Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

The sensory and emotional issues around asperger's

with 12 comments

I want to describe a bit more what it’s like to have asperger’s syndrome.

It’s not much fun having the sensory amplification of autism, particularly when it’s severe. It’s sort of like having a permanent migraine or a hangover. When you see autistic kids who won’t take their fingers out of their ears, it’s because everything is so loud to them that it’s actually painful. Children who bang their heads will sometimes voice that they were in so much pain the only thing that helped was hitting a wall.

The most inaccurate description of autism’s sensory disturbance I’ve heard was from that silly GAPS diet ‘doctor’. She described autistic’s brains as being ‘clogged with toxicity’ and ‘all this sensory information cannot be processed properly, it turns into a noise, a mush’.

There is nothing mush-like about it. It’s just someone turned the volume knob all the way up.

I’m sensitive to light. I always squint on sunny days. Bright lights hurt my eyes. I hate fluorescents. I don’t like dark either, and often switch on bulbs on a grey day just to cheer the place up a bit. Strobe lights and flashing lights bother me. Imagine if you had a hangover or a migraine, wouldn’t those things bother you too?

Loud noises make me yelp in pain. Quiet noises are highly irritating. I am like Captain Hook, I can’t stand ticking clocks. The high pitched whine of electronic equipment drives me crazy. On the plus side, I can tell from across the other side of the house if someone is raiding the snack cupboard or the dog is up to mischief. I even know what the dog is doing – if he’s quietly tossing socks in the air or having a sneaky gnaw of his bed, I can tell. I have a perfect ear, so I could have made a good musician. However, because I don’t exercise my vocal chords by making conversation, I wouldn’t dream of singing in public. Unlike most of the applicants to the X-Factor, I can hear the bum notes I make when my vocal chords misbehave!

You can learn to filter out noise as long as it’s not above a certain level. I’m often in that state, switched off to TV or radio noise. Some noises I can’t filter out. Music is a problem for me. I can’t work and listen to music, because the music takes over my brain. I do very badly in nightclubs and always have. As a teenager I used to put my fingers in my ears on the dance floor and get laughed at because of it (‘you geek’). I often found some quiet corner to go sit in if I could. I’d close my eyes and think ‘please let this be over soon’. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a nightclub and not thought at some point in the evening ‘please let this be over’ because of the noise and stress of people. I tend to zone out and start acting weird or sulking, because the music overwhelms me and interferes with my ability to think.

I have problems distinguishing voices from background noise, and it is normal for me to be unable to follow a conversation in a busy pub. I tend to smile and nod and hope people don’t ask me questions. I also have problems with accents or with people I haven’t met before. I often mishear things, usually if I am doorstepped, or I am talking to a checkout assistant. Sometimes someone can say something, and it sounds like gibberish. Usually my brain forms it into words that weren’t said and don’t make sense. I’ve described this as ‘aural dyslexia’ before, a term arrived at independently by many with asperger’s syndrome to describe what they experience. The official name for this is CAPD, Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

The sensation of drunkenness does not make me feel relaxed and carefree, unless I am so drunk I am about to fall over. Drinking brings on a variety of unpleasant physical sensations, including nausea, after around two or three units of alcohol. I experience a feeling of dislocation from reality, everything gets louder, which contributes to the inability to understand conversation. Various of my body parts begin to ache or hurt. My legs start to feel like lead and I become incredibly fatigued and whiny. This doesn’t make me a great partygoer.

The skin sensations are the worst problem. Since being a child I have cut out all the labels in my clothing because they scratch and irritate so much. I couldn’t wear wool until after I went on the Atkins diet a few years ago (which helped clear up a lot of my random skin rashes too). Wool does not feel soft to me. I still itch from wearing it, but I am able to filter it out better. Now I’m on the failsafe diet, I feel proud that I can wear cashmere at last!

I hate synthetic clothing that has polyester in it, it always feels so cold to wear, like it’s sucking the heat right out of my body. I get annoyed by the amount of knitwear that contains polyester, which lends a ubiquitous cheapness to all highstreet clothes. What is the point of wearing knitwear that doesn’t keep you warm? I’m extremely temperature sensitive. If I sit around I get very cold, if I go out and exercise, I practically have to strip off all my clothes as soon as I get in the door because I can’t bear feeling too hot either. I used to think this was a thyroid problem. It’s not, it’s a sensory issue common to autism and also fibromyalgia. It’s something amplified horrendously by food chemicals. I complain a lot less about being cold since being on the failsafe diet, but I still drive my partner crazy with the central heating.

