About autisticaplanet

My photo
Welcome to a blog about an autistic adult woman in her late 30's using words and images to advocate acceptance as well as awareness of those with life-limiting sensory processing issues and resulting social and behavioral challenges. I write about inclusion ideas for those who remain in isolation due to their neuromakeup and share how my Christian faith keeps me going. Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Remedy for sensitive, pierced earlobes


My ears are sensitive.
If you have read my other posts, you know this by now, however, instead of talking about sound, I'd like to share with you about skin irritation coming from pierced earlobes.
I have triple- pierced ears. Two sets are particularly sensitive to even surgical steel, so I tried coating the earring posts in Neosporin, an antibiotic ointment. I found that my ears don't hurt and turn red, nor do they weep. 
Even silver and gold don't irritate. 
If you have super sensitive skin, at least on your earlobes, you may want to try coating the backs of your earrings.
I hope you have had a blessed Christmas season and wish you a happy, healthy 2017.
God bless you.

Monday, December 26, 2016

God works in showers...how I went from virtual house arrest to freedom


I've heard it said that the best ideas often come when in the shower. The hot water massages my head and the steam opens my sinuses. What happened one June night back in 2010 is something that wasn't a byproduct of heat and steam.

I had been under what I call "house arrest" since 2006, when a violent meltdown at the mall (which included screaming, swearing, self harm and punching walls), bringing many security guards. My mom had to pull me outside with all her strength. I was not mentally or physically able.

A meltdown is such a horrific experience from the total involuntary loss of self-control to the days it takes me to recover. I also have fears based on reality about being arrested or taken, for short periods via ambulance, from my immediate family, which is now comprised only of my sister, whom I live with.

Anyway, I pretty much avoided going out in public, to avoid sensory overload and keep both me and the public safe. It was a sad and boring period punctuated by defeat that followed much effort.


I firmly believe that God intervened that June night in the shower. I had not prayed in a long time, but was thinking about the poor quality of life I had. If I could find out how to lower the volume on the painfully loud world I live in. 

Suddenly, I felt the urge to get out of the hot shower and log onto the internet. I didn't know much other than the fact it had to do with God asking me to obey Him and that this was in response to what I had been thinking about, which I just described in the above paragraphs.

I typed a few words into Google's search engine. Baby Bjorn was one. A Baby Bjorn is an infant carrier that is used carrying an infant in front of the parent. I envisioned, instead of a baby, putting my white noise sound machine inside of that and carrying it around with me in public, using headphones instead of the unit's speaker.

I have tried noise cancelling headphones, and they did not work for me. They are really for use around continuous engine use. They actually amplified small child and dog noises, as there are microphones inside this type of sound blocking.

I was ready to go with that idea when God interrupted me. I can testify that God does speak to His children. For me, hearing from Him is like the voice one hears in their head when reading quietly. Some hear Him audibly at times. I have not experienced this...yet.

I can't remember the search words I used next, but it did lead me to a place called the Earplug Superstore, a place in Oklahoma that sells ear protection items. I highly reccomend them, by the way.

I found my Pro Ears Ultra 33 (not sold there anymore in 33, rather in 30, The parent company, Pro Ears, sells the Ultra 33). These are passive sound blocking headphones. They were what worked for me then and continue to work for me now. I also got a trial package of earplugs that included different sizes, materials and shapes.

This may not make sense to you, believer or not, but I know that what transpired that night was God helping me out of His great love.

The trial of painful waiting and wondering if I would ever engage in life outside my home had ended, and not of my own accord. Had God not intervened, I would still be homebound or drawing unwanted attention with a Baby Bjorn with a clunky old sound machine inside.

While there are things I have tried and still not have been able to engage in 
(restaurants, family gatherings including dogs and kids, and movie theaters), I enjoy a level of freedom greater than before. With the aid of a help person, I can go out to shop for brief periods of time. I can walk in forest preserves where dogs often bark in passing.



To you, I might not have seemed to make much progress, but for me, the difference has been huge. I am very grateful to my God who liberally supplies my every need.

I thank you, Father, for your faithfulness, kindness and, most important of all, your patience!

