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matthewbell
Matthew Bell
May 27, 1994 (age 24)
OxFord Mills, ON, Canada
Canadian
Student
Algonquin College, Carleton University
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Matthew Bell

Hello, and welcome, to The Audacious Aspie. Here, you will discover the many perspectives of what it’s like to be a student on the Autistic spectrum at University. From the ups to the downs, from the deep to the shallow, from the normal…to the extraordinary. And everything, in-between. Be ye on the spectrum, or someone who’s just curious, what you will find on this blog might be of great assistance to whatever task you have in mind! So please, join me, and together, we’ll see just how far down the rabbit hole goes. To help dig the hole and make it wider, deeper and brighter, contact me at matthewbell3@cmail.carleton.ca if you want your own experience to be posted on the blog.

My Spidey SPD is Tingling

Welcome back to the Audacious Aspie! This week, we switch gears from taking a look at masks, maskquerades and powerpuff girls, to a new topic at hand: SPD. To those who have not heard of the acronym before, no, it is not the initials of a police department (This is the SPD open up! It’ll really help you navigate your feelings and get help rather than lock it all inside!) rather, it is stands for Sensory Processing Disorder. Please welcome our guest this week, Psychology Today!

 

odyworn Body Camera Police Body Camera

Imagine if that was what the police meant when they said “open up”? Or if your councillor was a retired police man/woman, and they started every session with “I am your councillor! Open up! Release your feelings and concerns!”.

 

In this article, P.T. (Psychology Today) attempts to explain what SPD is and how it affects those who have it. SPD, the article claims, is a neurological disorder (hey! Another post about another topic of neurology! If there are any people studying, or whose work revolves around, neurology, your welcome) that affects all our five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing (poor hearing, the first four have a partner who shares the same first letter, but hearing has no one).  At least it does not affect or sixth sense: our minds eye! Wait, hold on, I’m being told that since A: the mind's eye is, in fact, an eye, and therefore vision. B: since the mind's eye resides in our mind, which is our brain, which is, will our neurology, it would be affected, perhaps the most. Never mind (get it? Never mind? Ha ha, sigh).

 

Not only that, but it also affects our sense of movement, or what they call the vestibular system, along with/out our positional sense, or in science jargon, our proprioception (no, you cannot say “I must have SPD” every time you have too much to drink at the bar and can’t stand straight, or at all. Not even Brett kavanaugh can say it, though that may not stop him from trying). What does it mean? Will, you’ll still be able to taste, touch, smell and so on, but rather, the information coming in will be scrambled and thrown about. To quote the article “sensory information is sensed, but perceived abnormally” (Psychology Today, paragraph 2).

 

Such an unorthodox way of receiving information can cause the two D’s and the C: Distress, Discomfort and Confusion. How is all of this related to ASD, you might be asking? Will the author, in writing a book some years back, admits that while SPD is not a “qualifying characteristic for a diagnosis of autism” (Psychology Today, paragraph 3), she claims to have not met even one person, who has ASD, with some kind of problem in those areas. Of course I, myself, would like to see what kind of evidence she has to support that claim, as the only time I ever feel time I ever feel like my senses are mixed up, or problems standing and finding my way across town, is when I’m about to have a panic attack, got knocked on the head, or went for a drive without a GPS or a map.

 

Map Europe Globe Countries States Nations

It’s times like those were thank the heavenly lord for putting GPS on our phones, and helps me appreciate my phone all that much more (until it autocorrects a message right after I sent it, destroying whatever my original intention was).

 

But that does it for this weeks post. Next week, we will continue to look into SPD, and all that it entails. Or at least parts that it entails. What to do you think? Should SPD be a qualifying characteristic for ASD? Have you yourself experienced, or know anyone who has, symptoms of SPD? While you go and argue about that everywhere on social media, I will leave like a polite, troublesome host before things get any worse. This has been, and continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.  

