A Guide to Travel.

Or, how I make flying easier on myself as an aspie.

I’ve traveled a lot in m life, and have learned the hard way that it can be very painful for myself to fly. So here’s a list of things I do to help myself.  It’s not comprehensive, but…it might help you.

- Purchase ticket online early.

I know I find being seated either by the window or aisle works best. I don’t like sitting in the middle and I prefer to be in the front of the plane as opposed to the back.

By getting my ticket early, it means I have a better chance of selecting the perfect seat.

- Arrive Early.

It allows me to check in early, get to the gate early and get through security without a crowd.  

- Getting Through Security

Take off all jewelry, things from my pockets, etc and put in the front pocket of my carry-on backpack.  Wear sneakers that I can easily slide on and off.  Don’t wear a belt. 

- Check in online if possible(or at the kiosk inside the airport).

Means no lines, no drama, no having to talk to people at counter.

- Headphones.

Bring headphones and an iPod (or kindle or tablet).  Even if I’m not listening to music, it looks like I am.

- Distractions.

I always bring a back-pack on the plane with me.  I put a change of clothes (or all my clothes I’m bringing if it’s short trip), notebooks, pens, books and fidget toys.  If the flight is long, I’m going to need them.

- Clothes.

Dress in my most comfortable clothing.  I’m not there to impress perfect strangers.  I’m trying to get through a stressful thing without a meltdown.  Ensuring my clothing is comfortable is one less thing to worry about.

- On the subject of packing.

Check the TSA guidelines out carefully for carry-on luggage. Nothing stresses me out more than getting something wrong and having to throw stuff out to get through security. 

- Food/Water

Wait to buy water/snacks until you get through security. There’s always little stores/restaurants near the gates.

- Reserve Energy

I know people are going to talk to me either on the plane, or at the gate.  It’s going to happen.  So have a quiet evening the night before, indulge in my special interests to recharge my batteries so I’m capable of handling it.

- Lotion

Keep lotion handy in backpack.  My hands get itchy and can cause sensory overload. Lotion helps that quite a bit.

- Remember to say Thank You.

It goes a long way with airline employees. Be polite. 

Seems silly to remind myself of that, but I’ve found as an Aspie, sometimes I get lost in my head and social niceties don’t come naturally to me.  I’m not trying to be rude, I just don’t always remember that I should say things like good morning, etc.

people on my posts like

“There is a lack of support, social care and education for low-income Autistic kids….so we should cure them”

like how do you make that leap of logic, how do you look at the way society treats us and think we are the ones who need to be changed, how disgusting are you???

Possible Traits of Aspergers in Females

Original post, by he-fucked-a-tiger, can be found here. A few people found it difficult to read, so I sorted the traits into categories!

Patterns and Details

  • Tends to analyze everything constantly
  • Often has slower reaction times due to need for mental processing.
  • May obsessively collect, organize, count, categorize, or rearrange objects.
  • May find math and numbers easier to deal with due to logic and lack of objective answers.
  • May notice 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.

Literalism

  • Often straightforward and practical in nature.
  • Tend to say what they mean. Are often brutally honest, coming off as rude when they do not mean to be.
  • Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, or different from others.
  • Often speaks frankly and literally.
  • Certain kinds of humor, such as sarcasm and metaphors, may be difficult to understand.

Escapism

  • Often gets lost in own thoughts and zones out (may display a blank stare)
  • May appear naive or innocent (despite not being so)
  • Finds comfort in escaping through imagination, fantasy, and daydreaming.
  • May have had imaginary friends as a child.
  • Escapism frequently used to relax or avoid overwhelming situations.

Straightforwardness

  • 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 try to help, offer unsolicited advice, or formalize plans of action.
  • Can be confused when others ostracize, shun, belittle, trick, and betray.
  • May frequently second-guess oneself and ask a lot of questions before engaging a task or situation

Emotional Understanding

  • 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 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).

Socializing - General

  • May have feelings of confusion and isolation in relation to others
  • May observe and question the actions and behaviors of self and others continually.
  • 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.
  • Has a continuous dialogue in mind that tells her what to say and how to act when in a social situations.
  • May frequently reject or question social norms.

Socializing - Conversation and Communication

  • May use various noises to express herself rather than using words.
  • 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 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 have difficulty with back-and-forth conversation
  • 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.
  • May feel misunderstood and tend to over-explain/ramble in an attempt to compensate for possible miscommunication.

Perseveration

  • Often holds fixations, obsessions, and extreme interest in specific topics.
  • May have a tendency to over-share with friends and sometimes strangers
  • Often sounds eager or over-zealous at times.

Mimcry

  • Frequently imitates (takes social cues from) people on television or in movies.
  • Often highly adapted to social imitation.
  • May take criticism and judgement very personally
  • May frequently adapt her viewpoints or actions based on others’ opinions
  • Imitates others without realizing.
  • Chameleon-like in social situations. Often switches preferences and behaviours based on environment and other people.

Comorbidity

  • 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.
  • May be incorrectly seen as narcissistic
  • May exhibit codependent behaviors.
  • May have trouble recognizing what she looks like and/or has slight prosopagnosia (difficulty recognizing or remembering faces).

Executive Dysfunction

  • 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.

Sensory Processing

  • 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.
  • Difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others.
  • Difficulty sleeping due to sensitivity to environment
  • May struggle to relax or rest due to many racing thoughts.
  • 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.

Performing for the Public

  • 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.

Sympathy and Empathy

  • May be highly intuitive to others’ feelings, although may not appear to react to them ‘correctly’ in social situations
  • 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.

anonymous asked:

what does having a stim mean? I've read what stims are but what does it mean to HAVE a stim? sorry, i don't want to sound rude or anything i don't know much about them

Having a stim doesn’t necessarily mean anything at all. It’s not like, say, having a symptom which means you definitely have a condition.
Most if not all people fidget or stim, including neurotypicals. Autistic people just need to stim, whereas most neurotypicals don’t, we also stim a lot more on average, but that’s not to say a neurotypical can’t stim or fidget a lot.

Stimming is part of the diagnostic criteria for autism, but unless you meet the rest of the criteria, it doesn’t mean anything. You may be anxious, or bored, and subconsciously trying to do something to distract or entertain yourself.

This might not be something that makes sense to you, but stimming is something that for a lot of people is unbelievably hard to explain to someone who doesn’t need to stim. It’s just a thing that is.



I want to repeat here (not just for you, I think your question was completely valid) that I’ve answered a few questions already about what stimming is, what some common stims are, and why people stim.

Regardless of that, every day I get about 5 people asking me again. As a disabled person I do not have the energy to repeat myself five times a day. I don’t mean this in a rude way at all. I really do love you guys, it’s just that for every time you decide to not take 5 minutes to scroll back, it adds 5-10 minutes of work (to find it then link it to you and reply) I’ve already done per person when I’m already very low on energy as well as being very sick.

Now for some links to help me.

Here are two notable posts where I mentioned what stimming is - (“what’s a stim?”) and the first part of (“what’s the difference between stimming and regular old fidgeting?”).

I also definitely suggest thoroughly going though The Stimming Checklist site, including

  • “So what IS stimming?” Which answers most questions I‘ve been asked
  • and the Links - if you’re still confused and want to know more, I’m sure these links will tell you more and in less time than I ever could.

The information is out there, Sea Babies, and I know that this little nudge can help you find what you need.

-Solar

[photo // post]

[[ Image Description: A photo featuring a sand cat snuggled down in a nap on a rock, with a post on it by user newleafexplorer.

The post reads: “Benedict Cumberbatch literally compared autistic kids to Frankenstein’s monster and said that we shouldn’t give autistic people ‘false hope’ by showing them in a positive light

please stop supporting him” ]]

10

Anyone wondering why I hate antivaxers and the Vaccine Resistance Movement, I present to you 10 different examples of how they respond when a mother says she’s okay that her son has autism if it means he doesn’t get the measles or another deadly disease. Vaccines =\= Autism but if they did. I’m glad I have autism and not polio.

Call for more mods

Hi everyone!

So I used to run this blog alone until there was a backlog of 200 or so messages in the inbox and I was experiencing burn out. So I put out a call for people interested in helping answer questions.

The three who joined, who saved this blog from me just disappearing and shutting it down, have helped so much, they do a lot of work for me and you. They’re so good in fact that when they started getting through the backlog and people saw we were responding more often, the messages increased again! Now the four of us have a backlog of 800 messages and so I’m calling out again for people who can help! 

