The Coke Can Effect

Recently on Facebook, I seen a post where a picure of a child was pictured laying on the floor underneatht table, it mentioned ADHD and Anxiety, which alot of times go hand in hand with individuals on the spectrum, however it is referred to as the “Coke Can effect” and while the majority of behaviors occured for me decades ago throughout childhood and adolescence, it too occured when I would come home to no one to let me vent when I got home at the end of the day well into my adulthood.

As caregivers may know, individuals within school and work systems are oftentimes bullied, abuse, mistreated and so forth. As for myself I was not told to express my concerns or what or assert for what I felt what I was right, as such I would “bottle it up” until I got home, then I would release all the negative thoughts so much that I would hyperventilate and become overly nauseous.  That I would just want to lay down and relax, let alone the former sleep issues prior to having the proper medications 20 years ago,

While until about five years ago, my mother worked diferent hours that I would be at school or programming, however my father worked the same job for almost 20 years of his life until he retired, as such I had him as a support, but oftentimes I couldnt open up to him for some reason or another, therefore when my mother would come home and usually at the dinner table, I would let the feelings and expressions flow then I would lay low foe some time because It would burn me out especially from school the need to just rest, and if I have a busy day, I still do to this day.

In summary, there are times that indiduals on the spectrum need to take a breather and oftentimes, I use music, we are not ignoring you, we just need a break to regroup and finish our day without making it worse.

Autism and Maturity

This week has been quite the busiest week for individuals on the spectrum far and wide. We’ve seen a brave 16-year old Girl from across the pond strive and come to the states to press the needs for changing the way we think about the planet. We’ve heard of the middle schooler that was given a desk to use in a unutilized school washroom in order to be sensitive and meet “accomodate” his needs. We’ve seen the little six year old placed in handcuffs that would be traumatic for any six year old, let alone one with behavioral challenges the list goes on and on.

I spend time now and then browsing the Facebook Pages news feed to hear about issues concerning individuals through the lifestages and in all across the spectrum. I’ve seen accomplishments, achievements, awards, caregivers at the end of their rope, and so forth. One of several that I thought was good that I will be writing on in the coming days is that of maturity. I saw a 27 year old individual post on a group that they were 27, but knew that they in no way acted as such. For several decades, I believed that because I was living with my family in the time tunnel and could not see the light at the end of it.

Now you are all thinking that I dislike my parents. That is absolutely not true one single bit! When they both were at the end of their rope and wanted could have thrown me to the system, they overvome whatever obstacles necessary for me to get the care possible to become successful, because they saw that potential when no one else did , but too therapies and learning techniquies in autism have jumped leaps and bounds since my adolesence, and I did have a great deal of trauma as a result, but I am working on it slowly. Also, for a decade after becoming an adult and still living with my parents, I had resentment for the care that that they sent me to, and I have known that in the end when my mother wanted to give up because as many know we “hurt the ones that we love the most” lives tried and true, that my parents almost broke up as a result of my behaviors, but in the end, it when it was time me to return to the family, it was my dad who advocated for me to be a part of our family and held the glue and supported my mother throughout the good and bad (By the way, in a few months will be married for 40 years, talking about commitment!, my maternal grandparents were married just over 70, of which they loved me significantly too!)

Anyway, as it often referenced when we are with immediate family, we are often situated with immaturity, and for me to this day is something I continue to struggle with weekly! Even before I moved independently, I acted like a grown adult that was very articulate and matrure, however when I was/am in the surroundings of my parents or in their home, I revert back to the 10 year old brat who wants whatever they want and have to be right, I cannot deny that there are similar family dynamics that play a part and I am not going to get into them, but I will make it known that I am not as vulgar and while I shout because the parents’ voices are raised, and I do react in the same manner, it is usually with kind words and not hateful ones. As I mentioned prior, I love my parents and I know they will suppport me in almost anything that seems possible, probable and likely, however, I know that respect is mutual and giving that is of the utmost importance in a family dynamic!

In closing we can be the activist fighting for climate change or we can be the one in need of brushing up on those skills, but it can be done with the right help, momenntum and willpower for those accomplishments!

Autism Awareness in Fayette County

NOTE: I wrote this article for a day program for their April 2019 Newsletter to bring to light the need for more autism-related natural supports and services in Fayette County Pennsylvania. Yesterday, I ran into a professional not only seeking information for individuals transitioning into adulthood in my county, but the adjoining county as well, and as such thought the need to share this article.

It’s that time again, April is Autism Awareness Month and for this year, I decided about the need to bring the facts specific to the forefront of Fayette County. According to the ASERT, there was an increase of 117% of individuals on the spectrum served between 2005 and 2011. Of the 2011 count, In Fayette County, the majority of individuals with autism receiving services are between the ages of 5-17. However, the number of adults over 21 years old is increasing as the population of individuals with autism receiving services ages. Furthermore, with it being 2019, this means the majority of individuals will be coming of age in the near future.

As a result. I personally believe we need to step up the game of services provided to adults on the spectrum. We need support groups to address High-Functioning adults and issues that they have as well as provide the supports specific to their needs, such as housing initiatives better personal care needs and other initiatives to make those on the spectrum successful and productive members of the community and society, including employment and education initiatives in which our Clubhouse program has been a driver to initiating to everyone in general.
While there is no cure for Autism, and it is lifelong, we need to secure a lifetime continuum of supports as individuals age over the years. We also must be grateful for the experts at the universities throughout the commonwealth for their dedication and expertise to those dedicated to the cause. Furthermore, we are also thankful to those at the Department of Human Services along with the state advocacy organizations that look for the wellbeing of individuals on the spectrum for years to come.