hyposensitive

anonymous asked:

What are some of the major differences between autism and ADD/ADHD? Stuff like impulse control, executive function issues, stimming etc are pretty common to both of them, and i know a good handful of autistic people (myself included) who got misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD as a kid. And the fact that the two can be comorbid just makes it more confusing

eokay so first of all: i have both. so of course i cannot distinguish between both, because both are “me”. so i’m making the distinction by what i read more often in ADHD or autism contexts.

the things i’m listing are not diagnostic criteria, just things that i have seen talked about often. you might not relate to all of them even if you have ADHD / autism. additionally, having one or a few traits of something does not mean you definitely have it, but if you go “yes! that’s me!” at most or all of them, you might check the thing out more thoroughly.

there’s a summary at the end

things that are more ADHD and less autism:

impulsivity. i get an idea and then i immediately drop whatever i am doing (often quite literally) and do the other thing. for example: i am preparing a sandwidch. i am in the process of putting butter on the bread. then i think: i want tea. in that same second i drop the knife, on the floor, turn around to the water boiler and switch it on. then i realize that dropping the knife was probably not such a good idea because it’s dirty now. 

getting distracted. not by anything specifically, just.. anything. for example, i opened this ask and wanted to answer. then i got distracted for 15 minutes and forgot all about it until i accidentally opened this tab again. i described this in this slightly funny post: my general idea of functioning is getting distracted often enough so that i eventually come back to the thing i was originally doing.

constantly forgetting what you were just doing or thinking. this is pretty much what leads to both being easily distracted and impulsivity. it’s more than just forgetting. it is completely forgetting about the idea of a thing possibly occurring. you’re having an intense, captivating tumblr chat with someone and then you go to the bathroom and it is gone from your brain. you go bake some cookies, read a book, cut your hair, and when you come back to the computer it’s ohhhhh shit i was having a conversation until i suddenly disappeared… 3 hours ago.

being unable to sit still ever. it is more than just stimming. it is stimming 120% of the time. it is doing multiple stims at the same time always. i CAN not sit still. it does not happen. i am unable to not stim. 

hyperfocusing randomly. like what i am doing with this post right now. i started typing and then i got completely caught up on it and now i cannot stop and i forget the time and anything else i was going to do because this post is my world now and i. must. finish.

hyperactivity. i cannot describe this better than ALALAL ALALALA KLHADFUILSDHFJKUIEF!!!!!!!!!! LKSKSHALALALAL!!!!!!!!! it’s jumping around the room. running up the walls. sitting upside-down on your chair while screaming from laughter. spamming your twitter with 200 tweets that just say “CACTUS!!!!!!!!!! MOLAR TOOTH!!! CACTUS!!!!!!!” while laughing your ass off. 

losing every object. always. misplacing objects that you were actually using just now. pencils, headphones, jewellery, coffee cup, everything. where is my phone that i was using 20 seconds ago? i have no idea. 3 hours later i find it in the laundry basket. or on some door handle. losing ridiculously large objects that you cannot possibly lose and being unable to locate them for hours. objects that i have misplaced inside a 40 square meters apartment: laundry basket, mattress, chairs, tables, small oven, computer, and many others. you get the idea.

forgetting plans and appointments and everything really. i recently learned that some people can actually keep complex plans in their heads. a fellow autistic explained me that he can remember everything he needs to do and lie it down neatly in his mind. i don’t think every autistic is as good with that as he is, but most people have some sort of idea what their next big tasks are. i don’t. i don’t even know where i wrote them down. i also forget appointments because even if i remember that i have plans for wednesday, that does not automatically mean that i realize when wednesday is happening.

addiction to distraction and entertainment. boredom is torture, and i don’t mean that as an exaggeration. sitting in a waiting room drives you up the wall, sometimes quite literally. forgetting your phone is not just irritating and means you have to read the cereal box. no. you build a tower out of the cereal boxes and jump on the table. when the party is going slow you collect all the paper flyers and fold 100 airplanes and shred the rest of the flyers to pieces. not being able to concentrate without loud music in the background. 

things that are more autism and less ADHD:

sensory hypersensitivities. not just getting distracted or annoyed by bad sensory input, but actually getting hurt and deeply uncomfortable. not being able to even sit near someone with deodorant on. starting to cry whenever you get cold. ripping your shirt off because the tag was too scratchy. 

sensory hyposensitivities. not being able to feel the pain from scratches. not being able to enjoy music unless it is ridiculously loud drumming against your ears, while not being hard of hearing. only being able to calm down when something is pressing against your ribcage so hard you can hardly breathe. enjoying bright flickering lights right against your eyeballs. 

the bliss that stimming is. it is not just “something that feels pleasant”. it is something that makes you feel whole. it is something that puts you in a place where everything is good and right and the right stim fills you up with pure bliss. you soak it up like a sponge and you feel like you’re flying and it’s the best thing. it clears your mind and soothes your soul.

the overwhelm of sensory overload. you literally cannot function in a loud, crowded area. sensory overload makes you forget how to think. you immediately shut down or meltdown. you become helpless. you can not get yourself out of this situation safely. you get lost. you are unable to figure out a way to get out of the situation. you can get in real danger because of sensory overload if you do not have help or luck. 

auditory and visual processing difficulties. needing subtitles for every movie you watch, even though you are neither Deaf nor hard of hearing. constantly going “what? say that again? HUH?? i can’t hear you over that noise!” while everyone around you is conversing easily. being unable to decipher an image quickly. being unable to read maps or flowcharts.

trouble with verbal communication. you might be nonverbal sometimes or always. you might have problems saying the right words. you might rely on scripting heavily, that means you have fixed rules of what to say in which situations. you might be unable to react if your script stops working because someone says something unexpected. you might be unable to say what you mean because you cannot find words fast enough. you might say things that you do NOT mean because you have heard them somewhere so the words are more easily found. 

trouble with nonverbal communication. not being able to read tone of voice, facial impressions and allistic body language. constantly being misinterpreted because you make the “wrong” body language or facial impressions or tone. not being able to recognize irony and jokes because you can’t take the subtle hints that people give about them. not being able to interpret emojis and emoticons. not being able to recognize the difference between “hello”, “hello!” and “hello…”. coming off across as “rude”, “weird”, “scary” or something else that you are not. 

