I’m really so ecstatic to let you all know that I have been working on a autism documentary. I don’t have the money to get it professionally filmed so I’m filming it all and editing everything myself. My whole plan is to have this documentary finished and launched before I launch my autism poetry book. The reason is because I want to add a QR code in the book so the book buyers can scan it and have access to the documentary as well. I’m just looking for different ways to advertise everything.
This documentary will have raw footage showing you what it’s like being autistic for me. I will be posted on youtube and then I will link it here on a new blog post so you all can watch it too. I’m very excited about this and have been working really hard to get this done and make sure it’s as perfect as possible considering it’s going to be a home made film.
It’ll really mean the world to me if all if you watch it once it’s launched and let me know what you think of it. Also, I would love it if you all share it on all your social media platforms as well so it can reach the maximum amount of people as possible. Keep a watch out for that update blog post. I’m not sure exactly when this will be released. I want it released as soon as it’s put together so I will continue working hard on this. Wish me luck!
I really am excited about this blog post because a lot of people have absolutely no idea what it’s like having 2 different disorders co-occurring. I’ve heard a few people say that autism and ADHD are the same thing. It really upsets me because I know exactly how different both are and how they affect me differently. In this blog, I’m going to explain how both disorders basically contradict each other on a lot of things.
Autism vs ADHD
My autism causes me to be overstimulated and need to shut down but my ADHD causes me to be hyperactive and now I can’t relax enough to restore myself.
My autism insists I need order and routine but my ADHD makes it hard to follow the routine because I get bored and distracted easy.
My autism wants to obsess over a special interest and while my ADHD mostly agrees with that because it makes me hyper fixate on my autistic special interests, I still get distracted and bored easily which makes me unable to stick to one thing for too long. That’s why I have a long list of crafts that I do and continue to add more to the list.
My autism causes me to be sensory avoidant but my ADHD causes me to need constant stimulation so I’m always stuck picking which one will have the least harm done if I ignore it.
My autism makes me not want to be social but my ADHD pushes me to be social because being stuck at home relaxing doesn’t feel good for my ADHD, which then makes my autism very uncomfortable struggling with the lack of social cues.
I need sleep to restore my autistic brain but my ADHD makes me feel restless and now I can’t shut my brain off so I’m up all night with racing thoughts that my autism is unable to process.
My autism wants to organize everything in my space but my ADHD makes it hard to stay focused on a task and both conditions tend to struggle with execution dysfunction.
My autism causes me to have meltdowns due to sensory processing issues while my ADHD doesn’t really care unless it’s distracting me.
My autism does very well focusing on details but my ADHD causes me to easily forget the details and now I need a step by step process broken down.
My autism makes me learn new things pretty quick but my ADHD makes me hyper focus on something else prematurely and now I can’t retain the information I learned.
My autism makes me shut down and occasionally have non verbal episodes when dealing with severe sensory overload but my ADHD makes it hard to shut up sometimes and I talk nonstop.
My ADHD causes me to be impulsive but my autism can’t tolerate unpredictability and now I have to carefully plan it out before it’s executed.
It feels like a constant war in my head between the two. I can’t always accommodate one’s needs without interrupting the other. My depression is amplified due to the confusion and inability to be comforted. I can’t help myself when there’s such confusion.
While there are some similarities between the two, it’s definitely not the same thing and it’s absolutely not the same spectrum. Some people have one or the other but there’s some who deal with both and it’s very complicated. I hope you learned something from this blog because it’s very important to be able to recognize the difference so that you can accommodate your needs accordingly.
As an autistic person, I’m going to try to describe to you what a meltdown feels like for me. This is my own experience and it may differ from person to person. Remember that autism is a spectrum disorder so therefore not all autistic people present exactly the same.
I’m going to start out with letting you know some of my triggers.
Too much sensory input
I don’t process or regulate sensory input very well. If my brain is receiving too much information, it causes a meltdown. Examples being too much bright lights, too much noise(even background noises going on at the same time), even too much touch when I’m already sensory avoidant. To resolve this, I prefer to hide in a dark or dim room away from any sensory input.
