In honour of autism awareness month, myself and my family are participating in the walk for Autism, this is a 8 day challenge to walk 10,000 daily and to raise awareness of Autism!
you can donate here; https://walk-for-autism-2018.everydayhero.com/au/Team-Eylward
all proceeds go to Autism Spectrum Australia
I was diagnosed at age 13 with Aspergers Syndrome. So I find social situations harder. So it takes a lot of courage to talk to someone I don’t know, it’s hard to look people in the eyes, so if I look away or don’t look at you don’t take it personally, it’s just I am uncomfortable!
Aspergers & Autism make things a little difficult for me to process things in a normal way, so at school I would have the curriculum changed so I can understand and was able to process and do myself! I also had a NEP (negotiated learning plan) which made school a little easier! Getting to school was a challenge as well, I had a lot of anxiety which made me sit in the toilet a lot longer than normal so I was ready to go to school! At the age 16/17 I was diagnosed with depression after all the bullying I suffered at school due to me being different and a little bigger than other people!
Being social is harder for those with Autism and also going out and finding friends!
Here is some information about Asperger Syndrome (the following info is taken from http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/about-aspergers-m/what-is-aspergers)
What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Children with Asperger’s syndrome have the following characteristics:
• Delayed social maturity and social reasoning.
• Difficulty making friends and often teased by other children.
• Difficulty with the communication and control of emotions.
• Unusual language abilities that include advanced vocabulary and syntax but delayed conversation skills, unusual prosody and a tendency to be pedantic.
• A fascination with a topic that is unusual in intensity or focus.
• An unusual profile of learning abilities.
• A need for assistance with some self-help and organizational skills.
• Clumsiness in terms of gait and coordination.
• Sensitivity to specific sounds, aromas, textures or touch.
The advantages of a diagnosis can be:
• Being recognized as having genuine difficulties coping with experiences that others find easy and enjoyable.
• A positive change in other people’s expectations, acceptance and support.
• Compliments rather than criticism with regard to social competence.
• Acknowledgement of confusion and exhaustion in social situations.
• Schools can access resources to help the child and class teacher.
• An adult can access specialized support services for employment and further education.
• Greater self-understanding, self-advocacy and better decision making with regard to careers, friendships and relationships.
• A sense of identification with a valued ‘culture’.
• The person no longer feels stupid, defective or insane.
Aspects of the Diagnosis
• A diagnosis can be made with some confidence for a child after the age of five years, but cannot yet be made with sufficient confidence in pre-school children.
• We now have an assessment instrument and diagnostic criteria specifically for adults.
• The confidence in the diagnostic assessment of adults can be affected by the honesty and accuracy in the responses to questions and questionnaires.
• Some adults referred for a diagnostic assessment may have the signs but not the clinically significant impairment in functioning necessary for a diagnosis.
• It is not the severity of expression that is important but the circumstances, expectations and coping and support mechanisms.
Characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome
Theory of Mind
• Effects of impaired Theory of Mind abilities in daily life
• Difficulties reading the messages in someone’s eyes.
• A tendency to make a literal interpretation of what someone says.
• A tendency to be considered disrespectful and rude.
• Remarkable honesty.
• Delay in the development of the art of persuasion, compromise and conflict resolution.
• A different form of introspection and self-consciousness.
• Problems knowing when something may cause embarrassment.
• A longer time to process social information, due to using intelligence rather than intuition.
• Physical and emotional exhaustion from socializing.
The Understanding and Expression of Emotions
• The emotional maturity of children with Asperger’s syndrome is usually at least three years behind that of their peers.
• There can be a limited vocabulary to describe emotions and a lack of subtlety and variety in emotional expression.
• There is an association between Asperger’s syndrome and the development of an additional or secondary mood disorder, including depression, anxiety disorder, and problems with anger management and the communication of love and affection.
• People with Asperger’s syndrome appear vulnerable to feeling depressed, with about one in three children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome having a clinical depression.
• We do not know how common anger management problems are with children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome, but we do know that when problems with the expression of anger occur, the person with Asperger’s syndrome and family members are very keen to reduce the frequency, intensity and consequences of anger.
