Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) — Day 16 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

Still having difficulty finding pictures for several of our topics

For “yesterday’s post” (which is showing up the same day as this one because I’m still behind, and still working on getting back on track, so no need to schedule) I wrote a bit about language (I think I need to revisit it) but related to that is AAC or Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

For me, there are a number of times when communication becomes really difficult.  In fact, I believe that this happens probably at least once a day.  My main way of handling that on a daily basis, is to use forms of communication which are less difficult for me.

Which means, that a lot of my communication ends up in a typed form, because that’s just the easiest way for me.  In fact, the first two meetings I have attended for the “most local” autism group I belong to (one ending up being very brief) I mostly communicated by typing.

Part of that was that I really wasn’t even physically present, but “coming in” from a distance of somewhere around 600-800 km (I think it’s closer to 600, but I always think of it as 800 km) drive away.

So, there is a problem that happens with that, being that in person, typing to people just doesn’t work, and in fact I end up having to talk on the phone from time to time (ick, the infernal device).  So, especially with in person communication, especially with people who know me well enough, I have been looking for an alternative to trying to use spoken words when those just are not going to work for me.

I want to have a business card type thing I have multiple copies of that I can hand to people which says:

“Please don’t ask me how I am feeling, unless you actually care.”

which has an explanation of why I really find that to be a significant issue for me.  Something along the lines of:

“When you ask me a question, I try to answer what you ask.  If you ask a question which is a ‘social nicety’ I have trouble just going through the script that is considered to be ‘socially acceptable.'”

In fact maybe we will create those as either “credit card” (European business cards) or “business card” sized (North American business cards).  The advantage of the smaller “North American” size, is that one, it’s smaller, and 2 because I am in North America, things like business card holders come in that size (though you can get credit card holders as well).

So, I am thinking that maybe going for that would be a good way to handle this, and maybe printing a “box” of them.

Also, I have been thinking of some kind of sign language, or something like a “word board” or a “letter board” or something like that to be able to say “too loud. can we leave?” type things.  I am looking at some options regarding that, and I’m thinking probably designing things which would work like that.

I’m not sure where I will end up going with that.  Though I have to think more about it.

I have to say that one of the “Chewigem” chews that I grabbed was specifically because it is intended to be at least somewhat a form of AAC.  It is a “red and green bangle” which on the red side it says “Leave me be” and on the green side says “Talk to me”.  I don’t really believe that it is that likely to be “actually effective” except for situations where people actually know about things like that (which would be probably spaces where people get social overload or similar to enough extent to actually understand, and even if people don’t notice, it would “feel safe” to say, “I don’t want to talk, and use this to indicate that”.)

Speaking of that…  I am considering trying to figure out what I’ll order from them next time.  I haven’t “created a list” myself at this point, but I did create a form yesterday (I think) to get input from people about that.  Or more generally…  “Product Review Form

So, well, um, ah, I think I’m going to leave things at this for now…


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Language — Day 15 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

no image yet again…

Today over at there was a bit of a discussion about language, specifically around the language Toki Pona.  Someone last night posted a bunch of round tiles they created with some kind of “runes” on it, which lead to the discussion as it was just interesting to me.

So, the idea of Toki Pona is that the language is a “Reduced Instruction Set” (RISC) communication system (to use an example from computers), with about 120 words.

Last night as I was looking at that, I was going “oh dear, this is too complicated for me” though really I meant “this is too much for me to process just as I’m trying to get myself ready for bed”.

So, I have to admit that I am a bit of a polyglot in that I will often end up working in “random languages”.  I will switch between different languages, may use any that I know depending on the context, Tazzy will hear me use French, English (most commonly as it’s my first language), German, Italian, Esperanto, or maybe a few other languages from me.

So, the more I look at this, I wonder if there may be some reason to consider doing something up which would allow us to look at the language, and how to produce a way to communicate with it, with hopefully relatively limited understanding of the language by other people.

The language consists of as I said 120 words, and it is based on a Latin alphabet, or so I understand, which is further limited to about 16 letters rather than the “awkward” 26 that we currently use in English.  So to write it really only needs to have what most people already have available, the letters you are (likely) reading here.

And further there are a number of different systems of expressing that in different forms, including (as I am impressed by) the use of sign language which uses a very limited hand positions again, and then movements.

