Also, um, this is kind of embarrassing, but I have...a lot of trouble brushing my teeth on a regular basis and always have. I never really made it a habit as a kid and can't seem to make it happen now either, and the strong minty flavor of toothpaste doesn't make it any easier (I have autism, mint causes me some sensory issues.) Do you have any tips or ideas that might help me out?
That’s alright, I used to never brush my teeth either! This blog helps motivate me; so I hope it helps you too. I made a routine out of things to do before bed, where sometime after dinner and after i shower, but before bedtime i make sure to take my meds, brush my teeth, and go to the bathroom before bed. Getting into a routine can also help you remember, if not, you could try setting notifications to remind you? I do that with my meds, because they’re really important!
As for strong minty flavors… a lot of toothpaste out there has a strong flavor so you can feel like it’s cleaning. I think I remember kids toothpaste not being as strong though?
The general complaints I’m seeing about kids toothpaste is that it’s too sweet. It comes in flavors like bubblegum and strawberry. You could try finding a flavor you like!
There’s also a toothpaste called Nihilist toothpaste which claims to have no flavor, but when researching that, it seems that it is also sweet, and tastes like vanilla frosting, according to one review.
If nothing else, you can just get your toothbrush wet and brush your teeth without paste. It’s better than nothing, though paste is what really helps scrape the plaque off.
It seems like a lot of people are under the impression that autistic people don’t like socializing because we don’t like other people as much as allistics do (hence some scientists actually trying to investigate whether autism can be “cured” with oxytocin). I don’t think that’s true for most of us, or at least it’s not because we are just inherently antisocial. I think it’s because of the expectations of how a “normal” person is supposed to be and the constant effort to fulfill those expectations.
Me, I used to love socializing as a kid. Every time I saw a new person at the playground I would try to make friends with them. And I would get upset if they didn’t want to play with me. But then as I started growing up I learned that the way I socialize is inappropriate and rude and wrong, and in fact a lot of my behaviors are wrong, and a lot of things about me are somehow unacceptable.
So I started monitoring myself and paying attention to everything I do and say. I started copying other people to seem more normal. I started stressing about being around other people cause every conversation was like an exam I didn’t know how to prepare for. And then despite my best efforts I was bullied for several years and developed social anxiety and now not only do I feel compelled to be careful about my every word and every move, I also feel incredibly anxious and stressed when I seem to do something wrong.
And as a result socializing and being around people is not an enjoyable activity anymore, but not because I don’t like people - it’s because I don’t like all the acting and thinking and effort that I have to put into it to not seem weird or rude and not to be mocked and bullied. For me going to the cinema with a friend is more like an obstacle course because I have to be on guard 100% of the time and pay close attention to everything in order to at least partially pass as neurotypical. Now around a person I trust, like a close family member, I can be myself and I don’t get as tired from socializing, or at least not more than your average allistic introvert.
So basically if you know an autistic person and it seems like they aren’t very social, that doesn’t automatically mean they don’t like people. It’s possible they like people a lot, and want to be nice, polite and be accepted, so they put a ton of effort into passing, which drains their mental energy super quickly and it makes them wanna stay home and recharge. But all you need to do to make their life easier for them in that case is to tell them you accept them the way they are and give them time to build that trust. Then they can be themselves most of the time around you, and they’ll probably hang out with you more often.
Their brains are wired differently and some things that work for them won’t work for us. There’s a chance those tips and tricks won’t do anything for you, which might make you feel like a failure. You aren’t! If something doesn’t work, move on. It’s okay.
2) If you have executive dysfunction, laziness and lack of motivation is not your problem
When you struggle with executing tasks it may feel like you are lazy and aren’t motivated enough, but that’s not necessarily true! You might be hella motivated and still not be able to do a task. Trying to motivate yourself in that case will only make you more frustrated.
3) Get distractions out of the way
Little things that would not distract a neurotypical person might distract you, in which case you won’t be able to work to your full capacity. Build a sensory friendly environment with no noises, bright lights, bad smells, etc. Use ear plugs or music if you need to. Get stim toys if you stim a lot to concentrate. Good environment is very important and is probably the reason why you struggle at school/college/uni where your senses might be overstimulated.
4) If you tend to hyperfocus, learn when it happens
Hyperfocus can be incredibly useful for studying, so if it happens to you, try to identify when it happens. For me I tend to hyperfocus when there are absolutely no distractions (for me that often means when I have headphones on and I’m alone). Then replicate those factors to get more done.
5) Learn ways around executive dysfunction and limited energy
This is the most difficult part. Studying when you have problems with executing tasks and limited spoons (energy resources) is tough. Here’s how you can deal with it.
6) Understand your priorities
You will not be able to do as much as NTs do in one day. Deal with it now. Understand that simple tasks such as brushing your teeth or talking on the phone also require energy. So prioritize. Assume you can only do one thing today, the most important/urgent one, and do that first. Then the less important thing. And so on.
