Monday, September 18, 2017

The Depth of My Introversion

Here this last couple of weeks my household has been nonstop busy. From more than one of us being at the ER, to gas lines being broken in our backyard, to planning for my daughter's wedding coming this Saturday, then some. There's always a time sensitive situation brewing just under the surface of my every day.

For an extremely introverted, autistic person such as myself this is a bittersweet recipe for disaster.

On one hand, it's fun to do things with loved ones, like attend festivals, and getting together for dinners. Weddings are lovely events designed to celebrate the union of those we love. These are the things that make memories, and bind us together as we share in fun times together.

On the other hand, these events always have a falling out with me, unless they are extremely spaced out from each other. With every social interaction, and extra errand I leave me house to complete I feel a little bit more of my energy drain away. It's the times in my life that I love to hate.

I don't know what to call it, maybe shutdown? Not quite a meltdown, I don't think, but a couple days ago after I woke up preparing for yet another day of errands, and social activities in the evening my brain just spilled over. The overwhelm left me stuck in neutral on the outside as I felt myself sink on the inside into a sea of anxiety, and urgency to escape myself. Every noise was deafening, and I gulped for air as I searched for a bubble of silence. At first I rebelled against these feelings. I began to question my own mind. What happened? The immediate answer was nothing. I just felt assaulted by overwhelm causing my environment to feel as if it was attacking me. Thankfully, my husband asked if I needed to rest, and I accepted his offer. I rescinded into my dark bedroom with a tiny bedside lamp, and cocoon of weighted blankets, doing nothing for a bit until I fell into a small nap.

Ahhhh... Recovery.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Back to School Anxieties and Solutions

By now, almost all public schools have gotten the first day of fall classes out of the way. Many, like ours, have been in session for almost two weeks now. New routines can be hard for some people, especially autistics. I think it's safe to say that most people in general struggle with back to school time, because of the complete turnaround of scheduling, and daily tasks.

One thing that I've noticed is most kids in general have a certain level of anxiety, and apprehension the first few weeks of school, even "typical" kids. Everything is new. New teachers, new classroom, new schedules. Not to mention that many have transitioned into totally different environments, like from grade school to middle school, or even middle school to high school. They wonder if their friends will be in their classes, how their new teachers will be, and how this year is going to go for them. Some have to learn how to switch classes for the first time, or use a locker. (Those locks are anxiety producing for some of us!)

If your child has had a less than stellar experience so far, or their attitude has been not great, then it may be overwhelm caused by the new routine. Keep the lines of communication open between you, and them by asking them how they like school so far in specific ways. Ask what their favorite part of the day was, and what was their lest favorite, Ask who their locker is by, and how they feel about their teacher. If they're really seeming to have a hard time it might not be a bad idea to let their teacher(s) know. That way the teacher can keep an eye out for things your child might need assistance with, or even just throw some encouraging smiles, and conversation their way to reassure the child that they're a positive influence for them. Some kids are too shy to reach out first.

If you have a child whose needs are exceptional you may want to write an introductory letter to their teachers like this. It is helpful for the teacher(s) to get to know some of the basic needs your child has, and how to meet them, beyond the IEP.

Authenticating My Look- Which Type Are You?

One of the goals that I recall having the year before last was to get more (or back) into fashion. I don't follow a lot of new trends, o...