Adults On The Autism Spectrum

Posted by Mamacita, Alumna Mentor @mamacita, Apr 29, 2018

Maybe you were really shy as a child. Perhaps you took home a huge stack of books from the school library, read them, and returned them the next day. Or did your best friend find you crying in your closet, unable to answer the question “Why?” At any rate, your life could be traced to the Self-Help section of the local bookstore. Unfortunately, most of the books were not much help. ADHD seemed to fit, at times. Your shrink said you might be Bi-Polar, although she wasn’t really certain. All you knew was that you rarely fit in, anywhere. One day at work, it hit you square in the face: I don’t speak these people’s language! Really, it was like you were all playing this game, and everyone knew the rules but you. You couldn’t tell a joke, and you never “got” any joke your co-worker tried to tell you. People started getting annoyed with you, because you had a memory like a steel trap. They didn’t appreciate it when you called them on the carpet. Who knew? This was my life, and worse. I finally aced several tests that pointed me to the answer to my questions. The Autism Spectrum. Guess what? Little kids with Autism grow up to be Adults with Autism. Diagnosed late in life? This is the place for you!

@hopeful33250

@mamasitalucita

You are giving us some wonderful information about people on the Spectrum. Having an understanding of others is important. I appreciate your openness in this discussion.

Teresa

Jump to this post

If you cast your bread upon the water, it will return to you…with butter.

REPLY
@hopeful33250

@mamasitalucita

You are much more than "handy." You open vistas for us neurotypicals who can't think in the ways you do!

Teresa

Jump to this post

I would love to understand the Neurotypical way of thinking. I try hard to understand. I read books about the brain, about how children grow and learn. I read all kinds of books. I am very happy to be here. I will answer questions with as much depth as I possibly can. All my friends growing up were Neurotypical. I have them as friends now, as well.

REPLY
@cathigriffioen

I am 100% sure my husband is on the spectrum but he refuses to be tested. Believing he is on the spectrum is the only way I have been able to live with him. He is a good man and provider but his behaviors are classic as you’ve described. There is a book for spouses called Alone Together which is exactly how I feel.

Jump to this post

@mamasitalucita I like what you said about "copying the correct behaviors one is supposed to exhibit in life." I think that applies even to Neurotypicals as well. We often find it helpful to "mirror" some of the good characteristics that we see in others. I'm going to start reading the book, Thinking in Pictures, so I'll probably have lots of questions for you in the next few days.

Teresa

REPLY
@cathigriffioen

I am 100% sure my husband is on the spectrum but he refuses to be tested. Believing he is on the spectrum is the only way I have been able to live with him. He is a good man and provider but his behaviors are classic as you’ve described. There is a book for spouses called Alone Together which is exactly how I feel.

Jump to this post

I grew up watching " I Love Lucy." There's a terrific role model for sure! Seriously! She used humor in a crisis, and she always pulled through, somehow.

REPLY
@cathigriffioen

I am 100% sure my husband is on the spectrum but he refuses to be tested. Believing he is on the spectrum is the only way I have been able to live with him. He is a good man and provider but his behaviors are classic as you’ve described. There is a book for spouses called Alone Together which is exactly how I feel.

Jump to this post

@mamasitalucita I grew up with "Lucy" as well. I needed a break from a rather intense, troubled mother and Lucy provided some comic relief! Still enjoy the rerun of her and Ethel working at the chocolate candy factory – just too funny for words.

Teresa

REPLY
@cathigriffioen

I am 100% sure my husband is on the spectrum but he refuses to be tested. Believing he is on the spectrum is the only way I have been able to live with him. He is a good man and provider but his behaviors are classic as you’ve described. There is a book for spouses called Alone Together which is exactly how I feel.

Jump to this post

My Mother had serious issues and was sick a lot. People thought she was a hypochondriac, but as I have gotten older, more and more of the truth of her situation has come out. I may never know the true story, not all of it. But she suffered terribly as a child. I have long since forgiven her for anything and everything. I have learned that most parents really do the best they can. And when that falls apart. you know, there's always Lucy! And the friends God has placed in our lives to help us feel not so alone. Or the Universe, if you prefer. Blessings, MamacitaLucita.

REPLY

Children with Autism become adults with Autism. Life lessons can be learned, and no one who is Autistic needs to be ashamed of who they are. We learn how to cope with the noise, the anxiety, the loneliness. We learn that it is better to count on one hand the number of good, decent friends that we have than to fill up our lives with shallow, meaningless relationships. Let us all appreciate and be grateful for the blessings with which we have been showered!