Not enough sensory input
Because I’m mostly a sensory seeker, I tend to feel like my body is floating away if I don’t have weight or deep pressure to keep me grounded. I always jump from feeling way too much to feeling nothing at all and both can trigger a meltdown. On days I need to seek sensory input, I may stim more, I love crawling in my sensory swing, I crave tight hugs and cuddles and I love watching my sensory night light glow and play calming sounds.
Too strong emotions
I can’t regulate my emotions so strong emotions can trigger a meltdown. Having to battle major depression also doesn’t make things easy on me.
Change is very hard for me especially if it’s in the last minute and no warning. If I spend days or weeks mentally preparing myself for the plan, it can’t just change in a blink of an eye. I need enough time to process the change so please give me fair warning way in advance to decrease any chance of me melting down.
When I’m having a meltdown, my whole body is literally in physical pain. My brain goes blank trying to process the thing and it being unsuccessful. My nerves in my body go haywire and I can’t tolerate any kind of input. I feel like I’m suffocating. I tend to hit myself in the head, I may violently squirm around, I’m crying and screaming, I can be destructive and this can go on for a few minutes or more than an hour. At this time, nothing really helps me. The meltdown just need to run its course and once I’m finally settled down enough to speak, that’s when my loved ones are able to intervene and make me feel comfortable and secure. This is the time when deep pressure works wonders. It is not a good idea to ask me any questions when I’m actively having a meltdown because my brain absolutely can not process conversation at that moment. I can’t hear you over all the background noise that’s excessively loud in my ears. Also don’t make it worse by trying to argue with me or saying something you know will upset me even more. Also, please don’t tell me to calm down. I’m trying really really hard and you can’t possibly understand if you don’t have sensory processing issues. My meltdowns are not intentional. I can’t just flip a switch and make it stop once it has started. Also, please don’t raise your voice at me, because I will get aggressive and fight off the trigger. As I already stated, I can’t tolerate noise at all during this time. Please be patient with me while I try to recuperate. Meltdowns are so draining and my energy levels drop drastically for the rest of the day. Sometimes it can take me a week or more to fully restore myself from a severe meltdown.
I absolutely hate being seen during these vulnerable times, especially by the public. I’m not a brat or defiant. My brain just receives way too much information and I can’t fully process it all the same way others can. I always feel ashamed and filled with guilt every time because I always feel like people have a negative view of me and I always fear abandonment from my loved ones. I was made to feel like a burden most of my life so I still have those past traumas internalized in me. After a meltdown starts to subside, I still feel afraid, lonely, dissociated and tired. I do tend to shut down, which I’ll go into further details about in another blog. I may or may not have a seizure. I also may or may not go nonverbal due to being burned out from that meltdown. It really affects me mentally and physically.
I really hope this blog helps you all understand what it’s like for me having a meltdown and also to let you know that even as an adult, I still do have meltdowns. Thank you for reading this blog.
I’ve been working on something really exciting for the last few months that I can’t wait to share with the world. Not sure if all of you know this, but I’m an author. I currently have 4 books published. I’ve been working on numbers 5 and 6. The 5th book is going to be an autism poetry book. My goal is to write a poem on every single relevant topic related to being autistic so that I can help others see the world through my autistic eyes. My plan is to launch this book before April 2022. I want it out just in time for autism awareness month because I think it’s very important that autistic voices are uplifted and heard in a month where people like to talk over autistic people. I also think this is the perfect opportunity for my friends and family to learn more about autism explained in a way I know best, which is poetry. Life being autistic will be broken down into details. This book is my whole life and will be packed with my own experiences. I’ve been working so hard on this book. I already have the photo taken for the book cover. One of my best friends let me take a picture of myself on her tree in her backyard.
I figured I’d let you all know about the book so you can keep an eye out for the big announcement when it’s finally released. I hope this book becomes a best seller. I hope I make a difference. I’m on a mission to bring this world 1,000 steps closer to accepting autism and busting all the myths and stigmas of autism. Autism is not a tragedy.
I’m still trying to make sure I have a blog to post weekly but if for some reason, I end up skipping a week or 2, it’s because my focus is on writing poetry. I’ll try my best to juggle the 2 without falling off track. I also have to keep in mind I also have a business that I run and two kids to take care of and a husband. I’ve been trying to type out these blogs weeks in advance and scheduling them so I have enough wiggle room to do other things and not feel too overwhelmed. Wish me luck!
