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    5 Things You Need to Know If You Have a Neurotypical Roommate

    Having roommates can be hard for a number of reasons. Different personality types, timetables, interests, etc., can all lead to either a harmonious or horrible relationship. It can get even more tricky when we throw brain chemistry and neurodivergence into the mix. Neurodivergents have a different way of operating the world compared to neurotypicals. Depending on the neurodivergent condition, we may need way more structure, less structure, more stimulation, less stimulation, or just very specific conditions in order to thrive that differ from that of a neurotypical. I never realized just how different living with a neurotypical was until I knew I had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and was put into a living situation with someone who operated very differently than I did. While I’ve lived with other neurotypicals with little to no issue, there are some experiences that I’ve noticed are universal (for me), and I wish I knew to expect them. 1. Agreeing on an organizational structure may be tough. Maybe it’s because I’m more Type A than I realized, but I never realized how nitpicky I am about pantry and fridge organization. Yes, I may forget the food exists half the time, but it doesn’t change that there’s a very specific structure. For some reason, I’m not bothered (as much) if I mess it up, but I am when the other roommate does. That, or it’s the complete opposite where they have a different organization system and I can’t adjust to it for the life of me. 2. Sometimes you may be perceived as annoying or weird. Given that I have ADHD, I can have chatty bouts where I talk a lot and don’t stop for a while. That, or I sometimes cut people off and I’ve had to really be mindful of that. While some people are understanding of this, others are not, and those are the same people who have called me annoying to be around. Sometimes to keep the peace masking helps, but it’s also never a good feeling to have to mask in your own home. 3. Boundaries are more important than you realize. Setting boundaries with your neurodivergence isn’t something I personally see talked about, but it’s so important. For me, that looks like telling my roommate not to throw out any water bottles that they think I’m done with. Sometimes I’m not done with them, and as silly as it is it really bothers me when they’re gone. That, or simply just to ask me before they toss something or move something of mine. If I’m asked I’m usually fine, but if I’m not asked it can bother me a lot more than it should. 4. Making your bedroom or space your sanctuary is crucial. Making your bedroom your sanctuary is important for anyone, but when you’re neurodivergent, it’s even more important. Because you do have to compromise in the shared living spaces, you may at times have to deal with sensory icks, sensory overload, or overstimulation amongst other things. You have control over your bedroom. Making sure the scents, textures, lights, and more all are suited to your brain will help when you need to regulate yourself or if you need time away. Having your own space is so important for that reason. 5. Honesty matters. We should never feel as if we have to disclose our disabilities to anyone. If you do trust your roommate though, it may help if you’re honest with them about your brain and how you best function. It may be easier to work with them if you do — and you do want to work with your roommate, not against them. Be honest about your strengths, areas of opportunity, or weaknesses, and how you can really step into it. Had I known these things, my roommate relationship may have been stronger. Either way, you live, you learn, and when you’re in the middle of an unaffordable housing crisis , you find new roommates with whom you can start all over.

    Community Voices


    Why does every facility you want to go to or is great for you cost so much money? I'm trying to find housing. I want to live in an apartment. My family says I need a lot of supervision. I'm not a low functioning asperger person. I am very high functioning. I need some supervision with money and some other things.
    I can't find a housing place. I do not want to live with anybody....I mean share a room.
    I'm very depressed and anxious to find something but I keep hitting roadblocks. Help. I need some advice. #Housing #aspbergers

    Community Voices

    Housing issues #Housing #homelessness

    I have a roof over my head but not a home. I just got a voucher so I’d have my rent paid for 12 months. But finding a landlord willing to take it is going to be rough, even though I’m a good tenant just poor. I always paid my rent, no eviction or anything I managed to send 3 emails today to landlords and got one immediate rejection-no vouchers. I must do better but I don’t know how. I still don’t have a therapist as the one I was assigned keeps canceling. I’m looking at major surgery in the next few months. I’m in mental and physical pain every day. I’ve been juggling all this for 6 months now and I’m very very tired. #depressed

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Any advice would be helpful!

