Welcome back! This week, we will continue our search into SPD in general from our favorite psychology site, Psychology Today! Or we would, if the site link I have still worked, which it does not. So since Psychology has quite literally left the building, please welcome our next guest, Care, Inc and their post, Sensory Processing Disorder: Signs and How to Cope!
Much like the mist here is blocking our sight of the ocean, so has Psychology Today disappeared. Here one week, gone the next.
So, just what are the signs of SPD? Will, according to an interviewee on the site, it can be described best as this “ Imagine driving a car that isn't working well. When you step on the gas the car lurches forward or doesn’t respond. The horn sounds blaring. The brakes sometimes slow, but not always...You are engaged in a constant struggle to keep the car on the road, and it is difficult to concentrate on anything else .” (Sensory Processing Disorder: Signs and How to Cope). It has also been described as a neurological traffic jam.
Car troubles aside, it is very much a real, and constant, problem for, approximately, 5 percent of the children and families who are affected by it. And, according to the article, it affects everyone who has it differently, ranging from: bumping into class mates because he/she can’t process messages to joints and muscles. Getting distracted by clothing that feels like sandpaper, or looking for some stimuli to feel calm (if this is what I think the article is trying to say it is, there is another name for it: stiming: you pick up an object and just sorta play with it with your fingers, a distraction of sorts. Remember the fidget spinners that were popular some years back? They are, quite possibly, the epitome, of stiming).
I mean sure, you could use it for its intended purpose, which is to spin it around all day everyday like it’s going out of style, or you could just try to eat it like this cat. That's stimulating to, I guess.
The fallouts, though, of SPD (Though whether the fallout is due to having SPD, or not performing actions like stimulating, or why the article chooses to use the same word one would use when describing the effects after a nuclear power plant goes boom, the article does not say) are quite serious. Tantrums, withdrawal, battered self-esteem, poor academics are the most common types. To find out if your child has SPD, the article has a link to a site that lists some criteria, along with heavily suggesting that you get them evaluated if “more than a few symptoms for their child” (Paragraph 3).
Will, that does it for this weeks post, next week we will continue to look at SPD from the Care.coms perspective, unless it, to, disappears like the last one did, then I’ll just have to try again. 3rd times the charm right? Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!