I have so much to write about that; I just honestly don’t know where to begin.
I guess. I guess I could start with my 14yo officially being diagnosed with Autism lately. It came as no surprise, but having it be official opens up a world of resources he would benefit from.
It’s not even overwhelming. I’ve long since adapted my parenting of him to accommodate his autism. Even if he didn’t turn out to be autistic he had quirks that needed adapting to. So, I just did. Some trial and error. Some common sense. He’s actually a fairly easy kid to parent comparatively speaking. At least for me. We’re so much alike that I simply parent him like I would have wanted parenting.
This all further validates my assumption that I’m also autistic. He and I are so much a like in big and small ways. And all the traits that confirm his autism are things we share, so it’s reasonable to extrapolate that I’m also likely autistic. I’m not at this time looking for an official diagnosis, nor am I looking for resources. But it’s a huge comfort to be able to assume, “Oh! So that’s why I’m like that!”
I have more things to share as I find the words, but this is a start.
Lucas has always had a thing for birds. So when he mentioned wanting a bird feeder, I did my job.
We offer 3 suet cakes, a tray of mealworms, black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, and a regular seed mixture. Plus water.
It goes from mostly-completely full, to almost completely empty in about 24 hours.
So we diligently go out and refill it every day. This adds up cost-wise, but we are able to do so much bird watching and my Lucas is thrilled!
Rachel bought him a really nice pair of binoculars from a thrift store, and my dad cleaned them up real nice. I bought him a Bird’s of Ohio field guide so we can all identify what we see.
I’m buying bulk seed and mealworms from the Tractor Supply store, which is really the only way to buy seed. The suet cakes you can find anywhere for about $1.00-1.50 each. This adds up, but I can buy them here and there even just from the grocery store. The peanuts (raw and unsalted) disappear fast, but I can also buy those from the grocery store. Though I do want a source to buy them in bulk. It’s probably much cheaper that way. Anyway, we’re doing our best to manage the costs, as it is worth it. However, if anyone would like to kick some cash towards Lucas and his birds, here is my Paypal.
I’m going to be honest, this is Luke’s special interest, but most of us are enjoying it! As far as I’m concerned we’re going to maintain this year-round as long as we live here and probably at our next home too.
Everything I’m about to say is useful for everyone currently in quarantine. Don’t dismiss it just because it’s aimed at those who are neurodivergent.
Look, I don’t really wanna talk about Covid 19. But as I sit in isolation (work is keeping me home due to being in the high-risk category, my job is safe.) it dawns on me that after 36 years of living with ADHD, I know how to survive not leaving my house/car, but baby neurodivergent might not. So consider this a tip on how to survive being home 24/7 for lord knows how long.
First of all, download Pokemon Go on your phone. I don’t care that you gave it up after that Pokemon Go summer where everything was golden. Bring it back. There are so many pokestops and gyms you can reach without ever leaving your car. Take over gyms, battle in raids, collect all the pokemon around you. This gets you out of the house, but still away from people. Fuck. Meet up with a few of your local friends in the parking lot of a gym that has a raid going and takedown that 5-star battle. None of you have to leave your car to accomplish this and you’re still hanging out. Also, right now you can buy 30 incenses for a single coin, so even if you can’t drive somewhere, you can still catch pokemon.
That said, not everyone has a car and therefore they really are stuck at home. So here are the cheat codes I offered my Tumblr friends.
Make a list of shows you’ve been meaning to watch, books you’ve been meaning to read, and games you’ve been meaning to play. Pepper in things like making bread from scratch and cleaning out that closet you’ve been meaning to get to. Assign each item a number. Use a random number generator. Do the thing with the coordinating number.
This helps with boredom and I find it allows me to get past executive dysfunction not allowing me to make a decision. This part is super important. It’s not boredom that is the problem. It’s executive function disabling you from making a decision on what to do and therefore you are stuck in the cycle of doing nothing. Roll once a day and try to hyper fixate on what you roll or roll every few hours as needed. As something gets accomplished in full, take it off the list.
There is a phone app called tasks that makes this list easy to build and maintain. Plus you can’t lose it since it’s on your phone. Googling random number generator will produce one you can customize to your exact needs. While you’re at it, download the appblock app and limit how much time you can endlessly scroll tumblr (Facebook, Twitter) in a day. You’re looking to limiting yourself to 2-3 hours to start and adjust so you find your balance. Pair this last tip with the ability to turn on notifications for those few blogs you don’t want to miss anything from.
If you’ve seriously got nothing to do, teach yourself a new skill. Anything you have the materials for and have been meaning to learn, but life keeps preventing. At the very least add this new hobby to your list.
Assign numbers and let the random number generator do its thing.
I tell you, I do this all the time when I have multiple things I could be doing but can’t decide between, so executive dysfunction keeps me scrolling tumblr and I get nothing accomplished. Once I had a list in place, and proved this worked, I started limiting my time on tumblr with the appblock app and suddenly I’m accomplishing things!
Also, for those of us who have ADHD insomnia and can’t seem to put our phones down at night, the appblock app allows me to turn my phone into a brick that does nothing but make phone calls between 9pm and 7am (currently midnight and 7am since I don’t have to be up early). Some nights I still can’t sleep, but this app keeps that at a minimum.
If you have any other specific problems hit me up and I’ll see what cheat codes I have to offer.
How I went through 35 years of life not clueing into the fact that I hyper fixate and have special interests is just so beyond me.
Currently, it’s Good Omens specifically, but I’m also soaking up all media that Neil Gaiman, David Tennant, and Michael Sheen are attached to. So I’ve very much back on my Tennant bullshit. But I promise to contain it all to Tumblr other than this post.
This post is just me really allowing it to come to light that I am so very autistic. Though this can also be an ADHD trait. Both? Both.
(It doesn’t help that I’ve recently been on a (reading) Shakespeare kick, and Tennant does Shakespeare very well.)
Nothing is official. I refuse to be officially tested because I don’t want this on my permanent record. Unless and until a time comes that I need it there.
I had my suspicion that I’m autistic validated. Sort of. My therapist and I had a long conversation about it. We compared my symptoms with other issues like ADHD (which I have and they share symptoms, but they are also comorbid frequently), my history of trauma, and my attachment issues.
The general consensus is that if I went and got tested for autism, I would probably walk away with that diagnosis. However, it could also be because of the ADHD combined with the attachment issues, combined with my general mental health. So it’s hard to tell.
That said, I relate to heavily to the autistic community. When they talk about what it’s like to be autistic, I share the symptoms and experiences. To quote the meme: Big Mood.
I would be diagnosed autistic if I went for testing, though they wouldn’t be looking at my history of trauma.
So for now, I’m calling myself autistic. For simplicity’s sake. Because the symptoms are there. Because I fit the mold.