aspergers asd

What is Autistic Burnout?
a guide from Autism Women’s Network

Signs:
• Lack of motivation (hard to care about goals when everyday life is overwhelming)
• Loss of executive functioning abilities (decision-making, organization, etc.)
• Difficulty with self-care
• Easier to reach overload or meltdown
• Loss of speech, selective mutism
• Lethargy, exhaustion
• Illness, digestive issues
• Memory loss
• Inability to maintain masks or use social skills
• Overall seeming “more autistic” or stereotypical
• May have period of high energy before collapse

Causes:
• Passing as neurotypical / suppressing autistic traits
• Doing ‘too much’, too much stress
• Aging: needing more downtime, having less energy
• Changes, good or bad (relationships, jobs, living arrangements, belongings, environment, routines…)
• Sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, dehydration
• Illness
• Sensory or emotional overload

Strategies:
• Time
• Scheduling breaks, managing spoons
• Leave of absence
• Stimming, sensory diet
• Exercise
• Massage
• Reminders and supports
• Routines
• Better environment/job/etc.
• Boundaries, saying ‘no’
• Dropping the mask/façade
• Solitude
• Absolute quiet
• Creative projects, passions, special interests
• Paying attention to reactions and your body

Sources:
“Autistic Burnout – Are You Going Through Burnout?” Anonymously Autistic.
Endow, Judy. “Autistic Burnout and Aging.” Ollibean.
“Help! I seem to be getting more autistic!” American Asperger’s Association. (EDIT: Credit goes to Mel Baggs)
Kim, Cynthia. “Autistic Regression and Fluid Adaptation.” Musings of an Aspie.
Schaber, Amythest. “Ask an Autistic #3 – What is Autistic Burnout?”
Thanks to Lindsey Allen, AWN Nebraska, for compiling this guide ©Autism Women’s Network 2017

✨ Self-Care Note To Autistic People ✨

☀️ Don’t be afraid to say “no” to things that will give you sensory overload ☀️

☀️ Don’t compare yourself to neurotypicals ☀️

☀️ It’s not your fault if you couldn’t do something due to executive dysfunction ☀️

☀️ “I don’t have the spoons” is a valid reason not to do something ☀️

☀️ It is not always your duty to educate neurotypicals ☀️

☀️ It’s okay to take a break ☀️

☀️ Saying “I don’t understand” is mature and honest, not childish ☀️

☀️Don’t take ableist comments into consideration - you know they’re not true ☀️

☀️ Mental health is as important as physical health ☀️

☀️ Wanting to be around only other Autistic people for a while isn’t reverse ableist ☀️

☀️ Actually, “reverse ableism” isn’t a thing ☀️

☀️ “Low-functioning” and “high-functioning” labels were made by and for neurotypicals and hold zero accuracy ☀️

☀️ Misspelling =/= stupidity ☀️

☀️ There is nothing shameful about being Autistic or talking about Autistic issues ☀️

Autistic people, feel free to add on ✨

✨ Both neurotypical/Allistic and Autistic people are encouraged to reblog ✨

Just Special Interest™ things

-Waking up and having your first thought be about your special interest

-That feeling you get when you make your special interest both your icon and the backgrounds on your computer/phone

-Being unable to concentrate on work unless you incorperate your special interest to some extent

-Breaking through social anxiety only when the special interest is mentioned

-Constantly rambling about your special interest even when you know you’re annoying everyone

-Fearing talking about or drawing things related to the special interest because you don’t want people to think you’re obsessed

-Literally having your special interest on your mind 24/7

-Becoming frustrated when someone knows more about your special interest than you do

-Getting called obsessive or addicted by everyone

-”It’s just a phase!”

-Being made fun of for liking your special interest

-Hiding your special interest from your friends and family so they don’t make fun of you or judge you

-Having to hear allistic people refer to their hobby as their “special interest”

-Changing special interests as often as once a week, or as rarely as once a year, if ever

-Remembering an old special interest you had, so you look it up again thinking “I’m over it so there’s no harm in looking at it now”, only to have it become your special interest again

-Hating yourself during every second when your special interest becomes something embarrassing or bad, yet you can’t stop yourself from obsessing.

-Having more than one special interest so you try and mash them into one thing

Feel free to add more.

Nice to know our supports are more appreciated than we are. 🙄

I was initially excited that stim toys were going mainstream. It meant I could get awesome new ones much cheaper than before. For example, my Thinket (still my best stim toy) was $150. My fidget cube from the kick-starter was $40. Last week, I bought a fidget spinner at the mall for $7. That part is awesome.

Now, though, non-autistics are using them when they shouldn’t and schools across the country are banning stim toys.

Leave it to the “normals” to ruin something special again. 😢

Thankyou for everyone who participated in the Smashing Stigma Autism Survey 2017! These are our results, really interesting to see and we couldn’t do it without any of you :)

What the picture says:
Smashing Stigma - Autism Acceptance, Autism Survey 2017.
Autistic people: 94% prefer autistic person, 4% prefer person with autism and 2% prefer the option other.

We asked the same question to parents and supporters: 57% preferred autistic Person, 28% preferred person with autism and 15% preferred the option other.

Everyone together now: “No you think autism speaks is a good organisation for autism?” 95% responded No, 2% responded yes and 3% responded not sure.

(The picture is a poster with the smashing stigma logo, a multi coloured neurodivergent sign, the writing is in amongst 3 pie charts of the results)

youtube

I just found a super cute video explaining autism for an allistic audience, and particularly for teachers and parents ! :)

It features:

  • identity first language !
  • acceptance message !
  • positive stimming !
  • sensory overload explanation !

If your family doesn’t speak english, the video is available here in a bunch of different languages like french, spanish, german, hebrew, russian, norwegian, and more ! And all of them have subtitles !!

This is an amazing thing and I hope it can help a lot of people ! :)

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.

Reminder to fellow autistic people: you don’t have to act allistic if you don’t want to, you do not owe allistic people allistic behaviour. Don’t push yourself to act allistic if it wears you out. You have the right to be you.