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Autistic ERA |OT| Slippin' on by on ASD

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124


This a thread that shall hopefully serve at least two purposes. The primary purpose is to provide those of us that live on the Autistic Spectrum a place where we can discuss, seek friendly advice, and simply feel a bit less isolated in a world where we might not easily find our place. Secondarily, I hope it will help those not diagnosed - whether for lack of the condition, or lack of its confirmation - better understand what the condition is and how it affects the ways in which we interact with the world, and perhaps use such understanding to better engage with those like us. But just in case anyone needs a primer...

What is Autism?

Autistic Spectrum Disorder, more commonly known as Autism, is defined by the National Autistic Society as such:
Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.
If that sounds incredibly broad and vague, that's because it is, and has to be. Rather than one set condition with one set of symptoms, Autism covers a wide array of possible areas of human interaction which may find themselves skewed from an ordinary baseline; the way in which we experience and process the information we receive from the world around us is different from how a neurotypical person might, and that in turn affects our ability to engage.

This presents challenges in diagnosis: Seemingly 'obvious' traits of autism may instead be the result of poor social conditioning on an otherwise neurotypical person, while someone who is genuinely autistic may be mistaken for 'normal', as they have been so well conditioned as to suppress their more visible autistic traits. Furthermore, individual therapists may disagree in their read of someone being autistic or not. However, the general rate and accuracy of diagnoses is increasing, and as such, if after reading this thread you believe you or someone close to you may be on the spectrum, it might be worth seeking a diagnosis. If the diagnosis is negative, then little changes or is lost. If it's positive however, simply knowing can be revelatory, and give someone much more power and comfort over their own identity.

The exact nature of autism as a condition is hotly debated; ranging from the view that it is a mental illness that warrants a 'cure', to others seeing it as simply a less common - but still entirely natural and acceptable - variant of the human psyche. Some view it as a genuine disorder that nevertheless can and should be accommodated for so as to live comfortably in 'normal' society, others still don't care and just wish everyone else would leave them alone and let them live life however they want. Medical understanding is ongoing and evolving, with much uncertainty on to what extent autism is genetic and inherent, versus developing as a result of environmental conditions both prior to and after birth. Many researchers are even coming to believe that it might not have any singular cause at all, and that even within the condition itself, it may be more a series of conditions that commonly correlate together, thus creating the identifiable yet variable nature of what we call Autism.

Regardless, it's not caused by vaccines. The paper that suggested that link has long been debunked and found to be fraudulent - even the journal that published it retracted it, once they had clearance to do so, because it was a load of bollocks.

----------

Putting that all aside... how's everybody doing?
 

Viriditas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
312
United States
32/f here, diagnosed about a year ago, after a few labels that didn't really fit -- Borderline, Bipolar, Schizotypal Personality. I've been in counseling for most of the past 13 years, primarily for PTSD. While all the mental health professionals who worked with me agreed readily that I had PTSD, they also expressed that there was "something else going on" that was difficult to describe. I attribute this to the learned camouflage behaviors that many of us cultivate, and the lack of awareness of how autism may present differently in women, or...well, anyone other than cisgendered men.

My Mom has autism. I'm estranged from my family of origin, went no-contact when I was 21. I knew that my Mom and I were very similar in a lot of ways, but I presumed that my own autistic traits were acquired from being raised by an autistic mother in an isolated situation who lacked appropriate support in terms of mental health and parenting skills. I believed that if I were able to get away from my toxic family and establish healthier relationships, I would catch up with my peers and my social skills would normalize.

That didn't happen, and I still live with the traits that I thought would dissipate with regular socializing -- for example, I'm very uncomfortable with eye contact (it burns) and casual socialization (sometimes I say "I don't like meeting people I don't already know" by way of poor explanation), changes in routine or environment stress me out inordinately (the notion of changing from a familiar job to an unfamiliar job just for better pay strikes me as some Faustian nonsense), I find banter and sarcasm confusing and frightening (unless I know someone very well), my sensory issues are legion (mostly related to clothing), and I stim or otherwise engage in repetitive movement consistently and daily.

I think I've been happier since being diagnosed with autism. I make more sense to myself, I'm more comfortable recognizing and advocating for my needs, and I feel more connected to a wide community of other people who have similar experiences through autism blogs and online communities. I think the neurodiversity perspective is spot-on, at least when it comes to autism -- I don't believe I have an illness or disorder, I believe I am a specific type of naturally-occurring human who, just like any other person, merits support and understanding.

I'd better end my post here for now, because I could talk about autism all day, lol. It's become a huge special interest of mine over the past year. Anyway, I'm really glad there's a community for this on Era. Thanks OP. :)
 
OP
OP
JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124
I suppose it also depends on what kind of stimming it is. My old habit of uh, biting things (mostly plastic cups and the plastic of the old car doors) was obviously a problem, though I don't recall how - if at all deliberately - I grew out of it. In contrast, turning the tags inside my clothes inside out because they're just so smooth is... well, kind of a non-issue? Doesn't interfere with what I'm doing much, doesn't damage the property of others, etc.