    At the beginning of March my ex cost me my job by leaving town and refusing to watch his daughter (we had agreed I’d work full time while he watched her then he’d do his stuff when I’m not working and we’d coparent) and I couldn’t really get anyone else to watch her because she was going through stuff and wanted to be with either mom or dad so I lost my job and went back to being a SAHM. Then when he got back to town issues arised with our neighbors because of something he did that caused alarm to them and we had threats made on us due to his actions. He packed everything up in the middle of the night and moved us to his friends apartment that has been been abandoned and left us here and left town again for two weeks and just came back Monday l. I have working on finding daycare to put my daughter in while working on transitioning her to going to go to daycare so I can go back to work, I’ve also been trying to get help with finding stable housing because of the situation I’ve been put in with my daughter. He also has my car and our daughters car seat as well.
    He is now messaging me telling me he wants me to leave the friends apartment because he wants his spot back all because I asked him to get his stuff and not show up unannounced. I’m at a loss honestly. I looked into going to a shelter but was told it could take up to a month and I might only be there for a week and that if I’m safe here to stay here. I’m safe but it’s not stable..
    If anyone knows of any resources that can help me get into a place and get situated without too much trouble quickly I would really appreciate you message me please. I have some income and some savings as well. I’m from Oregon. #DV #Housing #help #oregon #BPD #Anxiety #CPTSD

    1 person is talking about this
    Community Voices

    A Place to Call Home #Housing

    <p>A Place to Call Home <a class="tm-topic-link ugc-topic" title="housing" href="/topic/housing/" data-id="5b23ce8900553f33fe99458e" data-name="housing" aria-label="hashtag housing">#Housing</a> </p>
    8 people are talking about this

    How Homeownership Has Given Me Independence With Learning Disabilities

    The past five years have brought about much change in my life. One of the biggest changes that occurred is that my husband and I are homeowners. Being a homeowner has given me the chance to be independent and make the disability accommodations I need. Accessibility in housing is important for people with disabilities. When most people think of home modifications for individuals with disabilities, they think of ramps and rails, which are important for those with physical disabilities. Many landlords don’t understand the needs of a tenant with dyscalculia and other learning disabilities. When I rented, I was at the mercy of others, who were not always understanding. My hand dexterity difficulties made locking the door difficult. When I talked to the owners, they just repeated the same instructions; that didn’t work for me. Another frustrating part of the rental was the stove. The stove had an analog clock that acted as a timer. My dyscalculia makes reading the face of a clock difficult. When I see the face of an analog clock, I see numbers and handles that make no sense to me. When I would bake something, I couldn’t program the timer. I had to purchase a separate digital timer. When I told the owners, they were indifferent. They couldn’t understand why I couldn’t read the face of a clock. It wasn’t the timer that got the stove replaced. The oven light went out and the part needed was obsolete according to the handyman hired to look at the stove. Becoming a homeowner enables us to make decisions that work for us. We chose to live in a central location, which is important when not being able to drive. I still struggle to use the lock on our door, but have found strategies to make it work. Our appliances have digital displays, enabling me to use them independently. We may be responsible for the repairs, but we can make sure that they are done to benefit us. Disability accommodations and modifications can be costly, but the feeling of independence is priceless. There are programs that can provide home modifications. Most of the home modifications are geared to people with physical disabilities. Few people recognize the needs of people with invisible disabilities because you can’t see them. Five years has brought many changes, but being a homeowner has been the best one. We take pride in our home. I love owning our own home and dream of another five years in it.

    Community Voices

    Housing Struggles

    So many of my difficulties with life stem from not having a stable housing situation. I have a mountain of student loan debt, which had made securing a housing loan virtually impossible, and I have moved 10 times in the past 10 years. If I could just have a stable place to live, my life would be so much easier.

    I don't have difficulty getting a job. I make decent money, but not great. But I have to live on the Cape to help my mother, and the housing situation here is bonkers. I am on every housing assistance list, but the wait is 5 years. Renting is a nightmare, cost is at a minimum $1500/month, and that is not even for a nice place. And if you do rent, you're simply treading water, unable to save anything.

    I'm currently living in my mother's basement, and losing my mind. My mother has hoarding disorder btw, and it's a very unpalatable place to live.

    I have a robust support system: counselor, nurse practitioner, social service worker to assist with state assistance programs, life coach, lots of friends and family. I take my meds religiously. I am very healthy and do yoga and other breathing exercises daily. I have hobbies, singing, theater, saxophone, writing etc.

    But none of that is the issue. It's the lack of stable housing.

    Can anyone else relate?

    I guess I just get frustrated because I've learned how to manage my mood disorder fairly well, but my skills can't overcome the challenges that come with having an unstable and uncontrollable living situation.

