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ADHD Coach & Academic Strategist | Guiding ADHD, autistic, and neurodivergent clients through lived experience | they/her | #AuDHD | #ActuallyAutistic
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May 9 14 tweets 4 min read
Many ADHD and/or autistic folks find it hard to regulate emotions. In part, this is because we have a different relationship with our emotions and need different skills to regulate them.

Let's talk about it, an emotional regulation thread 🧵

[Sponsored by @be_mightier] Emotional regulation is basically the ability to recognize when we’re feeling emotional, identify the emotion we’re feeling, and respond to the emotion appropriately.

Emotional regulation isn't suppressing emotion, it's experiencing them in a healthy, controlled way (2/14)
Apr 20 4 tweets 1 min read
Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition with a genetic component.

This means autistic people are often born into families with one or more autistic person (whether they're diagnosed or not). Having a child diagnosed with autism should be a sign that other people in the family may want to consider whether they too might be autistic.

Unfortunately, this isn't as common as it should be. Many parents, in particular, believe that autism is only relevant to childhood
Apr 18 20 tweets 4 min read
When I was about 10, I was professionally diagnosed autistic. When I was assessed again before university, my autism diagnosis was confirmed.

As someone who has been diagnosed with autism twice, I thought self-diagnosis was wrong. Turns out, I was.

[Guest thread by @MewieKitty] In my early twenties, a friend started self-diagnosing as autistic, and I didn’t like it.

At the time, I felt like autism was a burden I’d been struggling with for years, and other people didn’t understand what it was like (2/19)
Apr 17 10 tweets 2 min read
The myth that autistic people can't or don't experience empathy is dangerous and entirely untrue.

What is true is that autistic people often feel and express empathy differently than neurotypicals expect. Let's talk about it.

An #AutismAcceptanceMonth Thread When allistic people talk about empathy, they often give the definition of empathy as: "the ability to feel what other people are feeling."

The confusing part is that this (emotional empathy) isn't the way that allistic people experience or express empathy in most cases.
Apr 15 13 tweets 3 min read
Autistic people are not broken neurotypicals. We are autistic, with all the good and bad that comes with it.

Many of the ways society talks about autism (or symbolizes autism) assume we're just broken neurotypicals. Let's talk about it

An #AutismAcceptanceMonth Thread This is literally the image my local autism organization uses for their "about autism" page.

It is a young, white, male child behind a glass wall. The glass wall has long been a metaphor associated with autism, where the glass is the thing preventing the child from communicating A young, white, male child ...
Apr 12 10 tweets 2 min read
A lot of autistic and/or ADHD folks struggle when routines are disrupted.

For ADHD'ers, disruption can wipe the next steps of the routine from our mind. For autistic folks, disruptions can lead to rigidity, freezes, or worse. Either way it's dysregulating.

Let's talk about it🧵 Routines can be imagined as a series of steps where the first step starts the second, the second starts the third and so on.

The automatic nature of this process reduces executive functioning needs by reducing decision making and the demands on short-term memory
Apr 10 4 tweets 1 min read
All people should have access to language and communication tools.

Yes, this includes situationally non-speaking autistic people, autistic youth who haven't developed speech yet, and autistic folks who never speak.

Denying people communication tools is doing harm. Stop it If you're someone who struggles with verbal communication, even on occasion, you have a right to find a tool or system that supports you to communicate.

This tool can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. You aren't a bother for pulling out flashcards to thank the teller
Apr 9 16 tweets 3 min read
As someone who realized they're autistic in adulthood, it's easy to wish someone'd noticed sooner or I'd known sooner.

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Being identified as autistic as a youth comes with challenges of its own. Let's talk about it

A #AutismAcceptanceMonth 🧵 Growing up, my parents were convinced I was nothing other than a gifted child (a label deserving to be unpacked in a different thread).

My parents could see I struggled with emotional outbursts, anger, understanding and complying with authority
Apr 9 11 tweets 2 min read
Many neurotypicals think telling autistic folks we don't look autistic is a compliment. It's not.

Because NTs understand autism based only on differences they can see, they think us masking our autistic traits is 'good.' It's not that simple.

An #AutismAcceptanceMonth Thread Many, but not all, autistic people change aspects of how we act around other people to hide or minimize our autistic traits.

Whether this is done consciously or subconsciously, changing to fit neurotypical norms like this is masking or camouflaging our autistic traits
Apr 4 9 tweets 2 min read
Autistic people experience interests in different ways than non-autistic people.

Some autistic people have hyperfixations, similar to ADHD'ers, where we have a deep, passionate interest for days/weeks.

Many autistic people also have special interests. Let's talk about them (🧵) Special interests are often compared to hyperfixations because they are both deeper and more passionate than non-autistic (and non-ADHD) interests.

Special interests, however, tend to last much longer (think years or decades) than hyperfixations
Apr 3 8 tweets 2 min read
Non-autistic people often assume autistic people break neatly into two categories: those who can speak & those who can't.

