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Setting Boundaries and the Autism Spectrum

Everyday Aspie

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I am on the autism spectrum and have coexisting conditions, including PTSD and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Because of my prior history and the nature of my neurology, sometimes I find it hard to set boundaries. Furthermore, it is a challenge to recognize when my boundaries have been crossed. Sometimes it takes me days, months, or even years to recognize I have been violated or mistreated.  That’s why it’s important to have a sounding board, like a support group or a trusted friend. And why it’s important to continually practice setting limits.

Being I am autistic, interpreting another’s behavior and intention often proves difficult. In addition, others might interpret my kindness, soft voice, and stature as a sign of weakness. Even as I am strong and confident, my demeanor and inability to notice when another has crossed a line puts me at risk. Examples include a supervisor criticizing and…

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Sensory issues are accessibility issues

YennPurkis

Last year I went  to a breakfast with some of the community leadership people in Canberra. It was at a nice cafe and two of the people at the table ordered an omelette with black truffles. The wait person cam over and shaved truffles generously on both the omelettes. I struggle with mushrooms and fungus and had never been in close proximity to truffles before. The smell emanating from the offending luxury breakfast was so overpowering I had to sit at another table some distance from everyone else. I imagine they may have thought I was quite strange but I really needed to be away from that smell. I actually had flashbacks of the smell for a few weeks. I would be doing my thing and suddenly I was back with the truffle smell! It was like it was inside of me.

That is a fairly clear example fos…

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Vaccines and autism: The link that doesn’t exist

Mental Health @ Home

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Chances are, you’ve heard the idea that vaccines can cause autism.  This notion is championed by various organizations and individuals, one of the most prominent being actress Jenny McCarthy, whose son was diagnosed with autism at age 2.  She has an autism-related organization called Generation Rescue, and on its website is a guide to vaccine safety.  I was a bit surprised by how relatively toned down it was, but I got  more along the lines of what I expected with one of the places it directed people to go to for more information, the National Vaccine Information Center.  It includes a “cry for vaccine freedom wall” and a “vaccine victim memorial”.  They have a MedAlerts database of people’s reported adverse reactions to vaccines, and a search for autism spectrum disorder yields 391 case reports.  One thing that struck me as interesting was the seemingly random grab bag of multiple…

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The Recipient joy factor

I love sending and receiving happy mail so I just have to reblog this post xxx

Margarete Miller

A friend of mine, Miss Polly, brought a little illustration like this one about correspondence to my attention:

A graph of time factor versus recipient joy factor

This is so spot-on! For me this is particularly true for the sending and receiving of mail art. Of course, you don’t always need to create mail art, you can just write a letter and send anything interesting that will lie flat in an envelope. What would interest you if you were opening a letter? Here are some ideas:

  • An old or interesting photo or two
  • A few stickers
  • A neat bookmark
  • An old or interesting postcard
  • Some old cancelled postage stamps
  • A little handmade notebook, blank or something stamped/written in it.
  • A bunch of interesting papers to collage from (I get lots of these and love it 😉 )
  • Tags or other small die cuts
  • Origami
  • Anything that’s rubber stamped

My good friend and correspondence artist extraordinaire Pamela, wrote a…

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Sensory Processing Disorder Research Study and Survey

21andsensory

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Hi everyone – this is just a little blog post to let you know about a research study that I’m (and hopeful you will be) involved in.

I’ve been speaking via email to a super lovely student from the University of KOC (Turkey) who is studying Media and Visual Arts and has participated in design research for people with ASD. Now they’ve gone further with research and to specialise in design relating to Sensory Processing Disorder. A survey link was sent through to me this week and I am trying to share it with as many people as possible in order to help with the research!

Below is a link to the survey and it would be fab if you have a spare 5 mins and can fill it  out:

http://koc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_032S5XEHYXqKXad

Thanks! Any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below or @21andsensory on Instagram and Twitter.

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Autism and toxic friendships and relationships

YennPurkis

This week I said goodbye to a friend I had known for a long time. I sent her a message explaining why I needed to distance myself and was blocking her. It was a very hard thing to do but it had become apparent that our relationship was not based on mutual respect and that she had become a toxic presence in my life. I did not do this lightly but it got to a point of no return. I won’t go into detail because this post isn’t really about my friendship. It is about understanding, identifying and managing toxic friendships and relationships for autistic people generally.

Autistic people can have significant challenges around managing toxic friendships. A friendship may start out toxic or become that way over time. For people who may be isolated and lonely, the offer of friendship can be a welcome thing and it may be…

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