 

And while you are in a flame war, here’s a video to help calm you down before you jump back in         

 

Sources used:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/the-autism-advocate/201003/what-is-sensory-processing-disorder-and-how-is-it-related-autism

The masquerade party stops here sadly.

Welcome back to the Audacious Aspie! This week, we will continue where we left off last week. And this will be the last of the posts on the article from SPECTRUM!, as it was a longer article than I thought, even to finish just two of the four sections it contains (did I bite off more than I could chew? No!...okay fine, yes, yes I did. Only a little bit). If you want to read the whole article yourself, you can read it here, and see how long it is. But without further ado, let's bring this thing home.

 

Architecture House 3d Design Interior Design Style

Specifically, a home made entirely of rectangles like the developer had a bunch of spare garages on hand, got creative (or lazy) and stacked three of’em together, than called it a day.

 

So, after it was discovered that girls with ASD behave a certain way, some researchers decided to do a completely, not-creepy thing to do: visit some schools at recess and watch a bunch of kids play and interact with each other. And who did these researchers decide to stare at and take notes of? 16 year sold? Nope. 11-10 years old? Nope. 8-7 years old? Yep. At least these kids are getting the chance to get diagnosed and receive help early.

 

So how did these children behave exactly? Will, as with the last entry, complete opposites. The girls with ASD, they discovered, seemed to be social butterflies. Literally, as they would fly from group to group, activity to activity, while boys (and I can attest to this personally) preferred isolation, playing by ourselves and away form any major area of vocus. Thereby it was found out that the old practice of looking to see if little Bobby or (fun fact: how Canadian is my laptop? When I put the word “or” after “Bobby”, it automatically assumes I’m wrong and fix it to say “Orr”, after famous Canadian Bobby Orr. It’s that Canadian) Barbra are off to the side contently playing by themselves to see if they might be on the ASD spectrum is, well, now outdated.

 

Child Boy Lake Water Playing Toddler Kid Little

I tried to find a picture of a child playing alone without it looking really depressing to try and show it from the ASD child's perspective, and only found this.

 

However, the reason some girls with ASD, compared with other girls, go from group to group is a little different. Some of the girls with ASD go from group because, sadly, they are often rejected from each group but are more persistent than most boys to fit in that they just try repeatedly with each one. The reason they try so often is because “these girls may be more motivated to fit in than the boys are , so they work harder at it” (SPECTRUM!, Girls blend in section, paragraph 4).

 

Will, that does it for this series of posts about SPECTRUM!, where we looked at the effects of ASD masking on girls and women. Next week will be, well, as the British comedy group Monty Python used to say “and now for something, completely different”, as we will be going on a different topic.Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.

 

Sources used:

https://www.spectrumnews.org/features/deep-dive/costs-camouflaging-autism/

Girls Blend In Will With Vanilla Extract

Welcome back to the Audacious Aspie! This week, we continue to discover how Spectrum masking effects women with Autism/Aspergers, time diving in to the next section of this rather thought provoking (and long) article, appropriately named Girls blend in. What does it mean? Are they able to camouflage themselves into any environment at will, like urban, forest and desert? Is this really a cannibalistic cook book in disguise all along? Sadly, no, as the topic is more serious, far more important, and not based on grotesque cooking practices.

 

Barbecue Barbeque Bbq Beef Charbroiled Grilled

Cooking practices like: how to serve a human-thigh roast, which is illegal, unethical, and unfairly criticised by those who have not even tried one.

 

One reason that girls are less likely than boys to get diagnosed with Autism/Aspergers, is because many more boys are being identified as on the spectrum. Because of this, the idea of boys being on the spectrum become far more accepted, almost to the point of becoming a norm (if such a word can even be used when describing something along the lines of Autism or Aspergers). Even when clear signs are visible of the girl to be on the spectrum. Were as far less girls are diagnosed to be on the spectrum than boys, and therefore a girl on the spectrum is, sadly, seen as a more outlandish idea compared the same being said of boys.