being unable to figure out social rules and conventions. why do you always have to answer “fine” to the question “how are you?”? why does a person think that i hate them just because i do not like talking to them? why do people think i like them just because i was talking to them? which people do you call by their first name and which by their last name? why do people laugh about me just because i hugged my teacher? nobody laughs when i hug my friend.

relying on sameness, rules, schedules and rituals. no, i cannot drink tea out of the coffee cup. it Does Not Work. i cannot sleep without my squishy pillow. i cannot wear my Outside clothes inside. when i make a plan, things have to go EXACTLY as planned or i melt down. i cry when i lose my favourite stim toy. it can also mean: having to do the same things every day at the same time. getting overwhelmed by changes. not being able to function in an unfamiliar schedule. not being able to do things out of order. not being able to sleep with the Wrong sheets. not being able to eat from red dishes. and many others.

things that are both autism and ADHD:

needing to fidget or stim. being unable to concentrate or calm down without moving or specific sensory input. not being able to function properly when not allowed to stim. shutting or melting down when not being able to stim. 

special interests or hyperfixations. “special interest” is the autism term and “hyperfixation” is the ADHD term. it means fixating on a certain subject so intensely that you can hardly think about anything else. some people learn subjects very deeply in a very short time. it means getting caught up in it. it’s what you think about in every second. like being in love, only with a subject instead of a person.

living in a fantasy world. retreating into a safe space to escape from a world that is not very kind to us. hyperfixating on a story or a fantasy world or dreamworld as an interest, either as a refuge or as a special interest or both.

trouble with socializing. being ridiculed for being “weird”. being unable to function well in social situations because of your specific disabilities. having a hard time maintaining friendships and other social relationships.

appearing eccentric. dressing and behaving in unusual ways. having unconventional interests and hobbies. being unable to connect with most other people, being the “different” person in most groups. having social positions such as the “class clown” or “the outcast” - entertaining everyone else or distancing yourself from everyone else. 

appearing childlike or younger than you are. never getting rid off childlike behaviours. stimming and fidgeting because you like it or because it helps. not caring about how you look. having hobbies and interests that are seen as “childish”. impulsive actions that appear childlike. behaviour that is seen as childlike.

executive dysfunction. being unable to do things even though you really want to do them. being unable to start tasks or switch tasks. being unable to recall what you know in an unfamiliar situation. being unable to figure out the steps necessary for completing a task. 

reactions to over- and understimulations. you might start to fidget or stim. you might try to get away or get angry or cry because things are too much or because there’s not enough stimulation. you might fall asleep in class because it’s too little stimulation. you might cry in class because it’s too much stimulation.

meltdowns / shutdowns. having reactions that are stronger than is deemed appropriate to negative things like adverse sensory input, emotional stress, etc. that means breaking down crying from small things, having rage fits over small things going wrong, or on the other side completely shutting down, flopping on the floor, freezing in place etc. in case of under- or overstimulation or emotional stress.

developing anxiety or depression. social or generalized anxiety as well as depression are common in people with ADHD and autistics because we often get bullied, our disabilities are often exploited to hurt us, and we may get excluded, ridiculed and hurt on a regular basis. we might despair because we never seem to fit in. we might overcompensate and overtax ourselves in order to appear “normal”. we might burn out as a result.

creativity and unconventional thinking. getting ideas that nobody else has. making connections nobody else would even think of. being good at finding similarities, patterns, and differences. 

daydreaming and spacing out. shutting down or simply daydreaming your way through situations that you cannot function in because of your specific disabilities. forgetting what you were doing and just dreaming away. getting lost in thoughts. dissociating from adverse sensory input. escaping from the reality that is hard to bear or just getting distracted. 

getting caught up in a task. hyperfocusing on a thing that you are doing or being unable to initiate the end of an action. being unable to interrupt your train of thought or action. being unable to switch tasks. 


summary

i don’t claim completeness for this list. so.

more ADHD than autism:

  • impulsivity
  • getting distracted
  • constantly forgetting what you were just doing or thinking
  • being unable to sit still ever
  • hyperfocusing randomly
  • hyperactivity
  • losing every object. always
  • forgetting plans and appointments and everything really
  • addiction to distraction and entertainment

more autism than ADHD:

  • sensory hypersensitivities
  • sensory hyposensitivities
  • the bliss that stimming is
  • the overwhelm of sensory overload
  • auditory and visual processing difficulties
  • trouble with verbal communication
  • trouble with nonverbal communication
  • being unable to figure out social rules and conventions
  • relying on sameness, rules, schedules and rituals

both autism and ADHD:

  • needing to fidget or stim
  • special interests or hyperfixations
  • living in a fantasy world
  • trouble with socializing
  • appearing eccentric
  • appearing childlike or younger than you are
  • executive dysfunction
  • reactions to over- and understimulations
  • meltdowns / shutdowns
  • developing anxiety or depression
  • creativity and unconventional thinking
  • daydreaming and spacing out
  • getting caught up in a task

so that got a lot more elaborate than i was planning… anyway. i hope it answers your question, anon

-lhmod

Masterpost: Sensory differences

If you know a bit about autism, or have been following this blog for some time, you must be aware that one of the autistic traits which has the most consequences on our daily lives is our sensory differences. They have an impact on all spheres of our lives: on what we can and cannot do, on where we can and cannot go, on what we can eat, wear, listen to, on our ways to feel good and on what makes us feel bad.

Such a wide subject definitely warrants a masterpost. So, here we go!

First, let’s take a look at the human sensory system, to understand the different areas in which there can be differences. It’s actually more complicated than the traditional five senses! Our sensory system is divided into three parts:

  • Exteroception : sensing what comes from the environment outside your body.
  • Interoception : sensing the internal physiological condition of your body
  • Proprioception : sensing the position your limbs and body are in

These three main areas encompass different senses (note that this is one model and others exist):

  • Exteroception: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, but also thermoception (sensation of heat/cold) and nociception (sensation of pain)
  • Interoception: nociception (internal pain), feelings of hunger, lack of oxygen, thirst, need to pee, as well as monitoring of the respiratory rate and heart rate.
  • Proprioception: the kinesthetic sense (knowledge of the movement and relative positions of your body parts) and the vestibular sense (knowledge of body movement, direction and acceleration)


For all of these senses, autistic people can have them work typically, be hyposensitive (less sensitive than most people), be hypersensitive (more sensitive than most people) or have sensory processing differences which do not fall under the hypo/hyper system.

