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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team

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  1. Hi all, I am mum to Jackson who is 8. Very long story short me and hubby noticed signs in him from the age of 18 months. He is in year 4 and gets excluded a lot. He has violent outbursts, he swears, his logic is black and white, he is never wrong, he has few friends, he talks incessantly about his interests but never takes an interest in anyone else, he blurs fiction and reality, he is ridiculously clever and hilariously funny. I could go on and on, there is so much more to him but I am trying to keep this brief. So after battling for 4 years (since he was 4 and started school) we now have a date for his ASD assessment- 1st March! He will have an ADOS assessment in school then we go along to an assessment that will last 3-4 hours. We get a diagnosis on the day I believe. so can anyone help me with how this all goes? What to expect, what sort of things I should tell them? I’m so worried I will leave something important out that could make all the difference. I am also worried Jackson will be having a ‘good day’ and they won’t see what he’s like on his bad days. I would really appreciate some help and advice so I don’t waste what I think will be our only chance to get him diagnosed. We need help and support that we don’t get from the school because ‘he isn’t diagnosed’ so I am panicking they just won’t understand how difficult our every day lives are. Tha is so much x
  2. Studying Young Adults with ASD at Work

    Hello, I have just joined the forum! A little about me, I am a mum to a 16 year old girl, who has ASD (originally diagnosed with Aspergers). We had the diagnosis about 5 years ago. I'm currently finishing my MSc in Organisational Psychology with the University of London, my research is on Young Adults with ASD in the Workplace, focussing on how to better prepare them for work and how to support them in the workplace. I'd be interested to chat with other parents and professionals supporting individuals with ASD about their experience. I'm happy to discuss further my research, if anyone is interested to have a chat with me. Please contact me on enunes04@mail.bbk.ac.uk. Have a lovely day, Evie
  3. ADHD and ASD

    How ADHD and ASD relate to each other?
  4. What should the school buy?

