Dear Neurotypical friends…

I’m reblogging this fab post by Laina as this is so close to my own experience…

the silent wave

I may have a social disability. I may say or do things that seem strange to you or put you off or leave you wondering.

This could–and sometimes does–lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary hurt feelings, on either side–or both sides.

I wantto be your friend. It’s just that aspects of life that the general population may take for granted as natural and intuitive are, for me, anything but. Aspects like communication (whether verbal or by way of facial expressions and/or body language), socialization, etiquette, and so on and on and on.

It’s not you; it’s me. Well, actually, it’s our intersection. It’s not a character flaw, just a neurodevelopmental variant. It happens, and it’s OK.

I’ll explain. In fact, I’ll provide you with a mini-handbook, a roadmap to the inside of the social areas of my brain.

I’m just not into gossip. I’m not into hearing about people I…

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Early years

This evening, following dinner, I’ve been sitting watching tv but unusually I wasn’t working on anything. If my hands are idle they have to do something so they scratch and pick at my skin. Another thing I do is to fold my arms with my hands tucked under. Sounds normal enough but what I do is to press my arms tight down on my hands and I’ll maintain that pressure. It’s the same when I’m traveling as a passenger in the car; my hands sit just above and between my knees and I’ll apply constant pressure for miles. As far as I know I’ve always done this. It got me thinking about my early years.

Mum told me that I had a very worrying habit when I was a toddler. I would sit under the table and repeatedly and consistently bash the back of my head against the wall. It worried her so much that she took me to the Dr who in turn sent me for x-rays. Nothing untoward was found.

Another time I disappeared and Mum found me under the caravan eating the tea leaves she always chucked under there…maggots and all. It frightened her so much she washed my mouth out with some kind of disinfectant solution.

My poor mum!

My earliest memory is from when I was two years old. We were staying at my grandparents. I was in the bath having my hair washed and I was screaming my head off. My grandmother came in to offer me a coin, one off those old large pennies, if only I would be a good girl and be quiet. It had no effect. I carried on screaming. My grandfather was a baker and they lived over the shop. My grandmother was probably concerned because my screams could be heard downstairs. You can just imagine them trying to reassure customers that I wasn’t being murdered!

Mum says over the years she tried every possible different way she could think of when it was hair washing time. Nothing worked, I always screamed the house down. I can remember when I was five lying on my back along the kitchen counter top with my head tilted back in the sink, holding a face cloth over my eyes. I was crying.

I don’t remember why I hated it so much. I was never able to explain to mum so she cannot enlighten me. I still can’t explain myself. Something’s been wrong today but I can’t explain it. Maybe next week. Next year.

I think I was about six or seven when I stopped crying when having my hair washed. I still didn’t like it though.

I presume these were autistic traits rather than me just being a temperamental child.

Following blogs

In currently following 336 sites! I sure that number will increase. I just can’t help myself, there are so many interesting people out there. I am interested to know how many blogs my followers follow and what they think is a healthy number before it all gets too much. By too much I think I mean when you feel overwhelmed. I guess that is individual preference. Forgive me, this is more a stream of consciousness than a well thought out post. Actually, that seems to be how I write most posts.

Susie’s blog party is a great idea. It’s been done before but it’s the first time I’ve heard of or experienced one. I do regular searches through WordPress reader but the party feels quite different as it feels like socialising without the all the usual sensory upheaval. It’s certainly keeping me entertained  😃

Returning to the following of blogs… There have been a few that I’ve unfollowed for one reason or another. As an autistic person I find some blogs very uncomfortable to look at, and some that that lower my mood too far. I have to protect myself. Yesterday I read a wonderful post and wanted to share with you. I hesitated over it but unsure why. When I revisited I realised there were flickering images. The first time I was too involved in the content to worry about it but once I noticed I realised I didn’t want to inflict that on to my followers or myself.

