Therapists Talks About Autism And Object Attachment

Autism is a common mental condition in the US. Experts like therapists and psychologists view the mental illness as something that significantly affects a person’s development. Its signs and symptoms are the avoidance of eye contact, delayed speech, difficulty understanding other people’s emotions, and unexpected reactions with sounds, sight, and smell. But one of the most unnoticed symptoms is an individual’s strange attachment to an object. It may not sound an issue for some, but there is a psychological explanation as to why it is becoming a determining factor.

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An individual with an autism spectrum disorder experiences an object attachment. However, no one seems to get bothered by it. Perhaps it is because people look at it is as something familiar for most individuals without even having a mental illness.  But the way autistic people feel about a particular possession is beyond sentimental perspective. Yes, it is not comparable to a life and death situation. But it is something that affects someone’s way of living. Like for example, if an autistic person tends to have a teddy bear, he will most likely keep it close to him all the time. It will become more of a comforting object. Honestly, you can expect it to be an individual’s possession that certainly lasts for more than a couple of years.

Autistic’s Object Attachment

An autistic’s object attachment is not at all harmful. However, it somehow depicts obsession. That is because the comfort that the individual feels whenever he is with the object gets channeled in it. The person feels an emotional connection that nobody can explain.

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In some cases, it becomes helpful because it can change an individual’s mood in an instant. Like for example, if children are scared and lonely, they feel safe around their dolls and toys. However, the situation is not different when we talk about the loss of a valued possession. In some unfortunate cases, the loss of that particular item causes severe anxiety and depression to an individual because he feels lost without it. There are instances that he won’t eat, talk, and get out of bed without the proof of his possessions existence. It is as if the whole world only revolves around that particular item. With that, an autistic person finds it hard to recover from the emotional damage that nobody seems to understand.

What Autistic People Feel

Object attachment affects an autistic individual in different ways. There is a tendency the person gets to feel uncomfortable with his surroundings. Sometimes he can’t seem to concentrate without his stuff by his side. There are even cases where an autistic feel upset and angry when someone is trying to use his precious belonging or want to look at it. Sometimes, there is a point where an autistic individual become violent, especially if their valued possession gets taken without permission. That is because the thought of it getting broken and damaged is scarier than the idea of losing it.

Honestly, the emotional dilemma is hard to put into words. And sometimes, even if it gets fixed by someone, an autistic person does not immediately feel okay. That is because he thinks that the fixed item will never be the same. The thought of it getting broken will never leave an autistic person’s head, and he will entirely think about it over and over. Another example of a scenario where people are so insensitive about an autistic’s emotional and mental state is when he is playing with Lego. Yes, those are toys that are meant to be broken down into pieces. However, an autistic finds himself feeling troubled about his valued possession getting destroyed. And even though it is fixable, the idea that it gets ruined will stick and mess with his mind.

Official Diagnosis

There is no concrete diagnosis of object attachment in autism spectrum disorder. However, a lot of individuals with the same mental condition share the same trait. Yes, there are criteria for determining the signs and symptoms of autism. But some of the unnoticed categorical attributes somehow falls in a mild end that goes up to severe cases. Unfortunately, this is where the confusion comes in.

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Insight

There is no particular description as to where and where an autistic individual would flip when someone else is trying to get a hold of his possession. But one thing is for sure. It is hard for an autistic to try and keep things as controlled as possible. That is because the amount of psychological distress that it gives, even if it’s a little thing, can make an emotional and mental recovery impossible.

Psychologist-Approved Things You Need To Stop Doing As A Depressed Autism Parent

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When a parent hits a snag or feels unsure about their capabilities when it comes to taking care of an autistic child, their go-to individual is a psychologist. After all, this person is not only licensed to provide mental help but can also offer clarifications to parental duties that seem hard to execute.

One of the mental health issues that autism parents are prone to having is depression. That is especially true for moms and dads who have had to deal with the kids’ emotional and physical outbursts for a long time without getting a diagnosis. As you know, the confirmation that your son or daughter is in the spectrum can take years to come, and a lot of things may have already happened while waiting for that information.

In case you want to get over your depression and be able to always be there for your disabled kid, these are the activities you need to stop doing.

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Being Afraid Of Change

Change happens to any human being or object in this world. If you’re distressing over your kid’s condition, you have to make peace with the reality that he or she might carry this neurological disorder forever. As for primary carer of the child, there are things you might not be able to experience anymore as well, such as partying with friends till dawn, having an independent kid who helps with house chores and seeing your baby grow up like your friends’ children. Still, those are nothing to cry about; as long as your child seems happy, you should be as well.

Comparing Yourself To Others

Scientifically speaking, no two persons are alike – not even twins – so it’s pretty crazy to compare yourself to others or be insecure of what others have. There are a few things that you have that they don’t, and vice versa – it’s a fact of life. When you stop this way of thinking, you’ll be able to get out of your depression wholly and quickly.

