askanautistic

Browser Extensions for Autism (also useful for ADHD/Dyslexia etc)

Chrome:

Text Mode -Good for those who are visually sensitive. loads pages in black and white/all text/obscures images. It’s also helpful for those who use screen readers. (Thanks to http://daigonite.tumblr.com/)

FlashControl -Stops Flash animations running by themselves. (Thanks to lysikan.tumblr.com)

BeeLine Reader -Uses a colour gradient that guides your eyes for those with difficulty reading monocolour text. (Thanks to nihilmeliusnihilpeius.tumblr.com)

Hacker Vision -Makes backgrounds black and text white to reduce the level of light your eyes are exposed to.

nyt_mod -Dims your browser screen-5 customisable levels (thanks to queermisandrist.tumblr.com)

Update:

F.lux/G.lux -makes the colour of your computer’s display change according to time of day (warm at night and bright during the day). Cuts down on harsh contrast. (Thanks to kelpforestdweller and anon)

Readability -Ensures every webpage is in a clear readable view with the option of disabling the page’s background noise and clutter. Great for the inattentive.

Hide GIFs -Turn on to hide any gifs from displaying.

Firefox: (Massive thanks to kiyoteruhiyama.tumblr.com for all these)

Image Block - Turn off all images on a webpage by clicking the button in the upper right section of the browser window.

Flashblock - Block all flash animations. (note that java must be enabled for this to work.)

Easy Read - Links, instead of being different colors, are now the same font/color as the rest of the text.

No Color - Disable background colors or images on websites.

Black background and white text - Self-explanatory. Can reduce eye strain or help those with sensitive vision.

Screen Dimmer - Dim the browser screen to reduce eye strain

If you’re an allistic (non-autistic) person who have questions about autism or otherwise want contact with tumblrs autistic community, please do not use the tag #actuallyautistic to reach us. That tag is specifically for autistic people and allistic people should refrain from posting in it. You can instead utilize the tag #askanautistic to reach out to tumblrs autistic community with whatever questions or comments you may have. You can also send your questions directly to @askanautistic, a blog run by autistic people who are there to answer your questions about autism. This has been a PSA.

Researcher looking to hear from autistic voices:

Hello,
My name is Laura Lewis and I am a nurse and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Vermont.  I am looking for individuals who may be willing to participate in a research study about barriers to being formally diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as an adult. The study is entitled, “Barriers to formal diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in adults.” I am looking for individuals who have been self-diagnosed or formally diagnosed with an ASD when you were 18 years old or older. Participation is entirely online and includes completing a survey about the types of barriers you faced in getting or formal diagnosis if you are diagnosed, or the reasons that you are not formally diagnosed if you are self-diagnosed. It will likely take about 30 minutes to complete. You must be 18 years or older to participate.

To find out more about this study or to participate, please see the study website: https://survey.uvm.edu/index.php/926548/lang-en.

anonymous asked:

Could you explain a bit what alexythymia is like and how I would tell if I have it?

Alexithymia is difficulty identifying and/or describing emotions. 

Some common signs:

  • you find it hard to know what you’re feeling
  • you find it hard to tell one emotion from another
  • you find it hard to understand complex emotions (beyond happy, sad, angry) in yourself or others
  • you find it hard to talk about your emotions, especially in specific terms
  • other people have told you that you have inappropriate emotional reactions to things
  • other people have told you that you don’t show emotion in situations where they expect you to
  • you sometimes mistake emotions for physical sensations like being cold, nauseous, overheated or tired
  • you find it hard to experience the type of emotional reactions that most other people seem to be having to a situation (i.e. grief at a funeral, joy at someone’s new baby)
  • your emotions seem to be muted compared to other people you know
  • you get easily overwhelmed by certain emotions to the point that you have to leave the situation or risk a panic attack or other type of overload reaction
Personal Hygiene

This is an issue that many autistics feel uncomfortable or embarrassed talking about, so for anyone who hasn’t felt they can’t ask about this or didn’t even know it was such a problem for autistics, I’m making this post. There’s a lot of stigma attached to these issues and that makes it difficult for those who struggle in these areas to ask and discuss it openly. We are always open to these types of areas with 0% judgement and feel there should be no stigma attached to discussion and advice about personal health and hygiene. 

It is extremely common for autistics to have problems with personal hygiene which can have an effect on how we are viewed and judged, our self-esteem and confidence and our health. Self-diagnosed or unsupported autistics especially may find themselves treated negatively, with disgust, or abusively because of these issues.

The reasons that autistics particularly struggle with personal hygiene is mainly to do with two factors, sensory integration and difficulty with executive functioning. For some, hyposensitivity may mean they are unaware they need to wash, use deodorant, change clothes etc because they may not recognise that their clothes, or they, smell or they make not feel that they have food on their face or dirt on them. For others hypersensitivity makes tasks such as showering or nail clipping painful or uncomfortable. Some people have a mix of hyper and hyposensitivity that may combine to make personal hygiene difficult.