To elaborate on my own situation - didn't want to be in the first couple of replies - I'm white British (though with smatterings of German and Polish), male, and 22 - will be 23 early next month. I must admit I've probably had one of the more ideals circumstances in which to grow up with autism; parents were supportive, my CAMHS support was incredibly good, and my secondary school even had dedicated staff and facilities for those with conditions like autism. Part of why I chose to go there really. Even my university had a Disability Advisory Service, who helped get me on Disabled Students’ Allowances, which included things like tutors, counselling, and equipment. It made such a big difference, to the point that the lack of the former in the third year - it's easy to not check uni emails when you've gotten used to not doing so for months on end over the summer - due to a failure to renew had an outright impact on how well I kept up with work. After a bit of a breakdown, went to the DAS about it, and they helped get the support back on track. Now I have my 2:2, when earlier this year I wasn't even certain I wouldn't be a dropout.

I really wish that could be the standard all of us get. That it isn't, quietly pisses me off.
 
Oct 25, 2017
565
I suppose it also depends on what kind of stimming it is. My old habit of uh, biting things (mostly plastic cups and the plastic of the old car doors) was obviously a problem, though I don't recall how - if at all deliberately - I grew out of it. In contrast, turning the tags inside my clothes inside out because they're just so smooth is... well, kind of a non-issue? Doesn't interfere with what I'm doing much, doesn't damage the property of others, etc.

To elaborate on my own situation - didn't want to be in the first couple of replies - I'm white British (though with smatterings of German and Polish), male, and 22 - will be 23 early next month. I must admit I've probably had one of the more ideals circumstances in which to grow up with autism; parents were supportive, my CAMHS support was incredibly good, and my secondary school even had dedicated staff and facilities for those with conditions like autism. Part of why I chose to go there really. Even my university had a Disability Advisory Service, who helped get me on Disabled Students’ Allowances, which included things like tutors, counselling, and equipment. It made such a big difference, to the point that the lack of the former in the third year - it's easy to not check uni emails when you've gotten used to not doing so for months on end over the summer - due to a failure to renew had an outright impact on how well I kept up with work. After a bit of a breakdown, went to the DAS about it, and they helped get the support back on track. Now I have my 2:2, when earlier this year I wasn't even certain I wouldn't be a dropout.

I really wish that could be the standard all of us get. That it isn't, quietly pisses me off.
You are hella lucky on the parents side.Despite years of complaining about my jumping(which is how I stym), my food and clothing pickiness, my inability to make friends, they rebelled at my diagnosis. My mom outright yelled at me when I tried to tell her. My dad just told me all doctors are liars. Then they wonder why I won’t turn to them for help.
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,176
I was wondering when this thread would pop up here. I'm still doing schooling pretty slowly but I'm taking two classes this quarter. Took me a whole day to have a panic attack for my first one though and my 2nd one starts in an hour. Still waiting awhile before I seriously look for a job. Right now I'm working towards a Systems Administration degree. There's a big Microsoft data center about 40 miles from my house and my goal right now is to work towards getting a job there, even though I wouldn't like the drive daily. I've been watching for internships but all of them are really social based (answering calls and stuff) which I struggle with heavily. I'm hoping one eventually pops up that I feel like I can do to at least try working for once.
 
OP
OP
JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124
You are hella lucky on the parents side.Despite years of complaining about my jumping(which is how I stym), my food and clothing pickiness, my inability to make friends, they rebelled at my diagnosis. My mom outright yelled at me when I tried to tell her. My dad just told me all doctors are liars. Then they wonder why I won’t turn to them for help.
It's one of those elements that seems consistently lacking, for the various people I've met with ASD. It's a major cause for late diagnoses, and even when the diagnosis is obtained, parents who react well seem rare. My mother's a teacher (which was extra lucky in primary school, since she was nearby for support purposes), and something she has come across far too often over the years is parents who just do not get their child's condition. Either they outright ignores its effects and try to brute force the kid into normality, or they completely give up on any kind of adjustment whatsoever, which will almost certainly be tossing the child off a cliff come adulthood.

We really do need to normalise the fact autism exists and does not, in fact, automatically doom a person to failure in life.
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,176
I’m still a bit bitter of my childhood because my parent hid my aspergers diagnosis from me and did nothing to really help me through it until years later after I developed depression. I got diagnosed in 3rd grade but I didn’t find out until 9th grade during a family counseling session. I got sent to a mental hospital twice and still didn’t know about it. I got put on Respridol there which was given to a lot of people with autism but I wasn’t on it long enough to develope any side effects.

I do have a very supportive mom who helps me through things though.
 

jb1234

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,159
I have Aspergers and have struggled with it greatly. Lots of anxiety and depression, the usual symptoms. It was making it increasingly more and more difficult to follow my dream of being a pianist (which I'm very good at but the self-employment aspects of the career required a non-traditional approach to scheduling and budgeting that my autistic brain just couldn't handle, not to mention interacting with people). That said, I ended up getting another chronic illness that pretty much pushed me out of the workforce and into collecting a monthly disability check anyway.

Like most people on the spectrum, I really need a schedule to get by and not having one in retirement (and the loneliness) is slowly driving me mad.
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,176
Ugh my class is bringing my depression back. I'm taking two classes this quarter, one of which is a sequel to the one I took last quarter (the one I'm struggling with) and one other which has the most chill teacher I've ever had (the front page of the class has one relevant picture and 2 cat pictures). I was trying to get help in the programming thread but I'm feeling like complete shit and I'm too embarrassed to ask for help anymore or show the progress I've made (which is garbage).
 