    I am an Enhanced Provision teacher in a mainstream primary school in Scotland. Most of my students have either Autism or ADHD. We have some money (a lot) to spend on the EP classroom. Can you suggest any kind of equipment, furniture, aids or software that would benefit my pupils. I have a list of my own, but I'm worried there is some fantastic "thing" out there that I know nothing about. Help me out, please. Antolak PS. The money can't be spend on employing extra staff. "
  5. Hello everyone, I am currently conducting a dissertation project on; Sex Differences in Loneliness and Friendship Style in Adults with High-Functioning Autism. The aim of my dissertation is to investigate whether males and females with ASD display different friendship styles and experience different levels of loneliness as a result of their biological sex. I am hoping to find individuals who meet the following criteria; Are between 18 to 69 years of age Have a valid diagnosis of ASD Are NOT diagnosed with any other learning/developmental conditions/disabilities If you wish to participate in my study, please follow the link below which will take you to an online questionnaire. The questionnaire will take 10-15 mins to complete and is fully anonymous. https://ulsterhealth.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3CwklGerhu0adYV My dissertation has been approved by the Ulster University Ethics Committee. If you have any queries regarding my study, please feel free to message me here or via my uni email: mccloskey-b6@ulster.ac.uk You can also contact my dissertation supervisor Dr Stephen Gallagher via email: sm.gallagher@ulster.ac.uk
  6. I wanted to know if a person can have both ADHD and ASD?
  7. I am an Enhanced Provision teacher in a medium-sized mainstream primary school. All my pupils, bar one, are high on the autistic spectrum. Later this week, interviews begin for the position of new headteacher in our school and I am on the preliminary interview panel. I am able to ask the interviewees just one question. What should that question be? Any suggestions? Richard. PS Please remember that I may have to work under this person for the next few years.
  8. Ok bit of a long winded post so I will start off by apologising! I know no one here is able to offer a diagnosis but I'm keen to know if any of these this sounds like ADHD/ASD Ok, so here's the story. Our son is now 5 (6 in April) from the age of 18months when he started a couple of mornings at nursery he was really hard to settle-had crying at the door for maybe 6months until we moved) then he started at another nursery and was pretty much the same when I left him until he moved into preschool where he had his good days and bad days. Towards the end of preschool he had a really bad day where he couldn't control his emotions and had a major tantrum lashed out at a staff member and bit her - he'd never bitten anyone before. Whilst I was concerned I did wonder if it was because he knew he was going to school soon and so so we decided to see how the holidays went and how he settled in. It was difficult doe times good days and bad days. Then he started reception. When we attended the settling in parents evening the teacher expressed some concerns to which we were pleased that it wasn't just us and someone else had noticed - hard to settle in, doesn't like change, difficulty handling emotions, tantrums, lots of fidgeting on the carpet, over affectionate to peers, easily distracted, sometimes distracting the group, doesn't appear to hear when called and difficulty pronouncing some sounds. Her advice was that we put in a referral for the school nurse to pop in to see him and to try and organise speech and language therapy and a hearing test. The school nurse visited and had a chat and attempted the hearing test but he didn't want to do it so I arranged this myself and the results were fine. We attended a speech and language appointment where they highlighted a couple of sounds he struggled with which he picked up at a later stage and was signed off at the follow up review. I had also expressed my concerns about his behaviours to the gp who organised a referral to the paediatrician. We attended the appointment with the paediatrician (me and my son) and was asked a number of questions and the paediatrician said that some of the answers sounded like Asd characteristics but didn't have any concerns socially so ruled that out but did wonder about ADHD but as some of the characteristics could be age related said that he couldn't diagnose until he was 6. He said that they would put us in touch with the local support team who would assist us further (this was in June 2015). Months passed and we heard nothing he started year one and had to be peeled off me at the school gates every morning from September until January when he finally settled down. He appears to be doing well at school a recent parents evening we were told he is at the right level for writing and maths and is above for reading, socially he is happy and plays with friends but despite being bright, as at home he can be very emotional, take things to heart, speak very loudly, speaks over people, is fidgety, leans over the table talking to people (I say talk-he talks very loud-in people's faces) etc. After not hearing anything from the LST and my continuing concerns that there is something (although can't quite put my finger on it) I returned to the gp who couldn't understand what had happened and had written directly the the LST for support. They have since been in touch and after I provided a list of characteristics/traits he displays she then forwArded said list to CAHMS who said there was nothing that they could do but advised that we needed to go back to paediatrics however seeing as we have been previously they advised we go direct to midlands psychology. I visited the GP this week who had also took a copy of these notes and put them together with a referral which we are now waiting on. ...I know no diagnosis is quick and these things take time but I just feel like some days we have real bad days and think yes there's definitely something and then other days he is the most kind sweetest helpful kid I think maybe it's just me, maybe I've done something wrong. The paediatric was sure he wasn't in the spectrum because he is OK socially...