time. However, it is a great tool as it gives you time to slow down with your thoughts and think about breathing. This in turns slows down the fight or flight response.

If my anxiety is triggered by having to wait around distraction techniques are really good. For me, this may include writing poetry in a book or colouring in. Both types of distraction help stop me from thinking about the anxiety and feeding into it.

Reducing caffeine can help, as caffeine is a stimulant and can cause an increase in anxiety and heart racing.

Hand stretching has helped with trying to reduce the amount of adrenaline in my hand. Stretching out the fingers and pushing all my energy out. I focus on each finger at a time and notice the reactions that are occurring when doing it. 

This exercise can help once again in slowing down the anxiety and focusing on something other than the intrusive thoughts.

Is there anything that has helped you with anxiety, I would love to hear your thoughts?

Cheers for reading X

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Autistic Blogger!

Hey readers,

I hear this term branded around a lot through the bloggershere called 'tribe', to me, it feels like we are back in the playground. 

Maybe because I don't really connect to people the same way others do because of my autism. It makes me feel maybe a bit isolated or that I am missing out on a better support network.



The big question is, do you need a tribe of people to connect with to empower and motivate you? does it make you more successful? these are the kind of questions I think about a lot. 

I suppose it depends on what you really want and need from people, I guess. For me the whole tribe business makes me feel like a failure yet again at life, it is another point score if you are in with the right crowd and for me being autistic that will never be. 

Yes OK if your autistic should you be worried about having such feelings of loss and for me yes it does get to me at times. It would be nice to bounce ideas off with others but the fear of rejection is much stronger.

 I don't really have an answer. I think it is really down to my state of mind having an influence when I am engaging in social media platforms.

Sometimes you get a feeling to be a successful blogger you have to be in some kind of tribe with others. It is a real shame I feel as you not always getting merit for your work but in who you know instead. 

Fairplay to people that do, because it takes a lot of additional work other than just writing content to make a blog successful. 

A major factor is engaging in social media as a form of communicating with the audience or attending events that help achieve recognition and achievement statues. 

Sadly, I don't feel I will ever truly get to grips connecting on such a level, but that is ok because I do have a disability that limits me. 

Whether I like it or not, somethings I can improve, somethings I can't but having the knowledge to accept that is a milestone for me personally.

Sometimes, you get what you put in and for me, I can only do so much before I have pushed past my threshold and want to collapse with mental exhaustion.

Until you start a blog and work on social media, you really don't realise what hard work it is with keep plugging away and reaching out. As they say, nothing comes for free.

One major attribute that influences my performance or connecting to people is communication. It is like the backbone of what affects autism. It plays such a huge role on and offline. 

My brain is overloaded as it is with all the rules I need to remember. I stick to the rules that I can follow and it is not the 'norm', it's controlled and I don't feel I am being rude but maybe I am being very rigid and not flexible with my thinking but then again that is an effect of my autism interfering its ugly head.

It would be wonderful to have someone to connect with but I don't feel it is important right now but maybe next week I may different about the whole thing. But sadly autism is selfish and it hinders you. 

It never leaves you or lets you forget that there is a big influence there right in your brain controlling your interpretations on everything that you are exposed to.

 It really sucks at times but other times it is the fuel that keeps my fire burning inside of me.
OK, I have bitched and have been a moany cow so I am going to focus on a positive here. People aren't aware of how much I have come along in my improvements in me. 

Blogging has given me a voice to express whatever I feel I want to share. When I am having a meltdown it has been a tool to distract me from all the things going one and stops me getting overloaded when I can simply focus on just writing. It has calmed me when I have been so angry I have wanted to explode. 

It has helped me to understand who I am and try to take on board other people's perspective (which is a real struggle at the best of times). It has taught me on a basic level how to have simple conversations and it further help me develop as a person with autism.

So, what is the point of this ramble, well I am just trying to find a way to accept me with my disability. I want others to understand particularly what it is like for female adults with autism.

Who knew blogging would be such a learning journey to think about yourself and where you are in the pecking order even though I don't really know what I want. 

I think if I look internally I want to feel accepted from others, though I don't know whether that will ever happen. Maybe I just feel really lonely and a bit sad today when I see others in the world can just make friends and excel verbally. 

I seem to fall over at the first hurdle. It is hard as blogging is so social and if you want to grow networking is crucial I feel.