So, I think this could well work.

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Connecting with Other Autistics — Day 14 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance — 2018 Autism Acceptance Month

I like to put a header image, but I don’t know that I have one that really fits here either…  That’s OK for now…

I have this listed in my notes as “CAU” or Canadian Autistics United.  But that is just a “formal” aspect of of connecting with other autistics.  There are a lot of different places where I am connecting, but none of the others are (currently) formally for autistic people.

I am not really sure if I will be able to write a whole lot on this.

Since my diagnosis, I have been able to connect to autistics with a sense that we do have that in common.  Now this is a silly thing about how “embracing autism” has allowed me to connect with autistic people to a greater extent.  Because, other than the specific spaces I have connected with people which is connected with autism, most of these autistics are not “new” to my life.  It is just that we are connecting on these topics.

Some of these people firmly identify as autistic, others far less so.  I wouldn’t say that those who don’t identify with autism should have the label of autism attached to them…  Though, of course, a lot of these people they have been told by various people, that they think that they are autistic.

To me, I think one person I know in my life, who I think, “It seems like she is autistic” I also know that she has a “attention” diagnosis, which I have been given in the past myself, but her mother to me seems very much “attention” related, while she (I can’t say she’s a friend, as we’ve rarely talked) seems to me far more autistic.

So, this goes somewhat to the previous post about science, but it doesn’t really.  It comes more to do with “how psychology works” or “how diagnosis works”.   Especially with regards to diagnosis.  I know that to me I see how subjective it is.  There are a lot of biases which go into it.

  • Bias of the diagnostic criteria
  • Bias of the diagnostician (person giving the diagnosis)
  • Bias of the person being diagnosed

Those are probably the biggest biases.  So, I have a feeling that with the formal “attention” diagnosis, some of that is related to the fact that the family went in at least subconsciously with that diagnosis in mind.

Also, I have a bit of a sense that they went in with “let it not be autism.”  I guess to me, having seen so many of my people who are autistic, or at least have been told by other autistics that they “seem autistic.”  That I saw this group of people who I think are really cool, who have this “autism” label (though not always) assigned to them.  And honestly, I have known some who I know that very few would say that they are “really cool” and I’ve still felt a connection with them on that basis.  To me they are still really cool.

I think I got lost, now where was I?  Where was I heading?  And how was I getting there?  I don’t know.  Let’s call this the destination…

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Writing About Science — Day 13 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance — 2018 Autism Acceptance Month

Candle snuffer made from bent/twisted copper wire

Building our own Tools

Currently trying to get a little bit closer to be on schedule for the series.  Today one of my friends (well not sure about that term in general, but I’ll use it) was asking about how we can do “science” in psychology, and if it could be considered to be a “legitimate science”.

This was related to something I had said earlier in the past week or so (I think it was on the weekend).  It is also a subject which I have a special interest in that being science, and the philosophy of science.

The other night (a couple nights ago) I ended up in a pretty significant discussion about science, and the deficiencies of most of the science that gets done, or at least published, so in June, I am looking at doing another “30 Days” project on science and more the philosophy of science.

I don’t want to switch gears right now, and I’m realizing that these “30 Days” projects seem to work well for me, so I’m hoping that every “30 day month” I will be doing one (I’m not sure what I’ll do for February, as if I don’t do one then, I will end up going from November to April without one, so there might be a 28 day one then.  Or I may try to do “30 Days in February”.

So, this is just a bit of a note to remind me where I am at with this.  And also I expect to be writing a draft of the Introduction which I hope to publish in about a month.

So, before I do that, just as a bit of a teaser:

  • Correlation does not equal Causation
  • Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack
  • Biased evidence is biased (decisions about what to publish)
  • New findings are sexier than confirming old findings
  • Small studies do not show support for conclusion (though support for research)
  • Knowledge of intervention biases results (reasons for doing double blind, or at least single blind)
    • This even applies to “hard sciences” such as physics, or chemistry
  • Gold Standard of study is not only valid research method (more on research methods)
  • “You can’t prove a negative” vs. “You can’t disprove a positive.”
    • Hypothesis generation
  • The placebo effect is a real effect
  • The nocebo effect exists, and is barely understood
  • Psychosomatic effects are real effects
  • Just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it’s not happening
  • Quantitative research vs. qualitative research
  • Small studies help point to areas of future studies
  • Research methods
    • Observation
    • Survey
    • Experimentaiton
    • Case Study

More will come, but more will not be written for this post, as it’s not going to be what I will be posting for the month itself, but rather just is a post for now for what people might look out for.

