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Do we become more autistic as we get older?

  It seems an odd question but it's one that crops up with alarming regularity on autism forums with older members.  It's also a loaded question because the literal answer is clearly, "No, there is no charge in the level of autism in us as we age. The subjective answer however is quite different. Image by Cheryl Holt from Pixabay What does it mean? When we ask whether we become more autistic,  what we're really trying to ask is whether our autistic traits become more pronounced over time. It's an interesting question. The visibility of our autistic traits waxes and wanes throughout our lives based on personal and environmental circumstances. To answer this, we need to take a look at how autistic traits manifest in different age groups.  Babies When we start out in life,  the expectations on us are fairly simple.  We are expected to sleep, cry and drink milk. Any differences that we may have will usually have little effect on our ability to deliver in these area
Recent posts

Kate Goldfield - In Memoriam

I've been taking a break from blogging for a while because it seemed to me that the world had bigger problems than autism and Asperger's syndrome. I figured that eventually things would go back to normal but now it seems they never will. Too much has changed.  One of the key moments was the loss of one of my good friends, a fellow blogger with autism who I met a couple of decades ago when we all used to call it Asperger's. We never met in person, though we once got within 100 miles of each other before illness intervened.  Her passing hit me hard, but it's odd. It didn't hit so much immediately, but it's certainly been hitting me over the past few weeks.  I'll try to explain that.  Kate. from her facebook pictures, June 2014 (with a few colour tweaks) Losing People I think that initially it's much easier to lose someone online than it is to lose someone you see every day in "real life". It's because with people who are online, we're use

When kids on the Spectrum Trash the House

A couple of days ago, I was reading a thread about a mother who came home to find that her son had completely trashed the house - again. It reminded me of things that our family used to go through. While my eldest, now 20 is a terribly messy boy, this behaviour is now well and truly a thing of the past for us. For a while though, these problems seemed insurmountable, so I thought I'd share how we got past them. Image by yasioo from Pixabay There was once a time where if he didn't get his way, my youngest would completely trash his room (and sometimes other rooms in the house). We still have marks on the walls (and some holes) that remind us of those terrible days. He would pull everything out of his wardrobe and throw it on the floor, he would throw all of his books out of his bookcase and all over the floor. He would often tip his entire mattress off the bed as well.  These generally weren't meltdowns. They were too controlled and too planned. They were done for a reason.

Book Review: What your Child on the Spectrum Really Needs by Jenna Gensic

What your Child on the Spectrum Really Needs: Advice from 12 Autistic Adults. For Autistic People Everywhere. May Your Voices Be Heard by Jenna Gensic This is a book review that I really should have done about eight months ago. I wanted to be able to do this book justice but it's just so diverse and informative that I don't think that any review I write will really describe the breadth of it. The book is only 115 pages long but it's A4 sized and absolutely packed with information.  Jenna Gensic is a freelance writer who blogs over at Learning from Autistics  and she frequently publishes interviews with autistic people. As I write this, she's just published Interview 147. It's an incredible achievement.  At the beginning of the book, Jenna talks about her experience learning from the narrow experience and perception doctors and her discovery of the world of advocacy. I've often said that while doctors have medical training, they see an average of around 35 patien

Lockdown and School -Some kids struggle to Self-Manage

With Lockdown still in effect in lots of places, I wanted to share some of the experiences I had with my son and his inability to self-manage when it came to working on school projects by himself.  My youngest has a lot of potential but also tends to be lazy or easily distracted by video games. Lockdown seems to have "changed the game" and he feels like he can get away without putting the effort in.  There's no easy answer but this is our journey. Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay The Problems Before we get into solutions, I wanted to look at some of the problems we were experiencing.  First of all, my son had been a reasonable student before lockdown. Not brilliant but middling. He was putting in a reasonable amount of effort and was getting work done more or less on time. The only thing that was a bit of a problem for him was assignments that he had to do out of class.  That should have been a warning sign for us. When lockdown started, the kids were off school before

Article: Autism Stimming, Hand flapping and other self stimulatory behaviors

Autism Parenting Magazine is has a new article on Stimming that is pretty comprehensive and ticks all of the right boxes (I checked it over).  Head over here to read it; https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/autism-stimming-causes-management-and-types The article explains;  What stimming is and how to recognise it.  What causes stimming (or why autistic people stim) It goes through various forms of stimming including; Verbal and Auditory Visual Tactile Vestibular Olfactory (Smell) and Taste The article also discusses whether you should attempt to stop stimming (this is one of reasons why I wanted to check it over first) and some techniques to reduce and self regulate stimming.  There's a great infographic for easy reference and a free guide that you can download.  Image by David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay Over the years, I've discussed stimming on this blog, you'll find a selection of stimming articles on the links page of my website. 

Teaching your Teenage Aspie to Drive

  It's finally happened, my eldest son, now 19.5 has decided that he's ready to learn how to drive. He's made the effort, with admittedly quite a bit of prompting, to pass the written part of the exam. He's got his "L" plates and it's time for the practical side of the lesson.  While there's not a huge amount of difference between teaching someone on the autism spectrum and teaching someone who isn't, there are a few little things that are important.  The Road Rules For the most part, kids on the spectrum love rules. They're great. Instead of being all different shades of grey, road rules are pretty black and white. There's a side of the road that you drive on. There's give way and stop signs, and there are speed limits.  Unfortunately, it's not all rules. A lot of driving is actually etiquette. It's about being aware that other people make mistakes or that some people are in a rush. If a car is driving erratically, it's bes