Thank you and welcome to my eight new followers that have popped over from the party. I hope you enjoy your visits here 🙂

I’d like to thank all my followers for the sense of community I feel. Good bless you all xx

 

 

 

A little outing

Lovely husband and I drove over the moor to Watersmeet this morning. The heather is mostly a haze of browns now. Even the browns are beautiful though. Occasionally I spotted a patch of purple pink.

Bertie is too old to walk up from Lynmouth as we use to do so we park just above Watersmeet.

I dived straight into my Earl Grey tea and fruit scone so no image to whet your appetite! This is the view up to the house from where we were sitting…

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You can just see the top of one of the wooden bridges, middle extreme right. The rivers run very close by. You can imagine the wonderful noise 😃

Looking downstream…

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Looking upstream of one of the rivers…

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Please excuse my finger. It was difficult to hold my tablet up with one hand plus I couldn’t see the screen.

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Here you can see the two bridges. The rivers converge just to the left…

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Watersmeet belongs to the National Trust. There is a cafe, gift shop, toilets (including disabled which is by the doorway into the ladies loo). The hand dryers are very loud in both the men and women’s loos so I advise using the disabled loo if you have hyperacusis and/or  an auditory sensory processing disorder. There are one or two disabled parking spaces beside the house but these need to be prebooked. Parking at the top car park is not National Trust so you do need to pay and display.

More info here

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I hope you have enjoyed visiting 😃 Thanks for dropping by xx

A colourful diversion

I had an appointment with my G.P. this morning that I have been rather anxious about. I knew there was no need to be but hey ho. Oh, I did mention the brain zapping. Hmm… I think she thinks I’m crazy (having never heard of it before). Hey ho times twice.

The diversion… The arrival of this feast of colour put a smile back on my face. It’s the first time I’ve ever bought fibre online and I’m so impressed. Thanks World of Wool.

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The photo doesn’t do the colours justice. The yellow isn’t fluorescent! Here are three close ups…

Such yummyness! Such excitement! Top left ‘Aquarius’, top right ‘Duckle Daisy’ and bottom is ‘Higglety Pigglety’. Love those names. There’s a roll of Corriedale Pumpkin up in the top image and the rest of the fibre is 500 grams of Botany Lap Waste. This is a surprise as you don’t know what will be in this bag of luscious broken tops.

Just to be clear, World of Wool aren’t paying me to write this. I’m really happy with my order and I want to give this family run business a thumbs up. How I would love to visit their shop up in Yorkshire!

Higglety Pigglety is now twisting its merry way on to my spinning wheel.

A happier and colour full day after all  😃

List of autism related books

Below I list autism spectrum disorder and related books that I’ve read thus far. I shall * the books I’ve found helpful to me as a woman diagnosed in my fifties. There are many more books yet to be read! There are some books not listed because they have been returned to their owner and I haven’t made a note of them.

This list is in no particular order.

I hope this list may be helpful to others.

*The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome Tony Attwood (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008). [Known hereafter as JKP.]

Living Sensationally: Understanding Your Senses Winnie Dunn (JKP, 2008).

* Life Behind Glass: A Personal Account of Autism Spectrum Disorder  Wendy Lawson (JKP, 1998).

A Positive Approach to Autism  Stella Waterhouse, Foreword by Donna Williams (JKP, 2000).

* Sensory Issues for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Diarmuid Heffernan (JKP, 2016).

*Visual CBT: Using Pictures to Help You Apply Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to Change Your Life Avy Joseph & Maggie Chapman (Capstone Publishing, 2013).

Through the Eyes of Aliens Jasmine Lee O’Neill (JKP, 1999).

*Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Different Sensory Experiences Different Perceptual Worlds Olga Bogdashina (JKP, 2003).

* Communication Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Do We Speak the Same Language? Olga Bogdashina (JKP, 2005).

The Autistic Spectrum: A Guide for Parents and Professionals Lorna Wing (Constable, 1996).

*Safety Skills for Asperger Women: How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life Liane Holliday Willey (JKP, 2012).

Autism and Asperger Syndrome Ed. Uta Frith (Cambridge University Press, 1991).

Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety Disorder: A Guide to Successful Stress Management  Nick Dubin (JKP, 2009).

A Guide to Asperger Syndrome Christopher Gillberg (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

From Anxiety to Meltdown Deborah Lipsky (JKP, 2011).

* Solutions for Adults with Asperger Syndrome Juanita P. Lovett (Fair Winds Press, 2005).

Drawing Autism  Jill Mullin (Mark Batty, 2009).

*Thinking In Pictures Temple Grand In (Bloomsbury, 2006).

*Been There. Done That. Try This! An Aspie’s Guide to Life on Earth Ed’s. Tony Attwood, Craig R. Evans & Anita Lesko (JKP, 2014).

The Obsessive Joy of Autism Julia Bascom, Artwork: Elou Carroll (JKP, 2015).

Making Church Accessible to All: Including Disabled People in Church Life Tony Phelps-Jones & others (The Bible Reading Fellowship, 2013).

Mindful Living with Asperger’s Syndrome Chris Mitchell (JKP, 2014).

Autism and the Edges of the Known World: Sensitivities, Language and Constructed Reality Olga Bogdashina (JKP, 2010).

Autism and Spirituality: Psyche, Self and Spirit in People on the Autism Spectrum Olga Bogdashina (JKP, 2013).

* The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Maxine Aston (JKP, 2014).

About Face Jonathon Cole (MIT Press, 1998).

*A Real Person: Life on the Outside Gunilla Garland, Trans. Joan Tate (Souvenir Press, 2003).

*Nobody Nowhere: An Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic Donna Williams (Times Books, 1992).

*Somebody Somewhere Donna Williams (Doubleday, 1994).

*Like Color to the Blind: Soul Searching & Soul Finding Donna Williams (Times Books, 1996).

*Autism and  Sensing: The Unlost Instinct  Donna Williams (JKP, 1998).

* Autism: An Inside Out Approach  Donna Williams (JKP, 1999).

* The Jumbled Jigsaw: An Insider’s Approach to the Treatment of Autistic Spectrum ‘Fruit Salads’  Donna Williams (JKP, 2006).

* Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger’s Syndrome Liane Holliday Willey (JKP, 1999).

A Guide To: Meltdowns

Thanks to Emma for writing this attached blog post. I mostly shutdown or implode.

Organised Chaos

Meltdowns are a huge part of life as an autistic person. They are often misunderstood, misinterpreted and cited as reasons that autistic people need curing or are childish. In reality, with the right understanding, meltdowns can be understood, remedied and even prevented. All you need is a comprehensive idea of what’s happening, and I think it’s safe to say I’ve got that. To achieve this knowledge, you need to look at a few things: what a meltdown actually is, the causes and triggers to aid future prevention, what can happen during a meltdown and finally, how to cope in the moment.

What a meltdown actually is (and what it isn’t)

I want to say meltdown is a response that autistic people have to a particularly distressing or overwhelming situations, but it feels like a huge oversimplification. During research for this post, I came across a definition that made so much…

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Colour, a positive sensory experience

I love colour.

I have just come from the Wool Warehouse online shop where I’ve just been staring at pages of colourful yarns. I’m attracted to blogs and web pages where they are full of colour. I once had a fixation on the Accessorize shop and I would make special trips up to Cribbs Causeway (a shopping mall in Bristol) to stare at their merchandise! That was back in the 90’s. I still have a bag and a scarf that I use that I bought at that time.

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Today we went up on to Exmoor just so that I could stare at the heather.

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I want to jump into colour; to absorb it into my very being.

Think Mexican, Guatemalan, Gudrun Sjoden, Cath Kidston, mardi gra, fiesta, … Such glorious colour.

In my garden I’m happy for colours to be riotous, to clash.

Colour makes me happy. It inspires.. It feeds my soul.

I can’t take fluorescent though, that hurts.

Both neuro-typicals and neuro-diverse people can adore colour and talk about getting a colour fix. But I wonder if there is a difference. Are Neuro-typicals as obsessive about it. What do you think?

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