    Thanks for reading. #Housing #sanctuary #Shelter

    Community Voices

    I feel emotional black mail from my friend however, what should I do?! I'm caught in the middle of a huge mess!

    Lara Sandora

    Autism Future Planning: 5 Factors to Consider

    Are you overwhelmed by the thought of future planning for your loved one with autism? Looking Ahead A diagnosis can be shocking. You freeze. Unable to think, to move, to decide, to do. But, over time, you learn to both live in the present and plan for the future. It can be challenging just to get everyone out of bed, and wash, dress and feed them on a (semi-)regular basis. Add in ever-changing online and hybrid school schedules, telehealth appointments, and other aspects of parenting in a pandemic, and it’s no wonder you are at your breaking point. Silver Lining While we certainly didn’t wish for this pandemic, it has certainly afforded us the time and space to take stock of what Mr. D. needs and wants when everything else is stripped away.  He has spent most of the Covid shutdown in water, with maybe a total of 1-2 hours daily of instruction/therapy. Yet he has made great improvements, met several IEP goals and is much more proficient with his AAC device – all because we believe his sensory system is more regulated. This has caused us to entirely rethink our autism future planning for him. Planning for the Future Whatever age or stage your child is in, I encourage you to take some time to consider these five areas. Three were poignantly summed up by Feda Almaliti in an interview filmed just a few months before her untimely death – with her son – in a house fire.  She wished for her late son, Mu, to have “a home, a friend and something to do.” Underlying those universal wishes are two other factors that have felt all the more tenuous in recent times: health and finances. 1) Longevity: Health and Wellness Autism future planning involves the whole person. Managing medical diagnoses are only part of this – also important to consider are ways your child stays active, their diet, their sleep habits.  Assess what needs exist now, and reflect on how they might change over time. 2) Flexibility: Finances In the short term, this probably has a lot to do with health insurance, rent and mortgage payments, and supplying the never-ending “extras” of autism – specialized clothing, special foods, and the next new device that promises to address the biggest headache in your home. Those needs will all continue into adulthood – so now is the time to start understanding the labyrinth of public services like Social Security, Medicaid, and more — especially if your child has a high level of needs.   Autism future planning calls for flexible, creative financial planning. 3) Stability: Housing Right now, your child is probably living with you – wherever you have been quarantined for much of the past year. Quarantine can teach you a lot about what works – and what doesn’t. Maybe it can help you project what type of housing setting would be best for your child. Housing is core to autism future planning. Hundreds of thousands of adults with developmental disabilities live with their aging parents – a precarious situation. If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of this process, start with the Autism Housing Network’s housing guide, titled A Place in the World – it really lays out the terminology in an approachable way and will help you to get a handle on the vocabulary you need to plan in this area. 4) Accessibility: Educational and Vocational For many autistic children in the U.S., the core of education is the IEP, or Individualized Education Plan.  The plan can last until the individual is 22, at which point many parents and guardians describe their children as falling off a “cliff” of services, into a relative abyss.  As with all individuals, it’s best to focus on the zone of proximal development.  Meaning build on their strengths, and then push them just the slightest bit beyond that to achieve growth. Again, the minimalist programming afforded us (by necessity) during the pandemic has helped us to refocus on what progress looks like for Mr. D. Our biggest takeaway – which we had strayed from under the guise of getting him more and more services – even the smallest amount of instruction goes much further when his sensory needs are adequately met.  And it seems that four to six hours in some form of water is a huge part of filling up his sensory bank. 5) Inclusivity: Quality of Life This is perhaps the most foundational aspect of your child’s life, and often the one that falls to the bottom of the heap. If you have not already, take stock of what brings your child joy. First, try to incorporate as much of that as possible into their life now. Then try to envision a life going forward that will allow you to support, not fight against, accessing this. For us, the answer has become clear. It’s time to make our home-away-from-home into Mr. D’s year-round home. So we are wading into the world of disability housing and creating a landing pad for him to have supported independence as a young adult, as well as year-round access to warm water in Hawai’i. In the words of Indian author and activist, Arundhati Roy, “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it … lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.” So allow yourself to imagine what sort of hope and possibility lies on the other side of the gate. Our son is just 12, but autism future planning weighs heavily on us as he has a need for a high level of support.  It’s never too late — or too soon — to start thinking about the future.

    Community Voices

    Feeling pretty hopeless at the moment

    <p>Feeling pretty hopeless at the moment</p>
    28 people are talking about this