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Archive for October, 2013


I have disabilities, but I am a person. I have feelings. I deserve respect.

I dropped my test off at my neuropsych yesterday. A secretary was there that I have never met before. I walked in and gave her the test. It was folded. I handed it to her and started to leave. She opened it and just kept looking at my answers. I said, “That is for the doctor.” She looked up and said, “What?”

“I guess I should have put it in an envelope,” I said.

“I’m the one scoring it, anyway,” she said back to me in a disrespectful tone.


She is the secretary for a neuropsychologists. Where is the sensitivity?

I was not told she was the one doing the scoring.

And if she is the one doing the scoring, she could have waited until I left before she opened it up and looked at it…right in front of my face.

I was shocked.

At first, I thought…oh boy, I did it again. I have a mouth. I should have kept my mouth shut.

I some friends and they said absolutely not. that was unethical. Others have told me that I need to say something to the doctor and let him know what she did.

I will. Next week when I go for an appointment about my results.

It’s interesting that my first thought was I wondered what they thought of my reaction. One friend of mine said, “They need to worry about what they did to you and how you feel. You are the client.”


Just because I have disabilities does not mean they do not have to give me respect, confidentiality, inform me of what is going on, and treat me with common courtesy.

I wonder if they treat others like that.


Not cool.

And to add…this is a very hard time for me. I am very sensitive about this. Everything they do and how they handle this is critical.

Really not cool.


Executive functioning test

When a doctor told me I had all the markers for FASD, it was a hard one for me to accept. I have always been the type of person that has been determined regardless of circumstances or disability. I know I have one. I really didn’t need anyone to tell me. When i was five years old, my kindergarten teacher told my adopted parents that I had to go to a neurologist. There were already concerns. I had been a failure to thrive baby. I did not really talk. I was, very much, a late talker and I didn’t connect the way a lot of other kids did. I saw things differently. I didnt have a lot of the eye hand coordination and I didn’t have spatial sense. I still dont…lol. When the neurologists said that I had significant brain damage and I would not graduate high school, they did not factor in my determination. Have you ever been the type of person, that everything you do, people look at you in this surprised look like WOW, I never knew you could get a masters. I never saw you as a mom. I never saw you being able to do _______________. Well, most of the time, I surprise people because they only see the disability.

My boss would say, she knew I could do it. She actually is a special ed teacher for kids on the Autism Spectrum. I always knew it was a possibility that I had that, too. I was told by one neurologist as an adult that it was most likely Autism, but he dismissed it to look at other things that were not important. I did not even go back to him to find out what he wanted to do. He was disrespectful and I was not impressed with him.

Safeties need to be in place in order for me to accept someone testing me for disabilities. Now, that was there when I was to a genetics doctor at Akron Children’s who said that the FASD was there.

Now, two years later, I decided to go to another neurologist. Some of our kids, from the school, had gone to him and he is able to diagnose autism. I went and it was pretty much 100%. As my boss and best friend says it, about 110%. When I was there about a month ago, we discussed the more cognitive issues that could be related to FASD…besides just the Autism.

Executive functioning can be in both FASD and Autism. I didnt even know really what Executive functioning was. I didn’t know what it was when I went for more testing last Friday. I sat in his office for three hours. He timed me for just about every task I did and I realized that I am a pretty slow processor and I do not have a very good memory…lol. He started off the tests with tasks like reading 20 words to me and I had to say them back. I could only say like the first three or last three because I was not able to remember the rest. He read them again. I maybe remembered one or two more. We did it again a couple more times. He then put them into categories. I could remember the ones I already remembered. But not any more. then he listed them back to me asking if any of them were on the list I may have forgotten. There were a couple that were a maybe, but for the most part…not so much.

He had me say words that started with the letter A and I had a minute. I have to be able to hear something or look at something in order for me to bring it out of my brain. I cant bring it from nothing. So, these were my words…a, an, am, and, animal,….he said ‘keep going’ i saw a book on his desk with the word administration on it, so I said that word. But that was it. He then said ‘ok now words with the letter ‘f’…go.’   First thing out of my mouth was, ‘can I swear.?’ He said yes. But I couldnt say it. But I said words like…fun, freak, fork. that might be it. He said ‘keep going,’ but nothing.

He told me to say animals and I could do that a little better cuz I love animals and actually love to take pictures of them and it is a passion of mine so I had that more imprinted on my brain. I probably listed at least 10.

He read word problems to me….um….he lost me at the first word. He could repeat it once, but other than that, I had to solve it….I did not do well on this. I was not able to process what he said. Words blended into numbers very quickly and within seconds, all I heard was blah, blah, blah. I just passed on most of those.