God only knows where He will lead me next. It isn't all smooth-sailing, but it is a blessing nonetheless.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

God, let there be peace!

After a year of intense anxiety, misunderstandings and resulting outbursts mostly online, I am in need of peace.
After a summer of major depression and enduring Saturday night M80s from neighbors from summer through fall (which caused suicidal ideation), I am in desperate need of peace.
In case you are wondering, yes, I called the police. It caused retaliation.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says that God won't allow a believer to go through more than they can bear, but will provide a way out.
God wants us to rely 100% on Him and not on other people or ourselves. This takes faith and humility.
I wonder if God was trying to get my attention with the suffering season I had? I have been relying on Him more lately, praying for Him to give me peace overall, but especially in the area of sensory overload.
I think the prayer was answered in part back in the fall, when I asked my APRN to prescribe Ambien for me to use on Saturday nights. I already have peace about New Year's Eve.
I've been able to remain awake Saturday nights for about 2 months now. The snow and cold has put a stop on fireworks...for the time being.
I pray that God will admonish them, changing their hearts.
In the meantime, I continue to pray to Jehovah Rapha, The God Who Heals. This is one of God's many names. God is so great that one name cannot fully describe Him.
If you don't know God, I pray you will open your heart to Him. I pray you will pray for peace and to be an instrument of His peace.
May God's peace be yours this Christmas season!


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Finally, housing for autistic adults, ground broken for First Place in Phoenix, Arizona

Ground just broke on First Place, a residential facility for autistic adults that is low sensory and teaches them life skills. 
Denise Resnik spent 20 years seeing her dream come to fruition. 
Her son is autistic. She worried about what would happen to him before the school bus stopped coming, when her son was still in his single-digit years.
This development, expected to open in 2018, is both privately and publically funded.
It is for adult autistics who have higher executive functioning but still need support, including a low-sensory environment.
Please click the link below to read and share.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2016/12/06/breaking-ground-work-begins-first-place-complex-phoenix-adults-autism/95046774/

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Autism Plus

Color spectrum with a sphere in the middle 

I once read a comment left on an autism article. The mother of an autistic child wrote "My child has autism plus." She didn't explain what she meant. Others asked what she meant by "autism plus", but I never did see a follow up answer.
That phrase has stuck in my head for the last several years. In light of having to once again explain why I cannot fully advocate for myself to yet another person not well versed in autism, I have decided to compose this post.
The following explains why I cannot hold down long-term employment (in part or in full), operate machinery (such as driving a car), talk over the phone to people and their sensory environments in which I do not know, or go into a welfare agency (I am not on welfare, but the Department of Human Services building is basically the same thing).
The stability of my sensory functioning is constantly in flux. One day I am slightly above average, coping euphorically with lots of sensory input. Another day (usually the following day), I am barely able to get out of bed and deal with the sounds around my house. It takes me 24 hours to decompress from a day out.
Sometimes, the television is too loud, even if at its usual volume and certain shows are too painful to hear.
Even incandescent and CFL light, while usually not a sensory issue with me, can become one when under stress.
I have chronic migraines. I experience poor coping skills before I ever feel pain. Sometimes I smell smells that aren't there like the smell of my Micro Machines frying in the microwave-I killed them back in the 1990's.
Low pressure fronts that precede thunderstorms also compound my coping ability and trigger migraines.
I use Rx strength medication to deal with the horrific pain, but still often have to lie down in my darkened bedroom.
I have PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoria). While I am on Rx medication for this as well, I still experience migraines and fatigue before and during menstruation. My coping ability is diminished during this time.
I also have SAD (seasonal depression). Though I use light therapy and take vitamin D, I still experience extreme fatigue and irritability during the fall and winter months.
I sleep more than the 8 hour average. I am on psychotropic drugs for mood as well as an antidepressant and anti anxiety medication. These meds work for me, but that does NOT mean anywhere close to autonomy.
Each day I wake up is left up to chance. I have no guarantee that tomorrow will be as good or as bad as yesterday was.
What I do know is that I NEED supports just as bad as the nonverbal person with an I.Q. of below 70 (the gold standard for getting services in my state for autism). Those supports include:
Case management
Financial assistance (SSDI and Medicaid)
Transportation
Behavioral health
Representation (someone to speak and go to a place in my place when I cannot)
Sensory accommodating housing (down the road)
SNAP (down the road)
Someone to carry out my final wishes
Someone to visit me and act like a friend or neighbor (now and down the road)
Acceptance and these supports will go a long way in making sure I reach my God given potential and lead a life that is both safe for me and for others.
This is what "autism plus" means for me. A daily juggling act for someone who cannot juggle.

