The Mind and the Mortar (sensory issues and the autism spectrum)

It’s odd that we change. Years pass, memories of different selves accrue. I think the mind can have a difficult time reconciling those different selves with their varied, contradictory shapes.

I remember having a much stronger sensory awareness when I was a kid. My nose would haunt me, for example. I would smell something unpleasant, and a sense of unease would settle over me for days. I’d grow moody about it, troubled. Sometimes, for reasons I didn’t understand at the time, I would lash out at others well after the triggering scent.

[Read more...]

Share this Article!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on Google+

Q and A Tuesday: childhood depression + adult autism spectrum diagnoses

Two very different questions from readers this time. One about a situation involving childhood depression. The other about determining when adults should seek an ASD diagnosis. Thanks to everyone for their questions, it gives all of us a way to discuss and think about these challenging issues; it is much appreciated.

The questions:

[Read more...]

Share this Article!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on Google+

Lost in the Lint Filter (stories from the autism spectrum)

I’ve always had a difficult time calibrating my social needs.

I have social needs…I’ve just never been able to pin down what they are, how they work. What happens is that I tend to isolate a lot, until the loneliness gauge goes deep into the red. Then I throw myself into the world, seeking interactions…at which point I pinball around erratically, guided by the random interference of external forces more than any internal sense of direction.

[Read more...]

Share this Article!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on Google+

The Pancake Situation: eye contact and the autism spectrum

7:30a.m., this morning…

I walk into the grocery store. I immediately forget why I’m there. I look around, confused. I check my pockets…and find a list. Relief.

During trips to the grocery store, I always have trouble organizing in my head the most efficient route for procuring the items I need. I tend to wander about somewhat aimlessly, grabbing items once I realize I need them…it’s a slow, meandering process. And it can get tiresome, having to push a cart through the peripatetic circuit that I travel.

Here’s the method I’ve developed for dealing with this issue:

[Read more...]

Share this Article!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on Google+

Q and A Tuesday: the autism spectrum and alternatives to small talk

In a recent video, I discussed small talk and why it can be so confusing for people on the autism spectrum. There are a lot of processing issues involved, as well as a minefield of social consequences (you can click here for the full discussion). So, even though it is a seemingly simple exchange for most people, small talk can actually become a serious barrier for folks on the spectrum.

One commenter had a question relating to this topic; I thought I would share that here, along with my response.

[Read more...]

Share this Article!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on Google+

little plastic bears: memories of a token system run amok

I.

At the age when most babies are beginning to use their first words, my little brother remained non-verbal. My parents went to a doctor regarding this. The doctor said, “Wait, see what happens.” My parents waited. Time passed and the doctor confirmed that he was experiencing a significant speech delay.

More time passed. At a certain point…around the age my brother was a toddler…my parents believed that he was beginning to use words, but that he was struggling to enunciate them correctly. And a specialist confirmed this. He was speaking, finally, but he had a severe impediment.

[Read more...]

Share this Article!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on Google+

Invisible Strings vlog #3: why small talk is confusing (autism spectrum)

New video is now up! This time around, I discuss why small talk can be so confusing for those on the autism spectrum. Many people find small talk to be such a simple concept that it’s difficult for them to imagine why it would be an issue for anyone. So, to help break down the topic, I make 3 points that cover social processing issues, unwritten conversation rules and more. The video is below; click here to check out Invisible Strings on You Tube. Regular posts resuming next week!

[Read more...]

Share this Article!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on Google+

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Depression, Part 4 (Aspergers, ASD)

asd-and-depression-pt-4

The Sensory Connection

The goal of this ongoing series is to examine the interplay between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and depression. As mentioned in Part 2, it can be difficult to untangle one from the other since depression can hide behind autistic traits. But there’s another factor involved with ASD that can also allow depression to persist unchecked: sensory issues.

To cover the role of sensory issues in this dynamic, I’ll make 3 points.

[Read more...]

Share this Article!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on Google+

Interview with Janet Amorello (parents and autism spectrum stories)

On the ‘Blending with Autism’ Facebook page and blog, Janet Amorello writes about daily life with Sam, her 18-year old autistic son. Sam has challenges with communication, yet finds unique and surprising ways to create meaningful language. He also has a love of drawing that speaks to his vibrant perspective on the world.

I spoke with Janet about words, art and the different ways Sam has shaped her views on the autism spectrum. (All images below are from the ‘Blending with Autism’ Facebook page.)

[Read more...]

Share this Article!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on Google+