REPLY

Got a tad bit overwhelmed while shopping today. Had my Grandson with me and he was looking for a new bicycle. We found the area easily, although they had changed everything around. I love this store, especially when they have good sales! We knew we weren't going to buy it on the spot, though, because we hadn't yet gone to our local " Mom and Pop" store yet. ( We like to support our locally owned merchants whenever possible.) The music was a bit too loud for my super- sonic ears to tolerate. There weren't very many people shopping, no toddlers screeching, babies crying, or rambunctious Kindergartners climbing up display stands. But I felt dizzy, uncomfortable. We had put bug spray in our shopping cart, along with a few gadgets to keep my husband cool in our sweltering summers. I snared a really cool pair of breathable shorts to garden in, and almost went to check out the clearance aisles for gym wear when I suddenly felt I had to leave. This was no panic attack, not really. I have had many, many of those throughout my life. This was something else. I quickly pushed my cart to the first available check out lane. Immediately I could sense another person come right up behind me. Glancing over to my right I saw a young boy, around ten or so, turn on one of those new gadgets that instantly plays music or answers your questions. I couldn't believe he would be so rude as to enter my space and blast me with what passed for music. His eyes met mine and I felt that he was waiting for my response. I cannot look someone in the eye for long periods of time. I had to leave. Now. I checked out as fast as I could, all the while shaking inside. I wanted to "pass" for just a typical shopper, just running errands like everyone else. But I'm not like everyone else. I hadn't been out of the house for awhile. I tend to be somewhat self-conscious of my appearance. If I forget my ear plugs, just the ordinary noise level will trigger me. I managed to get back home, safe and somewhat sound. Yet, once again, I felt like the little kid outside the window, looking in. Never fitting in. But it's ok. I can live with sensory overload. Next time, I'll remember to wear ear plugs!

REPLY
@cathigriffioen

I am 100% sure my husband is on the spectrum but he refuses to be tested. Believing he is on the spectrum is the only way I have been able to live with him. He is a good man and provider but his behaviors are classic as you’ve described. There is a book for spouses called Alone Together which is exactly how I feel.

Jump to this post

You are correct, all of us "copy" behaviors we see around us. We all have cultural norms and standards, which vary somewhat from place to place. It really fascinates me. I love studying about how people live all over the world.

REPLY

Hello @mamasitalucita

I just read the above post about your shopping trip which ended uncomfortably. I so admire how you were able to take this uncomfortable situation, remove yourself and then look at it again with new eyes and not be devastated by it! I wish you could teach all of us "neurotypicals" how to do that. What I really appreciate is the fact that you don't take this one experience and decide never to go out again, but instead you think that "Next time, I'll remember to wear ear plugs!"

Your attitude really is inspirational. If you ever decide to write a daily inspirational book about your experiences, I would love to read it. But for now, I'll just be content to read your posts.

Teresa

REPLY
@hopeful33250

@mamasitalucita

I appreciate your starting this discussion of the Spectrum. This could be very enlightening for many of our adults who have problems that seem to be beyond treatment.

Could you share a bit more about how the Spectrum diagnosis came about? Was it a professional who diagnosed you? If so, what in particular led to this diagnosis?

Once again, when sharing personal experiences on this online community, please feel free to share only as you are comfortable doing so.

Teresa

Jump to this post

One other reason that led me to think I might be on the Spectrum was the unusual way that I was able to connect with and understand a young child that I worked with years ago. Back then we really didn't know all that much about the Autism Spectrum, or what kind of specifics to use in helping young children. The Team tried everything we could think of, and kept records of what worked and what didn't. I also kept a daily journal, which was supervised by the school system psychologist. She and I worked very closely together. I did everything she asked me to and took every training she wanted me to, I read every book I could get my hands on, and slowly it dawned on me that One: I was most likely somewhere on the Spectrum and Two: I had an Empathic streak a mile wide. Many people on the Spectrum do not believe in a Power greater than themselves. They are fine, loving, kind people, but not necessarily religious. Some are Spiritual, Seekers, on a journey to find peace and the ultimate Truth. I am somewhere in the mix, and have learned that God shows up in the most difficult of circumstances. This child's Team had a handful of seekers from all different paths, united to help her live a happier, healthier life. We always laughed and said that when they make a movie about their journey, I wanted Michelle Pfieffer to play me! Now, I think Kathy Bates would be more accurate as to both my personality and appearance. I get asked if I know who I look like all the time. And my personality is very much like her as well. Who knows, maybe that movie will get made after all! Anyway, take good care of yourselves. If you feel you might be on the Spectrum, it is not the end of the world. You have options. There are many free tests you can take to help you get insight. After I bombed three major tests it was finally a relief. A blessing.

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hello @mamasitalucita

I just read the above post about your shopping trip which ended uncomfortably. I so admire how you were able to take this uncomfortable situation, remove yourself and then look at it again with new eyes and not be devastated by it! I wish you could teach all of us "neurotypicals" how to do that. What I really appreciate is the fact that you don't take this one experience and decide never to go out again, but instead you think that "Next time, I'll remember to wear ear plugs!"

Your attitude really is inspirational. If you ever decide to write a daily inspirational book about your experiences, I would love to read it. But for now, I'll just be content to read your posts.

Teresa

Jump to this post

For @hopeful33250, and anyone else who read my story of going to Academy Sports and getting totally overwhelmed with the noise and sights. I grabbed the buggy today, cleaned off the handle bar and the doors whooshed open! Immediately the loud music began screaming in my supersonic ears. I thought " You have your ear buds, you can use them!!!" Then immediately I decided " No, I got this." I took my buggy and headed off to look for a patio umbrella and a small /medium pool. I went down all the aisles, and found exactly what I needed , on sale. Meanwhile, Bubba and Gramps were on the other side of the store, getting Bubba's new bike. I even had a good conversation with an employee. We talked a good long time, and hopefully I laid some groundwork for some other person to come along and give her some more encouragement. And to think I almost didn't even go into the store after my last misadventure there. It felt good to be out where other families were shopping for the summer, planning on enjoying their days together. Buying things that will help them enjoy their backyards and each other. You are inspirational. You take your time to be available to people all across the world, who need a place to feel safe. A place to ask questions. I just hope more people find the blessing I have found here.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment