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    We've had all our shots, but caught Covid-19, and have it now. #COVID19 #Depression #ADHD #Autism #actuallyautistic #Anxiety

    From the very beginning, my wife and I have been extremely careful about Covid-19. We stayed home, wore surgical masks when we did go out, used hand cleaner profusely, and did other things, as well. Up until last week, we were covid-free.

    But my wife's mother in a nursing home in another state was going downhill, and my wife wanted to see her again. I supported her, and still do. But while she was there, they had a breakout of Covid-19 in the nursing home, and 19 patients caught it, my wife's mother being one of them. She came home, and by the time she got here, she was sick. She took a test, and it was positive for Covid-19. I started getting sick, as well, and now I have it, too.

    It is rough. It's worse than any flu I have ever had, and almost as bad as pneumonia so far. I don't know if I will get worse or better from here, but because we have both had all our vaccines, I suspect that we won't get too much worse. That's the assumption and hope anyway.

    We're lucky to be where we are, I guess. Late in the pandemic, and having had our shots. I'm glad we didn't catch it early, when it was apparently stronger, and no vaccines or treatments existed. I feel bad for all those people. I'm just trying to look on the positives, and not let this drag me farther down into the pit of depression. Count your blessings, in other words. Because this feels like crap. Have a nice day everyone. ♣


    Might lose my marriage because of my sensory needs?

    Posting because there’s no one else I can talk to about this.

    My wife loves animals. Shes very empathetic towards animals, especially pets. Her dog passed away almost two years ago from old age, and she was distraught for months. Because of my illnesses and disability we can’t really take care of a dog, but we decided to get a cat last august mostly for my wife, but also so I’d have companionship during the day.

    The previous owner says she was chatty, but I didn’t realize what that would actually mean for me. This cat meows constantly, incessantly, all day, and it is sensory hell for me. I’ve told my wife it feels like someone is hammering a railroad spike into my brain.

    This sensory hell has led to several meltdowns for me (I’m autistic) which then lead to a flare up of my illnesses. In a desperate moment, I said to my wife that I don’t know how we can keep the cat with the pain her meowing causes me. It’s literal torture.

    My wife said that she didn’t want to have to choose between me and the cat, and that it would usually be a dealbreaker in her relationships. It was heartbreaking to hear that I’m on the same level as a cat for her and that I could potentially lose my relationship over something that I can’t help.

    So I’ve been dealing with that for a while, and it’s making me want to die. Not actively, but just, the dehumanization of it, and not feeling safe and secure in my home or relationship. I’ve been dissociating regularly since that conversation and whenever she’s brought it up since then.

    She does research, now, on sensory pain, not because she cares about my well-being but because “she wants to keep me and the cat”. And it’s especially gross because she’s not researching how she can make things less painful for me. She’s researching medical treatments for sensory issues, which is all kinds of problematic, and then able-splaining my SPD to me.

    The whole situation is horrible and I’m left wondering if I want to be in a relationship with someone like this, but as you guys know, even if I wanted to leave, it’s not that simple. It’s unlikely anyone else I found would be more understanding, plus she is my carer and she financially supports me. Without her I’d be homeless and destitute and without care. Plus I love her very much. Just, as a disabled person, I have to think about these things. Ugh. # autism #actuallyautistic
    #SensoryProcessingDisorder #SensoryIssues #Fibromyalgia #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #neurologicalpain

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    Growing up Undiagnosed - My Internal Chaos

    Growing up undiagnosed, I was always the odd one out. Whether it was my weird quirks, my executive functioning challenges, my daydreaming or simply the fact how I perceived and did everything differently - achieving the same result but choosing the route most people wouldn’t consider and no, my routes usually weren’t shortcuts.

    My brain needs logic. My brain needs answers. My brain can’t move on if I don’t have logic or answers. Ironically, at the same time – my brain is hyperactive. It can’t stop working. It jumps from one thing to another, not being able to stop. That is the beauty and sometimes a curse of having ADHD and Autism together. At times, it’s like having two forces working against each other.

    On many occasions I remember thinking to myself or sharing with my mother that I wasn’t made for this world. Not that the world was cruel to me. I have been blessed in more ways than I can count but I felt the odd one out. Always. In every situation.

    Such a beautiful blue sky. Is it looking blue to everyone? Or is my perception of blue different than others? - My communication differences in terms of interpretations were so stark that I began second guessing everything I was seeing.

    Then there was eye contact.

    Eye contact was and I guess still is the standard for respectful communication. On the surface, I never had trouble making eye contact. Inside my mind though, I had trouble tracking the conversations because I was forcefully focused on maintaining the eye contact and then the stress of making sure that my non-verbal communication was appropriate. Am I smiling enough? Oh no – my lips are quivering? And then my eye would start blinking rapidly.

    I thought I was weird. I started acting like an extrovert to hide my quirks and my challenges with executive functioning. In many cultures, executive functioning challenges of a person who has no visible disability are deemed as laziness or are assigned other such labels.

    Now that I know about my neurodivergence – I have extended some grace to myself. I no longer call myself lazy or assign labels to myself that the world once assigned to me.

    I understand why I struggle to maintain consistency.

    I understand why I forget things.

    I understand that sometimes I eat for stimulation – just to keep my brain excited.

    I understand why I am unable to do routine tasks that come naturally to most people.

    I extend myself grace when my house is messy, or when the sink is full of dirty dishes.

    I understand and accept that it’s okay to need help and it’s okay to need support and accommodations.

    I know now that my brain works differently and instead of forcing it to be more like other people’s brain, I now want it to be the best version of itself.

    Not better or worse than others because it’s not a comparison.

    Just the best it can be.

