“Pay Attention!”

Pat your head and rub your belly while talking to me and tell me if it's hard to talk. Play the drums, snare drum, bass drum, and high hat at the same time while talking to me, and tell me if it's hard to talk. Read a textbook that is very jargon-y while talking to …

Alexithymia and Interoception

Book cover with diagram on it. Title: Interoception: The Eighth Sensory System. Show a picture of human anatomy, organs, and labels to each organ, heart rate, breathing rate, nausea, social touch, sexual arousal, need for the restroom, pain, muscle tension, itch. Pointing to the brain, it is labeled anger, embarrassment, fear, happiness, excitement, and at the throat is labeled thirst. Rest of book title at the bottom: Practical solutions for improving self-regulation, self-awareness, and social understanding. Written by Kelly Mahler, MS, OTR/L, Foreword by A.D. "Bud" Craig, PhD

When I realized that wearing headphones had helped me with anxiety in multiple ways/multiple places, I tried to check in with my sensory environment at least every few hours every day. Setting a reminder might help. Here are some pragmatic things I check to determine my emotional state:

Autistic Toddlers and Parent Expectations

Two 3-year-olds standing still dressed up looking at the camera.

Parents are often given what sounds like a "devastating" diagnosis of autism for their child. Autism is not a death sentence, and doctors can't predict the future. Just because you hear that your 2 or 3-year-old is autistic, doesn't mean that they can't live a happy life.  You can be autistic and happy. It's possible.

“Theory of Mind”

Diagram of how autistic adults are viewed by family members, and how autistic adults view themselves and understand how they will be viewed by their family members, called meta-view, figure from Heasman & Gillespie (2017).

"The idea that autistic people do not have theory of mind simply because we do not access the neurotypical experience readily and are not invested in the social world is ludicrous. It is like telling a neurotypical they don't have theory of mind because they can't hear that buzzing sound next to me, move their facial muscles too much, talk too loud (why can't they tell my ears are hurting when I blink so much? a clear signal!), and don't use echolalia to communicate."

All About Auditory Sensitivity

I have never understood why wearing headphones (i.e. listening to music, assuming) is considered rude or disrespectful. I hear just as well with headphones as a non-autistic person hears without them.

Autistic Masking, Late Diagnosis, and Dissociation: The Toll It Takes on Autistic Mental Health

CW: Gaslighting, self-harm, intrusive thoughts (Long Post, Summary/Conclusion paragraph at the end) This blog post came about after having a dissociation episode after watching Westworld a few nights ago. This post has helped me realize the reason and cause of my dissociation, likely from being an undiagnosed autistic person for 25 years of my life. …

We’ll see how this goes.

I'm a late-diagnosed autistic grad student. I'm not actually sure how this whole blogging thing works but I figured I'd give it a try. Topics I'll likely be talking about - masking, sensory issues (particularly auditory sensitivity), empathy (cognitive and affective empathy), and non-autistic people's underlying subconscious social processing that creates misunderstandings of autistic body …

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