aspies

Friendship Guide: Part II

I thought I’d do the other side of this, since I did The Friendship Guide.

This one is for us Aspies.  A list of helpful hints for myself to remember:

1. Remember that my neurotypical friends’ brains work differently from mine, so be patient when they don’t immediately understand my thought processes.

2. Set clear boundaries for physical contact.

3. Don’t commit myself to things just because I’ve been asked.  Only say yes if I really want to go.  

4. Stim if I need to, true friends won’t shame me for it. (Though explaining what stimming is to them might be helpful for everyone involved.)

5. If I want others to extend the effort to be my friend, I have to do the same. 

6. Faking an interest in their hobbies doesn’t do either of us any favours.

7. Remember to ask questions about how they are doing, how they’re day went, etc.  

8. Talking about my interests is fine, but remember a conversation needs to go both ways.

9. Don’t laugh if you aren’t sure it’s a joke, don’t be afraid to ask if it’s a joke.

10. Set realistic expectations for myself and friends, life doesn’t always happen like it does in books, movies and tv shows.  It’s not fair to have wild expectations.  Friends can’t meet expectations that they aren’t even aware of.

Please help

I’m 23 and recently was diagnosed with Autism. It makes a lot of sense, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice? Is there anything you do to help when over stimulated? I’m tired of feeling like i’m about to lose it at every fucking turn. I work in an office and people do little things all at once that make me feel like my head is about to explode. (humming, chair squeaking, shit like that)

Any help is appreciated. Thank you?

I recently came across this book. 
It is a book about the struggles of a family, a dad, with two children who have autism.

I am absolutely disgusted by it. By the title, the content and by the summary given. 

I’m autistic myself, aspergers, and yes, there are struggles and yes, it’s really hard sometimes. But for a person, a dad, to make this book with a title like that? It’s just disgusting. 
And I think (hope) that everyone, not even just the autism community, would gladly see this book off the racks.

It now has a 2.5 star rating. Which means, that if you search on average costumer review, in the catogory autism & aspergers, this book will pop up pretty fast.
I myself (and hopefully lots of other people who come across this book) am fortunately good in handling bad talking about autism, but I’d hate for an insecure 11 year old who happens to have asperger or some form of autism, try and find a book on amazon about it and stumble across this. It is pretty triggering. Not only for people with autism or people who know and love people who have autism, but I think also for people who have lost loved ones from a form of cancer, or currently are struggling with cancer in their family and/or friend group.

So please, everyone with a amazon account, try and rate this down. 
I’d love for this book to just disappear, but since that’s not really an option, try and help do the second best thing, which is trying to make it disappear from the shelves.

Possible Traits of Aspergers in Females

This by no means a comprehensive list, it is simply a reference point, not a diagnostic tool. If you identify with a majority of this list and wish to receive a diagnosis, consult a medical professional, preferably a specialist in autism spectrum disorders who has had experience diagnosing women.