The clinical term which encompasses these differences is “Sensory Processing Disorder”. One can have SPD without being autistic, but all or almost all autistic people have SPD.

It should be noted, however, that some autistic people don’t like to think of it as a disorder and prefer simply talking about sensory processing differences.

Something very important to understand is that hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity CAN coexist in any one person’s sensory system. For example, they might be hypersensitive to smell and hyposensitive to touch. They can also be hyper/hypo sensitive to only one aspect of one sense (for instance, pressure or texture or bright lights or sweet tastes). They can also be sometimes hyposensitive to something, and sometimes hypersensitive to it.

Being hypersensitive to a stimulus and being exposed to it can cause what is called “sensory overload”, which usually translates to pain, discomfort, and impaired cognitive functions (in other words, trouble thinking properly). If pushed further (very intense stimuli or very long exposition), it can lead to a shutdown or meltdown.

Being hyposensitive to something and lacking stimulation can translate to restlessness, discomfort, and even pain, as well as an intense craving for the stimuli.


Here are some examples of what hypersensitivity to different senses can translate to, on a behavioral and subjective level:

  • Sight: The person wears sunglasses, maybe even indoors. They avoid places with fluorescent lightning, blinking lightning or too bright lightning. They dislike looking at brightly colored surfaces. They may have trouble with visually cluttered spaces, such as crowds and supermarkets. They may find any kind of flickering or movement around them painful to see.

  • Hearing: They may hear sounds no one else can hear (and some have been tested to hear outside the normal human range). They may have to wear headphones/ear defenders in noisy places. They may avoid crowds and events with lots of people/loud music/shouting. They may have difficulty with the noise of the vacuum, of the construction work on the other side of the street, of the clock ticking in the next room. They may develop tinnitus eventually.

  • Smell: They’ll probably dislike places with strong smells such as perfume shops, farms, or crowded public transportation. They may need to wash themselves, their clothes and their sheet very often to keep body odors to a minimum. They may not tolerate scented soap, shampoo or deodorant (and it’s sometimes difficult to find an unscented one!). They may struggle with the smell of food in general, or with particular smells.

  • Taste: They may be very picky eaters, only tolerating a couple of very bland-tasting food such as mashed potatoes or pasta. They may have difficulty having diverse enough diets with all the nutrients they need. They may always eat the exact same thing.

  • Touch: They may have trouble finding clothing with a texture that they can tolerate. They may need to cut all the tags off their clothing. They may absolutely hate anyone touching them. They may be ok with firm touch, but find light brushy touches painful. They may have trouble wearing specific items of clothing, such as socks/shoes, headphones or hats. They may hate people touching their hair, or find brushing their hair very difficult. They may find brushing their teeth nearly impossible because of the scratching sensation. They may have trouble with the texture of many foods, and be a picky eater because of that.

  • Thermoception: They may be very sensitive to cold, and always wearing loads of clothing and turning the heating up even when other people don’t think it’s that cold. They may be very sensitive to heat, finding summer very hard to cope with, especially if they don’t have access to AC. They may be hyper-aware of tiny changes in temperature, feeling cold when it is dropping and hot when it is rising regardless of the actual temperature.

  • Nociception: They may be more sensitive to pain than most people, and find very painful what most people would shrug off. (They’re not being a drama queen! They really do feel more pain!)

  • Vestibular sense: They may get motion sickness very easily.


And here are some examples for hyposensitivity:

  • Sight: The person may have trouble finding things in visually crowded environments. They may enjoy looking at bright colored lights or at objects in motion (spinning top/twirling fingers…)

  • Hearing: They may not notice being called or being talked to, especially when focused. They may enjoy listening to very loud music, singing, or making lots of noises.

  • Smell: They may not notice smells which other people do. They may enjoy strong smells such as perfume, essential oils or body odor. They may enjoy sniffing a favorite blanket, a significant other, a pet, or anything they like.

  • Taste: They may be able to ingest an impressive amount of spicy food, and may crave strong tasting food (pepper, lemon, salt, sugar…).

  • Touch: They may love rubbing/touching favorite textures, rubbing their hands together… They may love and crave deep pressure, such as having heavy weights on top of them.

  • Thermoception: They may be outside in winter with just a T-shirt, or not be bothered by the heat in summer and even wear a sweater. They may enjoy touching very hot things such as radiators or very hot water, or very cold things like ice cubes or snow.

  • Nociception: They may be less sensitive to pain than most people and not notice it when they’ve been hurt.

  • Vestibular sense: They may love roller coasters, boat rides when there’s a lot of waves… They may never get motion sickness of any sort. They may spend time rocking or like to chill upside down.

  • Kinesthetic sense: They may be very clumsy since they have a poor sense of the position of their body in space. They may stumble a lot and be generally bad at sports. They may have trouble with fine motor skills such as handwriting or sewing. They may enjoy doing repetitive motions such as hand flapping.

  • Interoception: They may have trouble noticing  when they are hungry, thirsty, tired, or when they need to go to the bathroom. They may need to set alarms or to have self-care at set times as part of their routine.


These are of course only examples and hyper or hyposensitivity can express themselves in as many ways are there are people who experience them.

Here are some examples of other sensory differences autistic people can experience:

  • Synesthesia seems more frequent among autistic people than in the general population. It is defined as a transfer from one sensory modality to another: for example, seeing sounds or hearing tastes. It can also mean associating colors or personalities to numbers/letters. In autistic people specifically, it can be a very positive thing (you can now stim with two senses at the same time!) or something painful (these bright lights are awful, well now they’re harsh noises too).

  • We often struggle with processing sensory information, especially speech, which can mean we can have a lot of trouble understanding what people say, might take a lot of time to process speech (which results in conversations such as” “Hey, will you get me this thing please?” “What?” “I said, will-” “Oh yeah, sure”), and might need subtitles to be able to understand movies. Processing information from two different senses at a time can also be difficult, which often translates as “I can either look at the images or understand what’s being said”. This is one of the causes of our struggle with eye contact.

