Category Archives: Autism and ADHD

Reporting from the trenches of Autism & ADHD: Experiences, Tips, Strategies, Background stories

Facial blindness

Blank faceI’m suffering from a mild form of facial blindness. I’ve understood some Aspies does, but I also think some of the cases are linked to my ADHD.

My case is not as bad that I can’t figure out who killed who in a movie, but there are cases where I’m drawing a complete blank on a person’s face.

Continue reading Facial blindness

Science and facts

microscopeEven though I like to talk about my own experiences and discuss things from a personal perspective, I also want the scientific side of things.

For me scientific means things that has been peer reviewed and conclusions from experiments where I can study the method and figure out if there was any problems with the experiment.

I’ve come up with this category to keep my personal view and the more scientific discussion separated.

As of right now, the scientific outlook is a bit bleak… there are no posts yet… part from this post.

Crayfish – no thanks!

Crayfish ... or what's left of them after they've been chomped on by a Swede!
Crayfish … or what’s left of them after they’ve been chomped on by a Swede!

So, we have this tradition in Sweden. We eat crayfish… yeah to whomever, non-swede out there that knows what animal I’m talking about, this is like eating locust… Hey, wait… just look at the image… those are the … remnants of the sweeties we like to crunch down on…

Aliens! You have no chance in Sweden! We’ll eat you in August! šŸ˜€

Continue reading Crayfish – no thanks!

The man who can keep a secret may be wise…

“The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep.”

/Edgar Watson Howe

Fingers_Crossed_by_SouthwestI love this quote because it tells me honesty is the best way to go.

Of course, there is such a thing as too much honesty. When being honest it’s important to take political correctness into consideration, keeping from telling a good friend or family member exactly what you think in situations that don’t matter… on the other hand, if someone is doing something really dumb, it may still be necessary to tell them so, in a diplomatic way.

Continue reading The man who can keep a secret may be wise…

Aspies have to think, all the time…

I feel I have to spend so much time thinking in social situations (and many others). Is there a reason why Aspies have to think all the time? Perhaps even an evolutionary one?

I had a really interesting thought a couple of weeks ago: Whenever I’m in a social situation I always have to “figure things out”. I have to think, analyze and make almost calculated guesses about what’s going on – and I still fail to catch some things anyway (and I actually hate guessing as well). As far as I have understood, when you are an NT (Neurotypical – normal, I think I have used and explained that term before…) you don’t have to analyze and intellectualize so much, you just “have a feeling” and go on your “gut instincts”.

Continue reading Aspies have to think, all the time…

Pieces of the Asperger puzzle

Pieces of a Puzzle.
photo by INTVGene on Flickr

When I look at people I believe I can see a bit of both Asperger and ADHD in almost everyone. Persons that talk a bit too much, or take a bit too long to solve a problem, or gets stunned by things happening too fast around them. But they don’t seem to have this so much that they have a real problem. It just seems like it’s part of their personal makeup or something they do like an Aspie or a person with ADHD (a Dampie?), they just don’t do it so much it becomes a problem.

Continue reading Pieces of the Asperger puzzle

Mindfulness at the dentists and other “problematic” places

I had a dentists appointment this morning, and I thought it would be a nice place to try some mindfulness.

I figure you’ve basically two main strategies here. Either use mindfulness to distract yourself by focusing on some place other than your teeth (e.g. Your feet), or focus on what’s happening with your teeth here and now.

I should mention that there was no drilling involved in this visit, but I usually has a lot of tartar that needs to be scraped off, and I have very sensitive dental necks, so it’s usually not a walk in the park.

I started to focus on what the dentist (or actually hygienist) was doing with my teeth, and I very quickly noticed that it seemed to hurt more if I lost that focus. When I really experienced the things she did to the teeth with a kind of curious interest the pain became much more tolerable.

I think for two reasons: I was really there, feeling what was happening, not what I anticipated would happen, and I accepted what was happening – it was almost as if I was involved in the actual “poking around.”

So, the link to Asperger and ADHD?

Some experiences and situations might feel a bit like a dental exam to an aspie, and if using mindfulness on those situations, I think they would become much more tolerable..

Mindfulness and morning sleepiness

I’ve started a treatment (for Asperger Syndrom, and it’s actually experimental, but I am pretty sure this one’s here to stay), consisting of CBT and mindfulness (I’ll try to write more about this), and using the mindfulness I had a revelation (almost in the literal sense) this morning about my morning sleepiness.

When I wake up I am almost always “hammered” (no not drunk, but it’s not far from it). Sometimes I am so “heavy” in the body I can hardly walk straight, and I am so light sensitive even a candle makes me whine and want to hide under the cover again.

This morning, like many others, I was sitting at the toilet, almost falling back to sleep, knuckles on the floor, chin on the bathroom sink, eyes crossed. And just for the fun of it, or if it was a newly acquired instinct or what it was, I said to myself: “I feel tired…”

For those who have no idea what mindfulness is, in short it’s about learning to observe your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations from a distance, going from letting them define who you are to viewing them as separate entities in your mind. That is, going from “I AM tired” to “I FEEL tried”.

What happened this morning was pretty amazing. Imagine a bridge (like one of those you see in an Indiana Jones movie) breaking in two and collapsing. That was what happened to my tiredness. It just fell off.

I was amazed and shocked, but it made me think.

My conclusion, so far, is that I’m heavy in the body from residual sleep paralysis (what keeps us from rolling out of bed when we sleep, or perhaps more evolutionary correctly, falling out of the tree ;o) and I am light sensitive, well because I’ve had my eyes closed for several hours. However, the tiredness is something I’ve probably learned to associate with these two feelings. It may be a made up feeling …

Sure, I am probably tired some mornings, I’ve almost fallen asleep more than once although I’ve already left bed, but I suspect that might also be a bi-product of me being heavy in the body. I mean, after all, most people doesn’t faint from tiredness, they go to bed and fall asleep long before they do that, a little like eating before you get hit by “hunger panic”… kind of.

Well, knowing that I might have to deal with being heavy in the body and light sensitive in the morning instead of just being tired might help a lot when it comes to getting up (and avoid snoozing, did I mention: I’m a snoozer! :o)

Update: well, I’ve actually had mornings where I was really tired, and didn’t had the above effect, so… I guess the situation is that I can use mindfulness to lessen the effect of being tired, but what I really should have done is using it to get into bed at a good time the night before… (in spite of any thoughts about how hard it will be to fall asleep or how meaningless it is, or how strange – I mean, sleep: you lose consciousness for 6+ hours, hallucinate wildly and wake up with more or less, total amnesia…)

Living in the Moment…

I remember a forum discussion where an Aspie was talking about his problems when living in the moment. Someone else commented that living in the moment sounded like a great idea and they wished they could do the same.

Yeah, haven’t we seen the movie/read the book and envied that wonderfully crazy guy that was living in the moment, improvising his whole life and just having a laugh all day, not a worry in sight?

I used to live in the moment, sometimes I still do, and I’m working hard not to.

You might ask why on earth I would go and do such a thing, aren’t living in the now supposed to be fun?

Continue reading Living in the Moment…

I hear what you’re saying!

This Tuesday I participated in an education for health professionals. I was actually being a “test subject” for a diagnostic test for Asperger Syndrome, the professionals were learning to use. They were watching over a CCTV when I took the test. And, even though I went on with my life after the test was done (yay, work) I am sure they discussed it as well.

The test was pretty different from the Asperger test I took when I got my diagnosis. More of an interview than a test, actually.

Continue reading I hear what you’re saying!