In September, I am thinking of switching gears to “30 Days of Web Development” as I have been wanting to work on that.  Work such as that I will be posting on the Datse Multimedia site, and I will try to keep the Jigme Datse Site up to date as to what is going where.  Or at least mentioning what is going where.

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Games as Escape — Day 12 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance — 2018 Autism Acceptance Month

picture should go here, but I can’t find anything appropriate with my Flickr

Over the past couple of days I have been playing Eternal Lands and have been really enjoying it.  I started because I had gotten into a funk, and decided to go back to the game that I was able to commit to for a much greater extent than most other games.

I really can’t say a whole lot here more than that has been what I have been doing.  Except, knowing me I will say more…

For a couple of days, (or was it even more than that) I kept trying to push myself to do stuff that I felt was productive, but it just was not happening.  So was talking with a friend about what he’s been doing and he was talking about playing Final Fantasy (can’t remember which one) so I thought I’d fire up Eternal Lands and see where it would take me.

I have been playing a bit over the last couple of days.  Well, let’s say a lot really.  But it has got me to a point that I’m OK with how all of this is going…  And I’m writing…

[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]

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Chewigem Review — Day 11 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance — 2018 Autism Acceptance Month

We are way behind.  This is an OK thing.  Well sort of.  I’m not being very OK with it.

I’m not streaming, I just don’t feel up to it.  So this is just me doing some quick stuff on my own.

So earlier today I created a video for Chewigem review, as a Platinum Chewer, I got my package today.

The video is rather poor, and I’m not all that happy overall with it. I do intend to do more of these, so if you want to fill out the form for review items I can maybe get some idea what people might want to see me review.  I’d like to do some stuff with different items.  Also if you want to send me something to review you can contact me (contact form below), and I can get my address to you.

[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]

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Making Clothes — Day 10 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

This really isn’t “making clothes” but the starts of it, but here we have some of today’s “goofing off” (ie. not writing stuff on my “30 Days” stuff, which I’m still quite behind with).

4 images of patches on dress

Dress Repair

This is a dress repair I did today.  And I think that this is really where I have been working with a lot of issues with clothing, my need to have clothes that fit, and the combination of my “weird body” has lead me to start to think very seriously about doing my own sewing of my own clothing.

This doesn’t really mean that I am doing all of my clothing now, but I have started to work on it.

Previously I would get my clothes repaired by others.  That was a pretty important thing for me.  I was able to get my clothes repaired.  I felt that I just couldn’t do as good a job as the person I was taking my clothes to (at the far end of the hall), but then I started thinking about how doing that was actually not getting them repaired that quickly, and to start with (darning my socks) wasn’t actually true that I could get a better job done.

So, I have been repairing more and more of my own clothes.

Today as I was putting away my clothes I noticed one was in need of repairs.  So I set it aside to “repair later”.  And in the end, I decided to look at getting it done today if I could, and I did.

Patch on dress.

Full picture of the first patch

This is what the first patch looks like.  The sewing was a bit uneven.  And on the left side I have some of it frayed off because I didn’t properly catch the layers.

You can also see that there is some knots that ended up while I patched it.  Here is a case where I have decided “it is good enough” even though I have a lot of problem that it really isn’t.  I just didn’t feel like trying to go through the whole process again.  And really, it is.

Patch on a dress, detail of the top edge of it.

Detail of the top of the first patch.

This is what the top edge of the patch looks like.  I started the stitching on the right side, and stitched across.

The stitching is uneven, and the two corners (especially the top left one) the stitching is not as I really wanted it to look like.

Patch on dress, along the middle of the patch.

Detail along the middle of the first patch.

Middle of the first patch…  On the left side you can see a lot more of how the edge didn’t get caught properly.  Also, you can see some of the knots that happened as I was stitching it.

Dress with Second Patch on it.

