ECHO, Echo, echo…..

Echolalia is functional communication. It is often an indication of gestalt thinking, if you search for hyperlexia or hypernumeracy you might find more information.

Possible functions:

  • practicing verbal skills
  • auditory stimulation (stimming – it just sounds good)
  • communicating – if we’re not understanding, we’re not listening/paying enough attention or we need training

One example is my kiddo would say the exact same line if they thought that I wasn’t listening, or wasn’t understanding, or wasn’t giving the response they wanted/were looking for.

So now I’ll say:

“I’ve heard you say that multiple times now, did you miss my acknowledgement (either verbal or visual) or are you looking for a specific response or does it just sound good?”

<reply>

“Great, thanks for letting me know!”

Autistic employee goes viral with office sign that breaks down ‘bad communicator’ stereotypes – Upworthy

I’m autistic.

I prefer direct, literal and detailed communication

If I am:

Not making eye contact

Not greeting you back

Not understanding your social cues, etc.

There is no malicious intent. It is the autism.

Thank you for understanding.

https://www.upworthy.com/autistic-employee-called-a-bad-communicator-responds-by-hanging-an-important-sign-in-the-office

“This should be the norm tbh!! very proud of you for stating your boundaries and needs clearly,” Alastar wrote. “I wish everyone had signs telling me how to communicate tbh,” Bro added.

“How is it that we prefer direct, literal, and detailed communication, but somehow WE’RE the ones with a communication issue???” Reading cosmere! wrote.

https://www.upworthy.com/autistic-employee-called-a-bad-communicator-responds-by-hanging-an-important-sign-in-the-office

“The funniest thing about the comment section of my autism sign video is the people who are asking me, ‘Are you self-diagnosed? Are you formally diagnosed?’” he said in the video. “Do you think neurotypical people would make a sign like that? Do you think that would happen? Do you think a neurotypical person would do that?”

https://www.upworthy.com/autistic-employee-called-a-bad-communicator-responds-by-hanging-an-important-sign-in-the-office

Adult ADHD Diagnosis

This really resonates with me. I was managing until I became a parent, and when I finally came up for air – I found myself wondering if adulting/managing life was this hard for everyone.

“When you mask ADHD, “good enough” standards of timekeeping, tidiness, and organization are not sufficient. The consequences of a minor slip-up, like forgetting to submit a form on time, can feel like the end of the world. I obsessed over carefully chosen outfits; cleaned my house to perfection before a casual coffee date; lived by a complex system of reminders, spreadsheets, notes, and alarms; and arrived two hours early to guard against being late, wondering why life was so exhausting and feeling like a failure.”

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/lessons-on-adult-adhd-diagnosis#:~:text=When%20you%20mask,like%20a%20failure.

Sorry

Instead of “I’m sorry for…” try “Thank you for…”

When you say you are sorry, the other person often feels bad that you thought they needed/wanted an apology.

When you say thanks you, the other person can feel good about you acknowledging and appreciating them.

Instead of:

  • I’m sorry I’m late.

Try:

  • Thanks for your patience.
  • Thank you for waiting for me.
  • Thank you for being flexible.

Instead of:

  • I’m sorry I’m late.

Try:

  • Thanks for your patience.
  • Thank you for waiting for me.
  • Thank you for being flexible.

Instead of:

  • I’m sorry I forgot.

Try:

  • Thanks for reminding me.
  • Thank you for touching base.
  • I forgot, I’d really appreciate support completing this.

We are all….

Made of stars (carbon based)

One (energy/matter)

A community/universe in ourselves (microbiomes)

Rube Goldberg machines

Experimenting (whether through action or inaction)

Made of sunlight (sun energy + soil are consumed by plants which are then consumed by humans or animals that are consumed by humans, therefore we are made of sunlight)

The Daffodil trait… I mean Narcissism

Narcissism is a trait, if you have none, then you can’t care for yourself, if you have too much, then you can’t care for others.

Empathy and compassion are learned skills.

A “Narcissist” is someone who needs to improve those skills.

Most folks learn some degree of those skills on their own.

Some ND/HSPs do not learn self-regulation without being directly taught. So some ND/HSPs with neglectful/traumatic/unhappy childhoods can develop narcissism as a coping strategy. NTs tend to be more resilient.

The core of narcissism is anger.

If you only understand your own mind – then if someone does something different from your expectations, it makes sense that you would assume they are being mean and get angry. Anger is an emotion that is supposed to protect us, encourage us to defend our boundaries. At the bottom I have an example of how this works.

Correlation is not causation. And being HSP doesn’t imply Narcissism. I believe being a Narcissist, especially the vulnerable kind, implies being an HSP with childhood attachment trauma.

PersonA & PersonB – both have autism.
PersonA may or may not be aware of it in themselves and is not aware of it in PersonB. PersonB is not aware of it in either of them.

Having a discussion.

PersonB replies to PersonA.

