Every single human being, whether they are NeuroDivergent, NeuroTypical, Autistic, non-Autistic, has their own unique sensory profile. Continue reading Autism NeuroDiversity and Sensory Processing – an Autistic perspective on SPD
NeuroDivergent masking is when a NeuroDivergent Person, either consciously or subconsciously, camouflages, or masks, their divergent traits in order to blend in or to appear NeuroTypical.
Now, when we talk about masking for NeuroDivergent People, whether that’s Autistic People, ADHD, Dyslexia, any other neurodevelopmental difference, it’s important to understand that this camouflaging, this blending in, this masking, is something that many of us do in self-defense. It can be a subconscious thing. Some of us are not even aware we are doing it.
It’s something we do for safety and self-preservation. It’s a survival skill that can be harmful to those of us who adapt this survival skill. However, being able to blend in, and being able to be invisible, in a society that can be unfriendly, and even hostile, to those whose minds work differently, is something that we do to be safe. It’s not intended to be a manipulative or deceptive bait and switch.
The thing about masking, as a NeuroDivergent Person is: I learned to mask, even though I didn’t know, I was NeuroDivergent. I learned to mask, even though I wasn’t in any formal NeuroDivergent Conversion Therapy type of a program. I learned to mask, because not having an autism diagnosis and a label growing up, meant a lot of the Autistic struggles I had were labeled as behavioral problems and punished. Continue reading Autistic and NeuroDivergent Masking, Unmasking, and Burnout
As I have said in previous videos, as an Autistic Person, I feel that there are experiences I encounter in the world that are more intense for me than they are for people whose brains work differently than my own. For example, my sensory experience.
Sometimes things that I will encounter, in the sensory environment, such as bright lighting, certain types of smells, sounds, and physical sensations on my skin, can literally trigger my fight, flight, or flee response.
Most often the first response to a sensory overwhelm, for me, is to run, “Get away!”
Continue reading Autism & Eloping – My Autistic Experience with Running Off
I’m an Autistic adult, and that means sometimes life, and the world around me, can be overwhelming. When I am overwhelmed, I may meltdown, or shut down.
People talk a lot about Autistic meltdowns, I think, because they are noticeable and can be more of an air quotes, “inconvenience on other people”.
A lot of people, who are not Autistic, might not understand what it’s like to shut down, as an Autistic Person, so I wanted to share that with you today. Continue reading Autism and Shutting Down – My Experience with Shutdowns as an Autistic Adult
When talking about Autistic and NeuroDivergent brains often, because things are looked at through a medical lens, we have a pathological medical model. For autism specifically, we have what is known as the “triad of impairment”. I’m going to dive in and give my thoughts on this “triad of impairments model” of autism.
Talking about the triad of impairments this week: the triad of impairments is social impairment, language and communication impairments, rigidity of thought and behavior. Those are the three triad of impairments that they are saying that Autistic People have.
I would like to counter and add that this is very limiting, because it misses two major impairments that I feel contribute to all of the first three: sensory processing differences, because that can be an impairment on social, language, and communication as well as motor control, because that has a big impact on our language and communication as well. Continue reading Autism and the Limitations of the Autistic Triad of Impairments
Something else that’s really important, that I want everyone to understand about stimming, that I think is confusing to some people, who don’t have stimmy brains, is: how important stimming is, and how there are different types of stimming. NeuroTypicals all lump it in under one thing, in one definition. Continue reading Autistic and NeuroDivergent Stimming, Fidgeting, and Sensory Seeking
According to Web MD, which is where I’m going to get the definition today, people with hyperlexia II, are often air quotes, “obsessed with numbers and letters, preferring books, and magnetic letters over other types of toys. They’re also frequently remember important numbers such as license plates and birthdates. These children usually have more typical autism signs, such as avoiding eye contact and affection, or being sensitive to sensory stimuli.” Continue reading Autism & Hyperlexia – My Autistic Hyperlexic Experience
Though each and every single Autistic Person is different, many Autistic People make different noises, repeat sounds, or make other vocalizations.
There are three main types of Autistic vocalizations I’m going to be talking about in this week’s video: the first one is echolalia, the next one is Palilalia, and verbal stimming. Continue reading Autism & Vocalizations – My Autistic Experience with Echolalia, Palilalia, and Verbal Stimming
Sometimes when I am unable to get away from other people, or the situation that I am in, or event that has triggered my meltdown, then I will go from flee to fight, and have a meltdown, where I may become air quotes, “combative”, “aggressive”, “defensive” -because I feel as if I am in danger, and cannot flee and get away from the danger, so then it switches to “defend myself and fight”. Continue reading Autism & Learning to Recognize Autistic Meltdowns Before It’s Too Late
It was August 23rd, 2016, when I went in for the first part of my autism assessment, an in-person interview with myself and the person who would be reviewing my childhood history and medical records.
By the end of August, all of the interviews would be concluded, and by early September 2016, at the age of 29, I would be diagnosed Autistic.
At that point in my life, being almost 30 and having such a bombshell of a piece of information dropped upon me, I skimmed a 13 page (actually 14 page) diagnostic report, but was very overwhelmed, and couldn’t process the report in front of me. In fact, I threw the report into a paper shredder, and destroyed the report.
However, recently, more than five years later, I’m feeling more ready to face the information that was in front of me all of those years ago. Continue reading Late NeuroDivergent Diagnosis – Diagnosed Autistic at 29 – Reading my Autism Diagnostic Report