For me personally most of the time I go about my days winging it and trying to keep my head above water whilst others speed pass by me.

That my readers are what my personal take is of an autistic blogger in a social climate in the blog world.

Cheers for reading X

Friday, 2 October 2020

How sensory helps me relax.

Hey readers,

Autism is hard at times to manage and I feel crap recently because I seem to be having frequent meltdowns due to added pressure socially. Plus additional important information I need process and adapt to new changes. 

So I have tried new ways to incorporate relation techniques into my daily life to help make me relax a bit more.


I know Asperger affects me in a way where I like doing physical hand movement type things as oppose to say thinking/meditating type things. I find some sensory activities can cause stress but others can create relaxation for me and stop me to obsessively checking of thinking  (as I also have OCD).

1) Firstly I absolutely love colouring. I have found it really helpful in giving me something to focus on and just being in the moment without constantly having several thoughts rushing through my head. It helps make me more relaxed so I can face challenges better too.

2) Planning something whether be a day out or activity with the kiddos I get pleasure from. Especially when it goes smoothly. I find it detracts me away from stress as again I focus on the here and now without worrying about things that I don't necessarily need too.

3) Personally for me there is something amazing about putting your head on a cold pillow.  Maybe because going into my bedroom (which is not often a lot cooler than other places in my home) can calm me down. I have several trips throughout the day to my room for 'timeout'. I found my temperatures get really hot when I'm anxious and faffing therefore feeling something cool can soothe me.

4) I have social anxiety, I do go out now but I tend to feel very anxious and on edge. So when I am using public transport I use a stress ball to help relax me when I get overwhelmed. It distracts me and I get to get rid of all that pend up energy and frustration.

5) This sounds weird when writing this down but brushing my hair helps relieve stress and I love the feeling after.

I know a lot of this stuff is a hands-on or sensory element but I am not one for sitting still I struggle sitting at the Dinner table for five minutes.

Cheers for reading X

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Preventing burnout

Hey readers,

It is the end of the week, yet again I am pooped, my body is aching and I feel like I can do the bare minimum. I can only come to the conclusion that I am suffering from burnout. 

As an autistic person, I don't have as much energy as a neurotypical person because It takes a lot more energy to deal with the difficulties that I to face throughout the day. 




So, I am have been searching recently on ways to try and help ease the burnout and thought maybe others would like to hear on what has worked for me.

Make sure that during the day I have time out, where I don't have to think but just be. This is not a time where I learn anything or have to remember certain cues, it's a time to allow my brain to switch off and relax.

Being kind to myself - so easy to say but putting it into to practice is hard, especially if you are a perfectionist and give yourself a hard time. Looking at the small positive things that you have done during the day is a reminder that you’re doing ok.

Accepting that I cannot be superhuman and my energy is limited. The major thing that I struggle to do is ask for help or accept that it is ok for another person to do something, it does not mean you are a failure.

Being realistic with what you can achieve and focusing on sectioning out the important stuff and not so important. Learning the art of negotiating and leaving somethings for another time helps me make the day not so overwhelming.

Having a list and writing them in order of importance, plus giving those time frames helps me feel less overwhelmed and feel more comfortable about how my day is going to pan out.

What ways help you in dealing with burnout? Love to hear what you think in the comment section down below.

Cheers for reading X

loopyloulaura

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Autistic Feet

Hey readers,

My feet hurt today as a result of overusing them yesterday. I know so what?! 

Here is the thing why I am talking about my feet is the fact I am autistic you see and my feet posture is not very good.



 I have always had problems with standing and the way I coordinate my feet with walking.

I am so clumsy as well when I walk. I am guaranteed to trip up even if there is nothing there. 
The amount of bashing my toes into stuff and cursing under my breathe is unreal. My husband affectionately finds it funny.

I also shuffle my feet, especially when I am stressed. I am constantly getting told stop shuffling your feet like I am some kind of child.

You don't realise how hard it is to put one foot in front of the other. It can be really challenging. 

I never really thought about my physical problems when I was younger and now as an autistic adult, I am still learning.

It is my arms I struggle with - not really knowing what to do with them when I walk. I find them painful and just frustrating. It is like I have to train my mind to swing my arms when I walk. It is so difficult as I am rubbish at doing two tasks at the same time.

One of the major problems that I struggle with as an autistic person is using my spacial awareness skills and navigating around objects and people.