That’s all for today. We hope this helped. We are currently preparing a masterpost on stimming which will be quite related to this one. Happy writing!

anonymous asked:

I always see things about the over sensitive side of spd, but what are problems on the under-sensitive side?

It depends on the sense. A person can be hyposensitive in some of all of their senses, and we can be a mix of hypersensitive and hyposensitive. For instance, I am hypersensitive to sound, sight, and touch, but hyposensitive to taste/smell, interoception, proprioception, and pain. Some effects of being hypersensitive can be:

Taste/smell: 

  • May only like strong flavors
  • May not notice tastes/smells others do
  • May seek out tastes by putting things in mouth

Sight: 

  • May like bright lights/intense colors
  • May not noticing certain sights
  • May only see outlines of objects
  • May wave hands or objects in front of face

Sound: 

  • May not hear certain sounds
  • May seek out loud sounds like crowds chattering, loud concerts, banging things together, etc. 
  • May filter out a lot of sound 
  • May need people to repeat things a lot

Touch:

  • May crave touch
  • May play rough
  • May not notice things touching them
  • May love weighted blankets

Vestibular: 

  • May really enjoy rocking, spinning, or swinging 
  • Less likely to become motion sick
  • May be drawn to intense amusement park rides

Proprioceptive

  • May be clumsy/bump into things a lot
  • May have difficulty holding body upright
  • May not notice need to use bathroom
  • May not notice hunger/thirst

-Sabrina

anyone else who is autistic feel like they’re hyposensitive to vibrations sometimes? I am easily affected by loud, sudden or high-pitched noises like most people on the spectrum but every now and then I like to put on my huge noise-canceling headphones and listen to the most beat/bass-heavy music I like because the vibrations hitting my ears is like a kind of stim. 

Autistic tag yourself:Hogwarts Houses Version

Gryffindor:
-Body stims
-More hyposensitive (sensory seeking)
-Huge meltdowns

Slytherin:
-Publicly stims because f*ck you
-Weird/“bad” special interests
-lacks empathy but will do anything for their friends

-Hufflepuf:
-Makes animal noises to stim
-Hyperempathy
-“Childish” special interests

Ravenclaw:
-Visual stims
-Nerdy special interests
-More likely to shutdown

i’m crossposting from my twitter a bit

i wanted to talk about how i have hyposensitivity rather than hypersensitivity regarding sensory experiences

hyposensitive to me is feeling very dull and loud and thrumming and deep. i am a rock that is too small for the space i should be filling. there’s so much awareness of pressure i’m missing. 

i am constantly in the dark with blurry awareness of very little. when i hear a great big sound, it’s like i know how to breathe good. 

how do other hyposensitive people feel?

Masterpost: Autism and Vocabulary

As a writer, we’re sure you are aware that words are important. You can’t always substitute one for another because they all have their own depth of meaning and their own subtleties. So if you want to write an autistic character, you’ll have to refer to autism using the right words. This post will help you do just that!

Autistic person? Person who has autism? Which one should I use?

This is a highly debated question. You might have heard “You have to say “person with autism” because you’re talking about a person first; the person is not defined by their disability!”. While this is a nice thought, it is largely misguided, and this way of talking are mainly used by non-autistic persons while talking about us. The autistic community doesn’t like this “person-first” language very much for several reasons.

First of all, if you need to use specific language to remind yourself that we are people, you may have a problem that no amount of linguistic workarounds can solve. We say “a French person”, not “a person who is French” or “a person with Frenchness”, because we don’t need to remind ourselves that French people are people. Why should it be different with autistic people?

The second reason most of us don’t like saying we are “persons with autism” is that our autism is not something that we carry with us. We are not a human person + a terrible disorder. We are fundamentally different. Being autistic is an integral part of who we are as people, and touches every sphere of our lives. If someone somehow managed to take away our autism, they wouldn’t reveal the “real us” that was hidden behind it: they would create a whole different person. We can’t be separated from our autism, and this should be reflected in the language you use while talking about us.

So ideally, you’ll want to use “autistic”, as an adjective: Cat is autistic, they are an autistic person. Some of us sometimes use “autistic” as a noun as a shortcut, when we’re tired of repeating “people” all the time, but it’s best to avoid it when you can, especially if you’re allistic.

What you really need to avoid is “a person with autism”, or heaven forbid “a person who happens to have autism”, “a person who suffers from autism”, “a person who lives with autism”, or any variation thereof. I’ve also seen a few people write “an autist”, but I don’t get why they do that. Please don’t do it.

And please don’t refer to us as being “on the spectrum,” we don’t need a euphemism to soften the blow of the word “autistic.” We are autistic! Even those who don’t seem disabled. Please remember that, while it is all too often misused in an insulting or pejorative way, “autistic” is not a bad word. Don’t be afraid to use it! In fact, using it more and in a positive way is the best way to stop it from being misused as a pejorative.

You keep using these words I don’t understand…

Alright, let’s get a glossary going! We’ll update this post whenever we use a word that could be hard to understand (if we can remember to do it…). If there is any word on the blog that you can’t understand, check if we’ve explained it here. If we haven’t, shoot us an ask and we’ll do it ASAP. :)
All of the titles are clickable and will take you to the corresponding tag so you can check out everything we’ve written about a subject.

AAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Encompasses all means of communicating used by nonverbal people which are not spoken/sign language, such as using a text-to-speech device or a pictogram system to communicate.

ABA: Applied Behaviour Analysis, the most common type of “therapy” autistic children are subjected to. It can have lots of negative long-terms effects on the person’s life, such as PTSD or vulnerability to abuse.

Ableism: Treating disabled people (including autistic people) poorly because they are disabled.Treating someone differently because they behave in autistic ways, punishing autistic people for stimming, forcing nonverbal autistics to communicate verbally (and ignoring other types of communication), etc. are all examples of ableist behavior.

Alexithymia: Difficulty identifying one’s own emotions, very common in autistic people. They may not know how they feel at all, or simply unable to name their feelings. They are often unable to answer the question “How are you?” or “How are you feeling?” and may be aware only of whether they are feeling “good” or “bad” (and sometimes not even that).

Allistic: Someone who is not autistic. Used as an adjective and sometimes as a noun.

Asperger’s Syndrome: An outdated diagnostic term for an autistic person who is generally able to communicate verbally at a typical age and shows interest in social relationships. This is no longer considered to be a thing which exists. (See our masterpost on functioning labels.)

