Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Does Your Scalp Tingle Sometimes? Unraveling the ASMR mystery.

A few months ago I shared a link on my Facebook page about that special tingly feeling that one gets at certain times.  It usually starts in the scalp, and moves down the body in response to specific stimuli. It's extremely pleasant. It reminds me of the warm, happy feeling I get from muscle relaxers times 100.  Many of my friends responded to the post with a "I have that, too!" Most didn't know that it had a name. In fact it does- Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response I didn't think much of it at the time. I did put it on my mental list of 'things to research later' which is already years long.

Fast forward to a couple months ago when I was composing the blog post about General Anxiety Disorder. One of the things that I listed to help was meditation videos. I went to youtube to find some of the best examples of these that I could find for me readers, and BAM. I stumbled upon ASMR videos. This happy sensation that I get when I watch certain people talk, or hear certain noises, and most especially when I get a massage was easily accessible via hundreds (if not thousands) of videos online.

There is not much known about ASMR, and why it affects people the way it does. Even more surprising than that is not everybody can feel it. I always assumed everyone was able to have that sensation just like I was. There is still a lot of research being done about ASMR. Some say they're still trying to validate it, because scientifically it's still not really been verified. Much like synesthesia was years ago, there are still some people that deny it exists. I really am not sure how one verifies a feeling. If a ton of people report a physical sensation then I would have to say it does indeed exist. We're not assuming paranormal explanations for this phenomenon. It is simply like being ticklish. Either you are, or you're not. Either your nervous system is capable of this phenomenon, or it isn't. There is nothing hokey about it.

So what is ASMR specifically?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Miracle That Didn't Happen

Flipping through my FB, and Twitter feed I can see an array of autism related articles, and blogs. Just looking at their titles one can see a gleam of inspiration, and awe-ness that many of the pieces contain within. The feelings of warmth, and love. I think those pieces have their place, but sometimes the sweetness gets to be too much. I often feel like I am watching the end of a South Park episode where one of the characters always turns, and says "You know what? I learned something today." then continues to speak about the important life lesson they learned in that episode.

Why does that bother me? The short answer to that question is 'bother' would be a strong word. I certainly don't feel like I get to tell other people what they should write about. I'm not about to censor other people's words, because my experiences don't match theirs.

It just feels... awkward, or maybe too artificial in some ways to always be a parent of kids on the spectrum whose experiences aren't nearly that enlightened.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

#Autism Awareness Month- Love it or Loathe it?

Today kicks of the start off Autism Awareness Month. Began by the Autism Society in the early 70's to address the need for concern  and awareness of autism nationwide. Autism Awareness Month is a month to educate, connect, and advocate for the needs of those on the autism spectrum. In 1984 World Autism Awareness Day was adopted by congress, and officially  by the UN in 2007 as a day of autism awareness for the entire world to observe every year on April 2nd.

Today, the world indeed seems to be aware of autism. We have certainly come a long way from the early years of connecting with others in the late 60's when the Autism Society was formed. We now have not just national attention, but international attention focused on the issue of autism. With all of that attention focused from so many different backgrounds of people conflicts are bound to arise. The autism community is not immune to human differences of opinion that can bring even the most well meaning ideas to a screeching halt. Some want awareness for a cure, others to raise money for prevention, and research. Others just simply want their neighbors to know that their child is a unique individual with a happy future, and that acceptance is paramount to any other reasons for the campaign. Still, many others feel the entire campaign overlooks the humanity of the people involved, and instead portrays autistics as statistics, instead of real living people. Many point to the fact that adults are almost totally overlooked as every campaign slogan, and graphic speaks only about children.

Many of us in the autism community have conflicted feelings about Autism Awareness Month. I have seen some express that they aren't looking forward to it at all. Is that how the majority feels? Would most just like to skip it? If so, how has this grand intention of autism awareness turned so sour that even those that this month is about don't want to participate?  I wanted to hear from those in the autism community about how they feel about Autism Awareness month. Below is a collection of direct quotes from a few people within the autism community about the subject. Please add yours to the comments section.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Then There is Bipolar

Today is World Bipolar Day.  Those of you that follow me, and or my blog might be wondering why that matters to me, or why I'd choose this subject to post about.

A couple months ago I sat at the doctor's office, and I heard those words. The words that I had been avoiding for some time. Our family doctor hinted, and my daughter's counselor had used the term mood disorder. I didn't put the pieces together. Maybe, I didn't want to.  Maybe I just needed to get things calmed down from so much else happening before I embarked on yet another journey.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Could It Be Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

I can't recall a time in my life when I didn't have at least some stomach trouble. It mostly would arrive in the form of bloating, and extreme gas. There were times when it would become a little better. Sometimes, it would be mostly gone for a few days. Lately, it has been intolerable. I am constantly bloated, full feeling, gassy, and not able to go to the bathroom. I exercise quite a bit, and make a huge effort to be healthy. I really educate myself quite a bit about what that means, and do what most would call clean eating. The issue is the cleaner, and healthier I eat the worse I feel. This sent me to trying a juice fast earlier this week in an attempt to try to clean out my system, and give it a rest. I was desperate. Willing to try anything.

I got so very sick.

This is where I really began Googling, and asking questions. I came to the conclusion through lots of research

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Toxicity of the New Fitspirational Movement

It seems here in the last few years that being 'fit' is trendy. You can't scroll through any social media without seeing photos designed to be inspirational, and motivational. Fitspo, or Fitspiration as it's called is everywhere. It's staring at us from magazine covers as we check out at the grocery store, and screaming at us from our television programs. Photos of half naked women fall across our computer screens posed in dim washed light with sweat dripping off of their body. Motivational words splash across the photo letting us know that we can't give up, we need to train hard, remember to never quit, and that we can have or, be the person we want if we just try harder.

Are these posters really healthy? Are the ideas behind the words motivating? How is this trend affecting girls, and women everywhere?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wait! Don't Throw That Away! Tasty ways to reuse stale bread.

Do you throw away most of the heals on loaves of bread? How about when it gets dry, and stale? Stop throwing it away, and start using it!

It's so simple, and easy to reuse stale bread slices, and inedible heals (to most people- I am fully aware some of you eat the heals, but we don't unless we're making french toast), and buns. As long as the bread product is not rancid, or moldy this works well with any of them. Some people prefer to not use heals, or buns, and cut off the crusts, but I have tried it many times over, and the crust has never bothered anyone, or given my finished recipe a poor result.

How to do it:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Want To Be An Approachable #Autism (self) Advocate

A few weeks ago I made a mention on my personal page about some comments I had heard recently from Bean's attendant care worker, and a few other people that were less than politically correct. Some of the comments were downright insensitive, and misinformed. My special needs community friends on FB were appalled. I was as well, but I saved that reaction for behind the scenes.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to Cope With Generalized #Anxiety Disorder

In my last post I discussed what Generalized Anxiety Disorder is, and what some of the common symptoms can be, and how it manifests in my life. In this post I would like to discuss some of the solutions to the issues caused by GAD. I have been doing lots of researching to come up with what I think is a good, basic starting place to address general anxiety worries. I will be trying all of these myself.

Monday, February 17, 2014

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

For as long as I can remember I have been a worrier. I worry about worrying. I expend an incredible amount of time pre-planning, and preparing for everything to the last detail. While it's true that this has been a well developed skill in which I utilize to help my incredibly would-be chaotic, high level of need household functioning smoothly my worrying antics have a dark side. I lose sleep, energy, and optimism to worry. It's hard to see the good side of anything when you're always preparing for the worst.

There is a clinical name for this excessive amount of worry, and anxiety when it impedes one life. It's called Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD?