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

Friday, 3 June 2022

Supermarkets and autism.

Hey readers,
 
When going to the supermarket I can only handle short periods of time being in the store due to getting sensory overload.

I am autistic and normal things like shopping overwhelm me for a number of reasons.
 
There was a time as an autistic adult when I would shop at 6-7am in the morning because I just couldn't handle it. 

Supermarkets and autism


 Often when my husband takes me to the supermarket can be busy and it can get overwhelming trying to navigate around people.
 
Obviously now I am married with kids and things are different for me.
 
However, that doesn't stop it from still being a struggle.
 
Over the years I have had professional help to help me get a bit better at the whole process of shopping.
 
At one point I never used to touch the shopkeeper's hands when exchanging money and simply place it on the counter.  Apparently, this is not the thing so I had to learn that you meant to place money into the assistant's hands. 

I have been able to do that, I still hate touching people I don't know but it is something I can do. Of course with modern technology you can use contactless however going to the corner shop is different.

 Plus I am not paying extra for the privilege of using my money card. I've learned to talk myself into placing money into my hands and focus on detail in the shop so I am not getting too anxious.
 
That is one difficulty I have had but still struggle with, it never probably will get easier but I can manage it.
 
Now my husband likes me to accompany him going to the supermarket. Of course, I do it because I want him to feel needed. I worry I get selfish and at times I have been. So this is a gesture to show I care that being said it is really difficult for me too.
 
I think because we go down each aisle and the more time I spend in the shop I get overloaded because I need to look at the detail of stuff regardless of whether I am buying it or not.
 
The noise of the shop is hard, especially near the buzzing of the refrigerators. Or when the fire alarm is set off as a part of the store testing out the fire alarm. Then there are the random loud announcements on the speakers that can be triggering because they are loud and stop your brain from thinking sending it into a panic.
 
Then there is me not very good at forwarding planning with moving about. At times I respond the way I should such as waiting for a person to come through in the isle and I go through. 

This tends to happen near the end as I am exhausted and just don't have the mental capacity to think about how to act. Bear in mind when I am being outside a lot of my behaviour is not natural, it is learned from experience and what has told me over the years on how to act.
 
My husband also likes to go out to a big store which I struggle with. The size of the store and high ceilings with lots of noise can trigger me.
 
I really hate touching people I don't know and accidentally touching people if they brush past me ups my anxiety.
 
I think another part of my problem with shopping with others is the fact o am not in control. When I shop alone I have a list and just go on, get what I need and get out. My husband likes to look around and just feels endless. 

We spend well over an hour in the store and the content concentration of trying to remember to do all the things correctly takes a lot of brainpower.
 
I am exhausted at the end. Sometimes I have a break as I just need quiet time o go to the toilet, close my ears, and just breathe. I feel really dizzy and disorientated by the end. Get home and I just need time to myself to rebalance my head and bring it back down to a calm.
 
Cheers for reading X
 

loopyloulaura

Friday, 6 May 2022

Autistic adulting sucks!

Hey readers,

I hate people, seriously all they ever seem to do is fake it. Why can't people be honest and just tell the truth because you think it hurts people's feelings. But here is the thing I already know so don't pussy around the subject.

It sucks being autistic, the constant rejection of people, pretending to be nice when really they don't give two monkeys.

Autistic adulting sucks!


I am sick of it and sick of this world that I live in. It doesn't help I am stuck in places where people don't really know where to put me. Let's face facts first impressions count and no one likes the awkwardness of autistic people, it is much easier to just deny us the opportunity. 

Even though we autistic people would so bloody hard, more so than the average person because we have to-it's a fight to fit in when your just totally failing on the outside. I feel lost and I don't belong, this place feels lonely. Sometimes, I just can't face it anymore but once again you have to find the strength to get back up again even though you are plummeting into a dark, dark place.

It sucks to have to undergo interviews when clearly they are not autistic friendly and again I feel like my needs are met.  Don't you understand we autistic people can't cope with question after question without getting burnt out, not to mention the social interaction, it takes all our resources to get through it to then be told that actually, we are not looking for people at the moment? 