Autistic: Someone who is autistic (ie the subject of this whole blog) (I don’t know why we added that to the glossary)

Cure Culture / Curism: The attitude held by many allistic groups (most notably the hate group “Autism Speaks”) that autism is a disorder or disease which should be eliminated from the human race and place a priority on “curing” it. This is similar to the old belief that homosexuality is a disease that should be cured, and just as harmful to autistic people.

Disability: There are two main definitions to this word: 1- Not being able to do something that the majority of people are able to do. For example: hear (deaf), see (blind), smell (anosmic), walk (para/quadriplegic), etc.  2-Being impaired by a physical/mental difference in a way that restricts one’s professional, social, personal, or leisure activities. Depending on the definition and personal opinions, autistic people can be considered disabled or not disabled.

Dyspraxia: Difficulty with gross and/or fine motor skills, very common in autistic people. To a casual observer they may appear clumsy, often dropping things, walking into things, or tripping over their own feet (gross motor skills), or with poor handwriting, poor ability to hold a writing instrument, etc. (fine motor skills).

Echolalia: Use of verbal repetition to communicate, usually used by those who are not fully verbal. Words and phrases can be immediately repeated directly (“You OK?” “You OK.”), or with some changes (“Are you OK?” “I am okay.”). They can also come from memory (“Who gave you that?” [Darth Vader voice] “I am your father.” = my father).

Executive Dysfunction: Difficulty with executive functioning; skills used to make decisions and carry out tasks. Many autistic people have problems with this. They may be unable to make what appear to be simple decisions or figure out how to accomplish a simple goal. They may know exactly what they need to do but be unable to get their body to move to do it. It has been described via metaphors in a few ways: one is having all the ingredients to make a cake but no recipe, and being expected to make the cake, but having no idea how to do it. Another is that the body is like a horse and the brain is the rider, and the rider tries to get the horse to move, but it simply won’t budge.

Functioning Labels: Outdated and inaccurate (but sadly, still commonly used) labels for autistic people based on a narrow set of criteria. Those who don’t communicate verbally are normally considered “low-functioning”, for example, and those who can are “high-functioning”. See our masterpost for more information on why these labels are damaging and should not be used.

Hyperacusis: When a person is extremely sensitive to sound and the world sounds far louder to them than to others. It is often extremely painful, like having the volume on the world turned up way too high, and can be disabling. Many people with hyperacusis have or develop tinnitus (a constant sound, often ringing, usually caused by nerve damage in the ears).

Hyperempathy: Having far more affective empathy than a normal person. This can result in things like crying often, being unable to comfort upset people because their emotions are too overwhelming, etc. Some people feel hyperempathy all the time. Some have it only sometimes or for some people, or for inanimate objects.

Hypersensitivity: A blanket term which means “being more sensitive than most people to something”. When it comes to autism, it can refer to several things. Most of the time, it is used about sensory hypersensitivity, such as sensitivity to sounds or bright lights. There is also emotional hypersensitivity (easily getting hurt feelings/responding very strongly to positive feelings).

Hyposensitivity: The opposite of hypersensitivity, some autistic people feel a lack of sensory stimulation. They feel understimulated and may constantly feel the need to seek sensory stimulation. It’s important to note than an autistic person may be hypersensitive in some ways and hyposensitive in others, or at different times.

Infodumping: Sharing a large amount of information on a single topic all at once, often without pausing or allowing others to speak, due to overwhelming enthusiasm for the subject. It is usually done on subjects of special interest.

Low empathy: Some autistic people feel reduced or no affective empathy for other people (do not identify with their emotions or feel inspired to a certain emotion when they see others having that emotion). This does not necessarily mean that they do not care about the emotions of others - some may not care, some may care a great deal - only that they do not feel what others feel. Some people with low empathy for other people have hyperempathy for inanimate objects or fictional characters.

Meltdown: When the brain is too overloaded with sensory information or stress and can no longer function properly, an autistic individual may have a very violent reaction, called a meltdown. The person melting down is generally in a lot of pain. They might scream, throw things, yell curse words and insults, cry, hurt themselves or other, and try to hide themselves in absurd locations like under couch cushions or behind doors.
This neurological event cannot be controlled or stopped once it begins. It can be made worse by interfering and adding more sensory input (by touching or talking to the person) and usually will not subside until the person is left alone to calm down. 

Neurodivergent/Neuroatypical: Having a neurology which is different from the most common ones, such as being autistic or having ADHD. Some people include mental illnesses in this label, some do not.

Neurodiversity: The philosophy that in order to succeed, survive, and thrive, the human race needs many different types of neurology, and that neurodiverse people are an important and positive component of our species.

Neurotypical: A term which is defined as “having the most common type of neurology” (ie not autistic, without ADHD/dyslexia/tourette’s, etc.). Someone with a mental illness may or may not be considered neurotypical depending on people’s opinions.

Nonverbal: Someone who cannot or does not communicate verbally (using spoken language, often including sign language). Some autistic people are always nonverbal. Most are nonverbal under stress or overload. Some are always verbal.

Passing: Successfully behaving enough like an allistic person, particularly in social situations, that no one suspects you are autistic. Often important or even necessary for some people, especially when it comes to work situations.

PECS: One of the AAC methods which is most commonly used with autistic children (and sometimes adults). Stands for “Picture Exchange Communication System”. A pictogram-based system.

Proprioception: All of the sensory input which comes from inside your body. Includes your brain’s awareness of where the different parts of your body are. Autistic people often have very poor proprioception. As a result, they may have some type of dyspraxia, odd facial expressions, odd posture and walking gait, etc., all of which they may not be aware of until someone tells/shows them.

Sensory Processing Disorder: The clinical term for someone who has difficulty processing sensory information. Includes sensory hypersensitivity, hyposensitivity and differences. Too many details to process can lead to sensory overload, shutdowns, and meltdowns. Some autistic people don’t agree that it is a disorder, and prefer to talk of “sensory processing differences”.

Sensory Overload: When too much sensory information is being sent to the brain and the brain can no longer keep up. It becomes painful and the person can become incapable of accepting new sensory information until the brain has time to catch up (like a computer freezing when too many programs are open). This often leads to shutdowns and/or meltdowns.

