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Showing posts from November, 2019

Is My Son Autistic?

My son is 3 years old, about to turn 4 after Christmas. There have been things I've noticed about him that make me wonder if he might be autistic like me. Just little things and only occasionally, but there are things there making me suspect it nonetheless. We know that autism is (or at least can be) genetic, so it would completely make sense for any child of mine to potentially be autistic too. Before we dive in, I'm not saying that any given traits listed here are necessarily autism-related, rather that I feel there are too many of them to not at least consider the possibility of autism.

The first thing I've seen in him is that he seems to like lining things up neatly. I haven't seen him lining things up too often in the traditional sense, but he definitely likes building huge towers out of Lego and other things, which is essentially just lining things up but vertically instead of horizontally. He builds towers as big as he can with Lego, with Play Doh pots, sometime…

Exciting Things Coming

Just a quick post this week as I'm having a busy day and if I'm honest I haven't been mentally in the best place recently. I wanted to pop online anyway and give you a quick update of things that are planned/happening at the moment.
The first thing I want to mention is that the National Autistic Society is asking people to sign an open letter to all of the UK party leaders ahead of next month's general election. The letter brings to attention the fact that the updates to the government's autism strategy have been delayed because of this election, and it asks that the publishing of it takes a priority as soon as the next government is established. The existing autism strategy (entitled Think Autism ad published in 2014) is in place to support autistic adults by putting a duty on the government to produce guidance for local authorities to help them support autistics in a variety of ways including giving autism training for key staff and developing a clear pathway for…

The Logic Of Death

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I'm writing this the day after I had to have one of my pet rats put to sleep. Her name was Pebbles. She was old and she was the runt of her litter meaning that she was the more poorly one out of her, her sister and their mum who were all cage mates. She had a mammary tumour just next to her left fore leg and because of her age and her fragile health we decided it was best not to operate, but instead let her ride it out until her quality of life declined. That happened much sooner than I expected.

I like to think that I deal quite well with death, and I put that down to 2 things; a) The fact that I've had countless different pets over the years and a number of them were put to sleep with me being there to see it, so I've experienced it enough to learn to cope. And, b) I think autism helps me cope with it too. We autistics are often fiercely logical, so whenever I've experienced the death of a pet - or even a family member - I've always looked at the logical side of …

Sensory Differences

At its simplest, autism is a difference in brain structure. This difference in the brain can cause all sorts of differences in how the autistic person experiences and processes any and all sensory stimuli. I briefly touched on sensory processing when I wrote-up my support sessions that I had a few months ago, but I wanted to go through some of the atypical ways my senses work in more detail.

There are 5 classic senses that everyone knows about; these being vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell. During my support sessions when they asked us what we think the 6th sense is I joked about seeing dead people, but in all seriousness there are vestibular, proprioception and interoception, making 8 senses in all.
Vestibular is the sense of balance and spatial orientation, co-ordinating the two for movement.
Proprioception is the sense of positioning of the body and its parts in 3 dimensional space and involves the effort that's used in movement.
Interoception is the sense of what's g…