Why put me through this hell, what you really mean is you are not a suitable candidate, just be honest, at least I know where I stand. Right now I feel insulted and taken for a full. It took all my energy to get out of my comfort zone and I am devastated. It really does suck because of the effort I put into these things but never get the opportunities, I don't know why I bother.

Even as an adult I am always dealt with the hand of rejection and you know what people it sucks, big time for us autistic people to be treated like this. I am just thankful for my blog as it is an outlet when other times I can not muster the words to anyone about the pain I am battling every day. Rant over!

Cheers for reading x

loopyloulaura

Monday, 25 April 2022

On the side

Hey readers,

When I was a child I learned the art of a thing called masking, aka faking it and what this means is that I learned the behaviour of others. The problem being is that if something changes that I can mess up badly because I can't be flexible with my thinking.

 That is one of the characteristics of autism is we manage change to some degree but we only see it in a structured way that is black or white (through past learned experiences or what we have read up on the problem where we fail is that if something slightly different happens in the format then we screw up basically. It can lead to getting things wrong, saying something wrong, coming across as rude, not coping, having meltdowns or shutdowns, etc. 

on the side

I think it's really hard being an autistic girl growing up because there is so much more pressure to be sociable than a boy. When I was growing up I felt that boys got away with not getting noticed therefore resulting in having less social pressure. 

I used to absolutely hate being a girl because of this reason and I thought boys had it a lot easier or more relaxed attitude with regard to social and communication which suited me perfectly.

Now that I'm an adult I find it a bit easier because I have more experience and knowledge but I still frequently mess up. If I am feeling anxious or if there is too much going on in my head can't seem to focus on the rules.

 There are times when stressful factors cause me more brainpower than normal and it is like I regress in my behaviour. That is why it's so hard to measure autism, as it is not something that you can say x y and z it's constantly shifting depending on the environment and mindset of that individual.

Since being a parent I have learned that there are so many other social rules involved when bringing up a child.

I first it was lovely when my children were newborns as there is less pressure on me to be sociable but since my children are at school I have noticed that there's a hell of a lot more interaction going on.

Me being an autistic parent does affect my self-esteem. A lot of the time I feel inadequate,  especially as my husband is very good at communicating and engaging with others. It leaves me feeling really angry and frustrated. I know comparing is the worst thing to do but it coincides with me learning about other people.

I think one of the hardest and most upsetting things is when people don't see you as an individual but as some sort of invalid because you're autistic. They don't look past the label or they do but then they just talk down to you in a condescending way. The thing is I am aware of exactly what is happening, I just don't have the skills to communicate and express myself as clearly as other people do.

It has really made me feel quite low at times because I feel like I can't give my child everything that a typical parent has to offer. I suppose that is why I enjoy the school holidays more because I don't have to worry about social things. 

The only downside is that when I return I have to deal with the social side of education and whatnot. I feel rubbish and I have felt very very low causing me to struggle to get up in the mornings. 

I have also learned to avoid situations and tend to get my husband to do the tasks because it's too upsetting at times to have to face discrimination against me. I think that's one of the saddest things about being an autistic parent is the fact that you deal with a lot of rejection or misunderstanding. I like my voice isn't heard and again that familiar outcast feeling appears.

Cheers for reading X

 

Friday, 1 April 2022

Autism and lonliness

 Hey readers, 

It is lonely being an autistic person in this world. All I ever see is how to be accepting of your autism, be proud to be different. But no one ever talks about the loneliness of being autistic, of always being on the outside and never quite fitting in. 

Just on Twitter alone the messages I read (problem with autism I tend to read things wrong) but this is my interpretation is that if you dare say anything negative you are a bad person. It feels so skewed and that alone is isolating. The feeling that you can't be your true self or be open because you will get shot down for feeling such negative emotions associated with being autistic. 

autism and lonliness

Then there is loneliness when for example I am married to a neurotypical person (someone who doesn't have autism) at times it makes me feel angry because my husband is completely different from me. He hasn't the same struggles, he is good at communication and he talks to EVERYONE. 

