::waves:: Hello guys, Jen here. (As seen in the photo above … obviously.)
I’ve really struggled a lot with anger over such a late diagnosis (for both autism and synesthesia). I was angry for six months last year processing how much time and money I’ve spent in various therapists offices SHOUTING. AT. THE. TOP. OF. MY. LUNGS. “I am different, I am different, I am different. How am I different? Why am I different?”
I didn’t do it for attention, quite the opposite, attention takes a lot out of me.
I can “feel” attention for lack of a better word. Which as a marketer, I wonder if my approach to life has a sadomasochistic element to it.
On the bright side, it’s less frustrating attempting to find the words to describe “it” now that I know what that “it” is.
I’m autistic, and I have synesthesia.
I saw these traits in a meme yesterday in an Autism group I am a part of, and wanted to share with you guys to see if you can relate.
::clears throat:: Learning mode activated
Things We Didn’t Realize Were Autistic Traits
Not Liking To Wear Socks
Many autistic people find that wearing socks can be very uncomfortable. It can cause feelings of anxiety or stress, and can even lead to physical pain due to the sensory overload they experience. Wearing socks may also trigger a meltdown or emotional outburst if the person is feeling overwhelmed. For this reason, many autistic people opt out of wearing socks when given a choice, preferring loose clothing instead. If you are autistic and dislike wearing socks, it’s important to speak up about your preferences and prioritize your own comfort over societal expectations.
Struggles With Time Management
Many autistics often struggle with time management, especially when it comes to transitioning from one task to another. This can be due to difficulties in understanding the abstract concept of time and changes in routine. Autistic individuals may find it difficult to switch between tasks, rapidly think on their feet, or quickly adjust their plans when necessary. With this in mind, autistic people may benefit from using coping strategies such as keeping a consistent routine, breaking down big tasks into smaller ones, and setting realistic deadlines for themselves. Additionally, having a supportive environment can help autistic people thrive in spite of their difficulty with time management.
Speaking Either Too Loudly or Too Quietly
Many autistic people find it difficult to regulate their volume when speaking. They may call out too loudly in quiet environments or whisper when others are talking, leading to confusion and frustration for both parties. This can be due to sensory sensitivities or difficulty knowing how loud they should speak in different settings. For this reason, it can help for autistic individuals to practice self-awareness and try to be mindful of the volume of their own voice in various situations. Additional strategies such as using a noise cancelling headset or having a conversation with someone who is comfortable with their volume can also be helpful.
Not Realizing They Are Thirsty
Many autistic people have difficulty recognizing body signals such as thirst, hunger, or fatigue. They may find it difficult to recognize the feeling of being thirsty until it is extreme and overwhelming. This can lead to dehydration over time, which may be caused by difficulty remembering to drink water or not noticing their own level of thirst until it is too late. To prevent this from happening, autistic individuals can set reminders for themselves throughout the day to stay hydrated, pay close attention to their body’s signs of thirst, and keep track of how many glasses of water they drink each day. Taking regular breaks and listening to one’s body is key for healthy hydration.
Struggles With Replying To Messages
Many autistic people struggle with responding to messages, whether it be from family, friends, or colleagues. This can be due to difficulty processing and understanding the message content itself, or difficulty articulating their own thoughts into words. Additionally, sensory sensitivities may make the social pressure of having to reply overwhelming. For this reason, it can help for autistic individuals to take their time when responding to someone and communicate in whatever way works best for them. They may find that writing a response ahead of time or sending a voice recording instead of typing helps them more effectively share their thoughts and ideas.
Struggles With Auditory Processing
Many autistic people have difficulty understanding and processing auditory information. This often manifests as difficulty following conversations, a slow response time to verbal prompts, or feeling overwhelmed by loud noises. To make things easier, there are strategies that can help with auditory processing such as reducing background noise, using visual cues in addition to verbal ones, and giving more time to process the information before responding. Additionally, technology can be used to make conversing easier, through apps like Live Transcribe which transcribe spoken words into text. With these tools and strategies, autistic people can better navigate their daily lives with improved auditory comprehension.
Listening To The Same Song Over and Over
(Fun Fact: When my boyfriend (two boyfriends ago) broke up with me, I listened to Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera’s “Nobody Wants To Be Lonely” so many times – my then neighbor knocked on my door to do a wellness check.)
I can’t believe I used to listen to this song … moving on.
Many autistic people find solace in listening to the same song over and over. This repetitive listening helps to soothe the nervous system, providing a sense of security and comfort. Additionally, it can help with focusing on tasks and regulating emotions, allowing them to better cope with stress or sensory overload. By creating an individualized soundtrack that features favorite songs, autistic people can more easily manage their emotions and offer themselves some much-needed respite from the outside world.
Feeling Like They are Aliens (Or “Different”)
Many autistic people feel like they are different from their peers, and can struggle with developing relationships or finding acceptance. While this is a common sentiment among those on the autism spectrum, it is important to note that this feeling of separateness can be a source of strength and resilience. Autistic people often have unique perspectives and strengths that come along with their differences, and these should be celebrated rather than seen as shortcomings. By building supportive networks of family, friends, professionals, and community members, autistic people can find belonging and understanding in an otherwise challenging world.
(Fun Fact: In 8th grade, I broke my wrist in health class. IN. HEALTH. CLASS.)
