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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

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Concrete vs. abstract

R.J. Formanek a friend of mine with FASD. Brilliantly written. Had to post! 
When talking with people with FASD please remember how WE see things; Broad generalizations DO NOT work with many of us. It may seem no big thing to you, but in our “concrete world” we see it as dishonest, or lying.

Let me explain. Someone says “Everyone is doing this.” OK, so I look around and see a number of people NOT doing what “EVERYONE” supposedly is. In my mind the statement then becomes… untrustworthy. I can SEE that not everyone is doing this or that, but I hear something that makes no sense.

Some people consider this as obstinate, or willful action on our part, but trust me in this, we get so confused that sometimes we just “guess” at what you really want. My brain gets so full of questions and warnings that something is not true that I just can’t concentrate on what is actually being said. It’s almost like a car alarm in my brain… and it makes understanding anything after that EXTREMELY difficult. Car alarm in my brain? hmmmm, I kinda like that one!

So, if you really really REALLY want to be helpful to a person living with FASD please understand this is “one of those things” that many of us have a very difficult time with. Saying All, or EVERYONE, or NO ONE can easily send me into a panic mode. I know life is full of abstract concepts, but we’ve already dealt with Santa is not real, nor is the Easter Bunny, Superman, or any of those people, actors play characters, advertisers lie about products and any long list of things that confuse the hell out of many of us. And we learn at a very early age that the world lies to us. Imagine living in a place and time where the very rules of society are often based on lies. No wonder many of us get angry and confused… and kids often have no way of expressing this lost of trust. I’ve heard it said that when dealing with FASD people and rules… if you make a single exception to that rule… well that NOW becomes the new rule. Think about that. THAT is concrete thinking. The exception becomes the rule. Don’t forget, we live in “survival mode” 24/7… we need to.

I have the same problem with driving… there are rules of the road (concrete) and then there is how people ACTUALLY drive (abstract) and you put the two together and I’m ready for a meltdown! I know the rules and I follow them… and I know when the people around me aren’t following those very same rules and my mind goes into some sort of … primary mode. Survival. I feel very under assault and react accordingly. I need to be very careful about when I get behind the wheel, just to keep my own blood pressure to a normal level

These are just a couple examples of abstract concepts in daily life, and how simple everyday type things can set some of us off. I know I have a list!
Thank you for reading this, I’m hoping it makes some sense to some of you!