(apart from in some social situations - see list below) so please can anyone read the list below of a few things we have noticed and tell me in not going crazy. Sorry again for the long post * generally wakes any time from 5-6:30 - very loud and energetic from the get go until bedtime * tantrums-now starting to get angry when having a tantrum may throw and object if in hand or slam objects down on the time or might fetch something I.e a play sword like he wants to hit us with it. Angry voice, grits teeth, red faced and clenched fists * difficulty taking him to places that are busy e.g parks zoo farm etc as he runs off refuses to look at things tantrums about not being able to get a drink (not because he isn't allowed but doesn't understand it's because we aren't near a kiosk/shop despite trying to explain) tantrums because he wants a particular swing (and rather than find something else has been known to stand in front of the person on it grunting and waiting for them to leave it - as I was feeding baby at the time) shouts and screams at me * obsessed with his tablet and would happily spend ALL day watching minecraft videos if i let him (I don't he is now limited to an hour a day on either PlayStation/hudl or half an hour combined - losing time for bad behaviour). *sensory issues - socks don't feel right pulls at seems on the toes sometimes takes shoes off repeatedly because socks feel wrong, clothes feel 'funny' and prefers "softness" (fleece lined clothing-has fleece PJ bottoms and gets upset if they're in the wash). Gags when eating (occasionally- goes through phases) can be a fussy eater. Hates the Hoover as its "too loud" and "hurts his ears" (has hated it since a baby) now takes himself off to the bedroom when I do it if he's at home. Scared of loud sounds/bangs (downstairs outside) drills etc goes through phases of disliking brushing teeth *anxious-anxiety over meeting people, new places, changes in routine, school trips, thinking people are going to break in "are the doors locked" going in the car "do you know the way home? ..are you sure" convinced we are getting lost, riding his bike (scared with stabilisers wants us to hold him/the bike) *blinks quite a lot *difficulty having two way conversation doesn't always seem to listen, wants conversation his way and can be bossy *interrupts conversation all the time *Gags (and wretches) some mealtimes says his tummy hurts and complains he's full after eating very little *had developed a fear of going for a poor (sorry tmi) crowds and screams at needing to wipe which Makes him gag says it's too smelly but has now overcome this by supplying him with a can of air freshener - he does two sprays everytime he goes before he wipes *enjoys writing notes - likes taking a notebook to school makes plans sometimes comes home and takes a register/writes lists. *anger outbursts - example we went to a children's party before Xmas there were 4 nunchucks (ninjago party) Bobby placed his down to make something so someone else took it so he proceeded to grow into hulk filling with anger raced across the hall,swiftly followed by me, he rugby tackles the other child I moved him a way and he screamed at me shouting me To let him go (as I had to restrain him stopping him running after him again) and began punching me. *constantly wants to be in front of people when walking especially walking to school/from school - if someone overtakes he will overtake them again wanting to be ahead squeezing past people/objects to get there. *oblivious to where he was walking (I.e to school or when shopping) I have to physically move him because despite telling him watch the lady and mind out of the way for the man/pushchair/wheelchair whatever he still continues to bump into people *can be very kind/affectionate sometimes too much wanting to cuddle/hold hands with friends or kids them and they don't want to/look uncomfortable *has an obsession with a hulk figure and gets frustrated and upset if the arms aren't in the same position on both sides *usually avoids eye contact (unless he's shouting at me for something) *avoids cuddles unless he initiates it (he might feel tired or unwell and ask for one but fights to get away if we try and give him one) *has a chair which he constantly rocks on *occasionally runs off and thinks it's fun laughing and smiling about it. *has favourite things-biggest minecraft and superheroes) forever talking about something related - had his first swim lesson and told the adult in the pool that he watches minecraft videos on YouTube and spoke about them? * latest discovery - has found the audio description button and likes watching to with it on Thank you for reading
  9. Dear forum users, Researchers at the University of Nottingham are interested in the experiences of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders in relation to driving. We would like to invite you to complete our online survey, which asks about these experiences, and is accessible at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/NottinghamDrivingSurvey The survey is for anyone aged 17 or over, regardless of whether you have started learning to drive. More detailed information about the survey is presented at the start of the survey before you decide whether or not to complete it. If you have any questions, please contact: Dr Elizabeth Sheppard School of Psychology, University of Nottingham Email: elizabeth.sheppard@nottingham.ac.uk
  10. Confusion over diagnosis

