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Autism Spectrum Behaviour Difficulties Emotions Life In General Meltdowns Sensory Related

Coping Mechanisms

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!

😉 tagAught

By tagÂûght

I’m in my mid-thirties. I’ve lived in Canada all my life (Toronto and St. John’s), but I’ve travelled to Florida, Massachusetts, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Costa Rica. I love airplane travel (as long as there are no noisy kids around me!). I’m proud to be Canadian (though Harper might end up changing that!).

I have ASD, aka Autism Spectrum Disorder. Strictly speaking, I’ve been diagnosed as having Aspergers, but (for Canada and the US, at least) that diagnosis is going to be melded with ASD as of May, with the publication of DSM V. Having ASD, and the job I do at the moment (see First Post), is why reading the blogs I mentioned above inspired me to start one of my own about my life in general.

Back in October, I got my driver’s license (as opposed to driving permit for learners) – after twenty years of effort and trying. A lot of thanks is due to my instructor, who has dealt with people with ASD before, and so knew how to teach me for the test (I was able to drive before, just not pass the test, due to anxiety and problems with multi-tasking).

I’m a fanatic writer of SF and Fantasy, both fanfiction and original, and I devour books as well.

I love animals, in particular cats, and I have a fascination with wolves, wild cats (including the big cats), orcas, and the physiology of cephalopods.

I love the wilderness – though I don’t really have the endurance (at the moment, at least) to go hiking or camping out.

And, rather importantly, I’m not someone who thinks about political correctness when it comes to vocabulary. I use what seems right when it seems right. That will include calling myself a person with ASD, or an Autistic, or an Aspie. I’m me; I can call myself what I want.

So, enough about me. Go read my posts – they’re more informative!

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