Regression in adult autism

Hey readers,

Now that I am an adult with autism I have learnt so much more about me and autism. One of the things that I have noticed is that at times of my life I have regressed.

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Now, when I am talking about regression and autism this is not when a child is 19 months but actually the accuracy of regression during any time of a person’s life. I myself feel that I have regressed several periods of my life. The same can be said about when I progress.

I believe that with autism as a disorder on a spectrum it is fluid and constantly shifting with the times. Hence why it is hard to fill out forms when asked for what my life is like with autism on a day to day basis. Let’s face if you know someone with autism it changes depending on what is happening in that person’s life.

An example of my regression going through changes whilst at the university from year one to year two caused me great distress. I had less support, less communication with lecturers and that caused great stress. I struggled with interpreting instructions especially when they were assignments when I had to be creative and think outside the box. One assignment involved in coming up with an adult that hasn’t been thought of before. Now, this is hard because this was a mandatory module whereby I had to do the subject even though I wasn’t that interested in.

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If you don’t know already I am a black and white thinker. When I do something that motivates me I get full on obsessive or in contrast demotivated and not bothered at all. The changes and dealing with university life causes me at the end of the year to result in me wanting to kill myself basically. I fell into clinical depression, my partner had to supervise me because I could not do anything by myself as I was that depressed.

Other times I have smaller regressions, if I do not go into town for a while I literally get sensory overload, All the scripts I have performed and rehearsed I forget. All the social rules have got muddled up and I really struggle. Dare I say it I feel more autistic on these days. It is like I have to keep on top and be aware most of the time or I fall backwards. It is exhausting and at times I have just stayed at home for days and not go out, feeding more on my regression.

Other times I can move forward and progress if I keep working at it. The one blocker that stops me is burnout when I am so exhausted from trying and working at it for long periods of time that I simply need to stop and shut down. My brain has had enough of all this information, it want’s a breather and time to just be.

I have only recently learnt that one of the reasons I get so exhausted if I am in a social environment is because I am on hyperfocus, my brain is on alert all the time, anxiety high and I am just not relaxed. Naturally, my body is just going to say stop and need a break to relax.

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So, as you can see regression can be short or long term but autism is constantly shifting between progress and regress.

Cheers for reading X

The struggle is within

Hey readers,

I don’t often discuss my parenting issues in relation to my autism, mainly because I am embarrassed and quite frankly ashamed.

I am going to be straight up and honest and say that I struggle with this parenting thing. Let’s be more specific as I am aware that actually, I am good at some bits. Depression would argue but that it is the truth. However, the one area I do struggle with is mainly with my 4 years old and trying to entertain him for long periods. I feel guilty if I can’t entertain him but stuck in a dilemma where I can’t concentrate on people for long periods of time, it totally exhausted me. I am also an introvert so therefore need time alone to energise me, I find interacting exhausting as a lot of the time I am thinking beforehand about how to communicate. The times when I am not thinking are when I am being impulsive due to anxiety therefore not censoring and not always saying the right. Not really rude, just random and repetitive. Kinda overlaps with ADHD/OCD traits I have learnt. I don’t have ADHD but with Aspergers there many overlapping traits from other conditions that are apparent. I digress (a major trait of mine right there).

I find it hard to entertain as there are many thought processes that occur and that is tiring. 9 times out of 10 after ten minutes of play I am exhausted mentally. I need to do nothing and shut down as I have used all my energy up focusing on that one action that takes many different social rules.

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I think one area that is really tough for like me as an autistic living in a technological world (though most of the time it is the dream) I do get sucked into the whole idea of perfect parenting with this idea that you have to entertain your children all the time.

I am one of the few or many not many other autistic people have spoken out in actually I do care what people think and I am very aware of me. I am not dissing autistic people that don’t give a dame, in actual fact, I admire you and wish I was bloody like that, hell it would so liberating. But I have not reached that acceptance of me.

I wish I could just be laid back, but it seems I am a worrier and feel that because I am an autistic parent I need to make up for my inadequacies.

Cheers for reading X

 

Maybe

Hey readers,

I have Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism (though to me it is not mild and it is present every day in my life).

Though there are so many areas to discuss autism today I am going focus on one thing that affects me and causes great distress at the moment. That is the word ‘maybe’, which by the way I hate it and I hate it in relation to a response to a question. It is covered in grey and makes me stressed, especially when it is a response to a question which I want a definite answer (which 90% of the time).

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You see as an autistic person I like control, I like to know what is happening. I love routine it comforts me. Sometimes I admit I get too rigid that I get struck and obsessive making my health deteriorate. One of the reasons is because I like black and white, I don’t like the murky waters of the unknown. I never have, I feel it is innate and my body responds instantly. I can remember as a young child-hating change and uncertainty. I had carers who seemed unpredictable which is not great if you have an autistic mind like myself you get very confused as to what is happening.  I was on edge not knowing how someone would respond. I had night terrors because of the fear. That is just one example.