    First post, and looking for some helpful advice. I was first diagnosed with Aspergers at age 9, in 2008. I was diagnosed in a rather traumatic period of time, following a close bereavement, and have gone on to live a normal life. I gained good GCSE grades, and now at 17 board at a 6th form college, taking 4 strong A-levels, including a foreign language. I have a larger than average social-group, a long-term girlfriend, and hopes and plans for the future. The diagnosis I was given at age 9 has caused problems for me, to say the least. I feel that the diagnosis was wrong, as I no longer show any of the traits, if not the opposite of those commonly seen. I am considering trying to get re-diagnosed, or un-diagnosed, and wondered if that was the best route, or if there were others, and how I would go about them. Thanks!
  11. Hello from a Newbie :)

    Hi All Just thought id say hello. I am new to this forum - well any forum really so not quite sure what im doing. I have an 11 year old son with Aspergers, Autism, Dypraxia, Dylexia and ADHD. I just wanted to say hi for now. I do have aa few questions but ill ask them a bit later on
  12. My name is Keighley Vincent, and I am currently studying BSc Psychology at Northumbria University, and I’m currently working on my dissertation. I have chosen to investigate ‘The impact of parenting stress on prospective memory and everyday functioning’. I would like to invite parents of children between the ages of 3-17 years, who are living at home full time to take part in the st...udy. The study consists of a completing an online questionnaire which will take approximately 10 minutes. Questions will ask about socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, mood, memory and the ability to carry out everyday tasks. The study has been approved by the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Ethics committee. Your participation in this study is greatly appreciated. Please click on the link below if you wish to take part. If you have any more questions please feel free to email me at Keighley.vincent@northumbria.ac.uk. https://nupsych.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cZv2AVQEc4De33v Sincerely, Keighley Vincent
  13. ASD University

