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Not Having A Good Memory Like Dory

Some people with autism can have a really good memory but others do not, in this blog I will be discussing to you what having a good memory is really all about. I have been lucky enough to have a good memory and from my past experience I can still remember things up until now, it’s like a special gift that I have. People can be really surprised with how much information I can absorb and how my mind really works. 

Learning Lines And Remembering Dance Routines 

When I was in education I was really passionate about musical theatre, dance, making short films, writing scripts and other productive things and still am. With having a good memory it allowed me to remember my lines for when I was playing a character, by doing so I would read my lines repeatively at least ten times until it got into my head. The next, step I would try and read it without the script and before I knew it I could remember my lines. It’s the same for learning a dance routine by going over the same steps until I could remember it. Also, copying and watching anything visual can help with remembering things. It was great for me to help other people when they couldn’t remember their dance routine or other things.

It is great to also, remember quotes from your favourite films and lyrics from your favourite songs. 

Writing A Shopping List

When going food or casual shopping, I sometimes like to write down a list of things that I need to buy which, then can help me to remember it but, in other situations if I am shopping with my mum and she asks me to remember some products I would try and remember it. Some words such as: Milk, water and other things are easier to remember but, I do struggle to remember long words. Once something is on my mind I will remember it forever.

Memory Card Games

Anyone with a good memory should be good at playing card games, it’s easier when they are pictures because, you can visualise and remember where it was. 

Being Organised And Keeping Your Room Tidy

Everyone is different when it comes to keeping their bedrooms how it should be, for me I like to make sure that, I know where everything is, if something get’s moved I would remember it straight away. I do not like having things being lost because, it makes me get very stressed and upset. I like to keep myself organised so if I am going out the next day I would pack my bag the day before and double check it to make sure, that I have everything that I need.

Remembering Day Trips Out, Faces, Holidays 

One of my favourite things that I love to remember are going out on outings with your friends and family as well as going away on holiday. When I have had an amazing day out, I can remember what we got up to, sometimes what we wore but, not all the time. I can also, remember sometimes people faces, if i have seen them a lot or from my past. Not all the time I can remember names though unless I see them all the time. 

Putting Objects In Order 

Another thing is that I love to make sure that, I put my DVDS or certain objects in order sometimes if it’s in a sequel like the Harry Potter films for example. That way if I am looking for something with that particular title I know where to look for. Sometimes I like to go by the actors name for example Zac Efron I would put all of his films together. This may sound weird to people but, it’s a good format to have if you like to be organised or it is the way that you are.

There are so many things that I could discuss to you about why I love my memory so much but, everyone has their own different opinion and it is something that I would like to discuss if anyone has anything else to say.

One of my favourite quotes from Disney’s Aladdin that the Genie says is that: “You look like a prince on the outside. But I didn’t change anything on the inside.” We are different but it doesn’t change the way that we are. 

Written by Kathleen McDermott 

Information from https://www.heathermount.co.uk/page/?pid=28

READY – Our Autism Approach

READY is Heathermount鈥檚 hierarchical autism specific approach to supporting students on the autistic spectrum.

Regulating my emotions and sensory needs (Understanding my body)

Many individuals with ASC have reduced self-awareness. This means that they may not understand/recognise the physiological changes in their body. This could result in students not recognising:

路 They are hot or cold

路 Their feelings

路 They are not feeling well

Environmental Needs

Many individuals with ASD have difficulty with processing information. When an environment is cluttered this reduces their ability to process information. Individuals with ASD need structure, predictability, organization and routine.

Classroom structure includes:

TEACCH – This enables the students to see what is required of them in each session. Staff will present the work by answering four questions:

1. What work?

2. How much work?

3. When am I finished?

4. What is next?

How this information is presented can be differentiated dependant on the student鈥檚 level. For example, TEACCH drawers, task sheets, Classroom structure book, displayed on interactive smartboard, hanging file, clearly defined areas and flipchart. The environment is also kept clutter free with extraneous items put away.

路 Timetables

路 Teaching areas

路 Labelled drawers and cupboards

路 Visual support

路 Planners

Autism – Me and Others

The area of relatedness refers to how we support students in understanding others, their relationship to others, understanding events and their relatedness to events. We do this by:

路 Call students鈥 names to gain attention

路 Use one voice to prevent distraction

路 Communication strategies

路 Communication sessions

Developing Social Communication Skills

The area of relatedness refers to how we support students in understanding others, their relationship to others, understanding events and their relatedness to events. We do this by:

路 Call students鈥 names to gain attention

路 Use one voice to prevent distraction

路 Communication strategies

路 Communication sessions

Many of the students struggle to understand the impact of their Autism on themselves and others.

