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ADHD

Tips for the “New Normal” for Aspergers people, The Neurodivergent and Everyone

We keep hearing that when states “open up” we’ll be in a “new normal.” This normal probably involves social distancing, but what things will actually look like, what the rules are and whether people follow or oppose rules will vary city to city as well as state to state. Everything from everyday behavior to work possibilities will differ. This may sound bleak, but I have positive ideas at the end, so make it through or skip to the end. The message of this blog is that there are many challenges you probably already realize, but there are ways to get through.


Anxiety

Why Can’t I Focus? Anxiety, Your Brain & Help If You Need It

I’m having trouble concentrating. I’ve taken an informal poll of friends and they’re having problems too. I can focus on what’s in front of me, but otherwise I have trouble being present and centered. I’m attributing this to my reaction to the stress caused by COVID19. The point of a stress response is to kick the body into gear (via the serotoninergic system) to deal with a perceived or real threat....


Asperger Syndrome

How Do I Make This Work? Being Neurodivergent, Working Remotely, Kids + Families

For those autistics or otherwise neurodivergent adults who need to work remotely due to COVID19 , a huge part of how it’s working is whether there are young or school aged children at home, and how well they balance their own needs with the sensory and personal challenges of families. This is true for both neurodiverse and neurotypical parents. Those who are fortunate have available childcare; for many, that’s impossible and this is “do...


Anxiety

Is She Asperger’s Or On The Spectrum? 15 Clues

According to the CDC, 1 in 59 children are on the autistic spectrum. Researchers used to think that more males than females had Asperger's/autism. (Autism level 1 is the official diagnosis for Asperger's these days.) The estimate from 2013 and before had been that there was a 4:1 ratio in men outnumbering women. Now some researchers think that among those who have higher intelligence and verbal skills, the ratio may be 1 :...


ADHD

When Coping With Anxiety of COVID19, We’re All Neurodivergent

After 3 weeks of social distancing and being with our families, we have another month to go. My last blog , COVID19- Challenges and Solutions for Aspergers, NLD and Neurodivergents was specific to challenges for the neurodiverse (Aspergers, autism, NLD). This blog will apply to neurodivergent thinkers and everyone else.

Living through a global pandemic where entire countries are practicing social distancing and ordered to...


Anxiety

COVID 19 Challenges and Solutions For Neurodivergents

We’re all challenged by a pandemic that seems more like a sci fi horror movie than real life. For those who are neurodiverse, Aspergers, autistics, or NLD, there are additional challenges to face.

Many assume that people who are autistic or have spectrum traits welcome the chance to be legitimately socially isolated. For many neurodiverse people, this could not be further from the truth.  Autistics and those with NLD usually want relationships, but their ways...


Asperger

85% Autism unemployment is unacceptable: how to help

I thought I’d write a blog on resources for finding employment for neurodiverse adults, just google a list. Little did I know I was dropping down a rabbit hole into an uncharted landscape. We can read about the Fortune 500 companies moving into neurodiversity employing and about the Employer’s Roundtable of those big employers. Autism Speaks has a downloadable toolkit of guidance for prospective employees, a list of businesses that employ and a link to


Anxiety

Ten Ideas to Live Healthier and Feel Better: Divergent Thinkers and Everyone

Respect yourself.   As hard as things have been, focus on your strengths. Your path, however bumpy, has gotten you to be the person you are. You are unique, and no one else can contribute your insight and perspective.

Reach out for support.   If you have family or friends who “get it,” that’s terrific. If not, there’s communities of support out there on Facebook, like "The Aspergian Has An Article for That" and "Autism Support and Discussion Group". People have had similar experiences and are working on the same issues.
Advocate for yourself. No one can see inside you.   Consider how best to communicate to the person who is listening. With some people, you can probably say what you want plainly. For others, help them understand. You might try this: say something positive (I want to do a good job), then your need: (but I need a quieter place to work) and then something positive (I’ll be able to get that done). Or, another example: positive (I want us to get along), need (so I need you to be clear and not expect I know what you want), positive (that will really help).
Take care of your health.  Your body is critical to your mood, your ability to think and your wellbeing. Too many people don’t get enough sleep, eat well or take the time to take care of themselves. Treat yourself to a recharging walk to somewhere you enjoy (or nap), whatever works for you.
 Meditate   It’s been proven that mediation can structurally change your brain to be more stress resilient, and it’s like creating a center of calm for yourself. There’s many ways to do it (mindfulness, repeating a phrase, yoga, even walking). You’ll find great apps to lead you through mediation like Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer.
Know yourself     Know your triggers for emotional and sensory overload and early warning signs in your thinking, feeling or body that say it’s getting too much. Have strategies you’ve pre-thought for calming down, whether it’s something like taking a walk, listening to music, doing a minute or two of meditation, anything that works.
Have strategies    If you can’t escape going into difficult situations, have strategies for handling it. Short doses, taking time outs. Use self-advocacy to share that this situation is difficult and what might be helpful. If that doesn’t work and this situation keeps recurring, there’s something fundamentally wrong with this situation and you might have to think about how to change it.
Have compassion for yourself    We all do our best and no one is perfect. You may have made mistakes and regret them but that’s how we learn. You need to give yourself the compassion you’d want to give a friend in the same situation.
Let go of anger     This saying is allegedly attributed to the Buddha: He who holds onto anger is like the man who drinks poison and expects the other person to die. Anger stimulates your stress response so your autonomic nervous system stays in fight/flight mode. This is bad for your health, your immunity and your outlook on yourself and life. I’m not saying forget, just do whatever re-centers your focus on how you overcame (or can overcome) whatever obstacle you encountered. You’ve undoubtedly had some good experiences; focus on them as balancing the negative.
Learn the serenity prayer.    Give me the serenity to accept what I can’t change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.



Anxiety

12 Tips For Going Back to School And Making It Work

Going back to school makes many of us nervous.  We tend to re-live the sore spots of the past - the rude classmate, the poor grade on a paper - and dwell on it. We tend to worry about the future – I bet I’ll be lonely, my professor won’t understand my questions, I won’t do well. Our worrying is understandable when you think about the challenges:  meeting new people, adapting to new classes and schedules, dealing with unanticipated changes, even learning a new environment for those starting a new school all involve social anxiety, transitioning and flexibility.