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Starting School; Don’t give up!

Today was my first proper day of school. Anxiety levels were high… meeting loads and loads of new people is never pleasant for me. I did used to go to this school but in year 10 I went into hospital and haven’t been to school since so I’m just starting sixth form a year behind. I didn’t know what to say to the people in my form so I just sat there listening and trying not to look too anxious; I kept jiggling my leg or squirming. I only knew two people in the room and one of them was the teacher. I think I did alright though. When I went into the common room there were so many people talking at the same time I didn’t think I’d be able to cope with it. But I did. I think I can count this day as a success. This is a message to any other Aspies; Don’t give up. I know it sounds cheesy but I’ve given up so many times because I’ve been so anxious about a situation and in the end you always end up doing a circle and at step one where you have to do the same thing that made you anxious before. It’s going to be hard for me but in the end I’ll get my qualifications and build life skills that can be used later on, like being able to be the one to start a conversation (I’m not really there yet, but I’m sure one day I will be) or being more tolerant to the noise of a million people talking at the same time. Just don’t be put off by something or other, keep trying. Ok cheesy moment over.

Disorganization

A lot of people tend to think that all people with ASD are very tidy and organized. This is totally not the case all the time. I myself am not very organized. Sometimes I can be but a lot of the time my room is a mess. I hate being messy but it’s just who I am. I like to keep my room as organized as possible but when my brain is a mess, then everywhere else will be too. If I am relaxed, unstressed, not anxious and just able to chill, then I can organize my books by name, maybe go through all my papers and file them away. But when I am stressed then I will just put anything anywhere. My drawers at the moment are half organized, for example I have a drawer full of toiletries and a draw full of art things, but then a lot of the other drawers are just things shoved here there and everywhere.

Another way I am so disorganized is that I can just put something down for 5 seconds, turn around and it is lost forever. As an Aspie you would think my good memory or attention to detail would aid me in finding it. But my disorganized ways just lead me to turn everything inside out to find for example that my keys were right in front of me all of the time. I try to designate a certain place to put things like my glasses or my keys, but when I’m in that disorganized state of mind it just goes anywhere then they are lost.

Any other Aspies get these problems?

Social Anxiety: Starting School

So, I’m starting school again in September, I’m going to Sixth Form College but it’s part of my old school. I’m so nervous because I’m rubbish at making friends, I get so anxious and don’t know what to say to people. Ofcourse I’ve gotten better at it as I’ve been an inpatient and have been plunged into an environment where I know no one and can’t leave. But school is different. When I meet new people or people I haven’t seen for ages I get really anxious. I stim. I sweat a lot. I stutter or say “Er…”. I make no eye contact with them at all. And I simply don’t know what to say or how to respond to them. And then somehow by the end of it everyone thinks i’m a weirdo so I don’t know how this will be. I’m so scared!

Interrupting people

We are good at interrupting people. We don’t mean to offend people. Sometimes it’s because the conversation has become or was always to us uninteresting, thus our thoughts have wandered and we are no longer listening, then we just start our conversation about our new subject possibly overlapping the other persons sentence. Sometimes it’s because it’s hard to just not say something. If we have something to say we have to say it now, and if we don’t get to say it we literally burst, start stimming, repeating the potential listeners name, saying something else repetitive like “Oh, oh, oh!” or “Listen, listen, listen!” or just keep talking over the person if they refuse to stop talking.

One of my best friends is also an Aspie and my mum said our conversations are funny. We interrupt each other and just talk about separate things without realising but it works for us. For example…

“Heya.”

“Hi, are you alright?”

“Yes thanks, are you?”

“Yea, guess what I was late for my stupid exam today so my head of year caught me up later in the day to tell me off, or ‘remind’ me that I ought not to be late, my exam was about English literature, we read this book and…blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…”

“Listen right, the other day my cat pounced on me but she scratched me at the same time, she was properly vicious with claws out and teeth bared. I’ve never seen her like that…”

“My cat was so cute and fluffy, I miss him so much, it’s really sad that he died…”

“I’m sorry, will you get another cat do you think?”

“I don’t think we will, maybe I’ll get one when I go to university…”

“I don’t know what to do at university, I don’t even know what career I’m going to go into…”

And so on. We switch topics rapidly if we need to. We listen to each other’s boring rants (sorry mate but they are and I’m sure I’m boring too!) and our conversation is just good. But my mum says it’s funny so it probably is.
So that is the deal with Aspies interrupting other people. If an Aspie interrupted a NT the NT would probably get more annoyed than my friend and I do for each other.

Is this the case with you if you’re an Aspie or your Aspie friend?

Blunt or Rude?

It’s very hard for us Aspies because by being truthful we sometimes can’t understand what we have said wrong. We are very blunt sometimes but it’s seen as insensitive rather than just truthful.

Scenario 1: "Your hair doesn’t look very good today." - “Oh thanks a lot, that’s a horrible thing to say” - "I was just telling you so maybe you could do something about it."

Scenario 2: “Does this dress make me look fat?” - "Well it doesn’t make you look thin." 

Scenario 3: "Oh my god look at the size of that man’s nose!" - “Shh he’ll hear you!”

These are just some examples of how what we say can be misinterpreted as being rude. For us we are simply stating a fact, for others we are being horrible and insulting. It’s hard to know when we are saying the wrong thing, sometimes we just say something to someone without thinking about the consequences of what we have said.

It’s hard for an Aspie to know how that person would feel if you said something because of the lack of empathy that Aspies often have. We can’t think as if we were the other person, we can only think as if it were us. And if someone said to us the facts we give to them then we could take it into consideration and do something about it.

Let me know if any of you do this, it’s always nice for Aspie’s to share experiences with others so we can better understand ourselves.

Schedules

I don’t know if I like trains or not… no not as in a special interest, that’s aeroplanes for me. But the way you catch them on and off. I like the way they are scheduled to exact times and run at exact times, but I hate that you don’t know what platform it’s going to be on until about 2 minute before. HATE!!! I hate that! Today I went to London Kings Cross and it was fine going there because it came on time, we got on, it wasn’t too busy. But on the way back we were waiting and waiting to find out what platform it was going on and then the train was late. It made me feel very anxious and angry, I even overcame my fears of talking to strangers and said “Excuse me when is the train at 6:45 going to be here because it still says no platform on the board…” he just turned around and said “keep watching the board!” I was like geeeez. (Seriously it wouldn’t pay to be a bit more polite). Anyway we got back on the train without it leaving without us. But that’s like the 5th time in my life I’ve ever been on a train. 

Aspies suffer when schedules are changed. We love to know everything to the exact precise detail so we are thoroughly prepared for anything. If a schedule or anything planned changes, well, it doesn’t fair well for our minds. Sometimes we get meltdowns, sometimes we just shut down, sometimes we just about manage, but we are never happy. Never… 

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