For those of you who don’t know what the term allistic means, it’s simply a non autistic person. I use that term because my husband is considered neurodivergent so therefore he’s not neurotypical. He just isn’t autistic. I won’t disclose his neurotype on here because I want to respect his privacy as it’s not my place to tell his story. He will do so whenever he is ready.
At this time I’m typing this blog, we’ve been married for 4 years and together for a total of 9 1/2 years. It really has been a crazy ride for us filled with ups and downs. When we first got together, I did not disclose my autism diagnosis right away. I didn’t want him to think I’m too weird and then lose interest in me. I did however mention it at some point within the first year together very briefly but he never asked me to elaborate so I didn’t push it either. I felt like as long as he was just aware of it and made that informed decision to continue on with this relationship, then all was good. This is why autism awareness does nothing for autistic people. You can be aware of it but if you don’t learn about it and accept it, then it’s a dead end.
He had already spent time with me so he didn’t really think me being autistic would change anything. It was more like an “oh ok, cool”, and that was it. He didn’t know much about autism and had only knew one other person who was autistic, which was one of his family members.
His lack of knowledge really made things complicated. I can’t understand social cues so that made friendships and relationships hard for me. He used to send me flirtatious messages and I didn’t understand I needed to reciprocate so instead I would reply with “I miss you”. When I didn’t know what to say, that’s what I replied with as a way to keep the conversation going. I’m not really great with back and forth conversations. I’m sure he was very confused but he never questioned it. Being with him long enough, I eventually did pick up on how to respond to him and now he can’t handle it, haha.
When we first moved in together, he couldn’t tolerate some of my sensory seeking behaviors. Over time he got used to most of it and now just lets me do my thing.
Sometimes it’s really hard to communicate with him because I see things from my perspective and he has his own perspective on things but can’t seem to reach my level. He often doesn’t understand that I feel emotions on a much deeper level than a allistic person and I can’t regulate it. I also tend to come off as needy and he doesn’t always understand why I need constant attention. Sometimes I feel rejected by him and then I internalize that and feel like the marriage is falling apart. We’ve managed to pull through every obstacle so far which is great.
If I had to say what our biggest struggle is, I’d have to say communication. I often need things explained to me in explicit details or I can’t visualize whats being said and it doesn’t get processed in my brain. Him not specifying enough details often results in me not performing the task he asked me to do correctly or at all. He has gotten upset over it which overwhelms me. I’m always feeling like I’m performing wrong even when I’m not.
I’m also always stressed about the subtexts in conversations. I don’t understand it very well and would rather things be explained in a more direct way, no beating around the bush.
Another point I want to touch on is my sensory needs. I’m typically a sensory seeker so I don’t mind touch as long as I’m not overstimulated and feeling touched out. I crave affection from him and deep pressure from his weight on top of me. I crave skin to skin and being caressed and loved physically. My love language is physical touch. I often feel as though he sees affection as a chore and often resists. Usually when I try to explain how it makes me feel, it seems he has a hard time understanding and may say hurtful things without thinking. I completely understand that it’s almost impossible for an allistic person to understand every aspect of my needs as an autistic person but I also don’t want to be invalidated for it because this is my reality.
Aside from all the struggles, we have many many happy moments. I can go on and on about all our memories and show all the pictures we took over the years but it’s too much for you all.
When he’s not in a irritable mood, he’s very loving and sweet. He’s very quick to come to my defense when someone else upsets me. And on a good day, he can be more affectionate. He’s still learning and growing and I hope that we only continue to grow closer. He has definitely come a long way from when we first got together and I’m very proud of all his improvements and his eagerness to learn more about what would accommodate me so I can live a happier life. He’s watched me at my best moments and he’s also seen my worst from severe meltdowns to intense autistic burnout and going non verbal. I’m sure that’s a lot for him to take in and he has to be strong and keep it together for me. It’s a hard task but he chose to ride it out with me until death do us part. I love him so much and want nothing more than to be with him forever.
If you’re interested, I posted a Autism Q&A Spouse Edition video on YouTube linked below if you would like to listen to my husbands perspective
I know a lot of my followers have been looking forward to this blog post for a while now and I’m so happy I was able to get to it for you. In this post I’ll be talking about being autistic and pregnant and my transition to motherhood. I think it’s very important I talk about this because even though I was able to mask almost every external autistic trait about me, I still couldn’t unfeel the internal part. My loved ones may not know the whole extent due to me masking and I’m sure they would love to know my perspective on things.