Doof

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,007
Kentucky
27/m, doing pretty good! I lucked out and am just kind of awkward and overly formal. I do get pretty bad social anxiety, but I'm pretty good at powering past it. Just graduated school a year ago, got a decent job. Not too good at the whole dating thing, but I'm not really trying; gotta get my career on track first. Was diagnosed at 18, had always been a weird kid. I'm sorry to hear that some of you are having a difficult time; if anyone ever needs to chat, please don't hesitate to send me a PM.
 
Oct 25, 2017
565
Ugh my class is bringing my depression back. I'm taking two classes this quarter, one of which is a sequel to the one I took last quarter (the one I'm struggling with) and one other which has the most chill teacher I've ever had (the front page of the class has one relevant picture and 2 cat pictures). I was trying to get help in the programming thread but I'm feeling like complete shit and I'm too embarrassed to ask for help anymore or show the progress I've made (which is garbage).
What are you programming in? I’m also taking less classes together, so maybe we can be support buddies?
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,176
What are you programming in? I’m also taking less classes together, so maybe we can be support buddies?
C++. I took the intro course last quarter, which I did really well in. I’m taking the advanced course this quarter and I’m struggling badly with it. There’s no book for this class so we’re told to just look up everything online.
 
Oct 25, 2017
565
C++. I took the intro course last quarter, which I did really well in. I’m taking the advanced course this quarter and I’m struggling badly with it. There’s no book for this class so we’re told to just look up everything online.
My lord, you sweet child. I'll see what I can do but C++ is what got me on academic probation. What are you on now?
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,176
My lord, you sweet child. I'll see what I can do but C++ is what got me on academic probation. What are you on now?
I’ve mentioned my problems in the programming thread but I don’t want to be completely babysat through the process like normal. It takes me awhile to fully process everything so I need a lot of help at the beginning of everything. Right now I’m trying to figure out if 4 numbers in a row in a 2D vector are the same. If they are the same, I need to print the 2D vector with quotes around the numbers. I’m having trouble trying to figure out how to see if 4 numbers in a row are the same, and how I could print quotes around them.
 
Oct 25, 2017
565
I’ve mentioned my problems in the programming thread but I don’t want to be completely babysat through the process like normal. It takes me awhile to fully process everything so I need a lot of help at the beginning of everything. Right now I’m trying to figure out if 4 numbers in a row in a 2D vector are the same. If they are the same, I need to print the 2D vector with quotes around the numbers. I’m having trouble trying to figure out how to see if 4 numbers in a row are the same, and how I could print quotes around them.
Its been awhile so don't hesitate to correct me but can't you access the numbers in a 2d vector via variable name[row][column]? If so then just iterate across the rows. When you reach the four numbers in a row do you have to reset back to zero or keep going?
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,176
Its been awhile so don't hesitate to correct me but can't you access the numbers in a 2d vector via variable name[row][column]? If so then just iterate across the rows. When you reach the four numbers in a row do you have to reset back to zero or keep going?
I know how to look at and print every number inside a 2D vector. I think I know how to see if 4 numbers in a row are the same but I don’t know how to print the whole 2D vector with quotes around those numbers. For the assignment we only have to find one 4 in a row and then we can ignore the others.
 
Oct 25, 2017
565
I know how to look at and print every number inside a 2D vector. I think I know how to see if 4 numbers in a row are the same but I don’t know how to print the whole 2D vector with quotes around those numbers. For the assignment we only have to find one 4 in a row and then we can ignore the others.
Only just the numbers that are 4 in a row?
 

CatDoggo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
568
Hey all, I'm not sure if I have much that I can add to this thread, but I can echo the sentiment that it feels like my parents hid my diagnosis from me. I remember being tested when I was still pretty young but I didn't know what I was being tested for at the time. I just assumed I was having a few checkups done on me by a doctor I'd never seen before. My mom swears up and down that she was always open about my diagnosis but I can never once remember her saying anything about it to me. A spent all of my childhood and teen years constantly questioning what was wrong with me. Why couldn't I make friends? Why was I never able to fit in? Why does everyone avoid me? There was actually a huge chunk of time where I was convinced that I was crazy and that explained all of my unusual behavior and everyone's avoidance of me. At some point during my early high school years, I picked up a book that was from the perspective of an autistic girl. Unfortunately I can never remember the name of the book anymore, but while reading it I was completely taken aback by how much she was like me and how she did so many of the same 'odd' things that I do. I eventually took the book to my mom and told her that I think I have the same thing this girl has. My mom pretty much blew me off and said 'Yeah, you were diagnosed with this when you were little'. Either way, it was liberating to finally have an explanation for why I was so different from everybody else and unable to fit in no matter how much I tried to fake it.

I guess this is a pretty random question but maybe somebody here can answer it. How noticeably different are matte laptop screens compared to glossy? I've been looking around online for a new laptop and I've noticed that all the ones I'm interested in have the matte type screen. I've only ever used glossy screen laptops before and where I usually sit with my laptop has never had any issues with glare. I'm a little worried about this because I'm not great with change and if a laptop display is noticeably different from what I'm used to, it's going to end up driving me up the wall. Some people swear by matte screens but other people say they are horrible and that they mess up colors and make the words on the screen blurry. I wish I could check out the difference in person but we don't have any place selling laptops in town and the nearest place I could go to is over 40 minutes away and I don't drive.