This includes:

路 Lack of theory of mind

路 How their behaviour affects others

路 How to recognise, use, understand and generalise strategies

Your Strengths and Achievements

Many individuals with ASD have reduced self-esteem and confidence.

This is supported by:

路 Celebrating success

路 Promoting self-belief

路 Taking pride in work

路 Building confidence

Top tips you do and don鈥檛 do with people who have autism

In this blog I thought that I would discuss my top ten tips that you do and don鈥檛 do with people who have autism. These top tips would be really helpful for people who want to understand what autism is and how to deal with it.

Dos

  1. Are great at being organised.
  2. Have a really good memory.
  3. Good at being creative whether it is filming or cooking.
  4. We like to complete tasks one at a time and having things broking down to make sure that they understand what they need to do.
  5. We like to be honest to our friends and family.
  6. We like to see things that are visual such as: watching a film, seeing pictures etc.
  7. We sometimes like to do things on our own e.g. traveling to London.
  8. We have to keep our belongings in the same place and like to keep our room clean and tidy.
  9. We always try our best no matter what the situation we are in whether it is finding a work job or taking our driving test.
  10. We like doing activities to keep us entertained when we are out with friends or a course group.
  11. We like eating the same food and going to the same restaurants, we do like a bit of a change if we fancy it.
  12. We can pick up and get tasks done quickly once they know what they are doing.
  13. We like to be focus on one thing before moving on to the next one.
  14. We can be obsessed with things such as: Disney or Harry Potter.
  15. We like to know what the plans are when going out on a day trip with knowing the time, how long it will take etc.
  16. Always make sure that you do your double checks when leaving to go out to places, otherwise you will start panicking.

Don鈥檛s

  1. We do not like people touching their food (unless they are sharing snacks at the cinema).
  2. We can get really sensitive when other people want to touch e.g. hugs (unless you know the person and allow them to touch you).
  3. We can hate loud noises including: fire alarms, discos, bands (depending on the instrument).
  4. We may not like standing in more than an hour queue at theme parks (have to get a disabled pass).
  5. We may struggle with being around big crowds,
  6. We can get stressed and worried with being in a situation that we don鈥檛 understand.
  7. We may not like changes including: being in a new environment that we do not recognise.
  8. We may struggle to understand time (quarter two and quarter past).
  9. We may not like being left out especially in day trip out with friends, birthday parties etc.
  10. We can be pushed away, treated horribly and not respectful in a work place situation.
  11. We can muddle up their words and tenses.
  12. We do not understand jokes (sometimes can be understood by visual).
  13. We can sometimes hurt someone else feelings even if they don鈥檛 mean to be.
  14. We can sometimes say something horrible to the person without even realising that we are doing it.
  15. We can repeat a lot of questions until we get the answer that we are looking for.
  16. We can sometimes interrupt when someone is speaking to us.
  17. We can sometimes struggle with listening to instructions.
  18. We can struggle to read and understand a long paragraph especially in books.
  19. We can struggle with understanding comprehension when reading a book.
  20. We can struggle with typing up sentences on a computer especially with our grammar and punctuation. We can also, struggle with spelling out words.
  21. We can get very anxious in being in a new situation and can lose our temper badly too.
  22. We can also, be very clumsy.
  23. We don鈥檛 like to be shouted at as it can sometimes set off our emotions.

Written by Kathleen McDermott

A honest conversation

Lol this froze on an unforoutounate look for me, but I hope the message gets through

Diagnostics otherwise known as the most stupidest way to find if someone is autistic

Because of the way of diagnosis works in the NHS, a lot of people who frankly need the support go without the support they need .This is because of autism masking. Now autism masking is when an autistic person replicates the social behaviour of other people around them, as security or comfort thing because autistic people are frankly scared of revealing who they are a lot of the time because of constantly being told they are problematic or hurtful or mean . A lot of autistic people I have met are blunt myself included . and some are brave enough to wivstand that pressure and be themselves. what’s more the mainly use of the un informed medical model of diagnostics only reveal a small portion of the amount of autistic people that are actually diagnosed, cause I have met a lot of people who gone un diagnosed and only now have to begin finding out the truth . There is a set of questions one person can ask to be more accurate then in my view most of the current “professionals ” .