Shutdown: A defense mechanism against sensory overload and stress. The brain attempts to shut out all sensory input by disconnecting from the environment. The person might no longer understand speech (or even fully hear it), be able to think in language (or to think in any way at all), move their body, or communicate in any way. Their eyes might unfocus and they may seem to be completely “out of it”. This state is usually a sign that the person needs to be left alone for their brain to calm down, but if pushed by those around them, they may switch to having a meltdown.

Special Interest: A subject which an autistic person is extremely interested in and will go to great lengths to learn everything possible about.

Spoons: A metaphor used to indicate the (limited) amount of energy a disabled or sick person has to devote to various tasks. There is a whole script blog devoted to this (@scriptspoonies). Many autistic people rely on this metaphor to describe their (lack of) energy.

Stimming: Repeated actions which are used to stimulate one’s own nervous system, done for various reasons including to soothe oneself/calm down, express emotions, communicate, or just because it feels nice. Common examples include rocking back and forth, flapping hands, clenching jaw, tapping a part of the body, making a repeated noise, etc.

Verbal: Able to communicate using spoken language.

anonymous asked:

You know how autistic people have trouble with loud noises? Well, what about not? I mean, I think Im autistic (Im mostly sure) but I dont feel that way about loud noises mostly. Sometimes, too many loud noises give me headaches and upset me, but mostly, loud blinding noises feel fantastic. Like, sticking your head near a car window so all you hear is the wind. Or at a hair salon, where you have that giant noisy hairdryer. Or my bedside fan! Those noises make me feel safe which makes me feel fake

You’re not fake! While many autistic people are hypersensitive to noise which makes loud noises intolerable, others are hyposensitive to noise which can make loud noises enjoyable. 

-Sabrina

@holtzbert-week​ day #2 | neurodiversity

okay I was a little nervous about this one, as someone who doesn’t experience / know much about types of neurodiversity, so I’ve been researching the heck out of it and looking at headcanons (thank you to those people btw) and I hope I did an alright job

I hc Holtz as having both adhd and hyposensitive spd. she likes to keep her hands busy, always tinkering with things she’s made, or pulling gadgets apart and putting them back together; but once she’s focused on a project its easy to neglect her own needs without the girls’ reminders. Holtz is also notoriously clumsy which, whenever around the equipment, has scared the crap out of the team more than once. she tends to rush into danger a little recklessly on missions too, earning the same reactions. while she’s working she has a habit of touching Erin any way she can, ranging from light brushes to full on lounging across her lap, and feels more at ease whenever she’s within arms reach

Jillian Holtzmann, Erin Gilbert © Sony, Paul Feig
Art © Aiyana-Kopa

popping bubble wrap individually or squishing them all at once? fishbowl slime or floam? flappy hands or raptor hands? bouncing ur leg or tapping ur fingers? fluffy slime or bubble slime? wax seals or paint mix? soap carving or chalk carving? cotton or silk? hypersensitive or hyposensitive?

anonymous asked:

Tafw you are hyposensitive to your own body and only feel pain when most people would already be in the hospital, only know you have to go to the toilet if you can't hold it anymore so you gotta run for it, only know you are hungry when you are starving and you just get so tired of trying to tell people you really don't feel it. ♧☆

anonymous asked:

How does it feel when someone can't/doesn't get enough sensory input? Is there even a feeling for it?

Imagine your hands are covered in cake batter. Or you’re preparing raw hamburger or chicken for dinner. Or you’ve been cleaning and have dangerous chemical cleaners on your (hopefully gloved) hands. Or you’re at the dentist. Or your hands are just covered in dirt and mud. 

And your nose itches.

Imagine you have to sneeze. Like, really, really have to sneeze. You can’t keep talking until you get this sneeze out.

And the sneeze won’t come. Minutes pass, the feeling doesn’t fade, but the sneeze just won’t come!

Imagine you’re having a staring contest. Something really important to you depends on this staring contest. If you blink, you lose your house, or your car, or your favorite body part.

And your eyes are so, so dry.

Now imagine you live in a society where, for whatever reason, there is a very serious cultural taboo against scratching your head. If you scratch your head, ever, in front of other people, you’re insulting everyone around you, and also their parents, grandparents, and dog. Whatever you do, do NOT scratch your head. 

And your head itches. And the more you try not to scratch it, the more it itches.

That’s the sort of feeling understimulation can be. And in a world where stimming is often not socially acceptable, it’s a feeling a lot of us have to live with on a regular basis.

Hope this helps!

-Mod Aira

Personally, I tend to experience a more “global” understimulation - mainy because I don’t suppress my stimming so I don’t really get the specific “need to stim can’t stim” feeling. But when I don’t get enough mental/ physical stimulation (for instance, staying home for a whole day just watching tv is impossible for me), i get restless, stimmy, can’t focus on anything, and my brain is basically screaming at me “need to do a thing!!” “no this thing is not enough of a thing find something else” and so on. This is not something i’ve heard talked a lot about in autistic circles so I’m not sure how common that is.

Another thing I have experienced is lack of a specific sensory input, in my case pressure. I always crave pressure in a very specific spot on my chest, or on my chest more generally speaking. I know it at some kind of tingling, “hollow” feeling that’s very hard to describe. This is one of my most important sensory needs, and when I really, really don’t have enough input, I feel a deep ache in my chest as though it were going to implode. It is a very painful experience. I often end up brusing myself by trying to apply pressure, and it stills hurts less than the alternative.

-Mod Cat

Masterpost: Stimming

Stimming is an important part of most autistic people’s life, and as such, something you’ll probably want to include in your narrative to make your autistic character(s) more realistic. Which is why we’re now going to tell you all about it!

First of all, what is it? The word “stimming” is short for “self-stimulating”. Almost everyone uses it preferentially because it’s easier to use and sounds less… weird. It has a lot of derivations: the verb “to stim”, the noun “a stim”, the adjective “stimmy”… Isn’t the English language wonderful.

Self-stimulating, or stimming as I’ll call it for the rest of this masterpost (and of the blog), consists of doing something with the specific goal of stimulating one’s senses.

If you haven’t done it already, we advise you to read our masterpost about sensory differences, since we’ll refer to many concepts we have explained there in this post, and we won’t re-define them here.