Sometimes someone’s physical presence touching me can overwhelm me so much that I start squawking and yelling really loudly – such as if my partner tickles me with his beard or hugs me unexpectedly, or the dog jumps on me and digs my lap. It’s an effective if alarming way to get others to back off, though my poor partner’s eardrums tend to suffer! This squawking, yelling behaviour is one of those little things autistic kids do when they’re touched and they don’t like it. It’s automatic, I can’t help it. I sometimes ponder the morbid possibility of getting injured during a mugging, simply because I would be incapable of controlling an automatic yell if someone touched me.

As I mentioned, these same sensory disturbances are also a feature of fibromyalgia. If you compare the sensory disturbances of both, you’ll be astonished no one has made a stronger connection. I think fibromyalgia has a couple of distinct sensory issues – the dreaded sensitive ‘bruised/burning’ skin patches, and the tender points. It’s not much fun having those either. Poke me in a tender point and you’ll get squawked at pretty loudly. My tender points never go away, although I only get prickly skin patches when I cheat on my diet. Salicylates seem to be the main trigger.

What seems crazy to me is that autistic people are believed without question, yet people with fibromyalgia are still characterised by the medical profession as malingerers, Munchausen’s sufferers, hypochondriacs and drug seekers. Why the cognitive dissonance? Neither syndrome is more or less objective than the other. I have both asperger’s syndrome and fibromyalgia, lucky me. As far as sensory perception goes, you can imagine how these two don’t double up too well for me. Both syndromes have the same roots. I’m sure people with fibromyalgia have some similar brain differences, especially to the amygdala and insula (the seat of many emotions). I suspect triggering infections might cause some changes to the brain.

I’ve wondered for some time that part of the reason I always have some physical complaint or I’m having a food reaction is because I am very sensitive, and this very sensitive state also makes me more sensitive to pain. I think I feel things physically that wouldn’t even register in other people. I get pain in my DVT leg, I get gout in my big toe. I have chronic back pain as soon as I deviate from my diet. I think this is because I have enhanced pain perception, not because I actually have anything physically or metabolically wrong, though muscle tension is involved in the back pain. In the case of my back, I think there’s a feedback mechanism. The muscles get very tense which causes pain, which causes further tension. My back makes a lot of physical cracking noises, but the origin of the problem is in what my brain is telling my back to do. The pain problem has puzzled me for a while, because I know I only have mild issues with endorphins/opioid-like peptides (which can be a big problem for others, especially redheads). It seems like the pain is probably more an integral feature of the heightened sensory perception in autism than anything else. I feel like I have nerve endings where nerve endings shouldn’t even exist.

Then there are the emotional issues.

Autistics are often described by the ignorant as being ‘soulless’, ‘lacking in empathy’ or like automatons. I think these people don’t even know what autism is. Autistics have very strong emotions. If you read autistic and aspie blogs, you’ll find they are always freaking out about something, feeling miserable, feeling happy, feeling angry, feeling overwhelmed.

I know I feel things very, very deeply, I get hurt very easily, and I am afraid of people. I do have strong feelings for other people, but because I can’t/won’t/don’t interact with them due to the fear/shyness/stress response, I can find it hard to predict what they will do or understand them fully, often resorting to false assumptions that they are ‘like me’ in their attitudes in some way that they are not. Before the age of twenty-two, it didn’t even occur to me to try to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Learning to empathise was a process I went through consciously, after I developed an unsuitable crush on a boy I was working with and had to use lots of brain power to try to figure him out (it didn’t work, it was a disaster). The ‘theory of the mind’ or ‘mind-blindness’ is just something I was slow to learn my way through because I didn’t interact with people, and I found other topics more interesting. I don’t think it’s central to the origin of autism, just a side-effect of it.

Autistics have good memories. Rather like elephants, we never forget. This is particularly true of emotional memories, usually negative ones.

Children act like packs of hyenas. You can imagine how unpleasant it is for an autistic kid who is bullied at school because he or she is singled out as weird and different. It’s bad enough any kid getting bullied, but autistic kids are hit very hard because they are very easily hurt and are then effectively tortured by those negative memories. Autistic kids don’t have a support network of friends to help them deal with bullying and put it behind them emotionally. Autistics can become very bitter and twisted when assaulted by those memories. This is why I am a separatist. I don’t believe in teaching autistic children in mainstream schools. Mainstream schools are awful places for autistics. They will never not be awful places. They set autistic children up for failure and humiliation. Children will never change, they will always be vicious little pack animals who prey on the weak. Being autistic in a mainstream school is rather like being fed to the lions.