Question 1 : do you ever feel like you need to talk about certain things with people and cant talk to with people and if so why ?

if the answer is yes this is mostly linked to masking and the different social pressure autistic people face in their daily lives. growing up it was instinctively to reveal our true selves ,but growing up the most our ways of living ,being able to tell truth all of the time asking other people the same , becomes taboo and unexpectable in modern day society which creates the need of masking which mean copying the social behaviours of the people around them and of the most common thins is only talking about specific things that the other person is perceived to be interested in the most

Question 2 :do you ever feel like you need to behave like everyone else in the party or a social Meetup

As with the previous question this is to do with autism masking . if the question is yes that means that said autistic person is copying all aspects of behaviour from people to be socially protected in a situation .This is linked to the feeling of safety. The mental health effect of this is severe is as with most people, if people hide who they are to the level of masking eventually one can loose sight of their own personality which can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts .

Question 3 do you ever feel sick or dizzy or just very nervous with large people in a room

if the answer is yes This is because anxiety is created as this activates a lot of autistic triggers .One sensory issues, the tooo much noise, two. touch and all sensory issues , three social fear and if possible the best thing is to create separate waiting lines with more space between people or to have less waiting time which personally I don’t think it help anyone . Associations are made with autistic people to often and autistic people can make an association of fear and being hurt with meeting new people and seeing to many people at once can send people to a state of deep panic

Question 4 : how often do you find new people just tedious and just spend time with the same few people

Autistic people can find it exhausting and boring to socialising with new people as they don’t know what to really talk about with them we cant engage and enjoy small talk and since that’s the way to make most friendships we find it hard to move forward, in my case I was reliang on my school friends to help my autism at bay and keep me from falling to chaos. Another way it looks so exuasting its because other purple can communicate with in different ways , and its beyond difficult to understand it has created a lot of problems for me in my own family

Question 5 :how you have had a sensation where you felt literally pulled from a boring as conversation and have you ever acted on it

Being stuck in conversations where we don’t know what we actually taling about is common but it can create almost a sense of an itch in the brain that gets worse and worse eventually feels like your sitting on spikes ,which creates the desire to just get out as it could really make someone feel like their on the edge of collapse .

Question 6 :expanding on masking, do you ever feel you need to prepair conversation starters when you meet someone ?

This links to the social structures of social scripting , coming up with the conversation starters so there is a safety of knowing how to progress the conversation forward and and not experience the anxiety of the unknown in the conversation

Question 7: what is your process of how you process emotions ?

Question 8: do you find it hard to maintain friendships or relationships , if yes why ?

if the answer is yes it is an indicator .Getting attached to easily is common. It鈥檚 to do with familiarity . If you find someone who makes you feel safe ,you want to do anything it takes to keep them around as meeting new people can be emotional hell as you can have an association that marks meeting new people to being hurt hence you never want to meet new people, or Cling to a relationship of any kind that gives safety . In terms of keeping particular people in your life I get it ,it鈥檚 to do with influences . I found with a lot of people it can happen involuntary feel the same as others, an empathy type quality hence you need to keep the right people in your life so your mental state is not worsened . Bluntness scares people, but speaking from experience if you keep that hidden you will pay for it with your mental health .

Question 9 : do you ever fixate for days about one specific thing ?

if the answer is yes That鈥檚 to do with several things . One . Familiarity , reading about or doing those interests , gives you a sense of comfort ,as it鈥檚 regularity in a chaos of a world and something autistic people mentally crave so structure and something reliable so you do it again and again to get it, it usually increases the amount of time you do those interests if you going through a time of uncertainty, as you need certainty as well all do . 2. Your good at it ,often special interests manifest when you get told over and over again that your not good at anything else, other than that so you fixated on it. 3. General enjoyment 4 : genuine distance and irritation towards anything else

Question 10: do you ever feel like your screaming internally and all of time slows down as a result

if the answer is yes or its partially yes .That鈥檚 again to do with masking ,cause of fear of being hurt, you appear like the person you think they like, so they never know what to ask you ,which can create a feeling of loneliness and hopelessness. as a security precaution ,

question 11 : do you ever feeling like literally no one in existence understands the real you or how to support you and if so how often ?

if the answer is yes , that’s common autistic people have a very big difficulty, of communicating what’s really on their minds, and some are lucky enough to find people who instivtevely get them.

Autism and Innovation

Amongst the vast majority of employers, the very different cognitive, reasoning and analytical styles of autistics is not well understood or appreciated. This is a terrible shame 鈥 not to say waste 鈥 because if properly utilised, these very different thinking styles that are characteristic of autism can actually be a valuable asset. It鈥檚 a key reason (amongst several others) why employers are foolish to ignore autistics.