In actual fact, differences in communication are wide & varied among autistic people, & can change dramatically over time

[A #AutismAcceptanceMonth Thread] A fair number of autistic people experience "going non-verbal" Which is a wide range of experiences where they become unable to communicate verbally or struggle to do so.

Some have mentioned it feels like being hit with a silencing spell. Others feel it slowly closing in on them
Apr 2 15 tweets 3 min read
The way the world works is rarely the way that's best for autistic people. In order to survive, we often need to change how _our_ world works. This means accommodating ourselves.

Let's talk about some of the best accommodations I've given myself since realizing I'm autistic: 1) Respecting my sensory needs.

My sensory needs didn't magically change when I realized I was autistic. I always knew stores, cafes, & public venues were overwhelming.

I knew I couldn't handle microfiber, oily textures, or unplanned wetness.

What changed was my own shame
Apr 1 10 tweets 5 min read
April is #AutismAwarenessMonth, and like a lot of other autistic people, I'm over it.

I don't believe that there are people who are unaware of autism. "Autism" is regularly used as an insult. Parents fear that their child might be autistic, etc. (1/10) If you ask someone on the street if they know what autism is, they'll have an idea.

The problem is that the idea they have is so disconnected from the lives and experiences of autistic people (both adults and children) (2/10)
Mar 29 16 tweets 4 min read
Being autistic means I need routines to function. Being ADHD means maintaining routines is incredibly hard.

I've built routines many times & almost every time I've ended up at square one over and over.

Let's talk about how to do it better (1/🧵)

[Paid content; Editorial mine] Routines can be basically any series of actions that we do on a regular basis. They can be as simple as grabbing a juice after hitting the gym or as complex as practicing a language.

Routines help us work towards our longer term goals in a consistent way (2/16)
Mar 16 6 tweets 2 min read
I've been trying to come up with a metaphor for how derailing small changes feel for my autistic brain.

This is this best one I've found so far:

My autistic brain copes with changes like an old GPS (or Sat. Nav.).

...let me explain (🧵/6) Yesterday, I planned to run. I was gonna do a specific workout using a specific app at a specific time.

I was cognitively prepared. I knew everything about the workout. I knew every pace change & every distance.

I logged onto the app and the workout expired... & I froze (2/6)
Mar 8 10 tweets 2 min read
One thing I see repeatedly in neurodivergent spaces is "WHY CAN'T PEOPLE JUST SAY WHAT THEY MEAN?"

Unfortunately, It's not that easy. Here's why:

Context changes the way that communication is interpreted, and when NTs and NDs are talking we often don't have a shared context 🧵 When we talk with other people we often leave out parts of speech (and communication generally) to make communication more efficient.

Pronouns, for example. When everyone in a conversation knows who 'he' refers to, we don't need keep providing this information (2/10)
Mar 3 15 tweets 3 min read
Learning to self-regulate stimulation is crucial for ADHD and/or autistic folks.

If we don't, we can end up painfully understimulated, overstimulated to the point we can't function, or ping-ponging between the two.

…but where the heck do we start? Let's talk about it (🧵/14) The first step is recognizing our stimulation needs in the first place.

While this differs from person to person, an oversimplified generalization is: ADHD'ers tend to end up understimulated more than overstimulated, while autistic folks tend to end up overstimulated more (2/14)
Nov 3, 2021 17 tweets 3 min read
There's a discussion happening on TikTok about the overlaps between ADHD and autism again.
I have thoughts, so let's talk about it.

ADHD and autism overlaps:
A thread where I break the cardinal rule of the Internet (1/🧵) On the one hand, there's people running around claiming that ADHD & autism are the same thing.

This is a fairly common sentiment on social media, especially in ADHD spaces.

One the other hand... (2/16)
Nov 1, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
My physical experiences with sensory overload are a bit different, but also similar.

For me, I usually don't notice any of the signs of overload until I'm feeling really "anxious" and I don't know why, so that's the main feeling for me: "free-floating anxiety" This anxiety feels like my chest wants to fall in on itself, but there's a deep, omni-present discomfort.

If I don't intervene at this point, meltdown is virtually guaranteed. I start getting irritated and snappy, the angry and then pick fights or break down screaming or crying
Oct 12, 2021 15 tweets 3 min read
Can we talk about tone policing and how it's super traumatic to autistic folks?

Thread. (1/🧵) The closest you get to a universal similarity among autistic people is that we struggle with social communication.

This includes understanding tone (do you sound mad?), non-verbal communication (what does that look mean?) & social cues (what's "normal" in this situation?) (2/15)
Jul 7, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Just because a thing is more common among people with ADHD doesn't make that thing part of ADHD.

If this is you, seek diagnosis, treatment, and support for the other thing too! Sensory processing issues, for example, are more common among people with ADHD, but they aren't 'an ADHD thing.'

Combined with other symptoms, like problems with social cues or struggles adapting to changes, may be autism