Category Archives: Autism and ADHD

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

Focus Cards: How to keep focus

Focus Cards can be used by people with high level of distraction and bad short term memory to quickly regain focus when they get distracted.

The problem

Since I’m a person with a pretty bad short term memory (due to Asperger, I think), and are pretty good at getting distracted (mostly due to ADHD), I’ve found, that part from my to-do-lists (in GTD-style), I need something to keep me focused while I am working on a task.

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Cocktail Parxshrorichhheeeeiii – Or, what did you say?

Cocktails_mit_Schirmchen_300Something very strange is going on when I hear several people talk at the same time.

I think the best way to describe it would be to say that I get a few milliseconds of one conversation, then a few of the other, and then back to the first. It becomes a completely unintelligible noise. I don’t hear words… I guess doing it with text would be like:

John (whom I am talking to) and Peter (who’s talking to Bob on the other side of the 2×2-table island) at the same time: sdoi dwhyaotu’sk ntohwe tvheerysihoanv?e a new web site?

Me: what did you say?

John, a bit impatient, apparently not having any problem whatsoever that Peter and Bob are talking at the same time we are: what’s the version?

I’ve tested my hearing – it was perfect. Or at least good enough not to warrant any form of action.

My problem isn’t my hearing. I just can’t separate people’s voices.

At a cocktail party, this becomes an explosive and rather fantastic wall of incoherent sounds… almost like music.

That’s all fine, but when someone tries to talk to me… I am not able to say more than, “aha”, “okay” etc – I have no clue what they are talking about… I guess lip reading would be a way to go.

It does take small talk to a completely new level, though.

I hear everything the guys in the other end of the room are saying…

listeningBefore I started medicating my ADHD I was unable to work or concentrate with other people around unless I wore headphones. The problem was two fold. I was unable to filter out sounds in my surrounding, and I kept wanting to answer people’s questions, even if they were having a conversation in the other end of the room.

The first one was a problem for me which I solved with an iPod before I started medicating. After that, I was soon able to get work done even without my iPod.

Continue reading I hear everything the guys in the other end of the room are saying…

Getting Organized

If you are an Aspie you probably have a lot of things. Old stuff you cannot throw away.

Perhaps you collect things? I’ve heard examples of anything and everything from model airplanes, to plastic buckets, to rubber boots, to pictures of horses. Aspies seem to have the collector gene in spades!

As a consequence, you probably have a rather messy home. I know I used to. I had piles of things covering the floor, only leaving small “paths” snaking through the mess and connecting my bed, my computer, the kitchen and the hallway.

Given that an Aspie can get rather stressed out by a too cluttered surrounding or by not being able to find stuff, this is usually a problem that needs to be solved.

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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.

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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! 😀

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.

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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”.

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