I'm also not looking forward to having to get used to Windows 10 either since it sounds like there's a lot of problems with it. I'm still using 7 right now but at the very least it looks like you can do a few things to make 10 look a little more 7.
 
OP
OP
JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124
Hey all, I'm not sure if I have much that I can add to this thread, but I can echo the sentiment that it feels like my parents hid my diagnosis from me. I remember being tested when I was still pretty young but I didn't know what I was being tested for at the time. I just assumed I was having a few checkups done on me by a doctor I'd never seen before. My mom swears up and down that she was always open about my diagnosis but I can never once remember her saying anything about it to me. A spent all of my childhood and teen years constantly questioning what was wrong with me. Why couldn't I make friends? Why was I never able to fit in? Why does everyone avoid me? There was actually a huge chunk of time where I was convinced that I was crazy and that explained all of my unusual behavior and everyone's avoidance of me. At some point during my early high school years, I picked up a book that was from the perspective of an autistic girl. Unfortunately I can never remember the name of the book anymore, but while reading it I was completely taken aback by how much she was like me and how she did so many of the same 'odd' things that I do. I eventually took the book to my mom and told her that I think I have the same thing this girl has. My mom pretty much blew me off and said 'Yeah, you were diagnosed with this when you were little'. Either way, it was liberating to finally have an explanation for why I was so different from everybody else and unable to fit in no matter how much I tried to fake it.

I guess this is a pretty random question but maybe somebody here can answer it. How noticeably different are matte laptop screens compared to glossy? I've been looking around online for a new laptop and I've noticed that all the ones I'm interested in have the matte type screen. I've only ever used glossy screen laptops before and where I usually sit with my laptop has never had any issues with glare. I'm a little worried about this because I'm not great with change and if a laptop display is noticeably different from what I'm used to, it's going to end up driving me up the wall. Some people swear by matte screens but other people say they are horrible and that they mess up colors and make the words on the screen blurry. I wish I could check out the difference in person but we don't have any place selling laptops in town and the nearest place I could go to is over 40 minutes away and I don't drive.

I'm also not looking forward to having to get used to Windows 10 either since it sounds like there's a lot of problems with it. I'm still using 7 right now but at the very least it looks like you can do a few things to make 10 look a little more 7.
I swap between the two decently enough - matte monitor, glossy TV screen - and while there is a noticeable difference, I would say that's mostly when the screen is off. When it's active, stuff like brightness, resolution, etc are far more apparent and likely to distract. Otherwise I'd say if you're looking to change your main machine, even if there is a difference, you will hopefully acclimate after enough time.

Plus well, screen type would be low on my list priorities vs other hardware - like CPU and GPU - though that's just me.
 

oo7

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
146
My son was diagnosed as having High Functioning Autism about a year or so ago.

We've got him on Omega vitamins, multivitamins, and Magnesium chews. It helps for sure but he cannot focus that well. When he does he is like a completely different person.

He's only 5 and hasn't started school yet due to his bday being in October.

He does really good at daycare but I have anxiety about him starting school since kids can be little douche-arinos. I am wondering if there is a magical pill out there that would help with his focus. I don't want to drug him. I just want to help him.

He has quirks such as drawing in the air. I ask him what he's doing and he tells me "drawing!" I ask him what and he says "numbers!" He's obsessed with numbers and letters. He loves cartoons and video games.

I feel like if I could just have a breakthrough on the communication side things would be so much better. If I ask him how his day was his simple answer will be "yes" and it breaks my heart. If I dig deeper I can get some answers out of him but the communication is lacking for his age.

Also side question: is there a way to block those creepy ass videos of Mickey mouse clubhouse on YouTube kids!?

Thanks for reading guys.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,489
Report the videos and run searches yourself. The creepy “kids” videos and the people shilling for toy companies by filming their kids playing with the new NERF (TM) ZOMBIFIER 9000 WITH REAL REPEATING SHOTGUN AKSHUN are a huge problem with YouTube. It’s gotten to the point where if my son wants to watch something on there, I’ll deliberately seek out a promoted video by companies themselves (Lego, Nintendo, Vuly etc) because at least then I’ll know it’s clean of that creepy stuff.

My son was diagnosed late last year and we’re keeping him back from starting school this year so he can develop his communication and social skills. He’s very high functioning but has a short attention span and trouble with regulating his negative emotions when they happen. We’ve chosen a local school for him that has small class sizes so that he’ll have an easier time coping, since loud noise (like a crowded room of excited kids) is one of his sensitivities.

Luckily he has a lot going for him compared to me at the same age in that he very much wants to be social and doesn’t appear to have too much social anxiety. If we can teach him how to interact with other kids this year, enough to be able to build up a small group of stable friends, it’ll go a long way toward avoiding the kind of social isolation I experienced as a kid.
 
OP
OP
JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124
Not sure with regards to the youtube content, though it should be possible to at least limit it through related videos by clicking the pop-up menu on a few examples and going 'not interested' - the algorithm will start factoring that in.

