At first, I thought, how will we survive in this tiny home during a lockdown? I cannot go out for work, and with that, what about my income? Another thing is that I have a son with special needs. He also has to go to a school for kids who are the same as him. And my son, well, let’s just say he needs constant prompting. I shook off that fact, but now, I can say for sure that I have survived it. My son and I have survived at home and under lockdown without having to go out in public.
The discussion in the 2017 autism convention still lingers in me. It is not that I do not agree with what the experts say about autism in the event. But I find it a little bit off because it seems like the emphasis of pity is what takes a toll on me. I don’t have anything against that because I know my child needs compassion. However, I was expecting a different approach.
Yes, my autistic child can no longer do things as normal people do. He cannot talk and express his feelings directly. My child will forever have a hard time understanding even the smallest task anyone gives him. He can never expect things to go his way. He will always act impulsively and will get irritated when something triggers. I do understand all of those. But being a mother, I want things to be different for my child.
I know I cannot do more with his condition. But I don’t want him to think that he’s different. Because I realized that the more I give him special treatment, the more my child doesn’t want to be better. Why not let him be? Why can’t we let autistic children feel they are normal individuals too. Will it be that hard to compromise?
Yes, it is not going to be easy because they need guidance. But wouldn’t it be nice if we allow people with autism to live their lives according to what they can and what they want? My child is autistic, but he has feelings. He knows when people are trying to be kind only to prove a point – that he is incapable. Yes, it is not often the case. But how can we better explain it to people with autism if we only look at them as mentally incapable individuals?
Just think about it.
Love does move in mysterious ways, and when it hits you, it does hit you hard. However, in choosing your romantic partner for life, you cannot fully know who they truly are not until you get to live under one roof. However, what if your partner is someone who has Asperger Syndrome?
“The term unconditional love does not mean love without limits or bounds. It means, “I offer you my love freely without condition.” What this means is that when we offer our love, we offer it without expectation of repayment.” – Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT
Autism Spectrum Disorder, or simply known as ASD, is recognized as a developmental disorder since the symptoms generally appear the first two years, but may be diagnosed later in life. This disorder dramatically affects the person’s behavior, and ability to interact and communicate with other people.
Every couple dreams of having a little angel of their own. They have imagined how they would be like parenting a baby. Some are too excited they even prepared a nursery in the house right before they are pregnant. It is because having to create a new life out of love is the most fantastic feeling in the world, to see a little human walking and running around the house who has the parents’ eyes and lips. It is indeed priceless!
Autism disorders’ severity varies across the autism spectrum, from high-functioning to the low-functioning, and it tends to vary per individual. One of these disorders is Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). This was previously a separate medical condition, later on, it was included as part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of television and movie characters who supposedly are on the autism spectrum. Similarly, celebrities have come together to raise awareness of the disorder.
As it has steadily become a more open topic for discussion, there come myths about autism. Believing in these tales can be a dangerous deal, as it may lead to stigma, misunderstanding and even damages to the well-being of those on the spectrum. Now, let’s debunk some of these common misconceptions.
Most online information regarding autism is geared towards young children. In fact, data about adult autism is insufficient that it poses a negative impression that the condition rarely occurs in adults.
The truth is, autism is a disorder that does not only occur in children but can also prevail during adulthood. However, there is just a lack of information about this according to Kenneth Smith, LPC. He says, “Many resources are available for childhood/adolescent autism, but these approaches do not seem well-suited for adults, and there is almost nothing for people over age 21.”
Autism can primarily appear during the early stages of childhood and can progress until old age. Due to its permanent effect, autism can be severely challenging for adults. Therefore, it is essential to learn about adult autism since it can interfere with how a person will appropriately navigate through a complex and demanding world.
According to Sarah Swenson, LMHC, “When your adolescent is also at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, which we used to refer to diagnostically as Asperger’s syndrome, the angst and alienation can remain locked inside to an even greater extent. They manifest in withdrawn behavior, preference for solitude, and intense acting out in frustration.”
Adult Autism Facts
Let’s start with the basics of adult autism. What are the things that are necessary for one to know about the disorder?