 

Instead, they are more often than not just shuffled around, agency to agency, doctor to doctor, misdiagnosed with one thing or another. Eventually, however, professionals like doctors and psychologists, started to wonder if autism looks different in girls as opposed to boys. Upon some interviews of both girls and women who are officially on the spectrum, they “couldn't always see signs of autism” (SPECTRUM!, second section, second paragraph), but instead, like intrepid media miners looking for the next big thing, they saw “glimmers” of a “phenomenon” called camouflaging (get it? Miners, glimmers of gold, and phenomenon the next...big...never mind).

 

Coal Black Mineral Underground Mine Miners

Where as regular miners mined for minerals like coal or diamonds, media miners mine for quips or good ideas (or sometimes controversy or drama to help sell copies).

 

There might also be some gender differences, so the article says, that could help explain why girls with autism/aspergers often escape the gaze of the clinician (they really used the word notice, but I chose gaze because it sounds  more sinister): it’s a ying-yang thing. Boys on the spectrum “might be overactive or appear to misbehave” (SPECTRUM!, second section, second paragraph), where as girls are, more often than not, anxious or depressed. You think the clinicians mind explodes when he/she is faced with a boy or a girl who reacts opposite to their normal gender Autistic/Aspie reactions? I hope not, it would scar the child for life and make a really big mess in that tiny little office.

 

That is it for this week’s post, we’ll continue to look at the rest of the section in the coming posts still to come, making cannibal and Power-Puff girls (yes, I watched them as a kid, dont judge) along the way. Perhaps even persuade some little informational videos to tag along with us (like the one attached to this little post here). Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie. And now, to the cinemas!

 

 

Sources used:

https://www.spectrumnews.org/features/deep-dive/costs-camouflaging-autism/

 

Masking, From A Different Point Of View Part 2

Welcome back to the Audacious Aspie! This week, we’ll continue looking at the article SPECTRUM!, and how Autistic/Asperger masking affects women on the spectrum. Last time we left off, we were going through the introduction section of the article, taking note of all the interesting bits after the little story at the beginning. This week, we’ll, continue...to...go through the, uh...alright look, we’re still going through the introduction. I’m a slow reader. And typer.

 

Last we left off, the article pondered on whether masking might be partially responsible for less women and girls being diagnosed than men and boys. What is new, though, is that an interviewee on SPECTRUM! Makes the following comment: “ For many women, it’s not until they get properly diagnosed, recognized and accepted that they can fully map out who they are.” (SPECTRUM!, paragraph 8, introduction section).

 

Sounds all good and swell right? If everyone got diagnosed at a young age, or at least at all, everyone would be much happier. Right? Will, some don’t think so, including the researchers themselves (probably a bad sign if not even the people doing the research can’t decide on what their findings mean either). Why don’t they think so? While getting a diagnosis can help women better understand themselves and find, plus receive (hopefully) more and better support (or any at all), the other side says that that a diagnosis has its own parrels.

 

Such parrales include, but not limited to: “a stigmatizing label and lower expectations for achievement” (SPECTRUM!, last paragraph of introduction section). So why bother at all? Will, perhaps the next section of the article, aptly called “Girls blend in” (which, depending on how your feeling, can either mean “girls with autism blend into the background, their symptoms often miss read or disregarded”, or “girls blend in well with strawberry and chocolate when mixed together in the blender”. Either or).

 

 

Blender Grinder Mixer Equipment Appliance

WHile your at it, I heard that sugar and spice mix will with little children girls as will. So long as Chemical X, found in any household cleaners and hair dye, is not added.  

 

But we’ll find that out at next week's post (or if you actually decide to put little girls in blenders and try it out for yourself, just don’t tell the police. And if you are caught, you never heard it from me). Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.


Sources used:

https://www.spectrumnews.org/features/deep-dive/costs-camouflaging-autism/

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