    Hey, So, I've always struggled with education environments. Like, school, for example. My brother and I both had 'school refusal' down on our records because the both of us only just got diagnosed ASD (i mean, c'mon. I get that I may've been missed because it's rare that girls get diagnosed in an instant, but my brother is 24!). Anyway, I'm in my second year at college now, which is a struggle but i do love it regardless. I'm staying for a third year because I want to achieve the same A-level grades as everyone else - (i did only 2 igcses and was homeschooled for 2 years before college so im a bit behind) After that, I'd really love to go to University, but im really worried about the issues i might face with it all - work load, responsibility, independence, and mostly - being away from home. of course, I can go to a (fairly) local (kind of) college, but its still a case of being sure I dont have an episode - that i dont waste my money because I have a meltdown and end up having crappy attendance! So, I guess, what im wondering is, Any Aspies been to Uni? What are/were your experiences? or, alternatively, are there any Universities speciffically for people on the spectrum? I know there's a school near where I live that is specially for girls with autism (the school from itv's 'Girls with Autism' Documentary - I went to a 'hospital school' with a girl who goes/went to it) - but i'd already finished school and become out of the age range by the time I knew about it - and by the time i knew i was autistic, even.
  14. I've just got a diagnosis of ASD and I'm definatly at the high functioning end. The diagnosis comes after a string of MH issues including being sectioned and given unhelpful labels like borderline personality disorder ( when I was just having a meltdown) But I was wondering: Aspergers is an issue like diabetes or dyslexic or any other physical disease or illness you can mention so why is in dumped under the care of the Mental Health services? From experience MH services know very little about ASD, they are ok with the classical MH diagnosis but from how I have been treated they are rubbish and cause me lots of unnecessary stress when I am "in their care". I see the psychiatrist to manage my other MH issues but do I see them about ASD because ASD is "all in your head" and doctors as of yet don't understand how it works, there is no hard image of someone you can take to prove someone has ASD its just someone elses option.
  15. How much of you is ASD and of you much of is you upbringing, possible internationalization or your own personality? Consider this... I knew a man in his mid thirties has got AS likes to play video games on his X-Box One. All is well and good, however he spends all day in his room, doesn't tidy up after himself, hardly speaks to anyone and tries to act like a 'badass' (from one of his fave games) which sadly makes him look like a dickhead, if you pardon me saying so. He also hardly washes, sees women as sex objects (as in living sex dolls, not just people who only exist to have sex with) fancy's Japanese school girls (not just the henti mind, I'm talking about photos and videos of real people) At present (to the best of my knowledge) he still attends a day center (I've long since stopped attending) for those who are lower functioning, which he started going to when he was 17 or 18. Please bear in mind that this is someone with more or less the same kind of AS as Bill Gates, attending a day center (granted he could have been forced to go by his mum, but he could get himself a flat with the benefits he's on) Also I might add that he spends all day sitting at his X-Box in a little room (which was where the phones used to be kept) where he is separate from everyone else and has taken it over as his own 'work space'. If he is traveling in a car with someone he will insist on the staff flipping a coin to see who goes in the front seat. Also he was VERY spoiled as a boy as his mum saw him as 'special' due to his conditions (he has epilepsy as well as AS) and be very controlling towards his 'friends'. The main question I am asking is this... How much of Autism is pure Autism and how much of it due to the differences in treatment which sometimes happen when a kid get diagnosed? Or indeed how much of it is due to spending much of your adult life 'cut off' from the outside world (be it in care homes and day centres) I'll put out some more info about Phil (that is his name) when I get the time.
  16. Hello, I am a 4th year Psychology student at Heriot Watt University. I am inviting you to take part in a study I am carrying out which is investigating the experience of university life of students with autism and students who have developed typically, attending UK based universities. The study uses a questionnaire which includes; information about yourself, how you spend your time at university, your application to university, your adjustment to university life, your experience of lectures, the support at your university and how you feel about your course. The student experience questionnaire has 7 sections and you will be asked to complete 3 additional short questionnaires to control for mood and personality characteristics. The study will take approximately 70 minutes to complete. Participants can be of any age and gender and we are looking for English speakers/readers. You also do not need to have a particular type of diagnosis of autism. The only request is that you have attended university for at least one year. If you would like to take part please PM me as my online survey is linked to my email and has to be sent out via my personal email. Thank you Please note: I am only looking to recruit participants with an ASD who are currently attending university. I also have full ethical approval from my university ethics board, they have viewed this advert and have allowed me to advertise on the internet.
  17. Questions!