I got pregnant with my first child back in July 2014. At the time, I didn’t even know it was possible for me to get pregnant in the first place. My doctors told me I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and even though it was still possible to get pregnant, they made it seem like it would take a long time to conceive. We weren’t planning to have a baby just yet as that was my first month living with my then fiance (now husband). So to have ended up pregnant in less then a month without even trying was such a shock to me. My mom and husband seemed to know I was pregnant before I even knew. I decided to take a test and sure enough, it came back positive. I sometimes do see double so I thought it was just my vision messing with me so I sent a picture to my best friend at the time and she confirmed it was a positive test. I was so happy but also scared at the same time.
My second child was planned but it took us almost a year to conceive her. Much longer than me fast unplanned firstborn. I started to lose hope and figured we would never have another child together. I did end up pregnant in May 2019 but unfortunately it ended as a miscarriage. I ended up pregnant again shortly after with my rainbow baby. It was bittersweet having to grieve the baby I lost all while feeling blessed and ecstatic about the new baby I was carrying.
I had some complications during the pregnancies that were completely unrelated to my autism. It was more medical related, like increased asthma attacks, seizures and fainting. As far as the sensory processing aspect, I feel like it amplified all the normal pregnancy discomforts. Pregnancy hormones combined with sensory processing issues is such a struggle. My emotional dysregulation was more intense during my pregnancies. With my first, I was excessively emotional and with my second, I was excessively irritable. Naps was my best friend and fulfilling my cravings were very crucial to keeping me content. I did enjoy the baby movements and really felt deeply connected to both my babies from the moment I realized they were in my belly. With my second, I was more hypervigilant and paranoid in fear of losing her too. I wasn’t able to calm my nerves down. I really fixated on keeping up with the movements and even made trips to the hospital every time I had a scare just for peace of mind. The miscarriage really affected me emotionally. I was so afraid!
I ended up with really bad postpartum depression after both babies. That alone was difficult to manage. I definitely feel like the amount of masking I had to do most likely contributed to the extent of my depression. All my meltdowns had to be suppressed to make sure I don’t injure myself and the babies in my belly. I had to try so hard to contain my emotions that I couldn’t even regulate because I needed to keep stress levels low. I honestly suppressed a lot of my stimming as well because I didn’t want the doctors to assume I’m mentally unstable and then I end up with my babies taken away from me. I’m living in a world where autism is not accepted as it should be and a lot of people assume autistic people are incapable of functioning. I shouldn’t have to fear losing my babies just because of my different neurotype. Some may feel I was just overthinking, but unless you’ve tried living life being autistic, then you can’t possibly understand all the struggles, stereotypes and stigmas that are attached to being autistic. There’s organizations that literally want to eradicate autistic people so I highly doubt they would be happy if we’re happily living life and procreating and possibly passing down autism to our children since it is genetic.
As a mother, I’d say I’m actually very patient despite people’s assumptions of autistic mothers. I’m not perfect though. I do have many days where I run and hide in a dark room where I have little to no sensory input. I get overstimulated very easy but I have never been a danger to my kids under any circumstances. I’ve always been able to make sure the kids are in a safe place where they won’t get hurt or where I can see them from a distance and take my break as needed. I still find myself suppressing meltdowns because I can’t always make sure the kids are distracted and away from me and my main priority is to keep my kids safe. I have many coping skills to offset some of my bottled up emotions. Those coping skills are my special interests which I’ll talk about in another blog post.