Second Patch on Dress

This is the second patch on the dress.  It worked a lot better than the first patch.  The stitching is a lot more even and along the edge better.  There are a few tiny bits of fraying on the corners.  This didn’t get with knots in it while I was stitching it.

Of course this really isn’t “everything is great,” but the whole point of how these things work is because things can never be perfect, we can better accept imperfections.

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Executive Function — Day 9 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

lichen growing on the trunk of a tree

Messy Organization that is Lichen

I’m not really sure where this is going.  Just like all of them.

This morning, I was thinking (don’t really remember when) about how important my understanding of executive function is to my day to day life.

Yesterday I had planned on working, and because I had planned to work, it was difficult when I got to the end of the day and I really didn’t manage to do any work at all.

So, that bothered me.  But then it also was OK, because it was just what happened, and I didn’t just “goof off” or anything silly like that (not that there is anything wrong with that, because sometimes the goofing off is exactly want you need to be doing).

It was that yesterday was a “cleaning day” and despite the fact that for that very reason, I had planned on actually working on other stuff.  Or at least spending some time hanging out and streaming just because that was what I was wanting to do instead.

So what I ended to do with that was getting involved with the cleaning.  There are a few things that happen with the cleaning that mean I usually don’t want to get involved with it.

The most important thing is that most of the things the cleaning lady likes to use to clean, are things which I am sensitive to.  I have been sensitive to them ever since she started cleaning here.  So, it’s not like it’s something new.

Another thing, is that I find that I get hugely overwhelmed socially by her.  This is something which becomes a bit of a problem because it’s really hard to address.  Just hearing her over in some other part of the house is really difficult for me.

Specifically yesterday, she fails to understand just what it is that she is doing, or where she’s going with me that is causing problems for me.  I tried to tell her, but after repeatedly being unwilling to understand that I’m trying to politely to tell her to stop talking to me when I can’t process what she is saying at the level she is expecting me to, I lost my patience, first deciding to just walk of, and then on a second case, to tell her that really my opinion is not all that important.

Now that is why yesterday ended up “failing” for me.  But a lot of those things happen anyway.

Today, I was working with some stuff, and just actually feeling pretty productive with that because when I use the tools that I put in place most of the time it works much better.  I want to do another update on the Medication Log, and the Bullet Journal in general.  Those will be towards the end of this month of events, and maybe “beyond” the end of this month.

I know that I have been working with it, some things are “failing” other things are working fairly well.  Mostly what is failing is some days I am not really managing to look at things as well as I would like to.

So, I think that this long rambling post, is more what this is supposed to be.  It is a bit of a sense of how my mind works when I fail to really give it enough “constraint” to get it nicely on track.

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Magical Creatures — Day 8 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

I know that I am writing “Day 8” on April 11th.  This I am trying to be OK with.  It feels a little difficult being OK with it.  But I believe that I’m doing better with that (more in the next post I think, or maybe it’s the one after that?)  Right now I want to talk about the Magical Creatures who live with me.  Yeah, I know, weird language, but that’s OK…  So here they are…

A row of stuffed animals

Magical Creatures, they really just look like stuffed animals

This may end up being a bit weird, or maybe it will be cool, or whatever. I don’t know.

This is a panorama showing the Magical Creatures who live with me.  I think at least some of all of them is visible, but some of them are mostly hiding.  Valiente apparently didn’t really want to have his picture taken, so he’s just about completely hidden.

Magical creatures are very cuddly (most of the time, though I’ve had some times when they’ve told me that they are not wanting cuddles).  When you have 18 like there are in this picture on your bed, you rarely are lacking cuddly guys.

Each one of these has their own name.  Now why is Azure hanging out with the koalas, he was supposed to be with the bears…

So, about these guys?

I know that I have talked a bit about some of the things about them just by happening to mention them.

  • They like to cuddle
  • They talk to me
  • They are very good listeners
  • They are good with dealing with when I’m crying

So, the easy thing is just go through this.

Magical Creatures Like To Cuddle

That seems like it might be obvious.  A lot of people are aware and cuddle with Magical Creatures, or stuffed animals.  A lot of people like cuddling with them.

