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For the NT moms...

Posted by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 3:59 AM
  • 25 Replies

Do you ever wonder what it feels like to be autistic?

I sometimes wonder what it would feel like to be NT, if my thoughts and feelings would be different, if my reactions to things would be different, how i'd be wired if I wasn't autistic.... I was just ruminating on it tonight.. 

Do you wonder what it feels like to have a sensory issue? Or a communication issue? What about being overstimulated? 

If you are curious, what do you do to figure out what it would feel like for your child, or someone else who's wired different than you?

As an autistic adult, I often wonder what it would be like to be NT, to not have sensory issues, or communication difficulties, or even learning disabilities.

by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 3:59 AM
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by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 5:44 AM
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 Everyone has something, or many things, that makes them necessarily in a bad way, but at the same time, not like your peers. I know that when I watch Dillon and see something "different", it makes me look at others around me and really question how NT they really are. I think I've dx'ed about 100 others around me...HA!

All I know is that when I watch him, it hurts me....I see these things and realize how much we take being "normal" for granted.

by Bronze Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 6:41 AM
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When I watch my daughter, I often wonder what it feels like to be autistic. Sometimes, like when my sons start playing loudly, the TV is on, the phone is ringing & the dog is barking, all at the same time, it make me feel overly anxious or stressed. At those times, I've looked at my daughter & seen that she is trying to handle it all. I realize that to her, she's likely hearing even more things, possibly smelling other things, noticing the way the sunlight is reflecting & who knows what else. At those times I am in awe of how well she functions but also disturbed that she has to handle that sort of overstimulation regularly.

Other times, when she easily notices something I've automatically filtered out, especially something beautiful, it makes me realize how much I actually miss. Sometimes, like when we play memory match, I'll catch a quick look from her, like how could I not have matched that! Then, she'll easily make the match even though she "seemingly" wasn't paying attention to the game. That's when I realize that in some areas she really knows she's smarter. I'll laugh about it & sometimes catch a little smirk from her.

When I see the frustration for her at not being able to communicate, it makes me cry. I had a fairly significant speech challenge when I was young. & I remember that frustration clearly. For her, communication is much harder than it ever was for me. That part makes me sad.

Mostly, I just wish I could understand better so that I could be more supportive for her. People often write her off. I've always believed in her & always will. She's such an amazing person.
by Darby on Oct. 21, 2013 at 7:25 AM

Actually, I have wondered that before...good thoughts!

by Carissa on Oct. 21, 2013 at 9:20 AM

I think aobut it often and wish I could somehow relate more to how my son is wired.. I see myself so much in my NT kids and same for my hubby I see him in my NT kids and Ashton is sometimes a mystery to me but in a good way. He amazes me..  People tell me all of the time what an amazing little guy he is and I would love to be him for a day.. To experience how he thinks and how fast his mind works but also to experience his frustrations and his needs and wants, maybe I could help him more.... 

by Jen on Oct. 21, 2013 at 9:25 AM
I definitely know how it feels to be over stimulated and have a sensory issue. As a kid I remember my family thought I was crazy. They could not wrap their brain around why I was so picky about my shoes and clothing. I felt like a freak. I wasn't making it up. I wasn't seeking attention. Those things seriously bothered me! And they still do.
I sometimes feel bad for getting over stimulated and becoming a grump. I have the need to get away from it all because once it starts, everything starts to bother me. Everything becomes more intense and I can't shut it out. And I am embarrassed to say, I am not very nice. I just need to get home where I can make it all stop. Once my sensory system calms down, I can be rational and nice again.

As for all the other stuff, I do wonder how that must feel like. Especially in my kids because I want to respect their feelings. I don't want to treat them like I was treated as a kid , like my feelings were made up.
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by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 9:28 AM

 Well, I'm not autistic, but I'm not entirely NT either (epilepsy).  For years, being NT equated being seizure free (which I have been for awhile) but there is more to epilepsy than seizures IMO.  It's interesting, I never realized my wiring was different in other ways until my son was diagnosed. Frankly, neurologists generally focus on seizure control, and they don't talk about other ways someone's processing may be different which is a shame.  For me, it has showed up in sensory issues, and when my brain isn't functioning that well, an inability to take too much stimuli at once, particularly visual. My son is different this way, he is more of a sensory seeker visually, though he has tactile and oral defensiveness, and loud noise bothers him. Today I finally thought to tell him flashing the lights on and off bothers me in the same way loud noises bother him--he seemed to get that and stopped immediately.

These things don't come up daily for me, but they do come up. But this isn't saying I understand what it is like to be autistic. I understand some small pieces, not everything by any means.
by Janine on Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:03 AM
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I do all the time. I've read books & all kinds of things on the internet. Not to mention I love reading your post they have given me alot of insight. Thanks Emma :-)
by Bronze Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:09 AM
I am not Autistic, but I am severely ADD. I also have major sensory issues (I can not stand being touched, even by my own hands). My thought processes are random, and many people have a hard time understanding my connections. I have wondered what it would be like to have my son's brain and I have wondered what it would be like to not have any of my issues. But honestly, I can't sit on that thought long enough to really think about it. It is like a floating shiny, there and now gone again.
by Bronze Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Oh gosh, yes!  

When my son use to stare (stim) off the sides of his Disney McQueen cars, I wondered what he was looking at.  He told me the pretty colors.  It reminded me of a story on NPR about birds.  How birds can see so many different colors than humans cannot.   It made me wonder if my son could see more colors than I could.  Or how nice that he found pleasure in seeing the colors that I couldn't appreciate.

I think a lot of us have tiny bits of sensory issues.  So I just magnify that feeling to try to understand my son's sensory issues.   I can't stand it if my shirt gets wet on the inside of my wrist.  It drives me crazy.  So I get it when he tells me he gets the wiggles when he puts on a fleece coat - I get it.  

And I also like to hear from you and other adults with ASD.  Gives me a great perspective. 

by Jan on Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM

I read a wonderful book by Sean Barron and his mom, "There's a Boy in Here".  Many of his behaviors when he was a child are things that my son has done or still does.  Some behaviors of his were different than my son's.  But, for example, Sean would roll pencils off of his desk in school, over and over and over again.  My son likes to roll balls through the house or throw 2 stuffed animals up in the air over and over again.  The way Sean explained it was that he felt comforted each time he rolled the pencils because the results were predictable yet still offered some variety as to where or how they would land on the floor.  I may not relate to that behavior personally, but I feel an understanding of why my son does these things.

And I have anxiety issues myself as well as social - people don't believe me when I tell them I was painfully shy as a child, so in that respect I fully understand the anxiety and social awkwardness that my son feels.

I would love to spend a day in his shoes to see and experience everything that he does.  I'm sure I would realize how much I really DON'T know about his feelings and experiences, and I think it would be a really good experience.

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