In regard to executive functioning. Remembering to do all of of these different things as part of your upkeep can be really difficult and overwhelming. Not only that but they often involve a lot of steps that take us a lot of effort to remember, organise, put in order and follow. Sometimes we may feel so tired from other activities that we don’t feel we have the mental energy. 

Any of this or a combination can result in difficulty with tasks such as:

  • Showering, bathing or washing (face, hands etc)
  • Knowing or recognising when to use the toilet
  • Brushing teeth and other dental hygiene
  • Changing clothes (also difficult for those who particularly dislike change) or washing them
  • Using deodorant or reapplying it when needed
  • Clipping nails
  • Cutting or shaving hair (some find it easier to have shorter hair, some people with facial hair or body hair might wish to remove it as a personal or practical choice)
  • Changing bed linen when needed
  • Taking medicines
  • When to change sanitary products for those who experience periods
  • When and how to dress or treat injuries or wounds
  • Changing socks and underwear daily to avoid fungal or bacterial infections
  • How and when to clean and look after your genitals (obviously this varies depending on what type of genitals you have. There is a lot of information online about how to safely wash, treat and take care of genital hygiene-happy to provide links if needed)
  • Safe sexual practises

Here are some tips and resources on how to manage your personal hygiene better:

If you have particular daily routines that can be split into ‘morning’,‘day’ and ‘night’ (though some may have the most problems with the former and/or latter because of their focus or tiredness), then make a visual routine chart put up in a visible place that goes through the tasks in order. E.g. Morning Routine: take any morning medications, brush teeth, shower or wash face, put on deodorant, put on new underwear and socks, put on clean clothes (worn less than 2 days in a row). You can go through these one by one as not to feel overwhelmed.

If you need help remembering the steps for any of the tasks, again they can be broken down visually. E.g. Bring a towel into the bathroom, turn the shower on, check temperature, lock the door (if needed), remove all clothes and accessories (watches/bracelets and socks are my usual downfalls), get into the shower, wet hair, shampoo hair, rinse hair, condition hair, rinse hair, wash body with soap or shower gel, rinse body, clean anything else that needs it, rinse yourself, turn shower off, dry yourself and your hair, dress. This could be catered to your prefered schedule. Timers can also help knowing when to switch stages.

(Also when you list out all the things above, it’s easy to see why some can be difficult to remember or take a lot of effort).

If you need to take care of more personal matters, you can use a similar chart or write steps down in a notebook or somewhere private that can remind you how to care for your genitals, sexual health and/or periods. It can be very useful for those who can to track their periods so they have a better chance to predict them and prepare. Some apps can help you do this: Period tracker on IOS and Android. It might also be useful to set alarms or alerts on your phone to remind you to check your pad every 2 hours or change tampons every 4 or 6 hours etc (note: I am not an expert on periods, if you need advice on how often you should change the above, please ask a nurse or medical professional!).

In fact, if you have a phone, alarms and schedules are a very good way to remind you about a lot of things!


Resources:

Dental care

Collis-Curve toothbrush

Time Machine Toothbrush

Unflavoured Toothpaste

How to brush your teeth


Genital Hygiene-TW these may be triggering for transgender people: cis-centric language.

Visual guide for washing your penis

Buzzfeed’s vagina washing guide

Menstrupedia


Routine Charts (printable)

Morning Routine Chart

Evening Routine Chart

Hygiene Routine Chart 

meekrah203  asked:

Hey, i was wondering if you could give me some advice. I think i may have alexithymia, or at least i have difficulty identifying and describing emotions, and i get that thing where i will mistake physical signs for emotions and vice versa. Do you have a list of things that you could suggest that i check next time I'm feeling really horrible and not sure why? Because this will happen and it will turn out that i just needed to sleep, or eat, etc.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and while I don’t think this will be a comprehensive list, I’ll try. Often emotions will manifest as one or more interoceptive (physical) sensations and interoceptive sensations can be confused for emotions (especially anxiety or nervousness). Here are some ways to identify both that I’ve found helpful.