Unlike their non-autistic (鈥渘eurotypical鈥) brethren, a thinking process based solely in terms of language and words is completely alien to most autistics. First and foremost, they鈥檙e visual thinkers constructing fluid, evolving pictures and images in their mind鈥檚 eye as they analyse a given problem or consider a given phenomenon. The words they use to describe that which they 鈥渟ee鈥 come later; often much later. It鈥檚 only after these images have stabilised 鈥 that is, have taken concrete form 鈥 that they set about the task of describing that which they visualise by using language. Often that 鈥渓anguage鈥 isn鈥檛 actually made up of words born of linguistics, but is in fact another form of language such as mathematics, computer code or music.

Autistics do this as a consequence of their need for both precision and exactitude, coupled with a recognition that language, by its very nature, is none of these things and instead, is both nuanced and nebulous such it that cannot ever completely satisfy this need. Simply put, language can never describe an object, idea, concept, or argument as efficiently or accurately as an image or diagram can.

When considering a given problem or concept, many moving images will appear in the and disappear concurrently in the autistics’ mind . To use an arnalogy, it鈥檚 like playing multiple different disks in a DVD player in their imagination and so running several different films at the same time.

It鈥檚 contrary to what one might imagine, but being able to construct images like this, in one鈥檚 mind, is actually a very valuable skill to have in many occupations. The ability to visualise both the shape and structure of say a new engine component and to be able to run test simulations of it without the need to physically build the thing or model it on a computer, could be tremendously beneficial in a profession such as mechanical engineering or aeronautical design. A product or furniture designer can save thousands of pounds and many man hours if they鈥檙e able to evaluate a new product in just their mind. Equally, to be able to conceive of a new building design, to be able to evaluate others, and to be able to identify any possible flaws with it before it鈥檚 ever built, is enormously useful in architecture. Maybe this is partly why the renowned architects Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, who are both autistic, are so successful.

Visual methods of thinking, when applied to tasks or problems that are conventionally tackled in non-visual manner, often lead to a final conclusion that much sooner and that much more efficiently. An autistic computer programmer, when tasked with creating new software will first visualise the entire program tree in their mind and then fill in the program code on each branch. This method also works in reverse however 鈥 i.e. when faced with totally new kind of problem and you don鈥檛 have any idea from the outset what the solution will look like and you only have some of the data needed or the components needed to derive the answer.

With any problem they have to address, however abstract or imprecise, an autistic will formulate a general outline of the solution in their head in the form of a fuzzy, out-of-focus image. As facts or facets regarding the problem become better understood or inferences are made, it becomes ever clearer. Once a sharp image has formed, it鈥檚 then that the solution will reveal itself and its then a relatively simple matter of both describing and implementing the solution. The process is analogous to deducing what the picture on a completed jig saw puzzle is when only some of the pieces are put together. A piece is placed in one corner, and then another, and then after about a quarter of all the pieces are in place, the autistic can then determine that the puzzle has a picture of a house on it (for example).

Precisely because of their exemplary visual cognitive skills, autistics are ideally suited for careers as:

  • Cartographers
  • Games Designers
  • Interior Designers
  • Draftsmen
  • Artists
  • Graphic Designers
  • Physicists
  • Astronomers
  • Engineers
  • Mechanics
  • Film Makers
  • Surgeons
  • Air Traffic Controllers

Employers should forgo their communication difficulties in order to foster this natural talent. Ironically, the very skills that autistics excel at are, more often than not, the very same skills employers find hardest to find people with. Why? Because in their ignorance, they鈥檙e overlooking autistics and are instead are focusing on what they can鈥檛 do rather than what they can.


What Actually is Autism? Here Follows a More Accurate Definition.

How many websites are there that include a page called something like 鈥淲hat Is Autism?鈥 or 鈥淎bout Autism’? How often do organisations, professionals, scholars, and others feel the need to include a few paragraphs of basic introductory 鈥淲hat Is Autism?鈥 information in a website, brochure, presentation, or academic paper?

I鈥檝e seen so many versions of that obligatory 鈥淲hat Is Autism鈥 or 鈥淎bout Autism鈥 text and they鈥檙e almost all terrible . For starters, almost all of them 鈥 even the versions written by people who claim to be in advocates for 鈥渁utism acceptance鈥 or to support the neurodiversity paradigm 鈥 use the language of the pathology paradigm, which, in my view, only serves to contribute to the discrimination of Autistics.

On top of that, most of these descriptions of 鈥 even the ones written by Autistics 鈥 propagate inaccurate information and ultimately false stereotypes. Some are so bad that they actually quote the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM).

