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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- I Know I'm Autistic So Why Get Assessed?

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- I Know I'm Autistic So Why Get Assessed?

“You mask it very well but you’re definitely autistic.”

This, essentially, was the outcome of my autism assessment yesterday. So no surprise to me or anybody who knows me. The obvious question is, “Why choose to get assessed at all when you’ve known you’re autistic for more than 10 years now?”

The answer lies, as so often, in what employers and medical professionals will accept as authoritative. In this case, my own word based on

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- It's Hard to be Different

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- It's Hard to be Different

At school I would watch as the other kids playedLeft out on the edges and that’s where I stayedForever the outcast, forever afraidIt’s hard to be different, take it from meIt’s hard to be different, take it from me The skills I was taught served me poorly in lifeLike holding my tongue, the obedient wifeBut never a word about facing a knifeLearning compliance was no good to meLearning compliance was no good to me

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- A Bed of Roses Still Has Thorns – On #Autism and Cures

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- A Bed of Roses Still Has Thorns – On #Autism and Cures

As an autistic woman, would I want to be cured?

It’s a valid question, and one that I believe is worth exploring in depth because its simplicity hides a host of unspoken assumptions, assumptions that differ depending on who you ask.

What Is Autism?

Autism is not just a medical diagnosis based on a set of clinical observations, even though that’s exactly how it’s defined in manuals such as DSM and ICD. Those are

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Oversensitive: Sensory Processing Difficulties

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Oversensitive: Sensory Processing Difficulties

Introduction

The human body has several senses. There are the well-known ones: touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. And then there are proprioception (the awareness of our body in relation to our surroundings), interoception (the body’s internal state: things such as being hot or cold, thirsty, hungry, in discomfort or pain), and the vestibular system (concerned with balance).

Neurodivergent people often experience sensory input differently to the neurotypical majority. Some of us feel certain sensations more

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- That Was The Year That Was–2018 in Review

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- That Was The Year That Was–2018 in Review

The past twelve months seem to have passed quickly as I sit here looking back over them. I’ve been places both real and figurative, seen amazing sights and met some lovely people. There have been highs I could scarcely have dreamed of, and lows I would rather not dwell on.

In January I travelled to Sweden for the first time to visit my daughter who had moved there the previous summer. We had a lovely

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- When Care is Really Control

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- When Care is Really Control

As an autistic woman myself, I know I’m not alone in seeking the security of a stable, dependable home life. I sucked badly at taking care of myself when I first lived away from home at university: I was intimidated by communal cooking and laundry areas.

The pattern repeated when I moved away for work: my awful, almost-non-existent organisational skills left me struggling with all manner of domestic tasks from my finances to making sure

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- On The Other Hand…

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- On The Other Hand…

Black or white, good or bad, right or wrong, light or dark, leave or remain, man or woman: our whole world is split in two. Is this a consequence of evolution giving us bi-fold symmetry, left versus right? Or is it more fundamental?

It’s undeniable that binary thinking dominates discourse. We argue for and against, a claim is true or false, a stranger could be friend or foe. There are two sides to every story,

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Sensory Overload –

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Sensory Overload –

There I was at the office, sat at my desk. A normal day. Listening to music through my noise-cancelling headphones: some classic 90s Manchester tunes from the likes of James, New Order and Happy Mondays.

No indication that anything was wrong: I was getting on with my work as usual. Went to get a drink from the kitchen/break area…

That was when it started to hit me. Sounds jostling and crowding me, every footstep and

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- My Mother

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- My Mother

Where are you now, my mother?Was death the end you wanted,Or does the pain of leavingEcho still beyond the grave? Where did you go, my mother?My briny tears have yet toFill the aching void where onceYour life sang oh! so brightly. Why did you leave, my mother?You were taken in the night.So many things I neverHad the chance to share with you. Where are you now, my mother?Did you ever know the loveI carry

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Self-indulgence – #Autistic December 8/31

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Self-indulgence – #Autistic December 8/31

Young Woman Powdering Herself—Georges Seurat, c. 1888-90

I treated myself today: I visited the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square in London and spent several blissful hours wandering, lost in contemplation of the exceptional collection of paintings on show there.

I used to feel guilty about making time in my life to pursue the things I enjoy most. But my perspective has changed since I realised that this is an important part of taking good care

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Sound Analysis – #Autistic December 7/31

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Sound Analysis – #Autistic December 7/31

I had another sensory problem at work today: I was taking part in a video-conference meeting and had to leave because I couldn’t follow the spoken words of a participant from the US.

I found that I was concentrating so hard on recognising each word I couldn’t work out the overall meaning of what he was saying. The effort was tiring: after about 5 minutes I couldn’t handle any more and had to leave.

It

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood – #Autistic December 6/31

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood – #Autistic December 6/31

It’s hard to describe an experience to somebody who has little to compare it against. What would it be like to sense magnetic fields, or see the polarisation of light? How would it feel to be a cat?

You might speculate but there is no way to know. All you can do is imagine, drawing parallels with things you’ve seen or felt yourself. And it’s the same when somebody neurotypical tries to understand the experience

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Still Waters – #Autistic December 5/31

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Still Waters – #Autistic December 5/31

Still waters run deep

If I had a penny for every time I heard that phrase growing up…

My school reports are year after year of consistently high academic performance and hopes that I might participate more and develop socially. I was lucky to have a natural inclination and ability for learning: it compensated for and allowed me to “get away with” being socially awkward.

…consistently impressing with her quiet, conscientious approach and with

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Overload – #Autistic December 4/31

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Overload – #Autistic December 4/31

Overload is hard to describe to somebody who doesn’t experience it, because it’s not simply the physical pain from something being, say, too loud. Its effects run much deeper.

Some days I can cope with my sensory environment better than others. I know fatigue lowers my threshold of tolerance, but it goes beyond simple intensity–brightness or loudness for example. Other qualities of the sensations play a bigger part than is generally realised.

With sound,

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- The End of the World – #Autistic December 3/31

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- The End of the World – #Autistic December 3/31

“It’s not the end of the world,” my mum used to say as I cried inconsolably over something that most people would regard as trivial. Perhaps someone else took the particular cookie I’d fixed my eyes on, or the books I’d carefully lined up had been dusted and moved.

The thing is, when you’re autistic and you’ve got an idea in your head about the way things will be, anything which disrupts that expectation does feel

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Coping With Christmas – #Autistic December 2/31

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Coping With Christmas – #Autistic December 2/31

This month, December, always comes with a mixture of anticipation and dread. It seems that for everything I enjoy about it there’s something else that taxes my endurance.

Ooh, look at the pretty!

I might not decorate my own home but I do love to see all the pretty lights and colours against the dull grey of December weather. Warm golden glow of lights, sumptuous reds entwined with deep, lustrous greens and contrasting with pearlescent

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Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Being Disabled – #Autistic December 1/31

Blog:Married: With Aspergers- Being Disabled – #Autistic December 1/31

I never imagined when I used to see or hear about disabled people that one day it would include me. I don’t think anybody does: unless you are disabled yourself it’s always something that affects other people. Less fortunate people.

Be honest: that’s how you think of us, isn’t it? You feel glad–lucky–that you’re not disabled. Because that would be awful. Am I right?

That right there: that’s stigma. You feel sorry for us, pity us,

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