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.
Basically, I thought that it meant I was simply becoming more consciously aware of things, and paying more attention to the signals my body was giving me.
But this afternoon, I had a Thought. (And yes, that’s different than a “thought” – a “Thought” is something that either illuminates some solution (or at least partial solution) to a problem you’ve been working on, or seems to come out of nowhere and provides you with insight that you never realized you were looking for. 😉 ) This Thought was: what if I wasn’t just becoming more aware of things; what if I was tearing down coping mechanisms that I subconsciously realized weren’t providing me with as much help as I needed, or obscuring the real issues? Or that were maladaptive?
I have no idea if this is in any way accurate regarding what really happened. But it’s an interesting and thought-provoking Thought, so I decided to share. (The other Thought I was having, the one about my amazing monkey climb skills as potential stimming, will be posted sometime over the weekend.)
I’d love to know people’s opinions and responses to this!