    Hey all! A while back I introduced myself and I also said I might have some questions regarding a translation of a book I'm doing (I'm Not Strange, I Have Autism by Ellen van Gelder). I do have some questions now, and they're probably quite easy to answer, because it's mainly what you call certain concepts in English. 1. What do you call someone who has ASD? And do you refer to it as 'someone with ASD' or 'someone with an ASD'? This book refers to them as 'fellow-autis' and 'ASD-ers'. 2. What do you call something that is kind of an obsession, but mainly just a very big hobby? Examples are watching animal skeletons, insects, veganism, etc. The Dutch word for it is a 'fiep'. 3. What do you call a kind of club thing where people with ASD gather to hang out? (Is there even a thing like that in the UK?) Thanks, guys!
  18. My Story

    Hello So here it goes, a little about me. I am 41 and I am Bisexual. I live with my partner in Surrey, near to London. Since a very young age, life has not been easy for me. I was sexually abused between the ages of 8-11 by a family friend (female) and since then I have struggled with life. As well as certain sexual fears, I also suffer from Anxiety, OCD and other aspects of Asperger's I am sure many of you can relate to this, but my main issues are: I cannot relax, my mind is so full of stuff all the time, I cannot switch off and relax I get worried and anxious about everything, even if it's something I am looking forward to. I am not keen on being a crowded place where I cannot see an easy exit. I have OCD and have to have a routine all the time, I have to plan things ahead. I am very shy and lack confidence. I have not had many sexual partners. I never think I look good enough. I fidget all the time, and have trouble sitting still. I am frustrated with most things. I get bored easily. I talk too much and don't mission too much. I can get angry and upset very easily. I could go on and on with this, but just wanted to put something down here to start with. It's good to be on this forum. Damon
  19. I used to be really bad at this unless a relative introduced me and the other person took most of the initiative. But as I've got older I find it easier having picked up 'tricks' along the way and would place myself at 6.5 maybe 7 initially. But I still have difficulty especially when it comes to developing the relationship to something more meaningful. Most other people I know off line find this next step much easier and will end up talking about things at a rate that I can't reciprocate meaningfully at and end up losing interest and doing something else. I can develop friendships beyond this particularly if I know the person through a club and I've known them for a long time but critically I wouldn't say they become closer necessarily - just that I know them better. Others develop friends but I tend to develop 'acquaintences' apparently with an inability to advance the relationship like others who club together and maybe go for a drink or go for lunch. Does anyone else have difficulty advancing intimacy in a relationship? It has taken me a lot of self-reflection to realise that I do have problems in this area and they are still ongoing even when I employ tricks I've learned along the way. To this day I worry I will never find love because I don't think I can reciprocate at that kind of level. Where others go out and cheer one another up over a good pint I very rarely do this as I find it hard to move to that level of socialisation which also means I'm not meeting my needs for social bonding and intimacy and am finding this is having a negative effect in other areas of my life where it is stifling my development somewhat. So I'm just wondering if anyone else has problems like this?
  20. I really need help...

    Hi! I've recently been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I feel relieved, slightly confused but more than anything. I've always had elements of the eccentric inventor about me; I'm a writer and if I could, I'd write 24/7. As that obviously is not an option my life has gone haywire. I literally stay up all night - sometimes all day too - so I'm severely sleep deprived. I spend so much time getting ready (I'll explain more about that in a second) that there's no hours left in the day to write at all, so technically I'm cutting off my nose to spite my face. My mum is my amazing best (and only) friend and carer; she stays up with me, patiently being there - despite her having Myalgic Encepholomyelitis (ME). What a phenomenal woman; on the verge of collapse at times - yet so unshakably strong. I treat her as if I hate her. I shout, argue and act like a know-it-all and I hate myself for it. I have an empathy deficiency issue too. The crux of the problem is my daily routine. I spend an almost unlimited amount of time getting ready either for bed or in the mornings...or afternoons, and sometimes I'm not even ready to go to the shops which close at 8:00 pm! Who knows why I do this. I'm not sure if there really is an answer. But I just know that I get sidetracked from what I need to do, and I find it really hard not to. I am so slow at doing everything, and I am very 'routines and rituals' orientated. I love to wear headphones and listen to music when I'm getting ready, but the moment I slip them on, I start dreaming (I have this 'other life' in my head). I can dream without the headphones too, so having my mum hide them is only a little help (at night this isn't even an option: I have hypersensitivity ams my dad's snoring makes me want to explode). Partly I feel motor skill issues contribute to this - I find putting my boots on and washing my face really tricky, and brushing my teeth is so awkward - so I spend as long as possible procrastinating in any way I can. Also, lack of motivation is an issue. I just lie on the floor sometimes and laze about - even though my mind is begging me to get ready. Often I have really hyper, whispered conversations with imaginary friends, and it's all getting me down. I see the dawn most mornings, and I usually finish getting ready only when night casts its sulky shadow. Could anyone shed some light on this? Please? Thank you so much for reading all this...it means so much. Wordsmith xxx
  21. Feedback on info website