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Pacing

Moving in just two points in your room can solve no problems, albeit that is something that troubled folks tend to do. In your mind, you might think that the movement will somehow jiggle your brain or allow you to remember possible solutions. However, in reality, there is no basis in that, so stop pacing and start focusing on the things that make you happy.

Picking Fights

The worst-case scenario when you pick a fight with someone who has life issues as well is that you might end up in the hospital. Even squaring off with a non-disabled individual cannot be recommended as an outlet for your emotions, though. You will gain nothing but enemies by doing so. You need to go of all the anger that you have in your heart with regards to the things that depress you instead.

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Fighting Yourself

A valid decision can only come once you stop fighting within yourself. I do believe in the “inner demon” thing that some folks talk about, but I do think that there is an “inner angel” too. So, you should always seek the latter and stop arguing with yourself.

Thinking Abstract

Abstract only gets celebrated in a canvas, but it’s already a bad thing when it’s applied to your life. For instance, when you are trying to name one emotion, you entertain other feelings, to the point that you no longer know what to do. Worse, you randomly pick an idea and dwell on it even if you have been unsure from the beginning about its validity. Stop being abstract-minded if you want to go back to your old self.

Trying To Live Through Your Kids

Some people become depressed if they realize how impossible it is for their kids to fulfill their – the parents’ – dreams. After all, there is no guarantee that the autistic child can lead a healthy life in which they can take on leadership roles in a company, become a doctor, etc. Although it’s nice that you want to be happy, but you should never live through your children because there’s a high possibility of it bringing disappointment to you.

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Being A Zombie

Zombies are not only scary; they also have no sense of direction and no feelings. These are the characteristics that depressed folks tend to embody, especially when the disorder has gotten severe. No one can talk to you about normal things; you get irritated or aloof when someone tries to reach out to you. The thing is, you need to stay away from this zombie effect to be able to heal from depression.

Final Thoughts

Being an autism parent is undoubtedly incredibly hard to even with all your limbs and mind functioning completely. When you have to factor in conditions like depression, the difficulty level of being in your position multiplies by a few dozen folds. Despite that, you should always to strive to get better because you are the only person who can look after your autistic child in the best possible way.

Follow the tips above to kickstart your healing process. Cheers!

Tips On Becoming A Teacher To A Child With Autism

There are many great reasons why a lot of people want to become teachers. The truth is that it can be fulfilling to teach children and be the source of guidance and inspiration from them. However, the life of a preschool teacher or even those in the elementary stage is a challenging one. You need to consider several issues and concerns that each kid may experience in school. It is the primary reason why some teachers end up seeking professional help or attending therapy sessions. (more…)

Anxiety Over High Functioning Autism

It’s important to understand that high functioning autism is not an actual diagnosis and not even a medical term. But despite that, people casually use the name when they talk about individuals on a spectrum that can write, speak, and handle necessary life task. Preferably, they can live on their own. People who often fall on this type of spectrum are living lives just like everybody else. Aside from that, they even have a higher functioning cognitive compared to others who are having the same condition. But how do people talk about and understand the situation? Why is there an anxiety issue on both having and treating the disorder?

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Autism Facts

The difference of high functioning autism from other autism spectrum is the milder forms. Before this, only those severe cases tend to be diagnosed and treated. That’s the mere reason why Asperger’s become the most popular diagnosis as a whole. So when people came to realize that there’s a whole lot more about the autism spectrum, they begin to categorize all the cases as “autism spectrum disorders.” But other individuals still use the outdated terms such as Asperger’s because they somehow haven’t kept up with the numerous changes of the treatment.

Symptoms Of High Functioning Autism

Just like an individual on an autism spectrum, high functioning people still struggle with making eye contact and having consistent communication with others. Since socially interacting with different people can sometimes become very difficult, those who are high functioning have a feeling of anxiety. They have issues about social gatherings because, for them, the act of social activeness takes so much of their energies. People believe that OCD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression are the significant co-morbidities of high functioning autism. Meaning, each of these mental illnesses happens simultaneously at a particular time. Perhaps that’s due to the abnormalities in the serotonin production.

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People with high functioning autism tend to be more aware of their situation. They can differentiate their state from others. With that, they get too anxious with interacting with people and become immensely depressed on their incapability to connect with someone. As a result, these individuals develop other forms of mental health issues. In some unfortunate events, they struggle to understand sarcasm and jokes from friends or families as well. In this sense, there’s a chance that they can appear more mature for their age, but the truth is they are just uncomfortable sticking around with a bunch of people. Honestly, they don’t understand what’s typically going on in social situations as a whole.

In other cases, most high function people with autism disorder still manage to complete a routine or task. These people’s restricted habits and rituals may appear odd to those around them, but it won’t matter. Because working the things they are comfortable doing can help these individuals to manage their anxious feelings better and comply with the sensory overload that they may be experiencing. So, therefore, their tantrums or meltdowns are normal.

