Monthly Archives: February 2013

Let’s Talk About: Insomnia

Written by tagÂûght

First of all, can I mention how glad I am to have found the online ASD community, someplace where I can tell people: “I can’t help it,” and be believed and understood. (Not to say my parents don’t believe me, but it’s really hard for them to understand some of this stuff, because of that Communication Chasm.)

So, this is going to be the first in a series of posts “Let’s Talk About”, which will look at some of the things I experience and invite people to join me in discussing them. And our first topic is insomnia, because it’s potentially linked to what happened to me yesterday (see Sensory Overload Fun (Not!)), and because I’ve been trying to deal with it lately.

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Sensory Overload Fun (Not!)

Written by tagÂûght

So, had my weekly work placement at the Career Work Centre (NL Advanced Education and Skills Job Seekers’ Centre) today. And I spent the entire day feeling like my nerves were being dipped in an acid bath. Or, to put it another way, as though each sound above a certain threshold rubbed sandpaper roughly across my nerves. (Particularly in my upper arms – they seem to be the ones reacting most.)

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“Autistic People Should”…

Written by tagÂûght

Today is the “Autistic People Should” flash blog day. It’s being done because when you type “autistic people should” into autocomplete search engines, you get some pretty disgusting top searches (for details, check out the Autistic People Should blog, and some of the posts there – I’m not going to honor that search by typing any of those terms into this post). (Warning: Can be triggering.)

I had a hard time coming up with answers to that question. (Speaking of questions, I highly recommend reading Musings of an Aspie’s post on Autistic People Should in particular – it has some excellent details and suggestions.)

But I was thinking about it this morning, and I found myself coming up with some interesting (and hopefully much better) ways to complete that sentence.

Autistic people should be able to be themselves.

Autistic people should not have to be ashamed of / angry about / embarrassed about / humiliated by who they are.

Autistic people should not have to conform to the social mores of allistic / neurotypical society. (Please note that I’m not saying anything here about the “moral” mores. What I mean is that we should not be expected to want to go out a lot, make lots of friends, enjoy loud and bright places, etc. We should still be held to the standards of not hurting people and the like. We are perfectly capable of that.)

Autistic people should be able to live in the way that they prefer. (Independent, independent with support, etc.)

Autistic people should be accepted / respected for who and what they are.

Autistic people should not be looked down upon as “defective” or “damaged”.

Autistic people should be listened to about who they are and what they want.

In other words: Autistic people should be treated like human beings, because that is what they are.

[Edit: Feb. 23/13 @20:40] Unstrange Mind has also done an Autistic People Should post focused on the fact that we are all human beings.

Thank you.

😐 tagAught

Coping Mechanisms

Written by tagÂûght

Warning: Speculation post! No definite cognitive science here, I’m afraid!

Ah, coping mechanisms. Where would we be without them? Well, as a species, probably dead. Coping mechanisms are our ways of dealing with stressors in the environment.

So… I can’t remember whether I mentioned it on here or not, or maybe in a comment on another blog, but over the past several years (as in about 3-5 – essentially when I began accepting and understanding what it meant to be on the spectrum), I’ve become more (consciously?) aware of various sensory issues, emotional overloads, and needs. I’ve been noticing that I avoid eye contact a lot more than I (or my mom, in fact) thought I did, for example. Continue on….

Creativity: ASD Specialty

Written by tagÂûght

Meant to post this back in January, but time and stress got away from me. Finished it over lunch, so here it is!

All right, I’m not going to go into a huge list of dead people that everyone now thinks had Asperger’s / ASD because of what we know of their personality and history. That’s not the kind of thing I’m interested in discussing in my blog. Instead, this post is about my own creative undertakings, with a few mentions of things my ASD friends have done as well.
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Work Conditions

Written by tagÂûght

Okay, I’ve been under a fair bit of stress lately, some of it from sensory overloads and the like at my work placements, and some of it from financial and personal stuff at home. As a result, I’ve been really short on spoons lately (thanks to Unstrange Mind, who linked to the explanation, which I’ve passed on to all my colleagues!), and feeling the fatigue. And my internship ends the end of March, and that means that I need to find a new job.

But things have changed since I last held down a job I could tolerate for longer than a couple of weeks without constant meltdowns. I have a lot more awareness of my needs now, and of what overloads me, and I have a stronger, better support system as well (my fellow bloggers as well as my local Aspie friend – my online writing Aspie friend I’ve had since before I was at that long-term job – and my parents have a lot more awareness as well). Read on….