    Hello all, I am putting together an comprehensive, add free, website on all matters SEN. I have worked in the field for around 8 years; teaching, support and staff development. I would be interested to read any feedback you may have on the following topics: Autism: Asperger's Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD) Any feedback gratefully received, Regards, Ben
  22. Symbiosis for Aspies

    If a blind person and a deaf person (as an example) can form a stronger whole together than they could individually where one strengthens vision and the other strengthens hearing what type of individual would make the perfect symbiotic relationship for an Aspie?
  23. hi all

    hi all am paul from inverness i have asd
  24. Sorry, I think I might have put this thread in the wrong section before, I hope this is the right place, . My mind couldn't settle until I was sure it was in the right place, . My SPD and OCD affect my life in so many different ways, half the time I can’t work out the difference between them. They coincide with each other all the time. I sometimes wonder that if OCD is tackled then the chances are my SPD would only recreate new OCD traits in a different form. Food is one of the hardest subjects for my SPD. I am vegetarian because of my SPD, it took time but eventually in McDonalds, I kept trying the burgers, and slowly over time I got more and more uncomfortable with the feeling of the texture, focusing on the texture made me think of cows, and well you can guess the rest, . My SPD can make me very picky with foods, it annoys mum something terrible, and me, but I can’t help it. Most fruit I cannot stand, for example I find bananas, plums, grapes and oranges too fleshy, pears to be too grainy, raspberries too hairy, pomegranates, most melons, kiwi and strawberries to be too bitter. With vegetables if I see a brown mark on them then I cannot eat them. Mushrooms look a lot like fleshy overgrowths and some can really smell bad. I hate it, it makes choices of what to eat extremely few, I have a very small choice of foods, . When it comes to food, it has to look right, smell right, feel right on my tongue, and taste right, if it doesn’t pass all of that, I am unable to eat it. I have tried apples, they are reasonable, the only problem is that it is difficult to get used to the fact that it changes colour so quickly. I have also tried watermelon, that is a little better, I have gotten used swallowing the seeds along with it, and the fleshiness of it is not too bad, the look of it does kind of remind me of steak though, which is disconcerting since I am vegetarian. I have tried smoothies but I have to gulp it down as I don’t like the feeling of the fruit bits on my tongue. Tomatoes by themselves are very bitter. Food is an extremely difficult subject due to my SPD, argh, it’s annoying, . It is hard for everyone around me, including myself to deal with, but it is part of my SPD. That I can’t run away from. I want to try recipes to try other foods other than, tomato soup, soft rolls, breakfast muffins, pasta and pizza, but the problem is our kitchen is so very small and chaotic, making it claustrophobic, that it can be draining cooking in there, . I feel I need to add a lot of spices to most dishes to increase the flavour of the foods, which also includes breakfast muffins. There have been several occasions in my past when I was much younger there was a dinner put in front of me to eat in amongst other children, the same happened once during primary school. I just stared at it and tears started to well as I knew I couldn’t eat it, but I didn’t want to make the situation awkward, as that is often the case if you can’t eat the food. It was horrible when I was asked to eat the food prepared for me but I couldn’t eat it, I didn’t want to be ungrateful at all, but I had no control over it. I also remember when I was younger and used to eat meals that my Oma (grandma in German) prepared; I had to eat them on separate plates. That was a clear sign of SPD, but mum and I didn’t know it at the time. What gets me the most is that I want to eat healthily but my SPD is preventing me. All I can do is take vitamins for vegetarians. That is not all. Being sensitive to touch is another major difficulty to my SPD, I get a tingly uncomfortable feeling whenever someone touches my arms and I cannot shake people’s hands. The smell of metal in my hands from coins, door handles, and such creates a real irony smell in my hands which is irritating, thankfully I have found a strategy to tackle this and light touch. If someone was to accidently touch me or I had that irony smell what I do is wash my hands, it gets rid of the feeling and the smell in one fell swoop. If I need to open a door, I tend to use my t-shirt to cover the door handle. If I travel I take a hand gel so that I can use that instead of washing my hands, it is also much quicker. That is why I am never sure if it is my OCD affecting me here or SPD. For everyday tasks I find cotton gloves have helped me. To me, it cuts off the direct contact to surfaces and makes it easier to do various tasks like making a cup of coffee. I can’t hold most knives, forks or spoons unless I wrap them in tissue. I even have my own selection of knives, forks, and spoons to combat the problem to some degree. At night I feel I must bring a torch out with me to check the floor as I hate to step on slugs, snails, and everything slimy or gooey. If I did I can hear the noise it makes, the feeling it creates and my mind will not settle until my shoes are cleaned. It is awful. I don’t know how else to tackle this other than with a torch. Sight is more focused on my OCD, I think, but to be honest, I have no idea. I am not worried over sleeping because of my eyes at all; it is not like that at all. What I have the problem with which is why this is perplexing me is that if I see the slightest stain or hair on any surface, be it mug, plate, bowl, sink, bath, anything that I could have direct contact with, I need to wash it to get rid of it. I cannot use it otherwise. That has got to be my OCD surely. I keep seeing crossovers between my SPD and OCD that I cannot easily tell the difference. Smells do affect me as well. I like the smell of fresh bread, coffee, candles, and even washing powder. When I go to the supermarket the aisles containing those items can get quite overpowering. I have a lot of air fresheners around so that I can combat the bad smells around the house. I can hear much better than my mum. I can hear a phone ring upstairs from downstairs in the living room at times; it is not a major issue to my SPD though. What is a major issue with my hearing side of SPD has got to be loud noises. My family sometimes have an unfortunate habit of raising their voices when tensions become high. I find this horrible, and it makes me feel worse, the best thing I think that was invented for this is earphones. I just plug them in turn my music up and it cuts it off. That has been my strategy for tackling this problem. Something has also perplexed me about my SPD. I am not sure if this is because of my SPD or AS but I have noticed that I can sense my family’s moods. Personally, whenever I sense someone is feeling bad I can tell, it is either that I sense the awkwardness of the situation, can sense their tone of voice, see their reaction, like sinking into a chair and covering their face. I immediately feel extremely uncomfortable; conflict is something that makes me feel really awkward about. I tend to feel bad if they feel bad, I guess it is like a mirror image. I have noticed something very strange that only happened once a while back. I got up one morning walked to the window then I suddenly got this picture in my head of a cat with an exaggerated scared expression. A few seconds later I heard a dog bark from far away and then a couple of seconds later I noticed a cat cry. I found that weird, I have never experienced that before. It shocked me and I didn’t know what to think. I am not sure what it is. Is it my SPD, AS or what? So the questions I ask are: Where does my SPD affect me and where does OCD? Also, has anyone found any strategies to tackle some of these SPD or OCD traits? And what happened when I got that pre-emotional reaction from the cat before it occurred?
  25. This is my first post on here so apologies if this is in the wrong place. My son is 6.5 yeas old and was diagnosed with ASD aged 4.5 years old. He's high functioning but since his little sister is getting older (she is now 3) some of his issues, namely being first, are getting worse. She copies his behaviour which adding to the problem. We have constant arguments about who is going first in and out of the front door. He cannot cope with not being in front walking to school so constantly runs off ahead. My daughter is also copying this behaviour which adds to his frustration. I feel like I am having to shout after him like some kind of fishwife as he runs off, with his head soley focused on being first ignoring my instructions. Making him hold my hand results in a meltdown and him trying to control how and where his sister is walking. I've tried a social story with no effect, he flatly refuses to use any sort of reward chart for this. Most issues he is semi of flexible on but not this. Does anyone else have any suggestions on how to deal with this behaviour?
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