One of the biggest reasons I started to unmask my autism is because both my kids were diagnosed with autism as well. I don’t want them to feel like they need to mask who they are to please people around them. I have to set a good example for them so I had to go out of my comfort zone and find my true self again and be her which was very difficult since I’ve masked for so many years. I’ve noticed I’m much happier when I allow myself to be myself without holding anything back. It feels so great to see my kids be themselves while watching me do the same. While in the process of finding myself and unmasking, I learned all about which accommodations work best for me in order to live a more effective and functional life. I purchased a bunch of stim toys to play with to counteract all the triggering sensory input. I also have noise cancelling earplugs when I need to block out the sensory input from noise as I’m very sensitive to it. If I’m too touched out, I ask my husband to take over for a few minutes and I’ll take a break. Now I have a sensory swing I like to cocoon myself in which has been tremendously helpful for me. With the right accommodations specific to my support needs, I’m able to function with very little issues. I have good days and I have bad days and that’s ok. I’m a great mother and my kids adore me. I have a very deep connection with them that no one else has. I feel since I’m autistic and so are they, there’s no better place for them to be than with me. I understand exactly what they need to thrive. It’s my job to pave a positive and healthy future for them and I feel like for the most part I’ve done an outstanding job. I still have a lot to learn but we can all learn together.
As I continue my autism journey trying to find myself, I hope my kids NEVER lose themselves. I hope to someday completely be unmasked. That’s still a work in progress but I’m getting there little by little.
The next blog post I’ll be talking about what it’s like being autistic and married to a non autistic person so stay tuned.
Autistic burnout is intense physical and mental exhaustion. It can also be accompanied with loss of certain skills.
Having to navigate through a world that was only built for neurotypical people is very exhausting. Having to keep up with all the societies list of “norms” is very draining. Autistic people often end up masking their autistic traits which is very harmful.
Autistic burnout may look different from person to person. What you see in one autistic person; you may not see in another. As I mentioned above, it can be an intense physical exhaustion. It can also manifest as intense anxiety or emotional outbursts. It can be the inability to regulate emotions far more than usual. It can contribute to depression and suicidal behaviors. It can involve an increase of stimming (self regulating behaviors), increased sensitivity to sensory input and difficulty with changes. A lot of autistic people struggle with these things but when a burnout is happening, all these things can be amplified; making it seem like you’re regressing or much worse than usual.
Some autistic people lose their ability to speak during a burnout. Also, loss of executive function is common during a burnout as well. Executive function will be discussed in another blog.
Burnout can affect our thinking process and also affect our memory (which we already struggle with in general).
When I’m experiencing a burnout, I feel disconnected and disengaged from the rest of the world. I lose focus on the small things and can’t process my thoughts very well or my emotions. I tend to be very forgetful. But the forgetfulness also stems from the fact that when I’m told something, I’m most likely paying more attention to the sound of the electricity in the house; like the wind coming from the fan or the buzzing of the microwave. I can’t focus on too many sounds at once. It’s the increased sensitivity to sensory input that affects my ability to focus on conversation and information storing. I can’t process what you said if I hear the fridge. It’s a distraction. I struggle with these things on a daily basis but it’s 10 times worse during a burnout. People assume I’m not paying attention to them when I’m reality, I am. It’s just really hard for me to process too many different things at one time. I have lost my ability to speak during a burnout but it doesn’t happen every time I go through a burnout. My executive function is crap on a regular basis but it really goes down the toilet during a burnout.
The smallest things can be sensory overload for me during a burnout. Others around me don’t understand this and just brush it off.
Autistic burnout can last anywhere from a few hours to a few years for some autistic people. The main way to recover from burnout is to remove yourself from the situation that triggered it in the first place.
For me, it’s almost always caused by suppressing my emotions and meltdowns and other autistic traits in order to “keep the peace” around others who don’t understand me and so I’m not a burden to them. After so long, I don’t have the energy to continue to keep it all contained. It drains me to the point that it can be dangerous. I tend to physically lash out on myself by self harming and I also have attempted suicide before.
During these hard times, what I need is compassion and understanding. I may also need space and some alone time. I also need reassurance and not judgement. I’m trying as hard as I can but I can’t keep being sorry for who I am. I can’t keep apologizing for the way I am because I can’t help it and it’s not my problem people choose to not understand it.
I’m not entirely sure how long I’ve been in this current burnout so far but I only hope I can regain my strength soon so I can get back to the real me.
If you read this blog post this far, thank you and I hope you’ve learned something new here. More posts will be up soon, I just need to save up the energy to type it all out. I just really felt like this topic needed to be discussed.
It’s been a couple days and I’ve been dreading this post. With a heavy heart, I’m letting you guys know that the kitten didn’t survive. I really tried so so hard. With every fiber of my being, I hoped he would thrive and grow to be a handsome (yes it’s a boy) orange tabby. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. We have come to a decision to cremate him and keep the ashes in a beautiful urn. We named him Pooh. And the urn will say “I tried to save you but God needed another angel”. I’ve been a complete wreck and was not expecting this horrific reality. I just hope that in the two days he was with us, he knew that he was loved.