He had me do patterns. I realized that I could do the patterns, (I think–dont know results yet) that were on top of each other, like 2 blocks on 2 blocks. easy to see.. but the patterns that were in a long series, i could not retain from beginning to end to get the pattern. it was way too hard and I’m normally good at patterns.

SPELLING. Hey, I’m good at that. I’m a writer. I was a journalist for many years. I think I did great at that! All the writing I have done has imprinted words on my mind that I really am good at spelling.

Patterns on the computer. Not only does it say incorrect on the screen, it makes a noise that lets you know that you really dont get it. i got most of them wrong…lol…So, I heard that noise reminding me that I got it wrong about a hundred times.

I actually looked up executive functioning because I had no idea what it was. I guess you can have a high IQ but still not be able to know how to use it. There are people who have a lot of degrees but dont have a job because their executive functioning is so low. Mine is pretty low, but I have always made sure I had the supports around me in order to watch or figure out what to do. I do the things I do. There are a lot of things I really do not know what to do. If you tell me step by step or if I watch you carefully or you visually show me, I can figure it out.

We will find out the results, next Friday.

I will let you know. Image


FASD and Autism…

I was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, too. About 3 weeks ago. I have not said anything, here because I don’t know how I feel. There is one thing to think you have something, but then you are actually diagnosed with it. I went through the same thing when a doctor said I had all the characteristics of someone with FASD. I knew that you could have both. I actually wondered if I did. I have heard that people with FASD can have both. I know both can have a lot of the same traits, but I had a neurologist ask me a bunch of questions and he said not only by my answers, but in observing me, he knew I had Autism. Hmmm. Someone asked me how I felt. I didn’t even answer. I really don’t know how I feel about it. I’m not saying this is bad. I have got to know a lot of neurotypicals in my years and I can honestly say, there is not one I would want to be like…lol. So, I’m okay with being on the spectrum. When i wrote Autism Spectrum Disorder, the word that I kept staring at was Disorder. Really? This is a disorder? I want to look up what that means. Wait a second…okay a medical condition involving a disturbance to the usual functioning of the mind.

Okay. I will let that process.

Who says how we process and what we do is a distrubance. Okay. I get that things are not right. But who says that neurotypical brains are just that…typical?…

Just a question. Image

Proud but exhausted–not giving up

I’m proud, but I’m tired.

I work hard. I love hard. I play hard. 

I’m exhausted!

Those of us with FASD give out a lot more energy to do what others do and I have been non-stop. That’s a good thing in one sense. It does prove that we can do it. I work as a teacher/assistant director at a school for kids with Autism and I also am a photographer for kids with cancer. I also am trying to get my photography business going and have many things to make this happen. I have put soooo much energy into all 3 and I honestly dont have an inch of energy left. I rely so much on others around me to get these done and then out of nowhere my main external brain is removed from me for a short time, but nevertheless, when I’m tired…this makes it even harder!! 

I tried to go to Columbus yesterday without her and again, I just couldnt get myself to travel that far and do what I needed to do for my gallery. I went out with my daughter because I am the type of person that I will not give up. I was going to tackle something on the list. She needed to get some things. I did too…lol…She was the only successful one on this outing. 

I’m tired. After being out for a couple of hours I thought I’d run a marathon. I couldnt go any further. 

I’m not giving up. I think that is why I am so tired. 

I am actually trying everything I can to get my photography business up and running and it fuels me. I want to go into architectural photography. If any one knows of someone who needs a architectural photographer. I have the gifts. I see the right angles and how the photo should be taken. I seem to be able to get the lighting right and able to capture what they want. I’m very good at it. I work way too hard and put so much energy forth for barely being able to make it.

But I’m not giving up.

I’m tired. 

But I’m not quitting.

I’m going to keep going until I can’t take another step. 

As long as I have even an inch of energy I’m going to keep going. 

Photography has always been a place where I feel comfortable. I enter most new places with my camera and I interact with people behind the camera. if I don’t have it…lol…I feel naked. It is my way of getting to know people.

I do event photography. I do landscape photography. i do architecture. 

Get the word out for someone who wants to do this. 

I may have FASD…but I’m not quitting.

Exhausted or not. I’m going to be the best Ann I can be.

If you have FASD…don’t quit. Find your passion and go with it!

My Etsy photo shop…

My photography website

My viewbug. this is actually the best website of my photos

I have a gallery of my art in Tuttle Crossing Mall in Simply Vague store. I have a full wall way in the back in Columbus Ohio.Imageore

Contact me at or leave a message on here. or contact me at if anyone is interested in a photographer. If anyone needs a architectural photographer. 

I have included one of my photos.

Thank you!