When neuro-typical people are in the world they find it far easier to hone in on specific sensory information processes. This is done by being able to process more than one piece of information with ease. When a piece of information is being processed at a nice speed it’s very nice and another piece enters, if you are neuro-typical your brain could leave it one side, process the information simultaneously or just tell it to bugger off.
If you’re like me, then you prefer to have information processed one at a time. When I’m processing a piece of information I like to take my time, but during this another naughty piece of information comes in, it interrupts the process and reset it, making the brain start all over again.
If this happens a lot in one day you are potentially going to have a meltdown or have one brewing. While in this state of mind of a potential meltdown brewing, in my life something sensory or a slight sudden change can set me off. I remember when I was 14/15 and I was really excited an Xbox game to come out. I was convinced that it would arrive on the Tuesday and it didn’t, well I just began to sob immensely.
The emotional impact was the same in that moment as it was when I found out my Grandma had died. I don’t mean that my Grandma was as important as an Xbox game, but what I am saying that sudden change of something that I was fixated on for a week was heart breaking.
Also when you’re at tipping point, and you get either a random loud noise or a sudden change to the face. This can create panic and potentially hysteria, to the point where you are literally running for your life, as if you’re being chased by a giant monster of Anxiety.
When I’m in this place I don’t run I just need as much as much space as possible, I will either leave or ask other people to leave the room and then proceed to ride it out. Possibly if I’m aware of what’s causing the anxiety I will sort it out if possible, but I will most definitely struggle to communicate.
The worst part about this as an adult is that you can feel somewhat pathetic as what makes you anxious, you may feel that if you communicate it people may think you’re stupid or a wimp.
A friend of mine whose also on the spectrum, said to me that he was finding his new full-time difficult. He then began to explain that he needed help with a lot of things at work as he found certain things difficult. The issue turned out to be not what he found difficult, but that he felt he was unable to ask for help because he was worried that people would think he was stupid.
Of course there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but from time to time I have been known to hear a stupid answer.
To help my friend and explain how asking for help regardless of the question isn’t going to make you look stupid, but it’s possible for you to look a bit silly if do not ask for help.
To help explain, let me tell you a story…..
Once upon a time, there were two beautiful, identical and very expensive houses that were situated next door to each other (what are the odds?). By some mystical coincidence the two men who lived in these, expensive, beautiful and identical houses both had a piano delivered. Now the pianos were of course exactly in same in size, weight and colour.
One of the men (man number 1) had invited some friends over so they could help him with the mammoth task of getting the piano inside. The other man (man number 2) had decided as he felt stupid asking for help decided to do it all by himself. Man number 1 and his friends got the piano inside with absolutely no trouble what so ever. To celebrate their victory of getting the piano inside, they all went on the front garden and had some beers.
When they were outside they noticed man number 2 struggling all by himself to get the piano inside.
Now let’s think about this, who looks the silliest??
Man number 1 who asked for help of his friends and he’s on his lawn drinking beer celebrating a job well done.
Or there’s man number 2 who’s stuck outside still trying to move the piano all by himself.
Mmmmmmmmmmm…… I’ll let you decide.
But being in that situation when you struggle to communicate as your nervous about approaching someone, as you Autistic can socially paranoid and afraid that people will automatically think the worst, and remember these kind of thoughts do not go away quickly.
When you’re at school and you don’t understand a piece of work you really should ask the teacher for help, but what if you are the only person in the class who doesn’t understand. If you’re Autistic this can raise your anxiety because in your brain all you are going to hear is, “why don’t I understand?”
If your anxiety is raised communicating is going to become more difficult, so if this was me I would proceed with the fart noises, using either my armpits or blowing on to my arm. My way of deflecting is to do things that are funny that make me laugh. These usually tend to be incredibly inappropriate for the occasion, thankfully I’ve grown up. You wouldn’t catch me making fart noises in a high anxiety situation, like a funeral.
In this situation you are perceived as “the naughty” child and if one teacher can’t get you to focus, you will then be passed on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. This is an example of the fizzy drinks bottle, so when the gets home the lid comes of and KABOOM!!!!!!