    I don’t know whether this post makes sense or not – there are many things I haven’t shared and want to but articulating my personal experiences into words for others to understand is probably one of the hardest things I have done.

    Until next time.

    #Neurodiversity #Autism #ADHD #actuallyautistic #neurodivergence #mylife #KindTheory #Acceptance #Selfacceptance #myinternalchaos

    Picture ID: Photo of a multi-colored beautiful brain representing neurological variants and brain diversity.


    Stemmy Songs ... One of my favorite stem songs. What's yours? #actuallyautistic #ASD #AutisticAdults #neurodivergent

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    What does autistic pride mean to you?

    Saturday, June 18 is Autistic Pride Day and it got me thinking: What does autistic pride mean or look like to you? For me, it looks like giving myself the grace to leave situations that are overstimulating - or using my noise reduction earplugs in public. It's also not being ashamed of stimming in public.

    Let me know what autistic pride looks like for you! I'd love to know.

    #Autism #actuallyautistic #AutisticAdults #neurodivergent #TheNeurodiverseCrowd #CheckInWithMe #AutisticPride


    New Here

    Hi, my name is Leslie. I'm now officially diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder as an adult after recognizing it in myself during my own extensive research. I am not diagnosed ADHD, but it's prevalent in my immediate family, and I heavily identify with a substantial amount of traits. I'd love to reach out of my comfort zone by maybe meeting some new people and hearing experiences of people whose stories that both resemble my own, and those that don't. #actuallyautistic #SocialAnxiety #MightyTogether

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    What 'little' things bring you comfort and joy?

    Let's face it: The last however many years have been pretty darn rotten, but the last 36 or so hours have been even more stressful on a macro- and micro-level in so many ways. Without even touching things going on at the federal level in the United States and the multiple crises both nationally and globally, I have been dealing with some personal things that have been putting me through the ringer.

    Thankfully, I am incredibly blessed to have an AMAZING support crew who I can call on when I need them the most. But even then, it's not always enough... or what's needed. Or they live too far away and I can't get that physical touch I need to calm the nerves that feel like they're vibrating from all the stress I'm under. What's a person to do?

    Here are some things I have been doing as part of my self-care that have brought me a great deal of comfort and joy:

    💜 - I bought a new Squishmallow (not pictured). It's a watermelon one.

    💜 - I have been working while wrapped in my Pusheen throw blanket and holding my heated Shiba Inu plush (both pictured). The plush - when heated - is incredibly comforting and an amazing sensory feel for me.

    💜 - I have been listening to music recommended to me by one of my close friends.

    💜 - I made plans with my eldest nephew to get ice cream after work. I also have plans to hang out with my friends over the weekend, depending on how I'm feeling.

    What brings you comfort and joy in your time of need? Let me know in the comments below.

    P.S. And in case you needed permission, it's OK to feel happy when everything's "on fire." Check out this story by Brittany: This Is Your Permission to Chase Joy in Times of Crisis

    #MentalHealth #ChronicIllness #Disability #ADHD #Autism #AutisticAdults #actuallyautistic #CheckInWithMe #neurodivergent #neurodiverse #RheumatoidArthritis #BipolarDisorder #Trauma #TraumaSurvivors #CPTSD #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Anxiety #Depression #Migraine #selfcare #DistractMe #52SmallThings

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    What do your sensory needs look like?

    As Autism Acceptance Month winds down, something that has been on my mind lately are sensory needs, and I was wondering what yours look like?

    For me, honoring my sensory needs can look a little like this:

    ❤️ Wearing noise-canceling headphones or noise reduction earbuds if I'm stressed or overwhelmed

    🧡 Using my weighted blanket or getting a strong hug from a trusted person

    💛 Avoiding touch and removing myself from situations if I'm extremely uncomfortable

    Share yours with me in the comments below. P.S. Your needs are so valid. Sending strength and solidarity to you. 💜

    #CheckInWithMe #Autism #AutisticAdults #actuallyautistic #SensoryProcessingDisorder #Disability #DistractMe #52SmallThings #selfcare #neurodivergent #neurodiverse #Neurodiversity #TheNeurodiverseCrowd #SensoryNeeds #Anxiety #SensoryOverload

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    Trauma: An Unavoidable Consequence

    When the world at large is created and maintained by, for, and with neurotypical people in mind, it means that Autistic people continue to be seen as fish out of the water. Sensory overloads. Abusive relationships. Rejection. Unemployment which leads to poverty. Ableism. All of these and many more that I can mention means that trauma for Autistic Adults is an unavoidable consequence. That is why I am sending you a link to my newest episode: Trauma: An Unavoidable Consequence. Finding an Autistic individual to commit to talking about this topic has been a real challenge. However, you will find very few who can talk about trauma as eloquently as my guest Benjamin Christmass. Benjamin was diagnosed as Autistic only one year ago. Benjamin is 29 years old and lives in Queensland, Australia. Benjamin is a Cardiac Scientist who studied and wrote his Master's thesis about trauma. Benjamin's talk with me focuses on the environments Autistics are subjected to on a daily, moment by moment basis that adds micro-traumas that results in trauma backing up in the Autistic's life that becomes overwhelmingly painful. I ask that you listen and please pass this on to your co-workers and social media networks as an important source of information that can bring some relief, crucial dialogue and social change. #Autistic #AutisticAdults #actuallyautistic

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    The Medical and Social Models of Autism #AutisticAdults #Autism #actuallyautistic

    A medical diagnosis is required to get medical insurance for therapy services, social support services and access to resources. The medical model also brings social consequences. Dr. Scott Frasard joins me to talk about how the Neurodiversity movement is the social model that helps Autistic Adults reach for a greater life potential. #Neurodiversity