 I am not good at forward planning especially in a busy place where I am over stimulated with the sensory information. 

Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed that I need to sit down and take a moment to take a break because of how mentally exhausting it is.

If I don't think about my walking and focus on it, I really struggle with bumping into things or trip up.
We as a human are meant to learn this skill at an early age and it to be developed. 

Therefore not having to think about it as it is a long term in implicit memory. It is wired in the brain so you don't have to think about it, it is second nature. 

 Being an autistic person we miss out on this opportunity and I do wonder before language evolved how many humans died due to lack of 'natural' skills due to having a different way of thinking.

So, therefore if you do wonder why do us autistic people get SO tired this is a little insight because we have to constantly work our arses off and remembering all these 'natural' rules that people take for granted.

Cheers for reading X
3 Little Buttons

Monday, 22 June 2020

A Boy Made Of Blocks by Keith Stuart (Review)

Hey readers,

Today I am sharing a review of A Boy Made Of Blocks by Keith Stuart. It is losing based on the author's relationship with his autistic son.

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

This book has a main theme of Alex who is the dad of his son, called Sam. Sam is a child who is diagnosed with high functioning autism so, he can communicate but to what extend no one is really sure.

Alex has been the main breadwinner, whilst his wife had to leave her job to cater to Sam's needs 24/7. 

Naturally, this seems to have caused a rift between Alex and Jody due to pressure, stress, confusion etc when raising an autistic child.

As we have found out further along in the book that communication between Alex and Jody was broken down, therefore, causing Jody to call time on their marriage, for now, it was deemed a trial separation.

On that Sunday Alex left the family home feeling devastated, so he moved into a friend's apartment which was a typical bachelor pad with all the mod cons including an Xbox.

Alex gets into a more depressing situation when the mangers at his job have changed and decided that they no longer need Alex as a mortgage adviser. Therefore Alex decided to take three-month redundancy deal that the company offered as an incentive.

This causes Alex to spirals into depression.
A new arrangement between Jody and Alex where on a Saturday Alex would look after Sam.

 Normally Alex and Sam would go to the park but this worried Alex particularly as Sam was hostile to other children and very scared of dogs. 

Their relationship is very basic and it is all new for both Sam and Alex where they are at the beginning of a journey if you will in finding out about one another.

Jody buys Sam an Xbox and then gets into the game Minecraft. Sam desperately wants his dad to join in. At first, Alex sees this of pain especially as Sam is constantly calling Alex to check every small development in the game.

There were issues that were concerning Alex around technology and whether it was good for Sam to spend such a long time on the Xbox. 

However, this game was a great distraction for Sam as he could totally escape all his worries, especially as he was getting bullied at school for being different. 

We find out later on in the book that it is quite clear that when dad does get involved playing Minecraft with Sam it sort of strengths communication and building a stronger relationship between father and son.

When Sam is not the centre of attention he is more open and thinks clearer without having to worry about talking and what to have to say. Rather, the communication flow is more natural between Sam and Alex. 

This has helped Alex understand his son better through the game and can be less jumping to ideas bur more empathetic to why Sam does the things he does. 

I find this such a  brilliant insight into knowing about Autism. Sometimes, you need to have some sort of physical activity that is about order and structure to help ease the anxiety for a person with autism and help the communication between two people.

There are obviously other branches of 'drama' if you will regarding Alex's brother who died due to a car incident when Alex was young. The theme around guilt, running away and facing up to things is a big topic at the end. 

His sister, mum and Alex all learn to face up to doubts and thoughts. With the main notion of communicating their worries can break down the tension and built back relationships instead of hiding for fear of the outcome. 

This can help the process of grief and move forward in all the individual's lives.

There are little nuggets of wisdom from Sam and we can learn a lot from Sam with making things simple outlook of the human race. Seeing them as objects and colours that need to fit together.

Overall, it is a heartwarming story and tells the tale of strangers almost rebuilding and strengthening the relationship between families. I love the fact that it is a personal account and feels real rather than just listening again and again to the rubbish of the professionals.




There is a new book after this one which I will definitely be reading in the future be as it would be lovely to hear the new developments of what has bee happening in Sam's life.

 Especially, as at the end of this book, Sam has moved to a new school that specialises in autism.
This book is definitely a must if your interested in autism or wants to hear about an autistic parent's point of view.

Cheers for reading X