Many autistic people can exhibit clumsiness, often caused by difficulty with gross motor skills. This can manifest itself in the form of tripping over objects or bumping into things, and it may lead to frequent falls or injuries. By providing an environment that is safe and predictable, and offering physical activities that promote balance and coordination, autistic individuals can work to improve their ability to move around more gracefully without fear of hurting themselves. Autistic children also benefit from parents being patient and understanding, allowing them time to practice their movements and encouraging them every step of the way …. sometimes literally.
Not Understanding Jokes
Autistic people may have difficulty understanding jokes or expressions that rely on nonverbal cues, as they often struggle with interpreting social cues and body language. This can lead to confusion and frustration for both the autistic individual and those around them. To bridge this gap, it is important to communicate clearly and directly, avoiding sarcasm and play-on words. Taking the time to explain the meaning of a joke in detail can make all the difference in allowing an autistic person to understand its humor.
Tendency To See The Smaller Details
Autistic people often have a knack for noticing and remembering intricate details, especially those related to their interests. This can be a great asset, as it allows autistic individuals to think outside the box and come up with unique solutions to problems. Furthermore, this attention to detail can be valuable in any creative pursuit, allowing them to create high-quality pieces of work that stand out from the crowd. However, focusing too much on small aspects may lead to difficulty seeing and understanding the larger context and message. For this reason, it is important for autistic people to take time away from their projects and view the bigger picture in order to gain a deeper understanding of their surroundings.
Sensitivity To Light
Autistic people may have a heightened sensitivity to light, often finding bright lights, flashing lights and computer monitors uncomfortable or even painful. This sensitivity can cause physical discomfort and distraction while trying to focus on tasks that require the use of such technology. It is important to recognize when this is happening and offer extra support and accommodations such as using dimmer lighting or wearing special glasses to reduce glare. Autistic individuals should also be encouraged to take breaks throughout the day for rest and relaxation in order to manage any discomfort caused by their heightened sensitivity.
Always Needing A Plan
Autistic people often have difficulty with planning and can benefit from having a routine or ritual to help them cope with feelings of stress. Routines and schedules are important for autistic children as they provide structure, reduce anxiety, and help them to plan what needs to be done in the right order. High-functioning autism can present additional challenges such as sensory issues, social awkwardness, anxiety and depression, executive planning problems and emotional regulation difficulties. Obsessive behavior, routines and rituals can help autistic people manage these difficulties by providing comfort and reducing uncertainty in their daily lives.
Walking On Tip Toes
Autistic people may have a higher tendency to walk on their toes or tip-toe, and this is known as toe-walking. Toe-walking can be caused by a number of factors such as muscular tightness in the lower legs, improper foot support, sensory issues in the feet, and anxiety.
Increased/ Decreased Pain Sensitivity
Autistic people can have an increased or decreased sensitivity to pain, which is known as hyperalgesia or hypoalgesia. Autistic children may find it difficult to express their pain accurately and this can lead to misdiagnoses or inadequate treatment of the issue. Pain thresholds can also be different for autistic people than for neurotypical individuals, so what may cause moderate discomfort in one person might be excruciating in another.
Being Avoidant To Demands
Autistic people may have difficulty completing tasks that involve demands or expectations, such as deadlines or complex instructions. This avoidance can be caused by anxiety and a fear of failure, or simply because the task is seen as too difficult. However, this avoidance behavior can lead to further problems such as missed opportunities, frustration and problems negotiating with authority figures. Autistic people may need to develop coping strategies in order to complete these tasks without becoming overwhelmed or frustrated.
Autistic people often have an aversion to touch, which can manifest in different ways. Some may feel uncomfortable when touched, or may find certain types of touch distressing. They may also be sensitive to tactile stimuli, such as fabrics or certain textures, which can cause anxiety and physical discomfort. It is important for family and friends to be aware of this issue and respect the individual’s boundaries regarding touch.
Feeling Constantly Exhausted
Autistic people often experience a chronic sense of exhaustion. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including difficulty coping with stress, meltdowns or sensory overload, or simply struggling to complete day-to-day tasks. For some autistic people, this exhaustion can become overwhelming and lead to feelings of depression or frustration. In order to combat this exhaustion, it is important for autistic people to create a daily routine that avoids overstimulation and incorporates periods of rest and relaxation. Creating a self-care plan that includes regular exercise, nutritious meals and activities that provide enjoyment can help autistic people manage their fatigue in the long run.
Autistic people often enjoy repeating activities, conversations and routines. Repetitive behaviors such as rocking, spinning and hand-flapping can bring comfort and help with stress relief. This is especially true when transitioning between tasks or during times of frustration or anxiety. Repetition can also help stimulate the mind, resulting in concentration and improved focus. Autistic people may find it beneficial to incorporate familiar activities into their daily routine in order to reduce stress levels and improve mental wellbeing.
Struggling With Crowds
Autistic people often struggle with crowded or noisy environments. This can be caused by struggling to filter out environmental stimuli and overwhelming sensory input, which can lead to extreme discomfort and even panic. For some autistic people, this makes it difficult to navigate social situations such as large gatherings or busy places like shopping malls. Because of this, it is important for autistic people to learn coping strategies for these types of situations in order to mitigate feelings of anxiety and stress.
The more that we can all learn from each other, the more “normal” being neurodivergent will be. Feel free to drop me a note on the Gram if you agree!! Or if you just want to make it weird in my DMs. Either or is acceptable.
Much love!! xx