  • Tends to analyze everything constantly
  • Often straightforward and practical in nature.
  • Often gets lost in own thoughts and zones out (may display a blank stare)
  • May appear naive or innocent (despite not being so)
  • Prone to honesty, has difficulty lying
  • May struggle to understand manipulation, disloyalty, vindictive behavior and retaliation.
  • May be gullible and easily taken advantage of, misled, or conned.
  • May have feelings of confusion and isolation in relation to others
  • Escapism frequently used to relax or avoid overwhelming situations.
  • Often holds fixations, obsessions, and extreme interest in specific topics.
  • Finds comfort in escaping through imagination, fantasy, and daydreaming.
  • Often has slower reaction times due to need for mental processing.
  • May have had imaginary friends as a child.
  • Frequently imitates (takes social cues from) people on television or in movies.
  • May obsessively collect, organize, count, categorize, or rearrange objects.
  • Often highly adapted to social imitation.
  • May find math and numbers easier to deal with due to logic and lack of objective answers.
  • May struggle to relax or rest due to many racing thoughts.
  • Often has comorbid conditions, such as OCD, anxiety, ADD or ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.
  • Often has sensory processing disorder (sight, sound, texture, smells, taste)
  • May have dyspraxia (Poor muscle tone, lack of coordination and depth perception)
  • May have dyslexia
  • May have an eating disorder or food obsessions
  • May have been misdiagnosed or diagnosed with other mental illness or possibly labeled a hypochondriac.
  • Tends to drop small objects
  • May frequently engage in “stimming” (self-stimulation) i.e., flicks fingernails, flaps hands, drums fingers, rubs hands/fingers, tucks hands under or between legs, clenches fists, twirls hair, taps foot/shakes leg, sways side to side, spins in circles, bouncing up and down, rocking, etc.
  • May use various noises to express herself rather than using words.
  • May have a tendency to over-share with friends and sometimes strangers
  • May have little impulse control when speaking
  • May accidently dominate conversation at times.
  • Often relates discussion back to self (sharing as a means of reaching out)
  • May be incorrectly seen as narcissistic
  • Often sounds eager or over-zealous at times.
  • May feels as if she is attempting to communicate “correctly.”
  • Often struggles with and is confused by the unwritten social rules of accurate eye contact, tone of voice, proximity of body, stance, and posture in conversation.
  • Eye contact often takes extreme focus, which may lead an individual’s eye contact to be darting and insufficient, or over-the-top staring/glaring.
  • May have difficulty regulating voice volume to different situations. Is frequently observed as being either too loud or too quiet.
  • Conversation, specifically small talk, can be exhausting.
  • May have trouble focusing on/engaging in conversation that is not centered on one’s primary interests.
  • May observe and question the actions and behaviors of self and others continually.
  • May have difficulty with back-and-forth conversation
  • Trained self in social interactions through readings and studying of other people.
  • Visualizes and practices how she will act around others and before entering various social situations.
  • Difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others.
  • Has a continuous dialogue in mind that tells her what to say and how to act when in a social situations.
  • Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, or different from others.
  • As a child, it may have been hard to know when it was her turn to talk, may still be true as an adult.
  • Often finds the norms of conversation confusing.
  • Tend to say what they mean. Are often brutally honest, coming off as rude when they do not mean to be.
  • May feel misunderstood and tend to over-explain/ramble in an attempt to compensate for possible miscommunication.
  • Feels extreme relief when she doesn’t have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, answer calls, or leave the house.
  • Feelings of dread about upcoming events and appointments on the calendar.
  • Knowing she has to leave the house causes anxiety from the moment she wakes up.
  • The steps involved in leaving the house are overwhelming and exhausting to think about.
  • Must prepare herself mentally for outings, excursions, meetings, and appointments.
  • Question next steps and movements continually.
  • Often needs a large amount of down time or alone time.
  • May feel extremely self-conscious and uncomfortable in public locker rooms, bathrooms, or dressing rooms.
  • Tends to dislike being in crowded areas.
  • Difficulty sleeping due to sensitivity to environment
  • May be highly intuitive to others’ feelings, although may not appear to react to them ‘correctly’ in social situations
  • May take criticism and judgement very personally
  • May frequently adapt her viewpoints or actions based on others’ opinions
  • Dislikes words and events that hurt animals and people.
  • May have had a desire to collect or rescue animals, usually in childhood.
  • Often holds great compassion for suffering.
  • May try to help, offer unsolicited advice, or formalize plans of action.
  • Imitates others without realizing.
  • May exhibit codependent behaviors.
  • May frequently reject or question social norms.
  • Chameleon-like in social situations. Often switches preferences and behaviours based on environment and other people.
  • May outwardly appear to have little investment in hygiene, clothes, or appearance, often prefers fast and easy methods of style.
  • Clothing style is likely more focused on comfort and practicality, especially in the case of sensory issues.
  • May possess a youthful appearance and/or voice.
  • May have trouble recognizing what she looks like and/or has slight prosopagnosia (difficulty recognizing or remembering faces).
  • The emotions of oneself and others may seem confusing, illogical, and unpredictable.
  • Expects that by acting a certain way certain results can be achieved, but realizes in dealing with emotions, those results don’t always manifest.
  • Often speaks frankly and literally.
  • Certain kinds of humor, such as sarcasm and metaphors, may be difficult to understand.
  • Can be confused when others ostracize, shun, belittle, trick, and betray.
  • Often has trouble identifying feelings in others unless they are extreme.
  • Trouble with the emotions of hate and dislike.
  • May have feelings of pity for someone who has persecuted/hurt her.
  • Situations and conversations sometimes perceived as black or white.
  • The middle spectrum of outcomes, events, and emotions is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood. (All or nothing mentality).
  • May notices patterns frequently.
  • May be fascinated by words or song lyrics.
  • Tends to best remember/learn things in visual pictures (visual thinkers).
  • May have a remarkable memory for certain details, i.e., may find it surprisingly easy to remembers exact details about someone’s life.
  • Executive function is often a challenge
  • Learning to ride a bike or drive a car may be rather difficult.
  • Anything that requires a reasonable amount of steps, dexterity, or know-how can rouse a sense of panic.
  • The thought of repairing, fixing, or locating something can cause anxiety.
  • May have a hard time finding certain objects in the house, but remembers with exact clarity where other objects are.
  • May frequently second-guess oneself and ask a lot of questions before engaging a task or situation

This list was compiled from various personal accounts and symptom lists. It is subjective and does not include every identifiable trait. Nor is it entirely medically accurate. Please do your own research into AS before self-diagnosing. 