Even as an adult, if people hurt me, I find it very hard to forget what they have done or get over feeling hurt when I think about them. When I fall in love, I fall in love very deeply. This makes me rather fragile. As a child I learned that it was better to stay away from people who were obviously different from me or who had the potential to hurt me. I could never sleep around like some people can, it doesn’t even compute. I am very selective about who I am friends with, and I’m always rather puzzled by the half-aspie people I know who aren’t selective enough and who are friends with people who obviously aren’t suitable for them. I’m very protective of my emotional state (I need to stay calm for my sanity), and because I am hurt easily and deeply, I do drop friends who hurt me so they can’t do it again. Sometimes I am too emotional to even explain myself. When I cry I literally become autistic. I rock, I withdraw, and I become incapable of speech, and this can have the unfortunate effect of perpetuating arguments and misunderstandings.

Like most autistics, I’m incapable of lying, probably because the cognitive dissonance between what I feel and what I say would be too overwhelming for my brain. It took me thirty years to learn to give or receive a compliment, because of what I feel when I do so. Giving compliments makes me feel overwhelmed and vulnerable and embarrassed and afraid, like my heart is about to stop. When I give compliments, I genuinely mean them, the same when I ask people how they are.

I don’t understand people who have the ability to be fake or two-faced or lie to people, though I’ve often been a victim of them. Who are these people who can ‘network’ and ‘work the room’ and schmooze around for the sake of their career? I just decided not to go to an important conference last weekend because the noisy interaction and the schmoozing and the fakey-friendship behaviour you see at these places would have been too much for me. It drives me crazy when someone talks behind another person’s back and then acts all sycophantic to their face. I do bitch about people when they do things to annoy me, but I am only ever civil to their face, I don’t try to be two-faced about it, and I don’t use my mutual hatred of someone to cement a bond with someone else. Those kinds of bonds are very shallow, and you are likely to find yourself on the receiving end of the same kind of behaviour.

The two sides of the brain deal with different aspects of language. One side deals with automatic language and clichés (‘hi, how are you?’, ‘lovely weather’, ‘thank you for having us’), the other side with conscious language. The side of my brain that deals with automatic language appears not to work. I still have to consciously think about mundane and obvious things to say. Smalltalk does not come easily to me. Usually the silent running commentary in my mind is saying, ‘that sounds stupid/fake/clichéd’ at the same time.

I am a bit of a cranky old grump. I am a bit like Dr. Gregory House or Chloe O’Brian – though I assure you I’m not quite that rude and I never say things deliberately to hurt people. I don’t suffer fools gladly and I’m often blunt. If you’re wrong, I’ll tell you so. I’ll often be misinterpreted for this. I am far more interested in ideas than in people. I don’t say things to get the better of someone or to put them down, I say things because they are right, and ‘right’ things ought to go on record. I try not to correct small mistakes, but I do have that tendency. I am a perfectionist. I sometimes get into a tangle with friends who think I am talking about them when I am not talking about them, or I’ve picked up on an opinion of theirs that I don’t like and they take criticism personally.

Because I’m not that social, I act as an observer, studying the things that people do from outside of the group. People – mostly teenagers and young adults – behave very irrationally. They will often make a huge fuss over something small, and really what is going on is they are trying to assert themselves in the pecking order of the group. They try to gain friends and influence by picking on weaker members of the group, rather like animals do. It can be very curious to watch, rather like The Emperor’s New Clothes. The illusion of there being a real issue to fight over only remains as long as the members of the group really believe it is what they are fighting over, because they wouldn’t admit the truth to themselves as this behaviour is immoral. It’s rather like watching Big Brother. Everyone picks on a weaker housemate to cement group ties and social hierarchy. Rachel Rice got picked on and bitched about all the way through the UK series of Big Brother this year, just so the other housemates could feel closer to each other and higher up the pecking order. Most of the viewers could see what was really going on, which is why she won the show. A shame most people can’t actually see it when they are doing it themselves. Aspies would probably lead much happier lives if they did.

