Dopamine: it’s the process, not the product

I have bought a lot of weird stuff from eBay. A job lot of uncleaned Roman coins, WW2 memorabilia and a roe deer skull complete with antlers, to name a few of my recent purchases. These were all recent fascinations of my eldest child, who takes a hands-on approach to learning, hence the necessity forContinue reading “Dopamine: it’s the process, not the product”

Avoidance: it’s the unknown unkowns

It’s been a while. Not because I don’t have ideas – ADHD means I am practically exploding with ideas in my every waking minute – but because of the phenomenon called demand avoidance. Whilst everyone experiences this on occasion, by resisting or putting off doing what needs to be done, procrastinating or avoiding activities thatContinue reading “Avoidance: it’s the unknown unkowns”

Routine: a love-hate relationship

Want a clean home? Devise a housekeeping routine and stick to it. Struggle to fall asleep or wake up tired and unrefreshed? Sort out your bedtime routine. Finally decided to complete Couch to 5K? No, me neither, but I bet if you did then the key to progressing from beginner to runner would be thatContinue reading “Routine: a love-hate relationship”

Driven to do things differently

Several decades ago, I took driving lessons. They did not go well. I remember crying silent tears at the approach to a roundabout one foggy November evening, when having to contend with the glare of lights and rain as well as mirrors, signals and gears was more than I could cope with. The experience wasContinue reading “Driven to do things differently”

Someone turned the lights on

After wading through a lot of negative stuff constructed from the ‘deficit’ model of neurodiversity, I came across a relatively recent strand of research which takes a very different approach. This branch of research examines the view that diagnosis or identification as autistic as an adult can have a profoundly positive impact on identity andContinue reading “Someone turned the lights on”

A side of ADHD

Something didn’t add up. I was definitely autistic, yet that on its own didn’t seem to account for everything. I need routine, deadlines and obligations to perform well, yet I detest having to follow that routine or keep to prearranged commitments. I will fixate on one particular topic but that focus will quickly move onContinue reading “A side of ADHD”

Small talk: a big deal

“Bit chilly today, isn’t it.” OK, remember: answer in agreement as it’s not an actual question; reply straightaway with a comment that includes the words ‘glad’ and ‘coat’, then follow up with a related statement/invitation such as ‘I know! The forecast said it was supposed to be warm all week!’ with a tone conveying mildContinue reading “Small talk: a big deal”

Look into my eyes: part I

Eye contact seems to be a REALLY BIG DEAL for a lot of people, particularly those in positions of authority. Not staring directly at their pupils? Clearly you aren’t paying attention. Avoiding eye contact when they’re talking to you? Makes you look shifty – what are you trying to hide, eh? The diagnostic criteria, theContinue reading “Look into my eyes: part I”

Let’s play Bingo

The appointment had started well enough. There I was, sat opposite the GP, explaining how my eldest had recently received an autism diagnosis and the assessment process had led me to realise that I, too, was very likely autistic and had therefore been assessed by the same privately funded centre (and this was all extraneousContinue reading “Let’s play Bingo”

Are you sure?

… One of the stranger responses I’ve received when mentioning that I am autistic. At that point I had actually received an official diagnosis (more on that and dismissive GPs another time) so yes, I was sure, but still. What are they implying by asking that question? “You don’t look autistic.” Probably this, or somethingContinue reading “Are you sure?”