When reblogging, feel free to add additional traits you believe to be common in AS females that will be useful for others to know.

This post is for...
  • Aspies who sometimes can’t speak, despite having no speech delay in early childhood.
  • Aspies who have permanently lost the ability to speak, despite having no speech delay in early childhood.
  • Aspies who are quiet and sensitive, not loud and blundering.
  • Aspies who sit out entire conversations because they can’t figure out where and how to join in, or how to initiate communication.
  • Aspies who stim, a lot, visibly, to the point people assume they’re “low functioning” and are surprised to hear them talk.
  • Aspies who can’t take care of themselves at all, despite what the DSM says about no significant delays in self-help skills.
  • Aspies who have the stereotypical high-tech computer job… and secretly wear diapers because they’re incontinent and always have been.
  • Aspies who are very echolalic, very ‘sensing’, other things more commonly associated with 'auties’ than 'aspies’.
  • Aspies with autistic catatonia who have gone from being considered very high functioning to very low functioning in a fairly rapid time span.
  • Aspies who are 'passive’ or 'aloof’ rather than 'active but odd’ or 'formal’.
  • Aspies who look exactly like many of Kanner’s original patients.
  • Aspies with extremely severe visual processing issues and other sensory issues, well beyond finding certain stimuli painful.
  • Aspies with something resembling visual agnosia.
  • Aspies with an IQ in the 70-90 range.
  • Aspies with an IQ slightly below 70, who got diagnosed with AS anyway (despite this being against the criteria) because some doctors will diagnose AS in people with, say, a 65 IQ, if every single other thing about them fits the Asperger criteria and not the autism one.
  • Aspies who did badly in school, and never made it to college, or did horribly in college or university and never got a degree.
  • Aspies who grew up partly or entirely in self-contained special ed classrooms or schools.
  • Aspies who find it easier to gesture than to speak.
  • Aspies who find body language easier to understand than understanding language.
  • Aspies who are extremely polite and careful about respecting people’s boundaries.
  • Aspies who are quiet and gentle and shy.
  • Aspies whose speech sounds like that of a very young child – they had no early delay in speech, technically, so they got an AS diagnosis, but their speech stalled at the age of five or so, and never got any better than that.  And somehow that doesn’t count as a speech delay because it happened too late.
  • Aspies who grew up being considered severely intellectually disabled, didn’t speak until they were 15 (after first learning to type at age 13), but didn’t have an autism diagnosis at the time.  And now they’re adults and are being diagnosed with Asperger’s because they can speak now and there’s nobody to corroborate their speech or diagnostic history so the doctor just doesn’t care about getting it right.  So now they’re officially an aspie.  (I’ve seen this happen more times than you’d be surprised by.)
  • Aspies who more than meet the criteria for autistic disorder, but aren’t being diagnosed with it because their doctors are ignoring the DSM entirely in favor of their 'clinical judgement’ that someone has Asperger’s rather than autism based on seeing them as an adult.

Basically, this post is for 'aspies’ who fit stereotypes normally reserved for 'auties’, but had (or were presumed to have) no speech delay and (often) don’t meet the criteria for autistic disorder, so got diagnosed with Asperger’s.  Because such people are all over the place, yet when people say 'aspie’ they never mean them, of course.  Even though they’re frigging everywhere.

It is said that autism is like having a different operating system from other people. I think that is a good way of seeing ourselves and how we operate. Most people are Windows PCs, the artsy people are Macs, and we run on Linux. We will need programs to help us interact with the majority of Windows people. And at our heart is a different, not inferior, operating system.
—  Richard Maguire, Been There. Done That. Try This!: An Aspie’s Guide to Life on Earth

One of my favorite descriptions of Aspies that I’ve found so far.

“They feel their feelings more intensely, experience texture, temperature and taste more powerfully, and think their thoughts more single-mindedly. In many ways, this ability to focus is the great gift of Asperger Syndrome, and is the reason why a great number people with Asperger Syndrome have become gifted scientists, artists and musicians. It is as if the Asperger brain is born speaking a different language. It can learn our language through careful instruction or self-instruction, but it will always retain its accent.While Asperger adults go on to successful careers and interesting lives, they will always be considered unusual people.”