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Written by alienrobotgirl

27 September, 2008 at 10:00 am

Posted in Asperger's Syndrome

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12 Responses

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  1. This is me completely from intolerance to clothing labels to aural dyslexia and screaming the house down from being touched unexpectedly. It has only just dawned on me recently the only reason i’ve managed to cope with university “this time” is because of my partner. I’m still in the process of understanding his feelings after all this time. I’m quite concerned with how i’m going to cope with a job though. My last jobs I have expressed my opinions too much and it has not been well received…

    23andme has reduced their price recently, want to exchange genomes?

    elena

    piratehyde

    27 September, 2008 at 12:54 pm

  2. Hi Elena, I noticed 23andme have reduced their rates. I should have some spare cash after Christmas, so I’m looking forward to getting my genes analysed at last!

    I’ve looked into what 23andme do, and I think they only do SNPs, they don’t do insertion/deletions like the ACE variant, or VNTRs like the MAO variant. I might email them at some point and ask them if they have any plans to add them in. I don’t know whether it’s possible to put stuff like that on a chip or not.

    But yeah, I’m still up for it!

    alienrobotgirl

    27 September, 2008 at 4:17 pm

  3. Oh, about jobs… Yeah, I also have a problem keeping my mouth shut. Where I’ve tended to go wrong is that I voice opinions and bosses think I’m cheeky, but at the same time I’m a shrinking violet, so my opinions, no matter how relevant, get dismissed as being unimportant, because *I’m* seen as unimportant. I’ve tended to do a lot of hard work but haven’t been assertive about telling people how hard I work. I’ve been passed over for rewards and promotions, which have gone to stupider people who get along with the boss better.

    You have to learn to phrase your opinions right, and phrase them privately to the boss so you don’t embarrass him in public… ‘do you think it might be a good idea to do it this way’, rather than ‘this is really stupid’, is a good start! Make yourself indispensable, offer to do things without being asked, try to do as much as you can without bothering the boss with questions. But also make sure he knows how hard you’re working at the same time. Most people dash out of the door at 5.30pm on the dot. If you obviously arrive a bit early and leave a bit late – even if it’s only ten or fifteen minutes, it will impress the boss. If you do extra work from home, make sure the boss knows you’re putting in your own time.

    You have to be a bit ruthless and scheming at times. Don’t quietly do the work of your other team members or cover their backs if they can’t do their jobs properly (another mistake of mine) – make sure the boss knows who is carrying the team by dropping a complaint about other members here or there.

    These are all things I should have done that I didn’t do because I just acted like an aspie. Trying to get along and socialise with your boss makes a big difference, even just asking them how they are etc. – they are people too! You would be surprised how many bosses there are out there who have a few aspie traits or are quietly suffering from a few emotional problems like depression. You’re more likely to find them in small firms than large ones, and you may find if you get the right boss that you get along with him much better than you get along with the other staff. I’d avoid large firms or institutions if possible. They tend to accumulate loud, dominant, flashy idiot managers who won’t understand you at all and use phrases like ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘putting our ducks in a row’.

    Don’t be an aspie about staying in one job either. If you aren’t getting on well where you are, just start applying for new jobs. Moving jobs is usually the only way you’ll get a decent payrise anyway, it’s rare you’ll get a payrise for staying in the same job, or get the chance to go for an internal promotion.

    I was quite lucky in that after I got my DVT I was able to start working for my partner, who was working for himself as a programmer. Aspies are much better suited to working for themselves, if only you can have the confidence to deal with clients.

    alienrobotgirl

    27 September, 2008 at 5:18 pm

  4. Thanks! : D That is helpful. I’ve tended to be very friendly with my boss but then worried I was too laid back and not respectful enough. I have a lot of trouble differentiating between politeness states when I’ve gotten to know somebody. Once I’ve gotten over the initial fear barrier, suddenly i’ll tell that person anything and treat them like a close friend. Then I secretly panic over admiting too much. I had this kind of trouble at my last job working in hospital. My boss thought I had excellent confidence but I would nearly meltdown everytime I had to go on a ward. I couldn’t exactly say the environment was too overstimulating though so they couldn’t work me out. We didn’t have a great relationship because of that. At least it was only a temp job.