On the whole 'how was your day' front, maybe experiment with how you phrase the question? I know the way you've put it is an abstract and so you might already try to do this, but I wonder to what degree posing the question as 'What did you do today?' might better coax an answer on the first try. I know even into my teens I often just answered 'how was your day?' with 'fine', though that'll be partially a British-ism.

As to the focus issue... not sure admittedly. I was diagnosed at 8 and my memories of being 5 are kinda minimal. I think I managed well enough, though I also started Reception with a broken arm, so that might have distracted from things a bit. I suppose when he does start, try to pay attention to any shifts in his behaviour, maybe inquire with teachers how he handles during class. 'Magical pills' are not something I put much faith in when it comes to autism, though I know some have mentioned being prescribed medicine that helped them. There's a recent article that detailed how some century old medicine may help to reduce the effects on people, but even the article itself says its results are not conclusive and they would not at all recommend people trying to get their hands on the drug just yet - it can rather easily cause medical issues if mishandled after all.
 
Oct 25, 2017
565
My son was diagnosed as having High Functioning Autism about a year or so ago.

We've got him on Omega vitamins, multivitamins, and Magnesium chews. It helps for sure but he cannot focus that well. When he does he is like a completely different person.

He's only 5 and hasn't started school yet due to his bday being in October.

He does really good at daycare but I have anxiety about him starting school since kids can be little douche-arinos. I am wondering if there is a magical pill out there that would help with his focus. I don't want to drug him. I just want to help him.

He has quirks such as drawing in the air. I ask him what he's doing and he tells me "drawing!" I ask him what and he says "numbers!" He's obsessed with numbers and letters. He loves cartoons and video games.

I feel like if I could just have a breakthrough on the communication side things would be so much better. If I ask him how his day was his simple answer will be "yes" and it breaks my heart. If I dig deeper I can get some answers out of him but the communication is lacking for his age.

Also side question: is there a way to block those creepy ass videos of Mickey mouse clubhouse on YouTube kids!?

Thanks for reading guys.
Its possible your child also has ADHD so keep an eye out for that. Delete the YouTube app and get PBS, much better educational wise. As for conversation, why don’t you talk a bit about your day too? Give him something to latch onto so the conversation doesn’t die.
 

Calico Spice

Member
Oct 27, 2017
27
I know I can't handle broad/open questions. I just sort of freeze up, and then get frustrated because I couldn't answer as fast as I would like (also gets real awkward with the other person). Asking me "how was your day?" won't get anything other than a "fine" or "okay" from me. It's just gives me way to many options on how to answer, so I'll go with the most basic thing I can think of. It's way better to narrow the focus a bit and ask me "What did you have for lunch today?" instead of "What did you eat today?".
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,176
I know I can't handle broad/open questions. I just sort of freeze up, and then get frustrated because I couldn't answer as fast as I would like (also gets real awkward with the other person). Asking me "how was your day?" won't get anything other than a "fine" or "okay" from me. It's just gives me way to many options on how to answer, so I'll go with the most basic thing I can think of. It's way better to narrow the focus a bit and ask me "What did you have for lunch today?" instead of "What did you eat today?".
This is basically me whenever I tried getting counseling. I never felt comfortable enough to really go over what my problems were and so pretty much all of my answers were only one word. It's why whenever I really had problems I went online and looked for help because I could really open up by typing my problems instead of speaking them.
 

jb1234

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,159
He does really good at daycare but I have anxiety about him starting school since kids can be little douche-arinos. I am wondering if there is a magical pill out there that would help with his focus. I don't want to drug him. I just want to help him.
I also had a diagnosis of ADHD so I took stimulants, which helped. As an adult, I'm starting to feel more like it was autism that was affecting my ability to concentrate. I'm considering going back on the drugs, even though they have side effects.
 

oo7

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
146
Thanks for the responses guys. I am going to ask our pediatrician about his possible ADHD. Are there any over the counter products that help or would it all come back to Adderall or an official prescription drug that would work the best?

I turned off the search function on youtube kids and now he doesn't see those weird distorted videos anymore. It's crazy how big of a difference that him not watching those make. He is still very eccentric but that's what makes him who he is :) I don't want to change him, I just want to help him adjust to the "normal" world.

I would post a video but not sure if that's wise. I'm just very interested in hearing about older adults that have it, that seem to be "normal". When I think of autism I don't think you would be posting on a video game forum, having normal conversations and interactions with tons of other people.

I know there is a stigma to autism, and it usually gets lumped into a generic category, but there are various forms of it. I cried when the specialist at UNC watched him for 10 minutes and came back with the "high functioning autism" diagnosis. I've known him for 3 years and you've watched him for 10 minutes? I find myself describing what I want for him, saying the word "normal" in air quotes. What's normal anyway? I just want him to live a happy life and not be picked on. The thought of him going to school scares me. We have scheduled meetings with county specialists that we meet with every so often. They set goals and he meets a lot of them. He lacks in some areas, but excels in others. I asked about him going to a "regular" school, and they commented that there are kids that have it worse than he does that go to school and are completely fine. That gives me some sense of relief. But still, the thought of him having to sit in a classroom, and be completely focused on a task is going to be really tough. Teachers are assholes too. I've seen videos of teachers dragging kids who have their autism temper tantrums. I don't want my kid dragged or treated differently due to something he can't control.

Sorry for rambling. This is therapeutic for me.
 
