Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Putting your foot in your mouth

A lot of times, I've found that I've said something with no ill intent, only to find out I've inadvertently offended someone. This has to be one of the worst feelings ever. I hate stepping on toes and bothering people.

Sometimes I'll comment with my opinion on things, unaware that I'm coming across in a judgemental manner. I know this happens often as an Aspie. I'll simply state how I feel about something, forgetting that it may actually pertain to someone listening to or reading the conversation.

I realize that I must take ownership of my opinions, and that I need to slow down and think about what I'm saying before I say it. I need to make it clear that how I feel are MY feelings, and add that others may disagree and that's ok. It will save people a lot of drama, and possible arguments! I'm learning more every day :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Could they be an Aspie?

Someone asked me a question earlier. They think someone they know may be on the spectrum, and asked me to describe the difference between someone with Asperger's and someone without (often referred to as NT, or allistic). That gave me the idea to write this blog!

In a nutshell, there are several traits that Aspies display that are not always present in non-Aspies. For example, we stim, from fidgeting to sometimes even rocking and flapping, and everything in between. We interpret the world very literally and may not be able to read between the lines. We are often honest and genuine, and forget that the rest of the world isn't always the same way towards us. We usually have sensory sensitivities ranging from very mild to extreme. There are plenty additional traits, but I figured I'd highlight a few of the common ones.

An Aspie isn't always easy to spot. Heck, I flew under the radar for almost 31 years, after all! We may appear as an NT to those around us, but once you get to know us, you start to notice differences, whether subtle or obvious.

My main purpose for writing this blog is with hope of educating people who are questioning whether or not someone they know is on the spectrum. Hopefully this answers some questions. I'm always willing to contribute my experiences, so if you have any questions, ask away! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014


We all know it. That urge to grab that candy bar. That really cool thing in the store that just calls our name to buy it. It's impulsivity, and some of us have it bad. With autism and ADHD, it can be an even trickier animal.

Food and money are my two biggest bears. I love to eat and love to buy. That wouldn't have anything to do with the fact I weigh 300lbs or live paycheck to paycheck, now, would it? It can be difficult for anyone. It's not an uncommon thing.

The thing is, I need to get better at it. I know that my brain's hardwiring makes it even more difficult to resist, but that's no excuse. It's simply a REASON I struggle, and something I need to get to know and learn to work with. I see something awesome, and my first reaction is, "ooh shiny!" and there goes ten bucks. That, or I'm bored and "let's go out to eat!" Boom. Another 20 bucks, and unnecessary calories. I need to find an alternative, that rubber band snapping at my wrist so to say, to stop me in my tracks. Ideas are appreciated! :)

Does anyone have any similar experiences?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Stimmy toys!

I just picked up some fun, sensory toys at a really neat toy store in the area. I must say, they're very relaxing! I got "thinking putty," which is like Silly Putty but a little stronger. I love kneading it in my hands to help myself concentrate on what I'm working on. I also picked up a spiky pen, spiky ball, and another ball which is hollow and bumpy. The more I roll these in my hands, the calmer and more focused I feel. There are still a couple more things I want to get; one is called Bendeez, and is basically just a bendable stick you can fidget with in your hands. There's also Tangle hairy, which is similar to the Tangle I have, but imagine a fusion between Tangle and a Koosh Ball! :) What will they think of next?

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Swimming is such a relaxing and awesome sensory experience. For as long as I can remember, I've loved being in the water. Once I'm in, it takes me a while to want to come back out!

I don't remember the first time I ever swam, but I remember taking swimming lessons when I was 3. I remember going off and doing whatever I wanted, regardless of what the rest of the class was doing. This is probably one of the first times my ADHD showed it's face, hah XD I just wanted to be one with the water; to do things on my own terms.

My most memorable moment in the pool was when I was 9. I was on my first vacation ever, in Vero Beach, Florida. I remember the pool at the townhouses we were staying at, and that the deep end was 6 feet. I was determined to swim in the deep end. I started at the shallow end, and swam like a frog, kicking my legs and pushing forward with my arms. I was doing it! I was really swimming! I kept on until I got to the other end of the pool. I swam the deep end! It was quite easy, too.

I'm a natural-born swimmer. I float without any effort. Give me a pool, and I'm happy. I'll never forget that day in Florida :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Having a Great Day!