He is laid back and sometimes he is lonely because of having negative feelings, especially when feelings of not being adequate. I'm constantly being reminded ok it is light-hearted and only meant to be fun but at times it gets to me, I go to a place alone and cry because it is hard living in this world when you never feel you reach a level that is acceptable. 

When you try so hard but you somehow seem to screw it up, you say the wrong thing, or when it is too much you have a meltdown because you just can't cope with the situation that is happening around you. 

You look around and you see people understand these unwritten rules and even though you can mimic them if it is not linear and something slightly changes I end up confused or not doing the acceptable thing. I know people are going to say that it is ok to be different, but is it really because it does feel like that.

 If you're on the outside and people just don't understand. I suppose I bring it on myself because even though I write my blog and it is open in real face to face I am a private person. Plus  I have always been better at writing down thoughts because I can take my time, come back and edit, etc but when I try to communicate it is my anxiety that cribbles me. 

I overanalysis things and it gets to me. I feel alone in this world, even when I am around people, I never feel like I quite fit in. I know I am not the only autistic person to feel like this but it gets lonelier when you are out in the world, not in a little bubble on social media. When you watch people engage, you think why can't I do it or say the right thing that makes you feel so alone, it can be crippling.

 There are days when you wake up and think not again I have to battle being an autistic adult. You dread going to sleep because it takes so much energy to get up and carry on. To be constantly reminded that you don't fit in and you fail. That stuff hurts and gets in deep over the years, it is painful and again the loneliness creeps in and eats away at you. 

I don't really know what the point of this post is, but when you are in a click or watch someone struggle who alone just remembers they may be really struggling on the inside. You never know what is going on in someone's head so just remember to do anything in this world be kind. 

Cheers for reading X 

loopyloulaura

Friday, 26 November 2021

Autism and Christmas

Hey readers,

As you are probably aware that Christmas is upon us next month. Christmas can be a lovely time to spend with special people in your life, however, as a person with autism, this period can be rather stressful.

One of the triggers for me is that it is a massive change in my routine and expectations are the biggest areas that I struggle with and get quite stressed, probably bound to have at least one meltdown.

So, over the years I have tried to find ways that can help me not feel so overwhelmed by all the change because I hate it very much. I thought I would share some of my coping mechanisms, they could help you or someone you know.

autism and christmas

Of course, Christmas isn’t just stressful for autistic people it could very easily be someone without it as there are a lot of extra things you have to deal with especially if you have children, the stress quadruples.

Safe place.

One place that calms me is my safe place, where I go when I am stressed and that is my bedroom. 

I have always associated my bedroom with my safe place, even though currently it looks like a bomb has gone off (hubby will one day decorate it, FFS). 

I still go to my bed to calm down. I have low lights on and put one throw and two sleeping bags, yes excessive but that is a comfort for me. I calm down and it is my space (not the website, lols).

Routine.

I know with Christmas everything goes right out of the window but loosely knowing what is happening helps me a great deal to feel I am in control and there is some structure.

 I hate not knowing what is happening. Also, my eldest is the same so basically, we need it now just for me but for him as well.

Mantras

I like mantras, I like repeating them over and over again especially when I am stressed. So saying to myself, 'it is one day, it lasts x amount of hours and I can get through just like all the other days' helps me because it is a statement.

I can repeat it and it brings me back to focusing on the control which in turn helps with managing my anxiety.

Walk.

I used to have this weird idea that you had to stay in all day at Christmas. I appreciate that some people love this, which is absolutely fine. 

However for me going out for a walk, getting some fresh air really does help clear my head. I feel less closed in with the tree and the disorder of all the toys everywhere etc not in their rightful place.

 It also calms kids down as well and gets rid of some of that pent-up energy they have.

Talking.

I know it is ironic me saying talk to someone, as I myself am fully aware that communication is one of the hardest things to do, but even if it is written down one word such as change this can help other members maybe bit a bit more patient. 

I remind the husband as brilliantly supportive he is, sometimes with his own stress, a polite prompt that you are struggling goes a long way.  

It then gives him the opportunity to be a bit more patient and it is a calmer environment for all to manage.

Cheers for reading X
3 Little Buttons

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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