Now that all of this is sorted, let’s get into the heart of the matter. First I’ll explain what stimming looks like, and then I’ll try to outline the main reasons why someone might stim.


Here is a non-exhaustive list of stims, sorted by the sense they stimulate. Every sense can be stimulated by stimming, except maybe the interoceptive ones. Your character stimming can look like:

  • Sight: moving their fingers in front of their eyes, pressing on their eyes until geometric patterns appear, watching a screensaver for hours, looking at things with pretty colors, looking at bright lights or blinking lights, looking at glittery or shimmery things, sorting objects by colors or shape, watching moving things such as a spinning top or a pendulum…

  • Hearing: Listening to music (for example listening to the same song on repeat for hours), rubbing fingers/hair/ cloth next to their ears, tapping on their ears, eating crunchy food, walking on dry autumn leaves, making noises, repeating a word or words with a fun sonority, humming, singing, clicking a button repeatedly, zipping and unzipping a sweater, listening to the sound of rain/waves, opening and closing scissors…

  • Smell: Sniffing things with a pleasant smell, wearing perfume, smelling flowers, smelling a favorite blanket/object/pet/person, making food, taking a walk after it’s rained, sniffing dirty clothing…

  • Taste: Eating things with a strong taste (spicy/very sweet/sour/salty…), chewing gum, chewing non-edible objects, kissing someone, licking stuff…

  • Touch: Rubbing soft fabric, rubbing things with pleasant textures, chewing on things, rubbing their fingers together, touching/playing with their hair, biting their nails, picking at their skin, sitting/lying under heavy things, pressing themselves in tiny confined spaces, pressing parts of their body, hitting themselves, playing with dough or baking, touching water, walking on tiptoes, walking on textured ground, clenching their jaw…

  • Thermoception: eating ice-cream, drinking hot drinks, touching snow, touching a radiator, staying under the AC, taking a very hot or very cold shower/bath, eating ice cubes…

  • Nociception : doing anything that inflicts pain, this includes all self-harming stims (hitting, biting, scratching themselves for instance)

  • Kinesthesic sense: Flapping their hands, twirling their fingers, playing with fidget toys, bouncing on their toes, playing sports, knitting, doodling, pacing, tapping their fingers, chewing, bouncing their leg, twisting their hands and fingers, playing an instrument…

  • Vestibular sense: rocking, spinning around, riding a roller coaster, sailing, horse riding, being upside down, doing cartwheels, shaking their head, playing on swings, slides or merry-go-rounds…

But really, the possibilities are endless! We recommend the #stimfreely tag for gifs of people stimming (it’s so cute tbh) and general stimming positivity!


Now that we’ve seen what stimming is, let’s get into some of the common reasons a character might stim, and the benefits they can get from it.

  • It helps regulate their sensory system. If one of their senses is under-stimulated (possibly because they are hyposensitive to it, possibly because there just isn’t enough stimulation), stimming can help put the level of stimulation back to a normal state, and thus alleviate feelings of restlessness, discomfort, craving or even pain.

  • It is soothing. When an autistic person is upset, anxious or overwhelmed, stimming, by its regularity and predictability, can help them calm down.

  • It is a coping method. When overstimulated or overwhelmed for another reason, focusing on another sense can help take the focus away from the pain and confusion. For example, someone might focus on the feel of rubbing cloth to avoid being overwhelmed by loud noises. It can also be easier to deal with a stimulation that comes from oneself than from the outside world, because it’s more predictable and less chaotic, and it is not illogical that sometimes, when confronted by for example loud noise, a person might start tapping their ears to cover the sound: it’s even louder, but easier to deal with.

  • It can help concentration.

  • It is a part of our natural body language and we use it to express emotions. If you know an autistic person well, you’ll often be able to tell how they feel by watching what stims they do. One common example is flapping one’s hands when happy!

  • It can be very pleasant and enjoyable. Overall, we’d say this is one of the most important reasons for stimming: having fun and feeling good!

As an additional note, I’d like to add that everybody stims, neurodivergent or not. Even if you’re allistic, you must have caught yourself bouncing your leg when anxious or humming absentmindedly. Especially in moments of extreme grief, sadness, or fear, allistic people often rock back and forth or hit themselves in exactly the same way autistic people do. Autistic people just need it more because they have different sensory systems, which are more demanding and need more regulation.

So please, have your autistic characters stim! Have them rock to calm themselves down and flap their hands when they’re happy and spend hours repeating the same word! Stimming is most often a very positive experience and one of the reasons many autistic people enjoy being autistic and wouldn’t change it for the world. This is who we are, and stimming is a really cool part of who we are, and we’d say it’s an essential part of positive representation of autistic people.

I think we covered the basics, but of course we’re here to answer any specific question about this topic or another. Happy writing!

anonymous asked:

can you be hypersensitive to heat, but hyposensitive to cold? this seems so for me but i'm not sure if it's possible.

Yes. I’m also hypersensitive to heat and hyposensitive to cold. They are two different inputs and some people in general can endure one better than the other, but it’s not uncommon for autistic people to have a “sensory hell” moment with one, the other, both, or neither.

If you’re on medications, this could also be a side effect. Antidepressants cause increased risk of overheating. But it is still very common in autistic people regardless of other possible causes.

- palp

Making ear defenders available to your autistic child

I think most people would be surprised to know that my son has some auditory sensory processing issues. I’m purposefully not specifying hypersensitivity (being more sensitive) or hyposensitivity (being less sensitive), because the same person can experience both hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity in the same sense (auditory, tactile, etc.), from day to day or even from hour to hour (or different types of input - e.g. for auditory if could he different frequencies). Back in November 2015 my son told me that “sometimes I can’t hear quiet sounds, only loud sounds and very loud sounds and sometimes it is a problem for me.” That would obviously be describing hyposensitivity - but not all the time, and yet he is also obviously hypersensitive at other times, when he has put his hands over his ears.

He doesn’t tend to show any obvious distress for people to notice, but the signs are there if you are paying attention. (Again, this is a problem with the high-functioning / low-functioning labels and illustrates the argument against using them - people would look at my son and describe him as high-functioning (friends have!) but all that really means is that his struggles are less visible, not - as people seem to think - that he has hardly any or that they are “mild” and “nearly normal”, and that therefore he doesn’t need any consideration).