For anyone interested

o Please be over 18 (we appreciate the opinions of all ages but some of our questions involve very adult topics and we want to protect any minors from this)
o Adding to the above, anyone who has many or is very vulnerable to various triggers that might be in the questions, please assess how comfortable and safe you would feel about modding.
o Those who have run other advice blog or have experience in advising in this area would be helpful but not strictly needed (it would be nice to see how you might answer a sample question or two).
o The biggest one- if you apply, please have the drive, ability and time to make the commitment, we need people who particularly have time and energy to help through the backlog! However, when modding, no one is obliged to answer or do anything when they don’t want to or can’t. Else I’d have to kick myself out quick.

Happy applying! Please apply via asks on this blog, submissions make it difficult for us to reply. Also if you have any experience you think would particularly help us out, e.g. being of a particular racial or cultural background mention it!

Joey

anonymous asked:

Also is it possible for an autistic person to not have meltdowns/shutdowns? Or not be aware that they're having one? I've never had a good connection with my emotions, and im so used to having to suppress reactions and emotions that I do it naturally now. So idk how to tell when or even IF I have shutdowns and meltdowns. Is it possible to be autistic and not have those? And it it possible to be autistic and not Know that you're having one when you have one? How can I tell?

Hi Anon! I think it is possible for an autistic person to not experience meltdowns or shutdowns. Granted, I think this is unusual, and in my opinion, it would either be the result of a very supportive environment or the result of the emotional “stuffing” that you describe. The problem with the latter (suppressing emotion) is that oftentimes what you’re “stuffing” is just going to come out another way. An alternate route has to be found for our emotions if we suppress them, and sometimes that leads to unhealthy behaviors. 

It is possible to not realize you’re having a meltdown or shutdown. I’m including a few indicators of what happens when someone is going through a shutdown or meltdown. This is just one person’s experience, but I hope it can help you to become more aware of your meltdowns and shutdowns, so that you can determine how to proceed.

Here are some indications that you’re experiencing a meltdown or shutdown:

-decreased ability or inability to talk

-difficulty processing language, whether it’s written or spoken

-echolalia

-inability or unwillingness to move

-trying to block out sounds and sights

-sensory overload

-heightened sensitivity to touch and other senses

-losing control of actions (hitting, kicking, etc.)

-fight or flight response

-panic attack-like feelings

-crying

-screaming

-lashing out 

For every person, their experience of meltdowns and shutdowns is different, so I am speaking from my own experience. I hope this helps. Please contact us again if we can help you with any more questions.

–Elliott 

So I’m pretty sure my sister thinks I have autism (and before all the anti-self-diagnosers jump all over me, she is a mental health professional that has worked with kids with developmental disorders for almost a decade), but hasn’t gone right out and said it directly. Like, with a lot of the conversations we have I’ll bring up stuff, or she’ll ask me questions that strongly hint at it from time to time, but I guess she doesn’t feel comfortable diagnosing family, especially after my mom freaked out at my sister for trying to diagnose her.

And, like, the past few years, on and off, I’ve been looking into all that stuff, and the symptoms or whatever hit pretty close to things I do pretty regularly and things that fit waaaay too well. And one of the examples of  the “obsession” symptom of Asperger’s I was just reading about included baseball statistics as a major one, and wouldn’t you know it I had Fangraphs, a site I check almost as much as tumblr, opened in literally the next tab. I just kinda laughed because that nailed it.

Then again, I think I may have been diagnosed in the past and no one told me, because I used to get all kinds of help and special class areas for tests and assistance in elementary school and middle school, but they stopped in High school because I kinda shut down (bc multiple reasons I don’t want to get into rn) and proved I wasn’t “slow,” which I think is all they cared about (I remember being tested in my freshman year, and the tester was impressed with my vocabulary and then the class space and assistance stopped). I do remember my mom trying to take me to therapists for multiple things, but that ended as soon as my dad found out (can’t have that in our family, obvs). Idk man, I didn’t mean this to get so long, I’ve just been so lost on this for years, and I don’t know what to do.

Let’s be real though, being against Autistic headcanons always comes from ableism. That “there’s no proof” or “it’s disrespectful to actual Autistic people” is just bullshit. It’s just allistic people being uncomfortable to even think about the possibility that a character they like is autistic, because they’ve internalised autism as some awful disease, and well that character can’t have because they’re obviously awesome, right? 

I’m not saying they all do it on purpose. Internalised ableism is a nasty thing and I’m sure many are just doing it subconsciously. But you really need to stop and think why autistic people saying “this character is like me” makes you so angry. Why you think being autistic is something that takes away from your idea of the character, or makes the character worse.

It’s always ableism. There’s no other possible reason.