Of course, there are also a few really good pieces of 鈥淲hat Is Autism鈥 text out there. But for the most part, they鈥檙e rather personal pieces concerning the authors鈥 own unique experience of autism, rather than general introductory definitions.

What is needed is some good basic introductory 鈥淲hat Is Autism鈥 text that is:

1.) consistent with current evidence;
2.) not based in the pathology paradigm;
3.) concise, simple, and accessible;  and
4.) formal enough for professional and academic use.

Since I couldn鈥檛 find such a piece of prose elsewhere, I decided to write one. And here it is.

WHAT IS AUTISM?

Autism is a genetics-based human neurological variant.

The complex set of interrelated characteristics that distinguish autistic neurology from non-autistic neurology is not yet fully understood, but current scientific evidence born of neurology and biochemistry indicates that the central distinction is that autistic brains are characterised by particularly high levels of synaptic connectivity and responsiveness. This tends to make the autistic individual鈥檚 subjective experience much more intense and chaotic than that of non-autistic individuals. On both the sensorimotor and cognitive levels, the autistic mind tends to register more information, and the impact of each bit of information tends to be both marked and less predictable.

Additionally, it  is a developmental phenomenon, meaning that it originates in utero and has a pervasive influence on the development of autistic person, on multiple levels, throughout their lifespan. Autism produces distinctive, atypical ways of thinking, moving, interaction, and sensory and cognitive processing. One analogy that has often been made is that autistic individuals have a different neurological 鈥渙perating system鈥 than non-autistic individuals. Whereas most of the world runs Microsoft Windows on their computers, Autistics runs The Apple OS.

According to current estimates, somewhere between one percent and two percent of the world鈥檚 population is autistic. While the number of individuals diagnosed as autistic has increased continually over the past few decades, evidence suggests that this increase in diagnosis is the result of increased public and professional awareness, rather than an actual increase in the prevalence of autism.

Despite possessing underlying neurological commonalities, autistic individuals are vastly different from one another. Some autistic individuals exhibit exceptional cognitive talents. However, in the context of a society designed around the sensory, cognitive, developmental, and social needs of non-autistic individuals, autistic individuals are almost always disabled to some degree 鈥 sometimes quite obviously, and sometimes much more subtly.

The realm of social interaction is one context in which autistic individuals tend to be consistently disadvantaged . An autistic child鈥檚 sensory experience of the world is more intense and chaotic than that of a non-autistic child, and the ongoing task of navigating and integrating that experience thus occupies more of the autistic child鈥檚 attention and energy. This means the autistic child has less attention and energy available to focus on the subtleties of social interaction. Difficulty meeting the social expectations of non-autistics often results in social rejection, which further compounds social difficulties and impedes social development. For this reason, autism has been frequently misconstrued as being essentially a set of 鈥渟ocial and communication deficits,鈥 by those who are unaware that the social challenges faced by autistic individuals are just by-products of the intense and chaotic nature of autistic sensory and cognitive experience.

Autism is still widely regarded as a 鈥渄isorder,鈥 but this view has been challenged in recent years by proponents of the neurodiversity model, which holds that autism and other neurocognitive variants are simply part of the natural spectrum of human biodiversity, like variations in ethnicity or sexual orientation (which have also been pathologized in the past). Ultimately, to describe autism as a disorder represents a value judgment rather than a scientific fact.

What is Autism

Autism is a spectrum of different conditions or as I would like to put it a different way of being and difficulties that are caused neurologically through the way the brain develops that all need to be supported independently and only share some difficulties between us. For example, we feel a lot of things more acutely which can cause us to find it hard to succeed in a neurotypical world because there is not enough done to understand those emotional difficulties.

Many autistic people including myself have been put through excruciating rituals to act as “normal children ” by my former school, by my former school and occasionally before I found who truly am people in university. This makes us struggle to live in the world because it suppresses who we truly are and can feel like a piece of our soul was taken away and we need to create a middle ground to help us interact in a way that makes everyone at least somewhat happy and encourage equality and understanding

.What keeps us from doing that is mainly ego and pride to maintain the status quo. Ego is the anaesthesia that numbs the pain of stupidity and bad actions, and a refusal to change and accept peoples uniqueness leads to the loss of life and the loss of potential and positive impact that can change the world. Due to our autism, we interact with things in a different way, usually more direct and blunt a lot of the times. We also talk about usually a lot more creative and weird things that are so out of the regular range of conversations it becomes truly amazing ,

Research has revealed that people with autism have brains that function in a number of different ways to those without the condition. Autistic people are tended to be specialised in specific interests but it can vary what from person to person as special interests can vary it can range from creative professions like artists and writers to scientific professions like programming and maths.