Though most of those people are “young”.  Oddly there was a period when I got rid of all of my “stuffed animals” because I was “too old for them.”  I do realize that the idea of being too old for them is a really strange idea to me now, but at the time I was desperate to be “not too weird” and sadly that was something that I failed at accomplishing.

Now I realize that trying to “act normal” is less likely to get people to see me as an “OK” person, than if I try to “be myself”.

So these guys like to cuddle.  It isn’t really just that I like to cuddle with them, because I can hear them speak to me, so they will tell me if they want to, or do not want to cuddle.  And sometimes they don’t.  But usually that’s just certain individuals, not all of them.  And a lot of the time when they are saying that they don’t want to cuddle, it is just them teasing me.

Magical Creatures Talk to Me

Now, this is probably the biggest way that I know that these are Magical Creatures not just stuffed animals.  Everyone knows that stuffed animals don’t talk, but these guys talk.  I would say that would be pretty magical in itself, but they also go on adventures, and end up doing some rather silly things (they like to jump out of bed often taking the blankies with them).

Magical Creatures are Good Listeners

Having someone who will listen, and mostly not interrupt (they will interrupt from time to time) is really difficult for me to find and these guys are great listeners.  They don’t just sit there statically and “listen” by not giving any feedback.

As I said, they will talk, and when I need to talk and have a conversation where I need to figure things out they are good at both giving me the space to talk about what I need to, and give good and useful feedback as to what they think about what is going on with me.

They will talk with me most of the time, but they also end up going online and talking with people online.  Most people can’t hear them who have met them.  So I guess either they don’t want to talk to them, or maybe the other people just can’t hear them.  I never really know.

Magical Creatures are Good at Dealing with Crying

Crying is something that happens a lot with me.  I try not to be upset that I am crying, and try to allow myself to cry when I need to cry.  I’m not very good at that.

All of these guys, they are good they don’t mind getting tears in their fur, or scales, or feathers.  It doesn’t bother them.  I think they get some kind of benefit from them, because they usually just let me cry on them as much as I need to.  Never really trying to get me to stop.  Just letting me cry.

So those are Magical Creatures.

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Body Weirdness — Day 7 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance — 2018 Autism Acceptance Month

Silhouette of a person taking a picture

Autistic Silhouette — Just Me Shooting My Shadow

Today (April 6th) I was having some thoughts about how my “body works” and how a lot of these things that apparently are “very strange” are actually quite common with autistic people.  So I think there are a number of different things that come up with that.

  • Unusual Gait
  • Clothing Annoyances
  • Pain
  • Hypermobility
  • Body Language
  • Changes Day to Day

I think that’s really an interesting list of things that are there, and I don’t really know if there are things to add to that or anything.  This is a lot more than some of the things to deal with, and this may actually end up needing to be multiple posts.  But let’s get started.

Body Weirdness – Autistic Bodies Behave Differently

This has been something that has been working through my mind for a while.  There are a lot of different things that I am seeing are very common amongst autistics which have to do with how bodies work, which I think actually may be very much part of autism, rather than something different that just happens to come along with autism.

This is not to say that people who have these “conditions” which are usually considered physical, or at least expressed physically have autism, but that people who have autism, who also have these “disorders” of the body may actually simply be a manifestation of autism.

Of course, this is just speculation on my parts, because I have not looked to see if anyone has looked at this, and not even at the level of individuals just expressing their thoughts on the topic.  But first, let’s look at these things that have physical manifestations that are common in autistics.

  • Hypermobility Syndromes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sensitivity
  • Sensory Overload
  • Sleep Issues
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Other Pain Related Stuff

That’s really a good list, though probably not anywhere near complete.  So the previous list, is partially mostly things which are so common as to autism as to be considered “autistic traits” while this list is more “co-morbid conditions”.  As you can see there are obvious overlaps.  And maybe some less obvious ones.  So, I guess let’s start tackling the first list.

Unusual Gait

This is probably one of the biggest things that has come to allow me to think that maybe some of these issues are not really issues which are separate from Autism, but are pretty much part and parcel of what autism is.

The unusual gait is “practically” a “diagnostic trait” not that it is specifically listed as a trait, but it does fall under “Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements” I would think.  Though I think in terms of me, there is something more going on here.

