Intelligence and sensory differences

 

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Intelligence and sensory differences

Many autistic people struggle with sensory differences, this world constantly bombards our sensory system. Autistic people’s sensory systems processes this information differently, often the messages that are sent to our nervous system can get confused and muddled. This includes our internal sensory system (Interoception) this part of the system that helps us to recognise our needs. For instance the need to use the toilet or that we are feeling hot. This can cause frustration for many autistic people as it’s totally out of their control.

Does this sensory processing difference have anything to do with intelligence? No absolutely nothing, so when people have these sensory differences often the people around them might make assumptions. For instance that because this person can’t regulate or conform to so called functioning norms, they must be intellectually different.

This assumption is so damaging, autistics ability to process the environment and manage sensory differences has no connection to our cognitive competence and abilities.

Autistics are processing the world in their way, please take the time to fully understand just how much impact sensory differences have. You need to disconnect intellect and how an autistic person body responds to this overwhelming world.

Girls Autistic Journey. 🖤

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Turning so called autistic negatives into autistic positives

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Turning so called autistic negatives into autistic positives! 

Some people see so much negativity in being autistic, I have made this graphic to show it’s simply not true!

I have taken some of the stereotypical negative assumptions made about being autistic. I have then turned these so called negatives into positives!! 

Girls Autistic Journey 🖤

Turning so called autistic negatives into autistic positives

(Graphic text reads)

Framed as autistic negatives
Routines-
Autistic people are stuck in the same routines. Autistic people don’t like change and change makes things really difficult and challenging.

Reframing into positives
Reliable-
Autistic people are reliable, dependable and consistent. With a change of routine just give autistic people a bit extra time to process this change. Give as much notice as possible when the changes will happen.

Framed as autistic negatives
Social skills-
Autistic people don’t understand social situations. Sometimes they can be rude and challenging. They miss understand people and often get things wrong in social situations.

Reframing into positives
Direct social skills-
Autistic people are direct, extremely honest when in social situations. Autistic people will say exactly what they mean, Everyone else needs to be straight forward as well. Give clear instructions about what needs to happen. Then social situations are enjoyable for everyone.

Framed as autistic negatives
Learning difficulties-
Some autistic people can’t learn like most people. This causes difficult at school.

Reframing into positives
Learning differences-
Autistic people don’t learn in a standardised way. Teaching should be guided by autistic people’s strengths. Allowing them to learn Just like everyone else.

Framed as autistic negatives
Obsessions-
Autistic people are obsessed with certain topics, and won’t show any interest in other topics.

Reframing into positives
Passionate-
Autistic people are passionate and dedicated to certain topics. Autistic people do one thing at a time really well. Weaving these topics of interest into other topics, will allow autistic people to develop more areas of interest.

Understanding Echolalia

 

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Understanding echolalia

I want to explain a bit more about echolalia. There are 2 types of echolalia:

1. immediate echolalia, this is where the autistic person will repeat what someone just said to them, straight back to that person.

2.The second type of echolalia is delayed echolalia, it is the repetition of verbal messages that were previously heard and which are repeated after a time delay of a few minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years.

Some autistic people might repeat words from their favourite, films and books. The reason autistic people do this, is because the repeated word or phrase, will have the autistic person’s emotions or thoughts attached to them. So this is how some autistic people communicate and express themselves. By using these two types of echolalia.

Echolalia has meaning, everyone needs to understand that. Echolalia needs to be respected and validated, this is a form of communication.

Everyone has something to say, however they say it!

Girls Autistic Journey 🖤

Autistic people’s strengths

Autistic people’s strengths

I have put together a graphic about autistic people’s strengths, I have only identified a few. There are so many more strengths 

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Autistic people’s
Strengths- (text in graphic reads)

Unique perspective
1. Ability to focus intently on the details.
2. Coming up with creative solutions to problems.

Trust worthy and reliable
1. Straight talking
2. don’t have hidden agendas.
3. What you see is what you get.

High Integrity
1. cheating on the job, or not working
does not occur to autistic people.
2. conscientious, diligent workers.
3. Enormously productive and loyal.

Less judgmental
1. Accepts other people for who they are, less likely to build preconceptions about other people.
2. Treats each person the same

Creativity
1. Different ideas, thinks outside the box
2. Great imagination
3. Thinking from a different point of view
4. Challenging opinions
5. Highly focus to complete a task
6. Looking at multiple ways to complete a task

Hyper focused
1. High levels of concentration
2. High ability in fact finding, and mentally retaining high levels of facts
3. High level of accuracy, and spotting patterns and repetition.

I wanted all of us to not forget, how much we have to offer.

Girls Autistic Journey 😊🖤

Sensory differences- explained simply

Sensory processing 🧠 & Sensory processing differences, explained simply.

I think many people find sensory processing tricky to understand, so I have written a straight forward piece about this topic.