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Maybe I will, maybe I won’t? but why can’t I have a yes or a no? Often, I didn’t care either way, I was more focused on the answer to be certain. I don’t like guessing games, I like certainty.

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I don’t know really what is the point to the point of this post, I just wanted to get it off my chest because right now I am dealing with maybe which quite frankly is most infuriating.

cheers for reading X

Hair pulling and autism

Hey readers,

One of my problems due to my depression and autism is that I can pull my hair out. I link it to sensory purposes as sometimes I am so numb that I want to feel something or hurt myself. I have been knowing to pull and yank my hair when I am very distressed. I have ripped out clumps of hair when I am going through a meltdown or when I am really angry because I don’t always have the communication skills to express myself. Sometimes, I feel that I need to punish myself because I am not a good parent. I hate myself and worry that I am royally screwing up my children because I have a disability and can not always give the opportunities that other parents can give to their children.

I know it is not the ‘normal’ way to self-harm that has been popularised over the years. I get so frustrated and hurt myself due to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy due to my autism.  I know this is a sad state of affairs but it is true.

I have always struggled with my autism probably because of past responses of parent/carer when I was younger of not being good enough or the adult of my care being in denial and rejecting my diagnosis. Even to this day I still battle with the thoughts frequently.

I have discussed in a vlog before about skin picking but I haven’t mentioned hair pulling because I was in a bit of denial. I feel through the autism community is good online in accepting and promoting praise for the disability. I feel that if you were to pipe up and say actually sometimes I don’t like being autistic, that you might get abuse and people won’t like you. I guess I am not yet that strong to always speak out and be honest about how I am feeling. I think it is something with time and with my confidence in blogging writing it will come out.

Maybe one day I may get so bad that I need to look at treatment to sort out my hair. One way could be a hair transplant. look into hair transplant cost

Cheers for reading X

Techniques to help reduce anxiety in autism.

Hey readers,

I have autism and what accompanies that is anxiety. I don’t think you can permanently get rid of it, sadly it interlinks with the condition. That being said you can help reduce the anxiety with finding ways that can help minimise the anxiety.

One of the things that I really struggle with my anxiety is really badly shaking especially with my hands, they literally cannot stop moving, it is normally triggered in social situations and it is hard to hold a cup – and yes I have dropped a fair few in my time.

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Therefore, I have spent many a time working ways to reduce shaking hands because it really annoys me because it is just so frustrating and embarrassing for me.

The first technique to help reduce shaky hands is to focus on my breathing, keeping my attention on the basic principles with breathing in and out. Making sure I am aware of my lungs up and down and making sure that all the thoughts are put aside, even if it is just constantly reminding myself focus on the breathing. At first, it is really hard because it is training your brain to think different but keeps at it and it will get easier with practice and time. However, it is a great tool as it gives you time to slow down with your thoughts and think about breathing. This in turns slows down the fight or flight response.

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If it involves waiting around having some distraction techniques weather be writing poetry or colouring helps stop me from thinking about the anxiety and feeding into it.

Reducing caffeine can help, as caffeine is a stimulant and can cause an increase in an anxiety and heart racing.

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Hand stretching has helped with trying to reduce the amount of adrenaline in my hand. Stretching out the fingers and pushing all my energy out. I focus on each finger at a time and notice the reactions that are occurring when doing it. This exercise can help once again in slowing down the anxiety and focusing on something other than the intrusive thoughts.

Is there anything that has helped you with anxiety, I would love to hear your thoughts?

Cheers for reading X

Blog Therapy 

Hey readers,

Some days are really crap, you wonder how you are going to get through them especially when it is only 9:30 on the morning.

I am so tearful because I have reduced one set of medication. I know it is only a side effect and will be worth the pain in the long run. But right now it is a struggle especially when I am so needed during the summer holiday.

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I am not very good when people demand me for long periods of time.  For me being autistic it is mentally draining and a real battle. I need to switch off and sometimes I just need escape to my bedroom for some peace for five.

I feel a bit suffocated as well being in a flat and the weather being rubbish. I just haven’t got the motivation to anything when I am so tired.

suffocated

I feel so guilty for feeling tired when I should be on the ball but sometimes I question My ability to parent such as today. I know this is just short lived and because I am frustrated, that being said I have to battle with this thoughts.

I feel pulled into two ways to right my personal feelings as one side of me thinks I am being silly. The other side feels it is cathartic and may help someone.

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It is amazing how powerful words on and just writing down your thoughts can really help even if there is no solution. It is a bit like therapy and that is one of the reasons why I love to blog. As in real life I am rubbish at expressing myself to others. Words seem to get mangled up and I stutter and shut down. Again this is influenced by my autism.

So, that is why I turn to my blog as a place of comfort and release of emotions. I don’t feel judged and it is a place where I can freely right without having to worry about all the other social aspects involved when speaking verbally.

Cheers for reading X