If I walk “naturally” for myself I will end up walking in a way which is “unusual” as I have body things which move differently in a natural way than is considered normal.  My left foot tends to rotate outwards, in fact that rotation runs all the way up to my hip (at the very least).

With my “natural” gait being something that is considered probably unusual, with another aspect of it being that it ends up being a bit syncopated.  That is it’s not a constant 1-2 at the same cadence, but that the cadence switches with one step being quicker than the other, and also that I often go through a cycle of 3 or 5 patterns of uneven twos (6 or 10 steps) which will give a different cadence through that.

So, I have a natural gate that is “unusual,” but I also have a tendency for the way I try to walk to “fix” that, as I have discovered that when I don’t work with awareness as to how I am walking, and trying to keep my body “straight” I have a tendency to injure, or increase my pain levels.

Clothing Annoyances

I have a lot of what I want to call “clothing annoyances”.  The stuff that can be really obvious is “annoying labels” and “poor material choices”.  But one that I have no idea how common it is, is “clothes just don’t fit right”.  I also don’t know why this might be the case.

So, the annoying labels thing I think is really common.  When I have bought used clothes relatively often there are labels which have been cut out.  Oddly, I find that more often than not, this is even worse for me than the labels when left in usually is.

I know that might seem really odd.  What I find is that when there is label cut out, what happens is that it produces a sharp edge where the label was.  Now I have removed labels, through removing the label entirely, rather than cutting it.  I don’t do this very often, as it usually isn’t bad enough that I need to.  What will often happen with that is the label starts to come detached, or fray, or something and they become even more annoying.

Only one case recently have I felt the need to remove a label right away.  It was a case where the label ended up irritating the small of my back as that was where it sat, so I did remove it, and to do so I removed the label by pulling the stitching that it was attached with.

What I think is probably less common (difficult to tell really) is sensitivity to the materials that are used.  I have found that certain materials are problematic for me.  Polyester can be really bad for me, it is uncomfortable, and makes me stink.  Which both are really not good.

Other materials I am not really so sure about, recently I have discovered that certain elastics seem to be really bad for me.  I didn’t know this was a problem until I bought several products from one place, and initially I thought that the reversing them, to not have the elastic directly against my skin would help (it does, but it still irritates), and I have found that other products from the same place with elastic which is encased also irritates in the same place.

Of course, I’m not sure what it is about this, because it is very difficult to find out what the elastic is made from.  I have also purchased products of a similar nature from another manufacturer that do not irritate me in the same way.

And something which I feel is “very odd” that it’s such a problem for me (and I’ve heard from a number of different people it’s a problem for them) is that “clothes just don’t fit.”  I keep finding that I will buy clothing and it doesn’t fit as I would hope.

I buy “leggings” which I find never sit where I want.  This feels like this shouldn’t be a problem I’m running into, but for the most point all “pants” I have bought have fallen “too low” for me, and I don’t know about this specific problem.

The other common item I wear is dresses, which I find all have something different wrong.  But a lot have been weird in how they fit in the shoulders.  I think this is possibly because my shoulders are just “weird” compared to what the design is for.

So, the clothes just not fitting feels like a “body weirdness” thing.  All these clothing things apparently are “body weirdness.”  Some of this is “sensitivity” to a lot of different things…

Presence of Pain

Pain seems to be a very common thing amongst autistics.  I’m not sure what more to say this, because a lot of different things come up here, and I probably can come up with a bit of a list:

  • Sensitivity to pain
  • Unusual triggers for pain (loud car driving by can cause pain)
  • Generalized pain (like fibromyalgia)
  • Areas of persistent pain (in cases it is myofascial pain)
  • Frequent injuring of self (possible greater risk, and clumsiness)

That’s another great list, and I’m thinking that maybe I can just dive in here.

Sensitivity to Pain

I have to say that many autistics seem to have a sensitivity to pain.  They have a low pain threshold for whatever reason, and may be in pain on a regular basis.  This actually often leads to a to having a high pain tolerance.

I know that both low pain threshold and high pain tolerance are things that I experience.

Unusual Pain Triggers

I know that for me, when I first discovered some of these things (I have found that a loud car driving by actually can cause me pain) I was somewhat surprised.