• A person with Asperger’s syndrome may enjoy a very brief and low intensity expression of affection, and become confused or overwhelmed when greater levels of expression are experienced or expected.
• The emotion management for children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome can be conceptualized as a problem with ‘energy management’, namely, an excessive amount of emotional energy and difficulty controlling and releasing the energy constructively.
• One of the distinguishing characteristics between a hobby and a special interest that is of clinical significance is an abnormality in the intensity or focus of the interest.
• Unusual or special interests can develop as early as age two to three years and may commence with a preoccupation with parts of objects such as spinning the wheels of toy cars, or manipulating electrical switches.
• The next stage may be a fixation on something neither human nor toy, or a fascination with a specific category of objects and the acquisition of as many examples as possible.
• A subsequent stage can be the collection of facts and figures about a specific topic.
• Much of the knowledge associated with the interest is self-directed and self-taught.
• In the pre-teenage and teenage years the interests can evolve to include electronics and computers, fantasy literature, science fiction and sometimes a fascination with a particular person.
• There appear to be two main categories of interest: collections, and the acquisition of knowledge on a specific topic or concept.
• Some girls with Asperger’s syndrome can develop a special interest in fiction rather than facts.
• Sometimes the special interest is animals but can be to such an intensity that the child acts being the animal.
• The special interest has several functions:
1. To overcome anxiety.
2. To provide pleasure.
3. To provide relaxation.
4. To ensure greater predictability and certainty in life.
5. To help understand the physical world.
6. To create an alternative world.
7. To create a sense of identity.
8. To facilitate conversation and indicate intellectual ability.
• The interest can be a source of enjoyment, knowledge, self-identity and self-esteem that can be constructively used by parents, teachers and therapists.
• When one considers the attributes associated with the special interests, it is important to consider not only the benefits to the person with Asperger’s syndrome, but also the benefits to society.
• Some young children with Asperger’s syndrome start school with academic abilities above their grade level.
• There seem to be more children with Asperger’s syndrome than one might expect at the extremes of cognitive ability.
• Profile of learning abilities at school
• At school, teachers soon recognize that the child has a distinctive learning style, being talented in understanding the logical and physical world, noticing details and remembering and arranging facts in a systematic fashion.
• Children with Asperger’s syndrome can be easily distracted, especially in the classroom. When problem solving, they appear to have a ‘one-track mind’ and a fear of failure.
• As the child progresses through the school grades, teachers identify problems with organizational abilities, especially with regard to homework assignments and essays.
• If the child with Asperger’s syndrome is not successful socially at school, then academic success becomes more important as the primary motivation to attend school and for the development of self-esteem.
Movement and Coordination
• There is an impression of clumsiness in at least 60 per cent of children with Asperger’s syndrome, but several studies using specialized assessment procedures have indicated that specific expressions of movement disturbance occur in almost all children with Asperger’s syndrome.
• When walking or running, the child’s coordination can be immature, and adults with Asperger’s syndrome may have a strange, sometimes idiosyncratic gait that lacks fluency and efficiency.
• Some children with Asperger’s syndrome can be immature in the development of the ability to catch, throw and kick a ball.
• Poorly planned movement and slower mental preparation time may be a more precise description than simply being clumsy.
• Teachers and parents can become quite concerned about difficulties with handwriting.
• The movement disturbance does not appear to affect some sporting activities such as swimming, using the trampoline, playing golf and horse riding.
• Some adults with Asperger’s syndrome consider their sensory sensitivity has a greater impact on their daily lives than problems with making friends, managing emotions and finding appropriate employment.
• The most common sensitivity is to very specific sounds but there can also be sensitivity to tactile experiences, light intensity, the taste and texture of food and specific aromas. There can be an under or over reaction to the experience of pain and discomfort, and the sense of balance, movement perception and body orientation can be unusual.
• The child with sensory sensitivity becomes hypervigilant, tense and distractible in sensory stimulating environments such as the classroom, unsure when the next painful sensory experience will occur.
• We know that the signs are more conspicuous in early childhood and gradually diminish during adolescence, but can remain a lifelong characteristic for some adults with Asperger’s syndrome.
Thank you for reading
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Thank you for taking the time to read this information it is important to read this info to raise awareness for Autism and understand people with Autism ☺️