7) “Don’t half-ass things” is a lie
Half-ass things. Quarter-ass things. If you can only do one math problem today, do it. That will be one less math problem later. If you can only read a few pages of a textbook today, do it. It’s also easy to think “if I can’t write the essay and finish that project today, might as well do nothing”. That’s a lie too. Do a small thing but do something. Do something badly but still do it. You might be able to fix it later. There’s no shame in being disabled, no matter what society makes you think.
8) Do the most complicated thing first
If you have several tasks and one requires more executive functioning, do that first. Your planning skills are probably at best right after you wake up, before you have time to spend any energy. So that’s the best time to do tasks with many steps or to plan tasks ahead.
9) Rest and take breaks right
It’s important to take breaks in between work, but you have to do it right. You might be tempted to do something useful for a break to be productive - like take a walk or read a book or talk to someone. Do not, or at least do not unless you are absolutely sure. Switching to another task requires mental energy, so that will only deplete your energy sources.
For breaks, do something ridiculously easy. Go on social media. Listen to a song and sing along. Watch a YouTube video. Stim. Daydream. Even lay down and close your eyes for five minutes. Just don’t switch to tasks that also require energy.
10) Don’t try to learn by repetition
Studies show that learning by repetition doesn’t work for us. It will not help you make more connections in your brain. Instead, do different tasks. Read from a book. Write down important points from the book. Read them out loud. Try to repeat them without looking. Pretend to explain it to someone. Answer questions related to the material. Draw it. Watch a video about it. Make a mnemonic for it. Whatever. Just don’t sit there reading it again and again.
11) Be kind to yourself
Your energy levels and capabilities will fluctuate from day to day, and you can’t always know how it will turn out. On some days I can write an essay from scratch in one sitting. On others I struggle to make myself a cup of tea. That’s normal, and it’s not your fault. Blaming yourself for it will only upset you and make it less likely that you do at least something today.
Imagine it like this: you are playing a game, and the difficulty setting randomly switches every day. On some days it’s on easy and you get through five levels with no problems. On some days it’s on very difficult and you can’t even get to the first checkpoint. That’s okay. Say to yourself, “my abilities haven’t changed, the difficulty changed”. Today, just get to that checkpoint. Tomorrow you might get through five levels.
12) Learn from other autistic people
For any other problem you might come across, other autistic people are the best source of knowledge. Allistic parents, teachers, friends, mentors, etc are likely to not understand your problem at all, or give you bad advice. Instead consult the real autism experts - actually autistic people. There are plenty of us who got through school, college and/or uni. Reach out to them. They will help.
For women who were prepared for a historic breakthrough – their own version of the explosion of joy at Barack Obama’s 2008 victory rally – the election returns that put Donald Trump on the precipice of victory sunk in slowly, turning joy into numbness, and numbness into anger.
Many of Hillary Clinton’s women supporters were in tears and streaming out of the Javits Center Tuesday night, expressing shock and horror at Trump’s surprise showing.
“I have children with autism. This is devastating to me,” said Linda Quintanilha, a civil rights organizer, who was sitting on the empty floor in front of the podium where she had expected to listen to Clinton deliver a rousing victory speech. “I’m scared of the fight for their dignity. My heart is telling me this is not my America.”
Among women who gathered by the thousands at the Clinton election night headquarters, and many who watched at home, there was an overwhelming sense of fear for the sexism they felt pouring in from the polls.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” said Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen, a stalwart Clinton supporter. “People hate women.”
i’ve started sometimes being honest with why i’m late for things
i’m privileged to have a job where being a few minutes late most days isn’t going to get me fired (it’s part of why i haven’t quit this job that’s killing me)
i’m most often late in the mornings because i forget how to leave the house (if you don’t know what that means i don’t know what to tell you)
also, morning’s before my meds have totally kicked in so there’s this sweet in-between time before my normal on/off attention span has been “regulated”
a few weeks ago i arrived late to a meeting at work and apologizing profusely, explaining i had been distracted by surrealist pianists;
when pressed for further information, i mumbled something about satie and realized i had left my words at home, having instead filled my brain with music
other mornings it’s because i need to know the exact reason why something is translated the way it is and that takes multiple steps and finding an online dictionary more sophisticated than my web browser’s translate feature (especially if the language(s) in questions aren’t ones i know well or at all)
those are the mornings i usually arrive at work unable to speak at all because there are too many words in my head all crawling over each other, morphemes threatening to spew out of my mouth and all over the floor
most mornings it’s music
sometimes i get so stuck listening to the same few lines on repeat, splicing songs apart to make little clips of parts i can listen to over and over
this morning i’m late because i’m stuck in my bed crying to a prayer in ladino because, despite the joyful words, those minor keys get me every time
also it takes longer to determine key signatures when you can’t hear over your own sniffling and you have to re-teach yourself music theory every. single. day.