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OP
JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124
No worries, no worries. That's kinda what this thread is for.

In that regard, your point of view is also an interesting one I guess I haven't quite considered to a full extent before. How weirdly disempowering and frustrating it must be for you to feel like you don't understand your own child's mind, while some stranger who met them for a fraction of their life has potentially 'doomed' them. How frightening is must be to suddenly have to weight up a lifetime of work to try and make sure they're not going to be the punching bag for everyone around them.

...God, now I wanna hug my parents.

Anyway, a lot of it is going to down to the sheer luck of what his teachers are like. I do recommend talking to the staff in advance if you can; hopefully they'll be sympathetic, as I was fortunate enough with the ones at my schools. I had bad anger management issues as a kid (not helped by having a fear of crisps, to the point even the word would make me jump, making me the easiest bullying target in the world), and teachers would allow me to leave the classroom if I felt things were getting out of hand. In the instances where they had to pick me up and drag me away, it was always to take me somewhere that I could calm down without hurting anyone else - even the one time I was excluded was more about letting me get calm and comfortable again by being away from the students that set me off, rather than really punishing me. That said, the fact that my outbursts were the result of bullying probably made them more sympathetic even without consideration of the autism issue, and that sort of thing can vary significantly depending on cultural values and individuals.

I will say though, for a kid who was bullied most of his school life, I was able to walk up onto the stage at the final awards ceremony that I attended to applause. The people that had belittled and mocked me cheered me on. It's one of the most powerful memories I have, because in that moment, I fully appreciated that my autism didn't have to me hold me back.

So whatever you do, keep trying for your son.
 

MadeULook

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,017
Washington State
22/M here. I've been diagnosed with high functioning autism with a trace of ADHD since I was about four years old, although my mom denied my diagnosis publicly for a few years before ultimately accepting it. I got lucky knowing at quite a young age what my condition was so my dad could get help with my development early. I had speech problems, issues with dexterity in my hands, getting along with other kids, emotional sensorys that can go wild out of nowhere, and a bunch more delayed development when I was younger. That's just my mental disability too! I haven't even mentioned my enlarged foot.

I overcame most of it but still struggle with basic social situations, conversations, and answering broad/open questions. I always shut down whenever there are too many people in one room and also shut down at the slightest bit of questioning. I get nervous and have to fidget with something. I also find it impossible to talk with most strangers unless we got something in common, otherwise I just sit there going, "Yeah." or "Okay." I have no clue how to hold, let alone start, a conversation unless they start it. I honestly just prefer to be left alone most of the time.

There is more but I'll stop here since I'm on mobile right now. Such as my sensory overloads over minor things and other fun autistic shenanigans.
 

oo7

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
146
Do you live at home with your parents? Not a big deal if you do, you're only 22. If you do, do you think you would be able to live out from under your parents? My kids can live with me as long as they want but again, just want to believe he could handle it when and if he wanted to. And again, not trying to make generalizations, just really curious.
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,176
Do you live at home with your parents? Not a big deal if you do, you're only 22. If you do, do you think you would be able to live out from under your parents? My kids can live with me as long as they want but again, just want to believe he could handle it when and if he wanted to. And again, not trying to make generalizations, just really curious.
I'm 26 and I still live at home. I still haven't been able to find a job I could do okay at so I've been slowly working my way through college. I'm not sure I could live on my own and that's one of my main reasons I've never thought about trying to transfer (the community college I'm going to is 10 minutes from my house). I didn't get my driver's license until I was 24 and that was one of the biggest accomplishments for me.
 

jb1234

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,159
I'm 26 and I still live at home. I still haven't been able to find a job I could do okay at so I've been slowly working my way through college. I'm not sure I could live on my own and that's one of my main reasons I've never thought about trying to transfer (the community college I'm going to is 10 minutes from my house). I didn't get my driver's license until I was 24 and that was one of the biggest accomplishments for me.
I got my license at 23! *fist bump*
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124
Do you live at home with your parents? Not a big deal if you do, you're only 22. If you do, do you think you would be able to live out from under your parents? My kids can live with me as long as they want but again, just want to believe he could handle it when and if he wanted to. And again, not trying to make generalizations, just really curious.
Also 22 until next month, currently living with parents. I think I could manage well, however I specifically tool advantage of certain circumstances in university to make this sort of process easier on me. See, I was fortunate enough that my local University - that is, the one for the town I was born and raised in - happened to be experts in the sort of subjects I wanted to study. As such, for the first year, I could stay at home while getting used to the new schedule and workload. Then in the second year, I stayed in student apartments, giving me the chance to somewhat live on my own, but with people that a classmate had gathered together (so people vaguely aligned in tastes and sensibilities rather than total randoms), and just on the other side of town from where my parents were. I was away from home, but not that far away - I had my safety net.

I will say, make sure your kids do chores. Like, they will probably moan and not appreciate it, but goddammit those skills are useful when you're an adult and have to do them yourself.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,225
I'm 25. I was diagnosed with asperger's about three years ago. It really helped me. It was like having that final jigsaw puzzle piece fall into place to help me understand myself better

I had been struggling with depression for a while before that, impacting my school work, my health, etc. A big part of that stemmed from how awkward and difficult it was to socialize with peers. I had always wanted friends, but never knew how or why it was so difficult for me to achieve that. At least in high school, you were only in school for a few hours and then go home. On campus, my lack of friends really hit home, seeing everyone else my age socializing so easily. Every day, in and out, like a big flashing sign, "Look at how easy it is, why can't you just be like them". Not to mention all my other weird idiosyncrasies.