Autism Can Persist From Childhood To Adulthood
Despite the stories you know and see on television, autism is a disorder that does not disappear quickly. Yes, there are claimed treatments here and there, but it is a rare occurrence for children who were diagnosed with autism to not carry the condition with them once they grow old. On certain occasions, autism persists from childhood to adulthood even though the person has efficiently built a reliable set of skills and demeanor that make autism less discernable.
Autistic Adults Can Be Successful
Just because they have autism, doesn’t mean that they are not going to have their fair share of success. Although it is somewhat extraordinary, there are still prominent adults with autism who are either moderately or extremely triumphant in their fields. Some are enjoying their married lives while being adequately compensated by their employers. There are even some autistic personalities that have become role models for those who fall under the spectrum, inspiring them to become independent and live full lives despite their condition.
Autistic Adults Experience Uncompromising Challenges
“Typically, explains Psychologist Megan Farley, “adults with autism come to a mental health clinic because they’re struggling with one or more issues. Common autism-related challenges include social isolation, finding and keeping a job or a romantic partner, anxiety or mood problems or an inability to organize one’s life.”
Given that high-functioning adults who have autism were able to power through despite the weight of their disorder, the majority still face difficulties and challenges. The demand required from higher-functioning autistic individuals is sometimes so herculean that they usually struggle to become “normal” and at the same time, cope with their sensory dysfunction, deficits in social or communicational skills, and extreme anxiety. Almost 30% of individuals with autism are on the non-verbal side; which means, they have little capacity to verbalize words or phrases to communicate with other people. More so, approximately 18% of autistic adults are exhibiting aggressive behavior, making it hard for them to develop positive relationships in a typical environment.
Adult Autism Varies From One Person To Another
The presentation of the condition is not singular; adult autism can be divided into different settings and categories. While some autistic adults are outstanding in ambitious fields like robotics, video game design and production, and information technology, others are efficiently functioning within compounded settings. The vast differences between a happily married individual versus someone having a fruitful friendship make it arduous for medical experts to provide support and services for autistic adults.
“If you think this might be you and you want a diagnosis, go online and find someone in your area who specializes in autistic adult assessment. Sometimes, just knowing can be a tremendous relief and explain so much that you always wondered about.” –
In retrospect, autistic people are dependable, honest, and are mostly focused on getting the job done because they are seldom distracted by external factors and interests. Never underestimate the capabilities of an individual with autism for you may just be in awe with their wide-range of competence and strengths that can even surpass “normal” standards.
Attention deficit disorder (ADD), but what is it?
Many studies show that it is a common illness that affects all kinds of people – children, teens, and adults. The symptoms of ADD start at a young age and persist and carried throughout adulthood, while other researchers say that the illness is noticed at an early age which changes over time through occurrences or incidents of events as they take place.
“Life can be a balancing act for any adult,” says Richard Vogel, LMFT, “but if you find yourself constantly late, disorganized, forgetful, and overwhelmed by your responsibilities, you may have ADD/ADHD. Attention deficit disorder affects many adults, and its wide variety of frustrating symptoms can hinder everything from your relationships to your career.”
What Is It Like To Have ADD?
In an interview, Sari Solden, LMFT, said, “It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like, “What’s wrong with me? I’m deficient. I need to fix it. Asking for help means something bad.” Those old stories are damaging.”
There are many debates on whether the syndrome is real or doesn’t exist. The continuous study of ADD leads many researchers to identify that individuals who exhibit this kind of syndrome have a hard time completing tasks that excite them. It is because they are hyperactive all the time. By the time they have an idea to act upon, they will suddenly switch to new thoughts, and never finish the first one they put their head-on.
Socially, persons with ADD have trouble maintaining a conversation for a lengthy period. They often change topics, fidget a lot, do some drum rolling, flickering hair, and sometimes they never seem interested in what the other person is telling.
Kathleen Smith, LPC, wrote in her article, “Signs of ADHD in adults can sometimes be more difficult to spot than in children. They might be less hyperactive than a child with the diagnosis, but deep down they are struggling with paying attention, staying on task, and warding off impulsive behaviors.”