I had sometimes wondered about trying getting my son a pair of ear defenders, but not being very knowledgeable about sensory processing at that time, or how it affected my son (and I wouldn’t profess to be an expert now, just better than I was!) it wasn’t something I attached much importance to, he seemed to be managing fine.

Then (this was years ago) our family went to a fireworks display at a friend’s house. One of the guest families had brought loads of ear defenders for the kids to wear (most of them very young), so that they could fully experience and enjoy the fireworks without being scared by the loud noise. My son had coped with fireworks in the past by having hands over his ears, or being inside. Now he enjoyed using ear defenders in amongst lots of other children doing the same, and it was brilliant! As the family left with all the ear defenders, I thanked the mum for bringing them, and she insisted on gifting me a pair for my son, which was such a lovely thing to do and I am so grateful for. They’re not used a lot, but when they are used they are so helpful!

Examples of when the ear defenders have benefited my son:

Fireworks night.

Vacuuming. Before I get the vacuum cleaner out I always warn my son and ask if he’d like his ear defenders - he always does, and is perfectly happy being in the same room as me vacuuming with his ear defenders on - he’s even enthusiastically joined in and helped me before :)

Extra quiet time. His ear defenders live hooked onto the side of his bed. He has occasionally worn them in bed whilst reading before going to sleep.

Supporting a friend of my son’s playing a musical instrument he was learning, by watching him perform in a mini concert. My son was perfectly happy watching with his ear defenders on.

When my daughter wanted me to take her and her friends on a shopping trip to a busy indoor shopping centre/mall on a Saturday afternoon. My husband was out for the day so I knew my son would have to come with us and it worried me. My daughter had newly started high school and made new friends so I didn’t want to have to say no to her for her first ever shopping trip - she’d organised it and it was really important to her, but my son and I would have to accompany them to each shop, mostly waiting outside. I took my son’s iPad with us, and also packed his ear defenders. I think the ear defenders were invaluable! He chose to wear them the whole time we were there, with his zip-up hoodie’s hood up over them, which concealed them a bit. Near the end, he didn’t have the hood up, and I noticed that I seemed to get a few sympathetic glances from people which I found disappointing, but I was proud of my son for feeling confident about wearing them visibly. I had expected us to have to leave before my daughter and her friends had finished shopping, but we didn’t, and I think having the ear defenders with us was a big reason for that. (My son and I also took a break in a cafe before the end, something he’d been keen to do as part of the trip, and he’d used his iPad whilst waiting for the girls to come out of shops.)

So even if you think your child is coping without ear defenders, they’re easy to obtain and not expensive, so you could give them a go. Let your child try them out, explain that people from various occupations use them in their work, for example builders on a noisy building site. It doesn’t cut out all sound, just makes it less. Make them available to your child and let them express when they want to use them, you’ll be giving them the power to make their environment more comfortable when they need to.

anonymous asked:

I have a weird question... does anyone else really enjoy "sharp" tasting things? Because I really really do, so much that I am currently drinking lemon juice (slightly diluted with apple juice) and my brother kind of thinks I'm weird but it just tastes sharp and good and I'm wondering if anyone else experiences this

I peel lemons and eat them like oranges. Basically, bitter and sour things - what we call the “sharp” tastes - are my favorite taste stims. I vastly prefer them over every other taste, and seek them out for fun.

Among my favorites: anything citrus, some types of beer, sharp cheeses, pickles, salt and vinegar chips, and fruits with balsamic vinegar.

anonymous asked:

how does it feel to have auditory processing problems? what do conversations and instructions sound like? is music soothing or painful? my character has problems with auditory processing so his speech skills are disrupted, he can only really follow one person talking to him at once, and usually wear ear protectors, is this realistic? sorry for the loaded question ;; thank you!

Hi there!

Speech that hasn’t been properly processed is often described as heard as though it was in another language. It’s not that you can’t hear it, you can hear the sounds clearly, it just… doesn’t make sense.

Auditory processing difficulties can be more or less important depending on the person, the moment, energy levels, the environment… They can range from not understanding what’s been said at all, to only understanding something very approximative (which often translates into mishearing the words as similar-sounding words, think of a game of telephone of sorts), to understanding the words correctly, but with a delay (conversations such as “could you pass me the salt please?” “what?” “I said, could-” “Oh, yeah, of course” can occur).

As I said, the environment can affect auditory processing: a noisy environment or one with many sound sources will probably be more difficult to understand speech in. Being able to only follow one person talking at once is thus definitely realistic.

I don’t know what you mean by “his speech skills are disrupted”. If your character has severe auditory processing problems, it could be that he’s nonverbal because he can’t replicate sounds he cannot understand. If he can process sounds well enough to make sense of language at least partially, I’m not sure his expressive language would be very affected. If anyone has experience with this, you’re very welcome to weigh in.

Ear protectors would help if your character has hypersensitivity to sound alongside their auditory processing problems, but I don’t think they always coexist: someone hyposensitive to sounds could also have auditory processing issues.

As for music, I’d say it must depend on the person and on the type of music. In my personal experience, I’ve never made a connection between my auditory processing issues and how I experience music, but there could be one. Once again, if followers want to weigh in, input would be appreciated.

Have a few additional suggestions: your character may need subtitles when watching videos (if he lives in a modern setting), and he might be more comfortable with nonverbal forms of communication. He may have learnt to read lips to some extent to supplement what he hears. Phone calls in particular could be very difficult for him.

-Mod Cat


With regards to music, I do find that my enjoyment is impacted by sensory processing. While I can usually enjoy music played quietly, music becomes painful when I am tired and struggle more with auditory processing. I find that music that I don’t know and music that is unpredictable becomes painful first, but even songs that I know well and enjoy become painful when I am tired. It’s almost as if I am listening to a poorly-tuned radio - I can understand if I pay very close attention, but there’s lots of static and noise in the way.

Music can also be disruptive. Your character might not be able to have a conversation if music is playing, so music would be an annoyance in lots of situations (shops and restaurants in particular). Ear protectors can help the character filter out the background noise - it physically stops them from hearing some of the background noise, so the speech isn’t competing with so many other sounds - but I am not aware of this commonly being used, at least not for much of the time.

-Mod Snail