459: Aspergers: The Marathon

Sometimes I forget the complexities of my own Aspergers. I forget how much goes on underneath the obvious and observed. I forget the complexities and complications. Forget that just to navigate a single day is to run a marathon.

Here is a list of significant challenges associated with individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome. (This is based on my experience with myself and son; as is the case with all people, we are each unique, and experiences differ.)

Completely confused by small changes to a familiar situation or environment

Feels threatened by hugs

Overwhelmed by bright colors

Frightened by loud noises

Voices can be painful

Capacity to hear may be better than to see

Lethargic and tire easily, moving from one position to another requires a great deal of energy

Poor sense of self, of body in space, and underestimate how to safely move and navigate environment

Will stick to strict routines and avoid playing with others

Aversions and oversensitivity to certain texture, sounds, colors, people, scents, tastes

Oversensitive to bright lights and sounds, like the humming of the fridge, certain light bulbs, and electric currents that other people may not notice

Difficulty sitting still and getting comfortable

Low tolerance for constant repeated noise or loud noise

Overwhelmed around a lot of people, especially new people

Unable to focus when distracted with visuals, such as clutter of pictures on a work page and/or decoration in a room

May do the following to avoid performing a task or listening: throw a tantrum, refuse with defiance, hide from the situation (under jacket hood, beneath a desk), complain of fatigue, make a rude comment

Short attention span

Difficult maintaining balanced level of emotional arousal, either too low or too high

Impulsive behavior is often a result of a perception of someone’s high-expectations

Doesn’t anticipate the consequence of her actions

Multi-tasking is overwhelming

Weak visual-spatial planning, e.g. bump into walls, objects, and other people

Mentally cannot organize new situations and becomes frightened

Hard to perceive problems

Meltdowns/Tantrums from sensory overload

Constant insecurity about what possibly might happen and how others may or may not behave

Uncertain how to behave in new situations

High anxiety

Risk of self-injury and depression

Feels under pressure to perform and behave

Doesn’t anticipate the consequences of her actions

Every day experiences seem random and unpredictable

Can be violent towards others emotionally or physically, and not perceive own behavior or strength

Difficult judging appropriate behavior

May take risks without knowing how to evaluate danger of the situation

Fears and phobias

Obsessive thoughts

Can have internal pressure to escape a given situation, but lacks the ability to formulate a plan to relieve pressure (no escape route)

Irritated by sensations on skin, such as itchy scalp and arms

Makes repetitive noises, e.g. a vocal sound, tapping, scraping, nail clicking

Bores easily

Doesn’t understand why she is bored by interests others find intriguing, such as common structured play

Sensitive to sensations, such as hunger, a full bladder, dry skin, taste in mouth

Frustrated by inability to perform a given task and/or excel

Preoccupied with details

Meltdowns and outbursts

Over-stimulation

Feelings of insecurity, anxiety and fear

Feelings may be manifested in physical ailments and actual body pain

Overwhelmed

Difficulty grasping humor and seeing the a different perspective or point of view

May choose one word from a discussion and base his/her individual response on the one identified element, instead of the main point of topic

Focuses on the details of one specific part of conversation, over and over, in the mind

Verbal impulsivity and nervousness, as well as a need to fit in, may lead to interruptions, babbling and hurried speech

Lacks ability some times to determine appropriate moment for closure during conversing, and instead speaks incessantly

May recognize he is talking too much but cannot stop his impulsivity to continue to talk

Grooming and hygiene issues, as well as difficulty evaluating own appearance, presentation and attire

Gullible, unable to always understand the punch line of a joke or hidden meaning of a statement, and easily persuaded by others

Difficulty with nonverbal body language, inappropriate body proximity and facial expression

Fluctuating tone, rhythm, volume, and pitch of voice

Timing of speech and delivery varies

Short attention span

Prefers familiarity in people and surroundings

Difficulty recognizing what behavior is expected in a new situation or event when compared to another past experience—may run, scream, jump instead of sitting

Nervous habits and repetitive behavior

mar

After two days of high-functioning behavior, aka navigating the social arena, I shall be in bed hugging my Mac laptop.

(Much of this article was taken from a past list I compiled, which has strategies for helping children in the educational environment. The link is Working with Children.)

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9 thoughts on “459: Aspergers: The Marathon

  1. Thank you. Well said. Everyday, it’s an interesting (and sometimes fun!) game of “Run Yourself Ragged.” 🙂 Btw, your recent pic is lovely!

  2. I bawled reading this! I needed this confirmation because I forget too. Thanks for reminding me that even though its hard I’m not alone and to maybe not feel guilty for days in bed hugging my laptop too;)
    Wishing you blessings and a merry Christmas season!

  3. It’s true, and every day! AND every day I FORGET and feel weird. I’m going to have to make a really big crib note of this on my hand so I will remember.

  4. Ps. Have you read the book Why smart people hurt? A friend gave it to me and I have benefited from some of the concepts. You may appreciate it too;)

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