PersonA: You just hurt my feelings. (see trauma)

PersonB: (had no intention to do so, feels like they are being gaslit as hurting the other person is not their experience)
“<Explains why PersonA is wrong/mistaken/shouldn’t feel that way – without first acknowledging PersonA’s experience.>”

PersonA: (feels gaslit and ignored/unheard)
“Why is it so hard to apologize? Don’t you care that my feelings are hurt?”

PersonB: (Now confused and angry, why should they apologize for something they didn’t do? Feels emotionally blackmailed. In addition to feeling gaslit, is also hurt that PersonA thinks that PersonB would try to hurt PersonA. Gets defensive and lashes out in anger – says something deliberately hurtful = Narcissim.)
“Why would I care when you don’t care about what I’m feeling?”

This is why starting with I statements and sharing needs is so important. Both people had a chance to get things back on track.

PersonA could instead say:
I’m feeling really hurt, I need <support/connection/clarification>.

Or PersonB could have replied with:
You’re feeling hurt in response to something I said? Do you need a hug? And can you explain what part was hurtful and why? I’m confused and I want to understand because I care about you. Hurting you was not my intention, so I think there must be a misunderstanding/miscommunication occurring.

Wood Fidget Working

Discussion on woodworking and needing to sand something:

the best way to do it was honestly just to run my fingers all over it and feel for burrs and rough spots. Doing so was deeply satisfying

Allowisious

I just got into woodworking because of this, I’ve been picking up little bits of wood and either using a small file, fingernail, rock, stick, whatever I have available to work on them. I figure I can make a “fidget wood” (driftwood) mobile when I have enough of them. 😀 It’s so satisfying!

I have been trying to do it outside so I don’t have to worry about dust, but now I’m thinking a mini pouch – like a drawstring bag that opens flat – to store the wood & tool in and catch the dust when working it indoors would be good. I think I recall research about touching wood vs manmade stuff that I’m going to go look for now that I’m thinking of it…..

I also like to use pet nail grinders, nail drills or a Dremel (heavier, so that’s why I like the nail ones) for when I want to work on something, but my fingers or hands are too tired.

I’m thinking I might try making some worry wood, like a worry stone, just to carry around in a pocket to rub.

Eye Contact and Listening

Things folks could learn to say:

I feel _________ when you don’t make eye contact when ________________ (I’m talking to you/you’re talking to me).

Uncomfortable, disrespected, ignored, irritated, insulted, angry, annoyed

Examples:

I feel ignored when you don’t make eye contact when I’m talking to you. Can you face toward me, and if not, is there another way you can let me know you are listening?

Responses:

I can orient my body toward you without eye contact.
I’m listening when I’m looking at this fidget.
I’m listening when <insert visual or auditory cue that you are listening>

I feel disrespected when you don’t make eye contact when I’m talking to you. Can you face toward me, and if not, is there another way you can let me know you are respecting my need for your attention?

Responses:

I can orient my body toward you without eye contact.
I’m paying attention when I’m looking at this fidget <or other visual or auditory cue>
I understand that you feel disrespected, and I would like you to respect my need to avoid eye contact. How can we compromise?

I feel uncomfortable when you don’t make eye contact when I’m talking to you. Can you look at me when I’m talking?

Responses:

I can orient my body toward you without eye contact.
I understand that you feel uncomfortable , and I feel uncomfortable with eye contact. How can we compromise?

I feel irritated/insulted/angry/annoyed when you don’t make eye contact when I’m talking to you. Can you look at me when I’m talking?

Responses:

I can orient my body toward you without eye contact.
I struggle with eye contact and it would be a kindness if you can be flexible with me.
I understand that lack of eye contact is viewed negatively in our culture. I’m trying to advocate for diversity by expressing my need to avoid eye contact in order to focus and listen.
I’m sorry, I understand that currently lack of eye contact is considered rude in our culture. I’m Autistic and eye contact is challenging for me. By being open with you, I’m hoping that we can be part of the change that helps our society become more open and tolerant of differences such as neurodiversity.
I understand the struggle when our communication needs aren’t met. Will you meet my communication needs?

Being on the same level is more important than eye contact (think sitting side by side facing the same way instead of towards each other, or those conversations that happen in vehicles) – come down to their level or bring them up to yours.

Brain Scans: Autism, ADHD & OCD… or just HSP?

This is what really helped me feel confident in my hypothesis (bold is mine):

What Brain Scans Tell Us About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Anagnostou and her colleagues had set out to use neuroimaging to identify brain differences unique to ASD, as compared to other neurodevelopmental differences like ADHDOCD, and intellectual disability. And they did find that brain differences clustered into different groups—but not by diagnosis. In fact, brain scans could not distinguish children who had been diagnosed with ASD from those who had been diagnosed with ADHD or OCD.

“Dr. Anagnostou reported data from multiple papers that looked at over 3,500 children,” Dr. Alycia Halladay, Chief Science Officer at the Autism Science Foundation, explained to me. “These studies looked at multiple structural and functional features of the brain—including cortical gyrification (the way the brain folds in the cortex), connectivity of different brain regions, and the thickness of the cortical area—and found no differences based on diagnosis.”

New Research May Change How We Think About the Autism Spectrum | Psychology Today