From http://jane-adamson.hubpages.com/hub/Aspergers

Neurodevelopment Disorders: *Cue CBS Laugh Track*

CBS and Chuck Lorre’s The Big Bang Theory dominates as the most popular show on scripted television. Currently in its eighth season, the multi-camera sitcom has aired nearly 200 episodes and ranks as thesecond most watched show on TV with a twenty million viewer pull. Ashow with this much notoriety has the rare opportunity to legitimately influence American culture in a positive way, but unfortunately The Big Bang Theory chooses not to. The premier scripted show in TV ratings happens to present some of the nastiest minority stereotypes on television. Aside from the token minority, Raj, and the dumb blonde stereotype, Penny, The Big Bang Theory’s most insidious reinforcement of stereotypes lie in the character Sheldon Cooper, played by Emmy Award winning actor Jim Parsons.

As a white, cisgender male, Sheldon seems an unlikely candidate to embody a minority. Yet, he displays behaviors consistent with a person with Asperger’s and thus he has become an unintentional representative of the mentally handicapped. Though denied by CBS and Jim Parsons himself, several Internet theorists, including Autism Speaks, Autism Daily, and Psychology Today, have insisted that the character Sheldon presents the characteristics of a person with Asperger’s syndrome. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome (a mild form of Autism), sometimes called “Aspies,” possess deficits in social interaction yet find themselves gifted with above average IQ levels and one interest that they predominantly excel in. Ordinarily, individuals with Asperger’s think literally, obsess over routine, and struggle to assess social cues.

Keep reading

Able autistic individuals can rise to eminent positions and perform with such outstanding success that one may even conclude that only such people are capable of certain achievements. Their unswerving determination and penetrating intellectual powers, part of their spontaneous and original mental activity, their narrowness and single-mindedness, as manifested in their special interests, can be immensely valuable and can lead to outstanding achievements in their chosen areas.
—  Dr. Hans Asperger, 1944
PROTIP

Asperger Syndrome is a pervasive development disorder, which causes pretty much everything in the individual to develop correctly except a few key part of its psychological identity.

If you suffer from Asperger Syndrome, you may find these things incredibly hard or down right impossible:

  • correct socialization with your peers
  • understanding body language
  • practice empathic behaviour
  • snap out of very rigid routines
  • expand from a set very specific interests
  • many other things

That being said, if you think you have Asperger Syndrome and you’ve done any of the following:

  • married
  • had a child
  • lead a very active sex life
  • went to cons and enjoyed them
  • maintained a wide circle of friends
  • comforted someone in their time of need
  • became very attached to people
  • are not obsessed with a single interest
  • similar things pertaining to this category

Then you either have misdiagnosed yourself or you suffer from a highly functioning case of Asperger Syndrome, which is great! You’re not crippled to live in society despite your medical condition! You can experience the world like we all do and relate to one another perfectly!

If that’s the case though, you’re not allowed to use your Aspergers as an excuse for:

  • being a dick to your friends
  • being a jealous individual
  • be nosy or paranoid
  • refusing critique on your behaviour
  • obtaining monetary compensation
  • get out of trouble
  • having a horrible grasp on a language
  • being whiny and self pityful
  • glaring errors in your hobby of choice
  • many many manyyy other things you can come up with I know

There are many other excuses you can find to justify any of those things, or you can man up to them and better yourself. Or maybe you can’t for an entirely different reason.

Just don’t

fucking

blame

your autism

(watch the hatemail floooow)

(also this wasn’t aimed at anyone in particular, just HOLY SHIT THE INTERNET)

why aspies are easy targets for bullies?

Some reasons:

  • We have trouble reading social cues, especially the cues that tell us when someone is saying one thing but means another thing. 
  • We have trouble reading the facial and body language that should be telling us “danger, this person intends to harm you.”
  • We’re easy marks for “practical jokes” because we tend to be literal-minded.
  • We’ve often been socialized out of saying “no” even when we’re uncomfortable with something.
  • We may not have the language skills/abilities to stand up for ourselves under duress.
  • We often don’t have a group of friends to shelter, defend or stand up for us.
  • We tend to care less about social conventions than other people so we make easy targets for mockery based on what’s socially in or popular. 
  • We can be easy to provoke, making us a reactive target
  • We may be more likely than other kids to believe that we’ve brought harassment on ourselves due to low self-esteem or being conditioned to think we’re weird, defective or damaged.

And now I’m gonna go cry a little because this sums up a good chunk of my childhood and some of my adulthood too.