Category Archives: Personal

Overwhelming Senses

The final criterion of Section B of the DSM V involves sensory issues. Hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment. These vary a lot from individual to individual, but I haven’t run across anyone autistic yet who doesn’t struggle with sensory input to some degree. Personally, I […]

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What makes an interest “special”?

The third Section B criterion for autism spectrum disorder in DSM V reads as follows. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus. These are commonly referred to as “special interests“, which begs the question: What makes them so special? The parenthetical describes them as “excessively circumscribed or perseverative” or as a […]

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Mimicking Flexibility

This post continues my reflections on the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder from DSM V and how they relate to my own life. The second criterion in section B describes a need for routine and sameness. “Insistence on sameness, excessive adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior.“ This criterion was […]

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Social Interactions, Misunderstanding, Stress, and Anxiety

Hopefully, anyone reading this post has developed some understanding from my earlier posts how being autistic impacts my interactions with others in both directions. In my posts of performance, I tried to walk through some of the ways, even without a specific label describing my difficulties, I was able to train myself from childhood to perform […]

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When “Simple Things” Aren’t Simple At All

The other day I needed to make reservations for myself and my youngest daughter at a restaurant. This particular restaurant doesn’t take reservations online, so I had to call them. Simple, right? If only… It wasn’t a call I needed to make immediately, so I thought about it off and on for a couple of […]

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The Price of Performance

As I reflect on my life of performance described in earlier posts, I also have to consider the cost. And that’s actually a difficult knot to unravel. It’s true that I’ve poured an immense amount of energy and effort into crafting, shaping, and living that performance since my age was still measured in single digits. However, […]

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Life As Performance Revisited

I’ve been continuing the lengthy process of understanding my life through the lens of an autistic human being. Many interactions and events that had never made sense to me now have a context that finally does. Many of those events were stuck in my memory because I could not explain them. For decades, they’ve posed […]

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Stereotyped and Repetitive?

In order to meet the DSM V autism spectrum disorder diagnostic criteria you have to meet at least two of the items in section B. I’ve going to start with section B in my personal assessment because that was the most difficult for me to initially see in myself. I suppose after a lifetime of […]

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Life As Performance

I read an autisticmotherland post, Performing normal, the other day and it’s been percolating in my brain ever since. She opens the post with a statement that late diagnosed autistic adults “are method acting every day.” When I read that, I had to pause and look at the copies of Constantin Stanislavski’s books on the shelves behind me. […]

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Learning & Struggling

I’m still learning what my diagnosis means and struggling to shift my perspective and understanding of myself using this new lens. After a half century of life, that’s not an easy task. I don’t mean to imply it’s not worth the effort. Events going all the way back to early childhood which stuck in my […]

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