Why?

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It's my belief that I was depressed pretty much continuously from late primary school right up until some point in my mid-to-late 20s. Anecdotal evidence (...Twitter...) suggests that this is pretty typical among late-diagnosed autistics. Don't get me wrong. Aside from occasional episodes of self-injurious stimming, I rarely self-harmed. I usually managed to get out … Continue reading Why?

Sharing: The downside to being (autistic and) “bright”

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This post resonates with me SO. MUCH.

I’ve often labelled myself as “stupid” because there have been times when there was a mismatch between my academic and intellectual ability, and my ability to “apply myself”.

Situations which puzzled me – why couldn’t I “just bloody well get on with it”?

And other situations where I was required to document “progress” towards something, which seemed pointless to me, as I’d got to the end point without having to practise or plan beforehand (I put together my entire GCSE Art portfolio, making “connections” between all the individual pieces, AFTER I’d actually produced all the artwork – listen, the art just came to me, alright?).

And situations when I come across as horribly bad-tempered and rude because I find interruptions and task-switching so damned difficult.

This post explains things so well.

the silent wave

“You’re so smart; why can’t you do this or that?”

“You could have gotten an A, if only you’d done your daily work/homework.”

“I know you’re capable.”

“You can do better.”

“You’re better than that.”

Uh, thanks?  But when people said these things, I still felt greasy and heavy inside.

Because those statements aren’t actually compliments at all.  The source-person of the comments might intend them to be, but they’re not.

That’s why I felt a little “off” about saying Thank You.  In fact, I just stared, making agonizingly uncomfortable eye contact, trying not to look “guilty” but failing, because I know that somewhere, somehow, despite my most concentrated efforts, I had screwed up.  So as the seconds slowed to a syrupy crawl, I would pull all of my internal willpower together to maintain my composure, the best I could muster being that uncontrollable sheepish guilty look, the only expression…

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Seeing ourselves

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I've recenty embarked on a professional development programme at work, which my (UK) University runs as part of the US-based National SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Project on the Inclusive Curriculum, first developed 30 years ago. I'm excited and also somewhat apprehensive about participating in this programme, and what it will entail. Certainly it'll involve a lot … Continue reading Seeing ourselves

Sharing: Autistic Confessions – I Can’t Follow (Spoken) Directions

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This is completely me, too.

Anonymously Autistic

I can’t follow verbal instructions – unless you give me each item one step at a time.

Spoken words are often misheard due to sensory issues so it is easy for me to misunderstand verbal directions.

If you start to give me a list of things to do and I can’t find a notepad I may start to panic.

If we are out in public and you tell me I need to remember to do something later – it probably won’t happen.

My working memory is not great and I have to make checklists and keep a calendar to stay organized.

If I am trying to hold information in my brain (by saying the thing over and over again in my head) and someone interrupts me mid task the information is lost forever – even if it’s something simple like a first and last name.

Typed or written instructions are…

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Sharing: Autistic Confessions I Had a Meltdown at Work

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The experience described here is pretty much EXACTLY how I have experienced meltdowns at work. I take no credit for the words written here, but I felt them important to share, and I advise others to pass this information on.

Anonymously Autistic

The woman on the phone was not listening. I had called her for help and quickly realized that she would not be able to help me.

“I told her never-mind. I’ve made a mistake. I’m going to let you go.” She kept asking questions. Every question she asked I said – “I don’t know. I don’t have any more information. I am going to let you go.”

She kept asking. I told her again – “I need to let you go. You cannot help me.” Her overly helpful insistence that I not hang up the phone was about to make me blow up.

Finally, in a harsh tone I told her – “Look – I was trying to be nice but I am hanging up now because there is NOTHING you can do for me.”

I slammed down the phone and ran quickly out of our office in a panic…

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