Sensory Processing and sensory processing differences might be something you have never heard of before, or it might not be something you have not ever thought about or considered. Many autistic people will encounter some form of sensory processing differences, that said sensory processing differences are not unique to just autistic people.

What is sensory processing?

well everyone’s body receives sensory messages from all their senses, these messages then travel up to everyone’s nervous system. The nervous system receives these messages and then processes them. Everyone’s nervous system turns these messages into a motor behavior response. Motor responses form everyone’s body movements, for instance picking up and a drink and drinking it.

What are sensory processing differences?

(SPD) happens when a person’s body sends sensory messages from their senses to the person’s nervous system, just like everyone’s body does. When this is sent to the person’s nervous system, this is the point that the differences happen. The sensory messages are either not detected, by the nervous system, or the sensory messages don’t get organised into the correct responses. The sensory messages become confused and mixed up, the sensory messages can even get, jumbled and backed or processed more slowly. (Jean Ayres PhD http://www.spdstar.org) says it like a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly.

Let’s look at the senses that everyone’s body has, this is a surprise to most people to find out everyone has eight sensory systems, yes! Eight!

Most people might be able to name a couple of the senses, and other people might know about and even understand the first five basic senses (listed 1-5 below) That’s not where it ends, as there are three more. Most people have not heard of, and likely not even considered these extra three senses (listed below6-8) of;

1. Sight

2. Sound

3. Smell

4. Taste

5. Touch

6. Vestibular (sense of head space and movement, balance, orientation)

7. proprioceptive (sensations from muscles and joints of the body)

8. Interoception (physiological, physical conditions of the body, hunger, heart rate ect.)

If we go back and think about the sensory messages being sent by everyone’s senses, to the bodies nervous system which then turns into a motor response. The motor response is a movement, that the person wants to happen. Now consider these extra three senses, that most people take for granted and are often not even aware of. You can now see how they would relate to the motor responses, for instance interoception will tell you when you are feeling hungry.

The other sensory difference is the degree at which things are felt and experienced, when there are sensory differences present. This means some people’s nervous systems will interpret the sensory messages, as either hypersensitive which means the person with sensory differences will feel things more acutely. Than a person that doesn’t have sensory processing differences. Hyposensitive which means the person with sensory differences will feel things less, than a person that doesn’t have sensory processing differences.

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All eight sensory systems can be affected from (SPD) this does not mean that one person will have all eight senses affected, although that can happen. Some people’s nervous system might only have difficulties receiving sensory messages from one or two different senses.

I hope this helps to explain why things are so difficult for autistic people in certain environments.

Girls Autistic Journey 🖤 

preventing autistic masking

Supporting yourself to prevent autistic masking. 👇🏻

None of what’s in this graphic is easy and it does take lots of courage to allow your real self to be seen, but always know that it’s never to late to allow yourself to find the real you!

Girls Autistic Journey 🖤

Artist in graphic unknown 

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Repetition

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Repetition feels good, it makes me feel like I am wrapped in a blanket that’s protecting me, from all the confusion and struggles of this world. It makes me smile, laugh and feel grounded and whole.

These are the things I tend to like being repeated over and over;
1. Music the same songs
2. Films and TV series, I have a small selection I watch
3. Food
4. Clothing, if I find something I like I buy multiple amounts of it.

Please don’t invalidate autistic people’s repetition, or underestimate how important this is for us.

Girls Autistic Journey 🖤

Struggling with my real emotions

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Struggling to show my real emotions-

*might not relate to everyone*

Some autistic people will often mask how they really feel during difficult times and when things are triggering them.

sometimes I think this can be because autistics simply don’t know how to get their feelings into words. As anxiety is might be also overwhelming the autistic person.

There might be an inner dialogue going on during this trigger, but the person is not able to be expressed this difficulty.

The autistic person might appear to be completely unaffected(masking), this really is not true, as it’s simply a means of the autistic person coping in this situation.

Often the real affects of this overwhelming situation, will be expressed when the autistic person feels in a safe and familiar environment.

Producing a delayed response, the autistic person might become very agitated after the experience, which could lead to a meltdown, or for the autistic person to go over and over the situation. Considering about what had happened, thinking about how they could of responded and what they should of said.

This can go on for a long period of time and be very difficult to stop, I definitely do this it can be very overwhelming and frustrating.

Girls Autistic Journey 🖤

Artist- https://www.dariahlazatova.com

Difficult situations

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I can totally relate to Lumpy Space Princess(from adventure time)

I so often feel like this in situations, as they seem to fluster me, which often leads to me not handling the situation well. I really try to not get caught up in my emotional response, or react with such a quick and intense response.

But It’s like I am watching myself saying things, that I don’t mean or feel! but I don’t know how to stop or calm down! I really hate when I have this type of response, but it happens again and again.

I think identity this in myself has definitely helped, and I am getting better in these situations, but it will always be a work in progress for me. 

Can you relate?

Girls Autistic Journey 🖤