    piratehyde

    27 September, 2008 at 6:28 pm

  5. Oh wow, thank you so much for sharing your experiences as someone with aspbergers syndrome.

    I can relate perfectly to how you process emotions. I have intense emotions, even though people say I’m a robot. I am hurt devastatingly easy, I have little ability to regulate my emotions once they are hurt, and I think a lot of my present psychological problems were caused by childhood cruelty because my brain was constantly subjected to out of control negative emotions. If only I could have been in a school for less pack-minded children… what a difference that would have made. I have always been withdrawn and very shy, but this turned into intense pathological social phobia and agoraphobia in teens that still is with me today (much much better today due to forced efforts to interact starting at 20yrs, I am now 26 on sept 30th).
    For as long as I can remember I’ve reacted to emotional upsets in this disorganized out of control explosion. My father was rather abusive to my mother verbally, and my youngest memory is being like 3 or 4 and just *screaming* to get it to stop. I felt very powerful in that moment, because I realized I did have some control over my intolerable out of control emotions, and that breakdowns made them stop.
    Even now, if I start to feel very hurt I go into this melt-down mode where I literally feel myself morphing into a ball of disregulated emotional / angry responses. If it gets rather bad it can involve screaming, sitting in the corner, repeating nonsense sounds, banging my head, pulling my hair, scratching at myself, biting, etc for an hour or so. I literally have no control anymore when I am in that stage, I have to wait till it is over then I become human again. I always assumed my broken emotional brain was inherited from my father (as he is rageful too). I also thought my melt downs were caused by my inability to deal with emotional stress kind due to the constant effect of run away emotions as a child, kind of like the “borderline personality”. I never stopped to consider it might be related to autistic traits.

    One thing the low carbohydrate/ketogenic diet gave me is relief from rages. Once I went ketogenic all of a sudden my emotions were much better and I didn’t have 1/10th as many breakdowns like that. My depression got much better too. I think the ketogenic / low carb diet does a whole lot to simply *balance* a brain out. When eating carbs my emotions are completely haywire, it is a miserable experience.

    I know what you mean about having to use effort to put yourself in another person’s perspective. I’m so glad I went through training to be a registered nurse, in those few years my social ability improved more than it had in the previous years of my life. I went from completely socially non-functional, to “functional nerd with unpredictable expression patterns”. Triumph, lol!
    Automatic language is impossible for me. Sometimes I wonder why I can’t just be like “Hi, how are you? How’s the weather”, like any normal person. I just can’t say things automatically that I don’t truly mean and it takes a lot of conscious effort to do it.

    I’m also devastatingly bad at lying. People laugh when I try. Sometimes I can lie, but only if I consciously know that I am going to tell the truth a second later. It’s very distressing to me to lie.
    I too look at those people who give fake compliments just for social gain almost like a strange type of animal. That is so opposite to me.

    Regarding sensory sensitivity, I think I am far less sensitive than you, but more sensitive than most people. I do rather badly on tests which differentiate identical patterns of music… but above average on a test that identifies patterns in music (translating them into visual-shape patterns). When I was young I could teach myself simple songs by ear on piano because of this pattern-recognition ability.
    Small sounds and touches do irritate me a lot, to the point of producing profound discomfort, but I usually find it easy to ignore them if I become engrossed in something I am doing. I have to always be focused on something for maximal well being. I have learned to kind of “zone out” and be half-there when focus is not possible, which is a horrible habit I need to break because it makes people think I’m weak and confused.
    Like I said in my last post, some touches are completely disorganizing.
    Velvet is one of those, and I really feel like vomiting or at least jumping/screaming if I have to deal with the hard bristly kind of velvet. The feeling of grass under feet was a major issue in my early childhood, I would only stand on rocks and jump from them lol… but I eventually was able to learn to walk in the yard barefoot.
    On days when I am depressive + energetic (“mixed state’) I can become sick from obsessive-compulsive fixations, I need to repeat everything I do, everything I see becomes a torturous obsession. Sensory intolerance is very out of control then, because my ability to modulate and zone out is nil.
    I think I’m most sensitive to visual details, and I find vision most pleasant because visuals with details help me to escape (whereas sound/touch heightens my alertness). From an early age I liked to copy pictures into drawings. This was soothing and a great way to relax myself. I became quite good at it and I have a lot of artistic talent. One thing I couldn’t understand is that I am quite skilled at reproducing a picture detail per detail but imagining my own art is difficult and does not produce the same good soothing feelings as copying. I always hated my lack of imagination… my sister is extremely imaginative, I always stood in awe of that and wished I could be the same way. I am always told I have a lack of imagination. Even though I lack imagination, if you give me a foundation of building blocks, something real to start with, I can do things. I’m rather good at deconstructing / understanding real things.

    Blah I’m rambling again, sorry.

    Basically I’m just saying that I can relate a whole lot to your emotional/social experiences and somewhat with your sensory perception experiences. Thank you for sharing them as this has given me more insight into whether or not my brain is the way it is because of autistic traits.

    itsthewooo

    27 September, 2008 at 8:00 pm

  6. hi, i was wondering how a person would know whether they were an aspie or whether they just had similar symptoms to something else? there seem to be so many overlapping symptoms in so many different conditions and i keep trying to self-diagnose b/c i like having a label for myself. 🙂 i have been reading about Lyme’s disease lately b/c i have had and still have some of the same symptoms, but i am close to ruling out Lyme. now that i have read your posts on AS i find that i have had and still have some of the very same characterisitcs. i could have written your latest post about myself with only a few differences.

    i was diagnosed with Raynaud’s in my early teens and have been trying ever since to find a cure. i discovered Dr. K and now follow as much as i can the OD.

    anyway, i guess i am always researching b/c i’ve always felt like there was something wrong with me and if i can figure myself out life might be a little easier.

    mojitokitty

    29 September, 2008 at 9:46 pm

  7. Another great post. I have been trying to get my brother to look into the failsafe diet to treat his adopted son from russia get better. They think he has mild autism. I know he is eating something wrong triggering his hyperness, and inability to focus. They took him to a phyciatrist and she put him on ritalin, soon after giving him this he got headaches and my brother said it wasn’t even like he was the same little kid…but he had a very bad reaction to it. Maybe this will get him to listen to me finally! Anyways…thanks for the great post again!!!

    Troy

    tbonetroy

    30 September, 2008 at 1:09 am

  8. Very interesting point of view on autism. Reminds me a bit of sensory over-load from lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). It only takes a minute amount of LSD to cause symptoms. The threshold level for psychoactive effects is only 20 to 30 micrograms. I don’t expect that autism is directly related to LSD, but the similar effects are intriguing and might warrant further study. Just some food for thought 🙂

    oz4caster

    19 October, 2008 at 11:00 pm

  9. Hi mojitokitty,

    Try doing these aspie tests for a start. If you have the psychological symptoms as well as the physical/sensory symptoms, you’re probably somewhere on the spectrum.

    My sister has Raynaud’s syndrome. Food chemicals can cause a variety of different circulatory symptoms, including migraines and Raynaud’s.

    alienrobotgirl

    9 February, 2009 at 11:20 pm

  10. I was reading some of the stuff you posted and I can identify with much of it. My questions are with the sensory issues. I was wondering how you went about telling your partner about the touch issues you have. I have touch issues and maybe to even a greater degree than many. I dont verbalize when I start getting over-stimulated by sensory input, I turn in which does make it harder for others to recognize what is going on. In some instances that deal with the training I am dong at the moment, there are many instances where being touched by others for examination is necessary. I dont have that much trouble with touching others because I am in control. Although when the physical exam training started the second day 5 min in the I got so overloaded and the pain was so bad, it sent me into dissociative amnesia. I am on medication to help with this till I get through the training now.

    The touch issue is not as bad when I am around people I am comfortable with but it is still there. I was just wondering how you broached the subject. It is hard to explain to people that dont have these issues.

    Your average doctor thinks you are having an anxiety attack, which this isnt. And doctors that deal with this kind of thing unless they have these issues you can tell when their understanding stops but at least they know the sensory issues are real.

    And if there was anything that helped you early on. I know that in a relationship one will get more comfortable with the other person and so it will be less of an issue but it will always be there.

    tho11

    19 February, 2009 at 7:15 pm

  11. This is very enlightening.

    Actually before I came upon your blog I just thought of aspergers as an inability to empathise and an obsession with logic puzzles; but some of your comments and particularly your observations about social dynamics indicate a greater complexity.

    It’s interesting that you’re able to see the value-driven behaviour, struggling for heirarchy, which individuals exhibit in group environments when most ‘neurotypicals’ don’t see this through a whole life-time of social interaction.

    I wonder if many ‘aspies’ have these sorts of realisations or if it’s just you.

    R

    RagsToRiches

    4 March, 2009 at 4:55 pm

  12. Hi tho11

    I’m fortunate in that I’ve chosen someone who is not keen on being touched either! However, he knows I yell and try to wriggle away when I get overwhelmed by a surprise hug. He has a very thick skin and knows not to take it personally, but the yelling does annoy him!

    I’ve tried to explain with metaphor, for example, “imagine you have really bad sunburn, how would it feel to you if someone touched you?” or “imagine it being like someone scraping their nails down a chalkboard,” or “it makes me squeamish, in the same way as you are squeamish at the sight of blood.” These explanations seem to help people understand.

    alienrobotgirl

    22 May, 2009 at 9:19 pm


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