Once I was diagnosed, it opened so many more options for me, most importantly learning that there was a peer group for students on the spectrum on campus. Being able to talk with and hang out with others I could relate to, who could share and discuss the kinds of issues and struggles I had socially and otherwise, was probably the best part of my time in college.

In hindsight, I wish I had been diagnosed earlier. I had been so resistant for years. I had been scared that if I did have autism or was on spectrum, that meant there was something wrong with me, something incomplete. I had a lot of misconceptions and stereotypes in my head of what autism and being autistic meant. But it wasn't scary. It was the opposite. Finally having a word, a concrete foundation for why I am like I am, something I could tackle and learn about and understand, made things easier, not harder
 

OniLinkPlus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
563
22/x, had no idea there was an Autistic ERA :o

I was diagnosed when I was 8, went through the process of actually learning what that means over the last year or two, and now suddenly everything makes sense.

Right now I'm using state resources (Vocational Rehab) to help find a job. It's a slow, long term process but it's already looking promising. In the meantime, student loans are a nightmare and I need to find another short term job to help get the cash I need.

Some day I want to create a self-sufficient autistic commune. Bunch of tiny houses with individualized sensory and stimming needs fulfilled, a community garden to grow our own food, and anything else we need to be able to live so that nobody who can't work don't have to work.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,225
Is the “suddenly everything makes sense” a common experience? I always had stereotypes and fears in my head when my parents talked about wanting to get me diagnosed when I was younger, but once I was diagnosed and understood what autism/aspergers was, I felt like all my quirks and idiosyncrasies and other habits and such made sense.
 

OniLinkPlus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
563
Is the “suddenly everything makes sense” a common experience? I always had stereotypes and fears in my head when my parents talked about wanting to get me diagnosed when I was younger, but once I was diagnosed and understood what autism/aspergers was, I felt like all my quirks and idiosyncrasies and other habits and such made sense.
It seems to be? Quite a few of my autistic friends I've spoken to have had similar experiences. I think it's largely just... once you hear "oh, people like me will do x", with it explicitly spelled out like that, if you also do x then now you have a concrete way of describing x *and* you have knowledge that you're not alone in it.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124
Is the “suddenly everything makes sense” a common experience? I always had stereotypes and fears in my head when my parents talked about wanting to get me diagnosed when I was younger, but once I was diagnosed and understood what autism/aspergers was, I felt like all my quirks and idiosyncrasies and other habits and such made sense.
Certainly seems to come up a bunch, and honestly it makes sense to me. Thing is, much as we would like to think so, people do not inherently understand or fully control how their own mind works. For those of us with various mental disorders and conditions, this just gets worse because we are able to discern to some extent how people are 'supposed' to work, and yet for some reason, we don't work that way - that or someone yells at us about that because we screwed up somehow. When there's no name for it, nor frame of reference, it feels like your very being is inexplicable, or as though you're failing at a test you have no idea how to answer.

Simply knowing what it is - that there is a genuine reason, and a decently well studied one - gives you... if not the answers to the test, then at least a methodology for figuring them out. The way you are stops being inexplicable, and that alone is comforting for a people who are often characterised by how they don't deal so well with uncertainty.
 

Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,176
Is the “suddenly everything makes sense” a common experience? I always had stereotypes and fears in my head when my parents talked about wanting to get me diagnosed when I was younger, but once I was diagnosed and understood what autism/aspergers was, I felt like all my quirks and idiosyncrasies and other habits and such made sense.
If I actually knew after I got diagnosed why I was acting like this, know why I was having trouble with everything and got the help I needed to get through things, I think there is a decent chance I wouldn't have developed depression. The moment my life really changed was after I got diagnosed with depression. I started doing really badly in school, I wouldn't even attempt to socialize with anyone (if we had a do a group project I wouldn't do it and just fail it instead), and eventually I got expelled.
 

CatDoggo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
568
Eugh, I've been looking into the whole #BoycottSiri movement since I've been seeing it come up lately in a few autistic communities and everything about it is just so depressing. That poor kid needs to be taken somewhere safe before his mother can hurt him. It's also depressing to see how so many people are perfectly okay to ignore or try to outright silence autistic voices who are speaking out against the book. I straight up saw someone pulling the whole 'autistic people lack theory of the mind' crap to shut down any criticism from autistic people. It's amazing the lengths some people will go to dehumanize us and turn us into the 'other', and apparently they know what it's like to be autistic better than any autistic person.