According to some experts, these mini gestures are often their way to try and tell if the person conversing is paying attention to the individual with ADD. Meanwhile, some people misunderstand and think that these mini gestures mean nothing but disrespect or just apparently not paying attention to the person talking. It is perhaps a misunderstanding, cluelessness because actually the person with ADD hears you and understands you in his own way of thinking. People who have experienced this syndrome definitely say that it does exist.
ADD Can Be Diagnosed And Be Treated
It’s hard to say if a person has ADD. You can’t say that just because you have problems with focusing your attention or you’re hyperactive, you’re already categorized as having the disorder. If you want to be sure, you can consult your doctor.
If you turned out to have a positive diagnosis, you might want to hear some advice, considering that I, myself, have ADD
- Find a support group or a coach who can help you get straight on your track, to avoid and suppress the running thoughts of ideas and just act on the work you have started.
- Casual daydreaming is typically usual with ADD, dreaming about what you wish to have, future goals and perhaps things you would like to achieve. It ruins your progress as you tend to overthink and not accomplish something. Instead, practice focusing on short-term goals rather than long-term ones.
- Break the long-term task into small chunks so you will not get overwhelmed. Get the help you need. You can maybe hire someone who is willing to do some work for you, an assistant, secretary, house helper, whoever you need. It can help you finish what you are aiming for.
- Exercise. It may be out of the way, but doing exercises can help you improve your concentration to finish a job, task, plan or goal in a day.
ADD can be understood. It just depends on how badly you want to get rid of the syndrome. If this is stopping you from what you want in life, consider asking for help.
There are many times in your life when you may realize that everything sucks. These are the days when you feel too much stress or anxiety because of work, relationship, or some personal matters. During these moments, you may become a difficult person to handle. It will seem that you would hate a lot of things in your life. Because of this, you have to be careful when you deal with others so that you can preserve your relationship with them.
For Gary Breuer, LPC, “It should be of no surprise to those distressed Americans that stress could have negative effects on our relationships…Lack of appropriate stress management can exacerbate this. However, the study shows that many Americans utilize unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage their stress, such as smoking and alcohol use, skipping meals, over-eating, or consuming junk food.”
As much as possible, make an effort to handle your stress in the right manner. Keep in mind that experiencing stress can have adverse effects. Here are the things that you need to do if you want to let go of stress:
Talk To Someone
One of the things that you need to do is to talk to someone so that you can discuss what is going on in your life. Remember that having a conversation with someone who cares about you can be comforting. It can also be a relief on your part once you open up to someone about your problems. Keep in mind that you do not need to be the only one to handle your issues. Sometimes, you have to reach out to a close friend or family member so that you will feel better.
Alexandra Lambeth, LPC supports this by saying, “It may be frightening for sufferers to reach out because of several reasons. However, many individuals struggling with anxiety have found it incredibly helpful to have someone to talk to that understands them, knowing that they will not be judged based on the worries and concerns they may express.”
Control Your Actions
Are you aware that you have the absolute control of how to react to every circumstance that comes your way? Take note that the way people act and treat you is something that you can never control. They may get upset at you or give you stress, but you will always be the only one who can give a reaction to these things. Make sure that you think twice before you react to an occurrence. In so doing, you can take unnecessary stress out of your life.
Meditate When Necessary
Another thing that you must keep in mind is the importance of taking good care of your body. As much as possible, find time to meditate so that you can achieve inner peace and happiness. Take note that no matter what you do, there will always come a time in your life when stress will take you over. To lessen the possibility of this occurrence, it is best if you will practice meditation. According to Paul Chernyak, LPC, “You may think that learning to meditate effectively is hard or too time-consuming, but you really only need a few minutes in your day to practice these simple exercises and feel refreshed.”
Make it a big part of your life so that you can learn how to quiet your mind when necessary. Being good at meditation can also help you make better decisions for yourself. Most importantly, it can help a lot in keeping you calm during stressful situations.
What are you waiting for? Make sure that you establish a routine that will work well with you so that you can avoid experiencing stress. Take note that you can do whatever you set your mind to do. Never let anything or anyone affect you adversely. Instead, be a bigger person when handling conflicts or issues in your day-to-day life.