I was blessed to have this post accepted to Confessions, a Christian mental health blog on WordPress. Check out the blog along with the edited version of this post.

Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year!




https://confessions92.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/finding-who-we-are-entry-6-autism-plus/comment-page-1/#comment-2315

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Autism Site-What those with autism wishes you knew

Autistic adults speak via Reddit about what they wish non- autistics knew.
Rainbow infinity symbol, different, not less.



http://blog.theautismsite.com/reddit-answers-own-words/?utm_source=aut-autaware&utm_medium=social-fbpc&utm_term=AUTAWARE-PC-reddit-answers-own-words-5cCPM-W35-KWaut&utm_campaign=PC-reddit-answers-own-words&origin=aut_autaware_social_fbpc_PC_reddit-answers-own-words

What I wish others knew-that my hypersensitive hearing isn't my fault. Just because I have a neurological disorder doesn't give you the right to EVER take your frustration out on me, be it physical, emotional or otherwise.

We live in a fallen world, and sadly, this means people are born with, among other things, wait for it...neurological disorders.

My Christmas Wishlist



The following are things Santa can't fit in a stocking. 

1. A friend. An emotionally stable, laid back person who would always have my back and not ask dumb questions or shun me because of my autistic traits.
I already have one true friend. However, she does live an hour away and travel is getting much more difficult for her, especially during the darker winter months. She is in her 80's, though she has the soul of a child, there are limits.

2. Purpose. It isn't uncommon for autistic people to lack meaningful relationships or purpose in life. It is sadly a stereotype of the condition.
I am blessed to be able to make stretch bracelets, but I cannot afford to do it constantly, nor is there that high a demand for them.

3. Community involvement. Due to my severe SPD, I cannot function properly or safely for a prolonged period of time in most public places such as movie theaters, restaurants, grocery stores or anyplace where there is a constant, variable of clientele circulating in and out. Children under 5 years of age and, in some cases, dogs, are a part of the equation. 

What about your local library?
My library's set up is more like Starbucks.

Don't you have any neighbors? 
I've got them. They've been there in one form or another in my lifetime of living in the only home I've known. The fact is that they are not friendly. One of them even killed my parents' cat. Every man is an island where I live, but at least there are no small kids, thank God.

Do you have any relatives? I've got them, too. Most don't care or are dead. By God's grace, I do have my sister and one aunt who care about and for me. The thing is, they both work, have friends and significant others. They love going out in public. They are NT.

What about your local social service agency? Been there and done that. I spent a whole year with a caseworker who was friendly, but operated a bit too much like the IRS. "How much did that cost? Was it expensive?" "Do you rent or own?" I didn't realize that playing personal 50 questions was part of the deal.

I pray that God has already planned to give me these things. I pray for more sensory friendly everything to be expanded to include all age groups. If you are taking your autistic kids to sensory friendly films, ask the theater if they plan to have the program expanded for when the kid is grown. If your kid doesn't need it, I assure you someone else will.

Please visit your shut-in relatives. It may seem like a drag to you, but that is part of life sometimes. I can assure you that less is more in the social exposure department. Watch a movie you both like or bake/build something. If they can't drive, take them out for a walk or stroll in nature.

You can video chat as well. I don't have that but hope to some day when I can afford a more updated computer.

I am truly grateful for the following:
1. My friend and family who care about me.
2. My cats
3. MeTV
4. My treadmill
5. My camera (donated by a kind, fellow blogger)

Of course, I am grateful to know God is always with me and knows all about me. I am grateful to own a Bible and read it freely. At this time of year, I am reading Advent devotionals.


May you come to know Jesus this December.
Merry Christmas!