I'm not sure if anybody here knows anything about this but I'll link this article and video and hopefully they'll give a decent idea about why this book is so harmful.

https://elizabethroderick.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/review-of-to-siri-with-love-by-judith-newman/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGBQLBIPAi0&feature=youtu.be
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124
Ugh, that book sounds like a pain, and emblematic of the mindset that autism is a condition that at minimum needs to be 'cured', at worst eliminated from the gene-pool (seriously, forceful sterilisation of her son over it?!). Of course it'd somehow wind up getting popular. That said, and I admittedly this is because I don't have the book in hand to make a deeper, personal dig at its issues, I do have to contend with a particular point as express in a couple quotes from the review, because I see it come up a lot in some (especially American) rhetoric about autism, and it's... unsettling to me:

I do understand that autistic people can be embarrassing or difficult to deal with, but 9 times out of 10, this would change if the allistic person would simply change their attitude and adherence to pointless ideals, and stop trying to get us to conform when our brains and bodies simply can’t.
I am a human being. I crave attention, love, and acceptance the same way anyone does. I have crushed so many of my loves, hopes, dreams and joys in an attempt to fit in.

After forty years, I can safely say it doesn’t work. I still don’t fit in.
I recognise that the experience of autism varies considerably. I have stated multiple times that I've had the relative fortune of very ideal circumstances in terms of the support I have received. Yet this still pisses me off when it comes up, because it's a slap in the face to all the effort I've made over the last 14 - soon to be 15 - years of life to adjust. It didn't work for her, that doesn't mean that it doesn't work - and that trying is not somehow useful - for all of us. What she decries as conformity is in many areas the ability to relate and engage with others in a functional capacity. That is a skill I have had to learn, but apparently that was all impossible because the autistic mind is simply incapable of change.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,225
Eugh, I've been looking into the whole #BoycottSiri movement since I've been seeing it come up lately in a few autistic communities and everything about it is just so depressing. That poor kid needs to be taken somewhere safe before his mother can hurt him. It's also depressing to see how so many people are perfectly okay to ignore or try to outright silence autistic voices who are speaking out against the book. I straight up saw someone pulling the whole 'autistic people lack theory of the mind' crap to shut down any criticism from autistic people. It's amazing the lengths some people will go to dehumanize us and turn us into the 'other', and apparently they know what it's like to be autistic better than any autistic person.

I'm not sure if anybody here knows anything about this but I'll link this article and video and hopefully they'll give a decent idea about why this book is so harmful.

https://elizabethroderick.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/review-of-to-siri-with-love-by-judith-newman/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGBQLBIPAi0&feature=youtu.be
Ms. Newman hates her son’s autism so much that she’s stated she plans on getting medical power of attorney so that she can have him forcibly sterilized when he turns eighteen.
What the hell? How is this book being praised when the author is admitting stuff like that?
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124
What the hell? How is this book being praised when the author is admitting stuff like that?
Because a lot of people sadly still view autism under the gaze of terrifying disease that puts the parents through hell, with no consideration of what the child's perspective might be. Thus the 'burden' (of the parents) is considered the autistic story, rather than the 'existence' (of the child).
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,060
Ireland
Do you live at home with your parents? Not a big deal if you do, you're only 22. If you do, do you think you would be able to live out from under your parents? My kids can live with me as long as they want but again, just want to believe he could handle it when and if he wanted to. And again, not trying to make generalizations, just really curious.
I'm 22, I was diagnosed as a child, and I'm currently living independently (and have been for the last four years; likely will for the foreseeable future) while attending college so it's certainly possible. Obviously this will vary greatly depending on the individual as to whether living independently is a possibility or not, but for me it was a considerable improvement.
 
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Yunsen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,176
The biggest hurdle for me living on my own is getting a job and being able to sustain for myself. My biggest problem is I’m so hesitant to even apply for a job because I’m afraid to fail. The only time I briefly had a job was for a little over a day before I bailed because it wasn’t what I wanted. The place I was going through got me an interview at Walmart. When I got to the interview I thought it was going to be for stocking shelves, which is actually something I think I could do. Instead it was for pushing carts outside. I knew I didn’t want to do that but I was too afraid to say no during the interview. I got through the first day of training and on the second day when I started pushing carts, I immediately got paranoid when trying to do it because I felt like I didn’t have control pushing a long line of carts and was afraid I would hit someone’s car.
 

OniLinkPlus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
563
I started watching The Good Doctor. The first couple episodes are... kinda sorta horrible in many ways. After episode 3 or so it starts to get really good, though! I like Shaun, he's the most accurate and realistic portrayal of autism I've seen on TV. Shame they don't have an actual autistic actor playing Shaun, but Freddie Highmore seems to be putting in the work to make sure he's true to life and not pushing stereotypes.

That being said, while I do like having a show with good autistic characters because good representation and perhaps promoting acceptance(?), at the same time it'd be nice to have shows that have autistic characters rather than shows *about* autistic characters.

I am happy with The Good Doctor though. Once I pushed past the first few episodes it got a lot better and very worth it.
 
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JonnyDBrit

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,124
I started watching The Good Doctor. The first couple episodes are... kinda sorta horrible in many ways. After episode 3 or so it starts to get really good, though! I like Shaun, he's the most accurate and realistic portrayal of autism I've seen on TV. Shame they don't have an actual autistic actor playing Shaun, but Freddie Highmore seems to be putting in the work to make sure he's true to life and not pushing stereotypes.

That being said, while I do like having a show with good autistic characters because good representation and perhaps promoting acceptance(?), at the same time it'd be nice to have shows that have autistic characters rather than shows *about* autistic characters.

I am happy with The Good Doctor though. Once I pushed past the first few episodes it got a lot better and very worth it.
Well that's encouraging to hear at least. I keep meaning to find time for it but haven't as of yet.