Common interoceptive sensations: 

Am I hungry? Signs: stomach pain/nausea, stomach making noises, irritable, tired, lightheaded, headache, trouble focusing, more than a few hours since last food intake

Am I dehydrated? Signs: persistent thirst, dry mouth/tongue, dry eyes, worsening headache, physically sluggish, dizziness, very yellow urine

Do I need to sleep? Signs: trouble focusing, frequent yawning,  decreased alertness, memory problems, irritable, muscle soreness/discomfort, eyelids feel heavy, headache, slurred speech, decreased coordination, whole body tremors, dizziness, blurred vision, hallucinations [some of these are extreme effects, i.e. you haven’t slept for more than 24 hours]

Am I cold? Signs: whole body shivering, fingers or toes noticeably cold when touched to thigh or abdomen skin, teeth chattering, bluish tint around lips, numbness or tingling in fingers or toes  

Am I hot? Signs: sweaty or clammy skin, red/flushed skin - especially of the face, ears, neck or upper chest, lightheaded, prickly or itchy skin (with or without red bumps), headache, muscle cramps, nausea, confusion [those last few are really serious - seek medical attention/cool off immediately]

Do I need to use the bathroom? Signs: pressure or pain in the lower abdomen, cramping, gas, feeling more comfortable when curled in the fetal position than stretched out flat

Common emotions and how to identify them: 

Am I anxious? Anxiety is usually future-related. What’s going to happen in my short or long term future that I might be scared or nervous about? Is there anything new or out of the ordinary? Is something changing? Have new expectations been placed on me? Do I feel like there is something I need to avoid, even if that means doing something out of character or drastic?

Am I sad? Sadness is usually related to loss. Have I lost or am I losing something important to me? Is a part of me that I like going away or changing? Is something coming to an end? Do I feel like crying or withdrawing? 

Am I happy? Happiness is usually related to fulfillment. Have I gotten something that I wished for or wanted? Has someone done something for me or given me something? Am I reaching a goal or milestone soon?  [Note: happiness can sometimes feel like anxiety or be mixed with anxiety if it’s too intense.]

Am I angry? Anger is usually related to violation. Has someone done something that violates my beliefs, rights, trust or property? Has someone taken something from me or damaged something that I value? Do I feel like lashing out physically or verbally at someone?

Am I afraid? Fear is usually related to preserving safety. Am I in danger emotionally, physically, socially or mentally? Do I feel like fleeing or hiding? Is there a person in my life who I try to avoid being around? Am I engaging in behavior that carries a high risk of injury or self-harm? Is my future uncertain in ways that I’m not sure I can handle?

——-

Like I said, this is really first draft-y and rough but hopefully it’s a start. What works for me might be different than what works for you. 

How do you cope with Autism Awareness?

Autism Acceptance/Awareness Month is coming, and I already see the Autistic community bracing itself for pain.

I’d like to write a WikiHow guide on staying positive and caring for yourself in the midst of all the hurtful discourse. So, my question is: How do you do it? What would you like other people to know?

(if you don’t have an answer, please consider signal boosting so this reaches more people!)

anonymous asked:

If you don't use functioning labels how do you describe where someone is on the spectrum?

The autism spectrum is not a literal thing. No one is actually located in any specific place on it. It’s a metaphor to convey how autistic traits manifest differently in each person.

quarridors has written a great blog post called Understanding the Spectrum, which uses the color wheel instead of a linear spectrum to explain this concept (and other related concepts) in greater detail. 

youtube

The forgotten history of autism.

anonymous asked:

I was wondering if you could explain the psychology behind stimming? I've done some research and everything is terribly scientific, I was hoping you might be able to give a more accurate/personal description of it? My job means I often interact with young people who are autistic and would love to understand them better- if they're stimming does that mean I'm making them uncomfortable, etc?

Ok this is quite complicated because we actually stim for a variety of reasons

  1. Yes we may stim because we are uncomfortable, try and discern what particular stims they use when distressed so you can see if you;re upsetting them, for instance I pace, rattle my leg, hum and hit myself when distressed or uncomfortable
  2. Adding on to this we may stim if we touch a bad texture to get it off us if you know what I mean? like I’ll shake my hands vigorously to try and get the feeling away
  3. We can also stim because we’re happy! We may be really excited and want to express it physically, I squeal, flap, bounce and clap when I’m happy stimming
  4. We may also just simply stim because it feels good, I will often tap my fingers, especially in time to music because I love the feel of stimming it’s like letting go of things and filling yourself up at the same time, it can really make you feel better
  5. It also helps me focus sometimes, if I tap my fingers or feet while reading it can sometimes help out when I can;t concentrate very well, I’m not sure what exactly about it helps though, sorry!

So I think the best thing is to ask them or work out which stims are which and see which ones they’re doing when you;re talking to them after that so you know if you’re making them uncomfortable! It might just help them tos tim when listening to people though, it might help them focus!

and definitely do not stop them stimming as it a coping mechanism, a form of communication and a means of making ourselves feel good

Hope this helps!

anonymous asked:

Are there any "good" forms of autistic therapy? like, ways to help autistic kids succeed in life and live a good life without forcing them to pretend to be neurotypical? I'm just genuinely curious, thank you <3

First off, sorry if I’m very late answering this, tumblr for some reason seems to be bad at alerting me about messages. 