I'm having a productive, good day at work. I've finally helped secure an apartment for someone who I've been helping search! Making all the calls to do so and covering all bases isn't always easy, especially when your mind processes things the autistic way :P First, I called the landlord to see which apartment my person will be getting. It ended up being the one they wanted! Next, I had to call back and get the address for the check to be mailed to, as well as the fax number. I then had to call to find out when my person could sign the lease, as the landlord can't complete a landlord statement before that happens. I then had to rearrange the order of the lease signing and trip to Social Services to apply for the movers. I had to go back and forth a few times between my person and the landlord, rather than just knowing everything I should ask beforehand. My mind works backwards and in reverse steps like that a lot. I don't always know ahead of time what I need to ask, until after the fact. That's something I'm working on improving at. What I should do next time is first make a list of things I need to ask the landlord: what is the mailing address? When will the check be sent out? When can the tenant sign the lease?....etc. This way I don't have to drive people crazy calling them back and forth lol! So albeit my method of madness, everything is set and my person will be ready to move at the beginning of August! It feels good to have gotten that out of the way. I still need work, but it takes baby steps. I think I shall call the next step in my journey of self-improvement "covering all bases before going for the home stretch." :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


While most kids go through this stage somewhere in their teens, I think I'm just entering it now at 31. I'm starting to really learn who I am. This has been a year of growth so far. I got my Asperger's diagnosis, and now I'm learning g a few things that I can tweak to better myself. I need not apologize for my opinions or for every little time I think I've stepped on people's toes. I need not to jump to conclusions, but rather hear people out first.

Blogging and reading others' experiences have been helping me to lean more about myself as well. I'm learning that it's ok to need and ask for help. I may try to be the one who fixes everything and helps everyone with their problems, but at the end of the day, I need help, too!

I really like that I'm able to let out my thoughts here and appreciate all the feedback I've gotten. The more I hear others' stories, the better! I'm finding that I discover more and more people having similar experiences to mine every day. Thank you for helping me to find myself :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Working With People

I love working with people. At my full-time job, I work as a Supported Housing specialist for people with a mental health diagnosis. I meet with them once per month or as often as needed, to address any housing concerns they may have, or for the occasional ride to an appointment. I work with a bunch of awesome people, whom I have learned a lot from. I enjoy meeting with them and like the fact that every day is different; sometimes I have visits, other times office work.

My relief job is at a supervised apartment for people with developmental disabilities. I've been there for 8 years now, and consider everyone there to be family. We do a lot of fun outings, and I help people work towards their goals. Again, I work with a lot of awesome peeps, and have been very fortunate to meet them.

I can tell this field is definitely my niche, and I've learned a lot about myself through working in it. I probably never would have discovered I have my own mental health struggles had I never gotten involved in this line of work, and I now realize why I establish a rapport so easily with people in the mental health and developmental disabilities communities: I'm a member of both as well! I hope to continue to help these communities throughout my life :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Yes, it is possible to be an Aspie and a social butterfly at the same time!

There's this misconception going around that just because one is on the spectrum, that must mean that they are antisocial or have difficulty socializing. This is not always true!

Take me for example. I never stop talking. After a recent family gathering, my parents told me I worked the crowd, talking to everyone there. This is how I've always been. I'm not shy, I love meeting new people and I'll talk forever. I do tend to talk a lot about things I like, but I'll also listen. I was at a friend's house for a movie night last night, with a total of 5 other people. I had a blast! I hadn't seen her since high school, though we talk on Facebook all the time. It was so good to see her, as well as other good friends and a couple new peeps! We all talked about hilarious things and I felt right at home. Socializing itself isn't an issue for me.

It's moreso the nonverbal communication that I struggle with. I can't read between the lines, so I have a hard time discerning whether or not someone is trying to take advantage of me. I'm oblivious to hidden motives. I interpret things so literally, it's uncanny. As for body language, I'm not really sure how well I pick up on it or express it myself. I'd have to take an outside look or receive input from others around me to know. I can't always tell when I'm offending or annoying others, so I assume the worst and constantly worry about this. I seek reassurance that I'm not, which probably in turn DOES annoy the person haha! I have this thing where I have to make sure the other person understands what I'm trying to say, and will repeat it and reword it until I'm absolutely sure they "get it."

So, there you have it. It's possible to be an Aspie, yet still be outgoing and love interacting with people! Everyone is different, and there are some who have a varying experience from mine, however I think I've debunked the myth that this is always the case. Do any other of you fellow Aspies have a similar experience?