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

On the side line 

Hey readers,

When I was a child I did this thing called masking, aka faking it and what this means is that I learnt the behaviour of others. The problem being is that if something changes that I can mess up badly because I can’t be flexible with my thinking. That is the one of the characteristics of autism is we manage change and see things  black or white especially when it comes to learn.

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I think it’s really hard being an autistic girl growing up because there is so much more pressure to be sociable then a boy. That all the boys got away with not getting noticed there for less social pressure. I used to absolutely hate being a girl because of this reason and I thought boys had it a lot easier or more relaxed attitude with regards to social and communication which suited me perfectly.

Now that I’m an adult I find it a bit more easier because I have more experience and knowledge but I still frequently mess up. If I am feeling anxious or if there is too much going on in my head can’t seem to focus on the rules. There are times when stressful factors cause me more brain power than normal and it is like I regress in my behaviour. That is why it’s so hard to measure autism, as it is not something that you can say x y and z it’s constantly shifting depending on the environment and mindset of that individual.

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Since being a parent I have learnt that there are so many other social rules involved when bringing up a child.

I first it’s lovely when my children where new born as there is less pressure on me to be sociable but since my child has started school last year I noticed that there’s a hell of a lot more interaction going on.

Me being an autistic parent does affects my self esteem. A lot of the time I feel inadequate,  especially as my husband is very good at communicating and engaging with others. It leaves me feeling really angry and frustrated. I know comparing is the worst thing to do but it coincides with me learning of other people.

I think  one of the hardest and upsetting things is when  people don’t see you as an individual but some sort of invalid because you’re autistic. They don’t look past the label or they do but then they just talk down to you in a condescending way. The thing is I am aware exactly what is happening, I just I don’t have the skills to communicate and express myself as clearly as other people do.

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It has really made me feel quite low at times because I feel like I can’t give my child everything that a typical parent has to offer. I suppose that is why I enjoy the school holidays more because I don’t have to worry about the social things. The only downside is that when I return I have to deal with the social side of education and what not.I feel rubbish and I have felt very very low causing me to struggle to get up in the mornings. I have also learnt to avoid situations and tend to get my husband to do them tasks because it’s too upsetting at times to have to face the discrimination against me. I think that’s one of the saddest things about being an autistic parent is the fact that you deal with a lot of rejection or misunderstanding. I like my voice isn’t heard and again that familiar Outcast feeling appears.

Cheers for reading X

Autistic Feet

Hey readers,

My feet hurt today as a result of over using them yesterday. I know so what?! Here is the think why I am talking about my feet is the fact I am autistic you see and my feet posture is not very good. I have always had problems with standing and the way I coordinate my feet.

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I am so clumsy as well when I walk, I am guaranteed to trip up even if there is nothing there. The amount of bashing my toes into stuff and cursing under my breathe is unreal. My husband affectionately finds it funny.

I also shuffle my feet, especially when I am stressed. I am constantly getting told stop shuffling your feet like I am some kind of child.

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You don’t realise how hard it is to put one foot in front of the other. It can be really challenging. I never really thought about my physical problems when I was younger and now as an autistic adult I am still learning.

It is my arms I struggle with – not really knowing what to do with them when I walk, I find them painful and just frustrating. It is like I have to train my mind to swing my arms when I walk. It is so difficult as I am rubbish at doing two tasks at the same time.

One of the major problems that I struggle with as an autistic person is using my spacial awareness skills and navigating around objects and people. I am not good at forward planning especially in a busy place where I am over stimulated with the sensory information. Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed that I need to sit down and take a moment to take a break because of how mentally exhausting it is.

If I don’t think about my walking and focus on it, I really struggle with bumping into things or trip up.

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We as a human are meant to learn this skill at an early age and it to be developed. Therefore not having to think about it as it is a long term in implicit memory. It is wired in the brain so you don’t have to think about it, it is second nature.  Being an autistic person we miss out on this opportunity and I do wonder before language evolved how many humans died due to lack of ‘natural’ skills due to having a different way of thinking.

So, therefore if you do wonder why do us autistic people get SO tired this is a little insight, because we have to constantly work our asses of and remembering all these ‘natural’ rules that people take for granted.

Cheers for reading X

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