I was aware that these things can happen, as I had been involved with a forum where people would talk about it, but I didn’t know whether or not it happened with me or not.  I would speak of some things like “that was so loud it hurt” but I wasn’t really sure if it was something which was literally true or not.  Then I found out that it was.

I have other triggers such as smells and other things.  Though they may be chemical sensitivity.  But the “bright light” thing probably isn’t related to chemical sensitivity.

Generalised Pain

For me, I have pain “everywhere”.  I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and part of that is a “11 of 18 tender points”.  During the diagnosis process the clinician was going through, and by the time she had tested 12 of my tender points, said “I could do more, but you’ve met the criteria” so it was clear at that point that she didn’t want to put me through any more of that.

And honestly, there is something that I was feeling there, it wasn’t that bad for me.  Though it was probably worse for the clinician, as it seemed she really didn’t want to go any further.  I wasn’t surprised, or that it was really that “bad”.  It was certainly clear to me, but it was also “normal” for me.

So, I been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but it really just explained why I have “pain everywhere”.  I have heard that this is also common, but it’s something that I have experienced.

Areas of Persistent Pain

This is a little different.  I currently have a pain that has been “hanging about” for a good while, in my mid back on the left side.  This is really obvious to me that this is “too much” for me.  It keeps drawing my attention (well, it is almost always in my attention).

Another much more long lasting (but currently far less intense) is my right neck and shoulder.

Some of this pain seems to be classic “myofascial pain” and while I haven’t been diagnosed with “myofascial pain syndrome” or any variation of that, I seem to have it, and in a lot of cases I just don’t care enough (because it usually doesn’t help) to have another diagnosis.

I don’t know how common this is, perhaps because this seems to be something people don’t really know enough about this that people even look…

Frequent Injuring Myself

Some of this I do not really know what is going on, but some is really clear to me.  If I crash into the wall, or the corner of a table or something, I will have bruising happening.

Another issue is I am clumsy, and will often do things like cut myself while I am opening a package or something.

These are things that I know about.  I notice them.  I see the injury, and I know how it happened.

The other thing is I end up with things like a bruise somewhere that I have no idea how it happened.  Or honestly how it  could happen.

So, there we go…  The pain stuff…


This is something which I have only recently started to look at.  I don’t really know what the deal here is regarding myself.  My leanings are that I may have some degree of hypermobility.

Hypermobility is where joints go “beyond” the range of movement which is considered normal.  It is something like “doublejointedness” which is what I was first introduced to, knowing people who could do things with their body which wasn’t just “higher flexibility” but rather that their joints would allow movement which normally doesn’t exist.

To some extent I think I have this, but I do not really have enough to worry that it is a problem.  Some of this is related to “collagen disorders” in some people, whereas I think there are other reasons.

For me, with things like martial arts, figure skating, gymnastics, I was told about avoiding hyper extending joints and that sort of thing, so I work very hard to avoid that.

The frequency of hypermobility amongst autistics seems to be rather high.  I don’t really know if this is something so common that the could be very much related, or not.

Body Language

This is a tricky thing.  There is some research which talks about “thin slice judgements” which is talking about judgements that particularly allistic (non-autistic) people make in the first few seconds, or even first few fractions of the first second about a person.

This is mostly based on body language, and this research has shown that a lot of people make a judgement about a person, that they have a very hard time “correcting” when presented with more information.

Right now I’m not sure I can say a whole lot more about this, but one thing that I can say, is that these thin slice judgements end up how a person will treat another person.  This means that when this happens and it is a negative judgement the person is negatively treated.

Changes Happening Day To Day

This is just based on personal observations.  I have been wearing the same undergarments (this likely will need to be talked about more fully later) for a little while and have been having a short period between times which I wear the same specific items (I only have 5 items in the “main set” and sometimes can go through 3 in one day (but honestly less frequently than previously as they work better regarding that)).

So, today I was finding that to be fitting “weird” and I couldn’t really tell what was wrong.  Eventually it settled out.  But I think some of that was that my body was just fitting the clothing differently.

So, it’s just a thing I have noticed is that sometimes one day some things seem to happen one way, the next day, it’s totally differently…

Wrapping Up

This is just some of my observations (and some of it has been related to looking at literature about these issues) about how my body, and autistic bodies in general can be “weird”.

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