When sensory experiences don’t make sense!
Undercover Autism
by Emma
4M ago
Can my sensory differences really feel like this? This blog explores some of the interesting, terrifying, joyful, stim-tastic, and plain strange, ways that humans – especially autistic humans – can experience the world through our sense systems. The medical language about autism uses words like disorder, abnormal and atypical, and suggest that there is one, standard sensory processing norm from which Autistic people deviate. This is not the case. Each of us, Autistic and non-autistic alike, has our own individual way of processing sensory information. How does our sensory processing system wor ..read more
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Making sense of feeling unsafe
Undercover Autism
by Emma
7M ago
A blog about mental health, emotional distress, autism and hope. I feel like I am unravelling. Thoughts are like words outside my head. My body seems to be somewhere else. Where “I” end and everything else begins seems fuzzy, fluid, and fucked up. Am I in pain? I don’t know. Am I upset? Not sure. What do I want and need? No idea – and please stop asking all those difficult questions! I’ve had a tough few weeks that culminated in a car crash a fortnight ago. The hospital scans show that thankfully, I have no broken bones. My bruises reveal I am injured. My sensory processing indicates something ..read more
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Autism does NOT reduce your life expectancy – being Autistic does…
Undercover Autism
by Emma
1y ago
Death has been on my mind for most of my life. The uncertainty and relative unpredictability of it has made it an attractive topic for a hyper-focused deep-dive; seeking answers, clarity and a desire to find a crumb of certainty. Some of those thoughts have led to dark places and some have been refreshingly liberating. It does not surprise me that autistic people are nine times as likely as our non-autistic peers to die by suicide. We are more likely to experience traumatic life events including bullying and adverse childhood experiences. We are less likely to be in work – and it is well known ..read more
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Autistic traits: When self-care gets pathologised
Undercover Autism
by Emma
1y ago
In order to receive a clinical diagnosis of autism, a person must meet certain criteria. Aside from the damaging and negative language that describes our way of experiencing and responding to the world as deficits, these criteria don’t really tell us anything about “being” autistic. They are interpretations through the medical and neurotypical gaze of what autism looks like if you aren’t actually autistic yourself. (Not dissimilar to claiming the scientific “proof” that a coconut is in fact a mammal because it has brown hair and produces milk – it certainly meets some of the criteria for being ..read more
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Why Autistic people may experience intense emotions….
Undercover Autism
by Emma
1y ago
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Sensory Trauma and Proactive Regulation
Undercover Autism
by Emma
1y ago
https://www.differentbrains.org/sensory-trauma-and-proactive-regulation/ A blog for US non-profit Different Brains ..read more
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Reading between the lines…
Undercover Autism
by Emma
2y ago
Much is said about Autistic people being blunt, or lacking in social skills, and not understanding figures of speech or nuanced conversation. These are observations and interpretations of autism that perhaps don’t consider what it is like to be autistic. This blog shares my personal insights on this topic. There are likely to be as many variations of Autistic insight as there are Autistic people. Growing Up “Maybe” is a word that fills many children with dread regardless of whether or not they are autistic. It is vague and requires you to work out its meaning. Here are a few possible meanings ..read more
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Placing my pain – or how I’m learning to say “ouch” in all the right places!
Undercover Autism
by Emma
2y ago
In my previous blog Saying “Ouch” in all the Wrong Places, I describe our sense of interoception and how my sensory processing differences result in my brain receiving very muted signals about what I feel inside my body. The blog gives some examples of how this manifests for me and the challenges this creates when attempting to describe medical symptoms and access appropriate medical support. Today I visited the dentist. Dental appointments would have been unthinkable when I wrote that earlier blog, but with support over the summer, I have had several visits to the dentist, requiring x-rays, a ..read more
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Taking things literally – there’s more to it than meets the eye!
Undercover Autism
by Emma
2y ago
‘Taking things literally’ is a trait or stereotype commonly associated with autism. The diagnostic manuals used by clinicians don’t include specific details on this – but many of the organisations that professionals and families consider to be an authority on autism detail it in their information: “Autistic people can take things literally, and may not understand open-ended questions.” National Autistic Society UK “Children and adults with autism have difficulty with verbal and non-verbal communication. For example, they may not understand or appropriately use: …expressions not meant to be tak ..read more
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Snapshot: a typical day in the professional life of one Autistic woman…
Undercover Autism
by Emma
2y ago
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a change in how we carry out our work for all of us – and for many of us that has meant working from home and reduced social contact. My typical working week has gone from face-to-face meetings, visits, and home or office based work, to almost exclusively working from home with those face-to-face meetings replaced with video calls and most visits postponed. I wrote about zoom fatigue and the analogies it has with Autistic communication, last year. Yesterday was different. Yesterday I stepped out into the “real” world and was required to drive to the nearest cit ..read more
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