$10 says when i get to work today only notes will leak out of my mouth, leaving me to mentally fumble around for something less melodic
people very rarely understand what i mean when i try to explain why i’m late, but i’m real bad at lying unless i really have to and by the time anyone’s figured out a question i’m already lost in translation again
so maybe what i’m saying is that i’ve accidentally figured out how to do some kind of meta tactic where i distract other people by being honest about the things that distract me
which seems hilariously fitting since yesterday i was late because i was distracted by recursion and other things that are defined relative to the things from which they come
I’m so glad my friends are so accepting of my autism
My friend told her mom my favorite foods and foods that are bad for my sensory issues so I wouldn’t have to be uncomfortable during dinner
My friend bought me limited edition shiny Pokemon figures because she “knew it would make my hands all flappy and that’s how she knows I’m happy”
My friend and me caught a meowth than proceeded to jump around and squeal with me even though she hates meowth, because she knew he’s my favorite Pokemon and she knew I’d love for her to share my excitement
My friend star gazes and researches space so I can info dump on them, because they love seeing me happy
My friends are learning sign language with me for when I go nonverbal
I wish everyone tried this hard to accept autism because every autistic person deserves to feel comfortable around their friends and not feel judged for having autism
I have autism myself, but luckily, I don't have as trouble with stuff which the not-so-lucky kids have. Autism isn't exactly a curse, but it isn't always a gift either... it's a bit similar to a birth mark. Sometimes people are fine with having one, while others don't. It depends, really.
Yeah, but better or worse, I am the person that I am because of my autism. If I were to be zapped by a wizard and turned neurotypical, my entire personality would change and I’d need to find a completely new way of being. So personally I think it’s more gift than curse.
Sans always ordered him to stop moving back when they were Underground. But when he makes it up to the Surface and his brother learned to take a chill pill?
He loves moving! His arms never felt so weightless! He likes moving his hands when he talks and it feels like he’s calm. And then he learns that his hands can communicate with sign language! He likes it! Gives him and Chara time to chat when he’s too excited to speak. It’s even better when his nervous pacing evolves into quiet strolls around the block and he can tap his fingers whenever something peaks his interests.
And even love shuffling in the same spot, hopping from one foot to another while he talking to others. Something about expelling all his energy through this is great.
He eventually has to stop moving sometimes, but by then Sans had gave him his bandana or a clicker to mess with while he’s waiting.
To the conspiracy theorists that think Stephen Hawking is some kind of body double or has been replaced over and over...shut up.
It’s all the same guy. A disabled person’s body is going to age differently than someone who is able-bodied. Especially if it’s something that affects the nerves and result in muscles becoming useless as time progresses. His lack of facial wrinkles is because of the muscles atrophying from disuse. People get botox to paralyze facial muscles, which removes wrinkles.
Stephen also went through a period of being very thin because he had a lot of trouble swallowing for awhile. He coughed up more food than he consumed. I think that was remedied with a laryngectomy some time after his tracheostomy, and it helped him swallow food safely again. After that, his thinness is more or less due to muscle atrophy as he lost more and more ability to move.
The later pictures probably aren’t in exact chronological order, but I tried to consolidate them within specific decades the best that I could. Some hints are the appearance of the speech device and later the sensor mounted on his glasses.
The tilt of his head and his overall body position has been pretty consistent throughout the years. His eyes, nose and lips are all the same shape if you look closely.
Stephen Hawking is still very much alive. He wasn’t “replaced” and he’s not some poor old man from a nursing home. He’s an actual human being living with disabilities and doing the best that he can with what he’s got.
Conspiracy theorists just can’t stand seeing a disabled person who is smarter than them. You theorists cry “fake” at anything that doesn’t fit your narrow-minded view…and you have the gall to tell reasonable people that they’re wrong? Plz get off this planet kthxbye.
I work at a movie theater and lots of customers, mostly old white men, try to mess with me. Mostly on the form of saying they get in without a ticket (which no one, not even the guy that owns the company, is allowed to do). And then when they get out their ticket, they don’t want to give it to me. Usually they hand it to me, and then pull it away when I reach for it, or wiggle it around out of my reach. One guy did a magic trick with it yesterday, which was actually amusing because I’d never seen it before, but 99% of the time it’s just extremely annoying and makes me not want to take your ticket. I have to, but I don’t want to. The “I get in free” jokes are particularly annoying because I have autism, and unexpectedly having to make a decision can make my brain stall. So if you joke about that, I’m going to stare at you for about ten seconds while my brain sorts it out, and you’re just going to have to wait. Which sucks for you, but I can also get in trouble if there’s a line. It’s a policy that there can only be lines where people are paying. Box office and concessions, a line is okay, but at tickets, it’s unacceptable.
So, memes are great, right?
I love memes as much as the next person but there’s one thing I get V E R Y M A D about that is considered a ‘meme’.
I have a autistic friend.
She does NOT act insane.
She is NOT stupid.
She makes freaking AMAZING pixel art.
She knows how to install mods to Minecraft.
She knows how to make a multiplayer server on Garry’s Mod.
She knows all the different Pokémon Types.
She’s one of the most GENEROUS people I know.
She has a great sense of humor,
Happy go lucky,
And a LOT smarter than I am.
It makes my blood BOIL to see people’s saying CRAP LIKE
'Hey, man that’s not cool, why’d you do that?!’
“I have autism, so I’m stupid. Sorry, man.”
People with autism DONT ACT CRAZY.
They learn to LIVE and COPE with it.
They are JUST AS CAPABLE as non-autistic people are.