I think the big thing about therapy is that, in order to be really helpful, it needs to be working on goals that the person sets for themselves. Otherwise you’re wasting their time. Obviously this is harder with kids, who may not fully understand why a goal is important, but you should try to explain things in a way they can understand and give them a degree of autonomy, especially as they get older. If a child rejects a goal you should also be willing to consider that the goal may not be as important as you thought it was. And obviously choosing goals is going to be really hard for people who don’t have some kind of communication system in place to express their desires, so that should always be one of if not the first thing you focus on.

Creating a communication system usually falls under speech therapy, even though it’s not always speech. It might be signing, or using a communication book, or an AAC app. Whatever works best for them. You need to approach this as helping a person communicate, not as making them memorize and repeat back vocabulary, or point to things when you ask them to point to them. Remember: it’s not a test, it’s a voice. They need to be able to say what they want to say. Even if it’s things you may not like to hear, like “no”, “five more minutes”, “that’s boring”, or “i don’t like that person.” 

What’s called “life skills” is a really important thing to teach. Things like hygiene, doing laundry, cooking, shopping, using the bus, applying for a job. Sometimes teaching this has to go beyond breaking down the usual way of doing things into steps. Sometimes it needs to involve finding other ways to do things that get the job done in a way that is easier for that person. It may mean teaching someone to wear earplugs and sunglasses to the store when they go shopping, if that helps reduce distractions and prevent over-stimulation and meltdowns. Sensory strategies can really make people’s lives easier- just make sure it’s tailored to their seeking/defensive sensory needs. A different example: I find it really hard to follow recipes, so I’ve made myself a flow chart that goes like “pick a meat, pick a way to cook the meat, pick spices to add when cooking, pick a carb and a veggie that go well as side dishes, etc”, and it’s a lot easier for me to cook with that than from a book. Work with people to figure out a way that works for them.

Physical therapy can be good for people with motor planning issues. It can also be difficult, painful, boring, or all three and more. I think this is a thing where it’s really important to explain to kids why you want them to do the therapy, how you think it will benefit them, and to give them the opportunity to say whether they want to do it, or at the very least to choose what activities they do in PT.

Social skills, I think, can be good, if it’s done the right way. It needs to be about helping the person do what they want to do, not about making them more palatable to others. Teach them how to find friends who have common interests; don’t teach them to never talk about the things they like for fear of being seen as weird. Teach them to resolve conflicts in ways that aren’t yelling and hitting but also aren’t just going along with whatever the other person wants and setting aside their own desires. You also need to be honest about how the world works, not pretend that ideals are reality (eg, bullies will usually not leave you alone if you ask nicely, or if you ignore them. Encourage teachers to defend the kid being bullied and send a message that bullying is wrong.) For teens, dating advice may be appropriate, but it can’t be sexist pick-up artist type stuff that teaches guy to devalue women; help them build real connections.

As kids get older, it’s very important to talk to them about plans for the future. Don’t discourage them because they don’t have the necessary skills yet; teach them the skills they need! If they’re going to be going to college, they need to be able to file a college app, work with disability services, manage their time, and have good study skills. If they’re going to work, they need to know about job applications, interview etiquette, benefits, income taxes, as well as job-specific skills. If they’re going to live partially or mostly independently, they need to be able to cook, shop, do laundry, clean, and have reliable transportation of some kind. Whatever their goals are, work with them to decide what skills they need in order to reach that goal, and help them learn those skills.

I think the most important thing here is the mindset of the people giving the therapy. It needs to be about helping a person accomplish the goals that they choose, not getting them to do what you think is best. A therapist provides a service. They should answer to their client, the person in therapy- not the other way around.

Anyway, that’s my view. Other people probably have their own thoughts on the topic. Can anyone else offer their perspective on helpful therapies for anon? 

does anyone know of any etsy stores etc run by autistic people that sell reasonably priced weighted blankets? most of the places i’m looking at atm are run by nonautistic people, feature puzzle pieces on their website, and are very much geared towards parents/teachers/carers etc, and tbh if i’m gonna shell out a load of money for a blanket i’d rather support an actual autistic person :/

Someone asked for some reading suggestions about autistic inertia. Tbh I heard about it a long time ago from someone else, and although I did look it up (and felt immense relief to read about something I experience that is so misunderstood, and to find out it’s a difficulty that lots of autistic people experience and wasn’t just be being ‘lazy’ or ‘hopeless’ or ‘difficult’) I don’t remember what I actually read.

However, these look like they might be helpful articles/posts:

https://autisticality.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/inertia/

https://nolongerinabox.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/autistic-inertia/

http://archive.autistics.org/library/inertia.html

The wiki article is very brief, but I kind of liked it! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertia_(anxiety)

Anyway, I hope those are helpful.

- Ben