If you want to run to YouTube and watch the video about him, please feel free to do so. Here’s the link:
Thank you to everyone who prayed and wished us well because God only knows that I’m NOT ok.
I didn’t think this would be what my first blog post would be about but this is something I just had to tell you guys about. So today, October 14th, 2020, my husband and I ran some errands while our son, Aidan was in school. He drove me to my moms because I had a 3pm therapy session and a 4pm psychiatrist appointment. When we got to my moms, my husband kissed me goodbye and left to pick up our son from school, so it was just me and our 9 month old daughter. I heard high pitched meowing. I assumed it was one of the 3 week old kittens that my moms cat, Luna had. I thought maybe one of them were caught up in something under the bed. Something told me to check, so I did. I looked under and they seemed fine but then I look over to the other cat, Booboo, and I see something moving. I thought maybe she stole Luna’s kittens again so I looked back at Luna and counted her babies and all 3 were accounted for. I looked back at Booboo a little harder and then it hit me that she had babies. I was shocked because no one was home to witness it. I tried to count how many kittens she had from a distance but couldn’t tell for sure. But there was one kitten that caught my eye and it was the one that was curled up alone and wasn’t moving. The rest were nursing and huddled together with mom. I moved the head board out of my way and reached down for that kitten. It was ice cold to the touch and for a second it made me jump back but then I quickly realized it needed some kind of intervention or it would die of hypothermia. I picked it up and wrapped it with a blanket and started huffing my warm breath to warm the kitten faster. He wasn’t moving or making any noise. At first I thought he was dead but I felt a faint heartbeat against my palm. I called my mom to ask her how far she was from home and to tell her what was going on. She was in disbelief just like I was. Meanwhile, my 9 month old daughter, MaKayla, was still in her car seat and started crying to get out. At that moment, I felt so overwhelmed because I was stuck between comforting my daughter and saving a dying kitten. I got ahold of myself and got back into focus. I took MaKayla out her car seat and breastfed her while I held the kitten in the blanket. He started to warm up and he started meowing and moving around slowly. The sound of him vocalizing was peaceful, beautiful music to my ears. At that moment, I knew he had a fighting chance and it was all because I was at the right place at the right time. My mom arrived and helped with MaKayla while I got Booboo and all her kittens out from under the bed. I was trying to see if the kitten would finally nurse but he was still a little too weak to latch on and Booboo didn’t seem to have an interest in the little runt of the litter. I tried to get another cat, Cleo, who recently delivered a stillborn kitten to try and nurse this kitten but she hissed and wanting nothing to do with it. I felt stuck and helpless. It was cutting close to my appointment time so I had to make a decision – either cancel my appointment or take the kitten with me. I took him with me because due to how overwhelmed I was, I figured therapy was a must so I could let out some steam. I ran up the hill pushing the stroller with one arm and holding the kitten in the other and arrived to my appointment 4 minutes late but it was all good. My therapist heard the whole story from me and was proud of me for my efforts in trying to save the kitten.
After my appointments, my husband was already waiting for me outside. We got MaKayla in the car and I hopped in and we took off to PetSmart so I can buy some kitten formula. I went in with the kitten and I asked these workers for help in finding the best formula. As I explained what happened, I started crying and they felt so bad. They helped me pick up the best stuff and then I paid, thanked them and went back to the car and we drove home. I filled up the bottle and tried to feed him but it didn’t seem like he was getting anything so we took a syringe and filled it and I fed him that way and he drank about 5ml’s. So far he’s doing alright and I hope that he continues to thrive and make me proud.
I weighed him and he’s 1.4 ounces which is really small. I’ll be weighing him every other day to check his progress and I will be feeding him every 3 hours. I’ll keep you all updated on his well-being. I hope to have good news for y’all. I hope and pray that he makes it and is healthy. We do plan on keeping him if he survives because I already got attached. Anyway, stay tuned for an update on this little fighter and for other blogs too. Thank you for reading this if you made it to the end. I hope y’all enjoying reading about this heart warming experience of mine.