There’s still no definite conclusion of how people get autism spectrum disorders. However, research already shows that individuals with ASD suffer from abnormalities in the particular region of the brain such as the frontal cortex and amygdala. These two sectors are responsible for cognitive processing and decision making, as well as emotions, memory, and survival. That’s the reason why people who are experiencing ASD struggle regulating their emotions, and therefore can’t control social situations.

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Interventions And Treatments

Luckily, there’s so much that we can do to manage autism spectrum disorders. But first, we have to understand that the condition is not something that people do not grow out of, nor it is something that requires an immediate solution. With significant social involvement, we can create a difference for these people with ASD. Interventions such as setting up occupational therapy, providing speech therapy, and encouraging applied behavior analysis are a good start. People can also promote social skill classes, psychotherapy for anxiety and depression, and engage in floortime activities. They can also help those people with ADS in relationship development intervention, or utilize picture exchange for much better communication.

There’s pretty much nothing to worry about ASD. As long as people work together in helping each other, handling social issues will become smooth and straightforward.

Asperger’s And Autism: On Love, Relationships, And Gender Identity

People diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder may act, think, and feel a bit differently. However, they’re very much capable of maintaining meaningful relationships with friends, family, and a significant other. Although they have a disability, they can positively identify with romance and gender roles.

Romantic Relationships Of “Aspies” And “NTs”

Adults with Asperger’s (Aspie) may have difficulties in navigating the social world. They do not often exhibit signs of empathy and affection. They’re also not very conscious of other people’s emotions. Despite that, many relationships thrive with an Aspie partner.

A person with Asperger’s syndrome is no different from the rest of the normal crowd (neurotypical or NTs). Qualities such as beauty, personality, and intellect are also some of the criteria for attraction in Aspies.

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In some cases, people tend to find a partner who has the qualities they lack. Aspies are known for their awkward social skills. Therefore, Aspies may find a partner who is highly perceptive and can help them interact with people.

However, as a neurotypical partner of an Aspie, it will be a challenge to cope with his or her personality. Although many Aspie–NT couples who are still going strong, there are inevitably a few bumps in the road. Here are some traits you can expect from an Aspie partner:

  1. They Are Not Voluntarily Affectionate

We need to feel loved and secured as human beings. For people with Asperger’s, displaying such affections is not in their personality. Unlike NTs, the Aspie do not share the innate understanding for the need of warmth. For them, usual gestures of love are incomprehensible.

An Aspie in a relationship thinks of saying I love you, holding hands, and hugging as things in a to-do list to soothe their partner’s needs for affection. Sometimes they even need an explicit reminder to do these things.

They do not intend to hurt their partner by withholding these actions. It’s just that they do not feel the need for such displays of affection because they do not comprehend it as normal people do.

  1. They Are Too Independent

People with Asperger’s are not clingy. It would seem that they respect your space and independence for not always demanding to spend time with you. However, the reason they act this way is that they are very self-absorbed and do not pay attention to your interests.

Again, this is not intentional. They’re known to have incredible focus in doing tasks; however, this also implies that they have a narrow and concentrated focus on their self-interests.  This results to unintentionally putting themselves first before their partner.

  1. They Cannot Take Hints

An Aspie has difficulty catching people’s subtle display of emotions. Often they do not recognize body language and sarcasm. This phenomenon is called mind blindness.  Therefore, you should explicitly communicate your feelings and emotions with them.

Probably the best-known person in pop culture with Asperger’s is Sheldon Cooper, a character in a famous sitcom the Big Bang Theory. If you have seen the show, you can observe how unusual Sheldon interacts with his girlfriend in their relationship.

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Sheldon appears to be very self-centered and would even require a written agreement or rules for the relationship. These are surprisingly in detail such as “what to do during a date” and “when to hold hands.” The television show has perhaps exaggerated it a bit, but according to some real-life Aspies, a written set of rules helps them in the relationship. Without it, they feel lost.

Although a person with Asperger’s Syndrome does not portray the ideal qualities of a romantic partner, just like any of us, they can still love. Only they show it a bit differently.

Gender Identity And Expression

Love and romance are one of the many things that we share with those with autism. Moreover, given their unique personalities, these people usually are resolute on their gender orientation. But unlike their NT counterparts, they typically do not identify themselves with non-binary gender identities. In most cases, they would only be heterosexual, gay, or lesbian.

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Regarding gender expression, Aspies are not very much inclined to identify with the constructs for males and females. Instead, they’re more focused on sensory experiences. Therefore, the way they dress and the way they project themselves would only be for comfort and practicality rather than style and fashion.

Some people may question the preferred gender identity of these people because of their disability; however, like in love and romance, they’re capable of determining their sexuality. Also, like the NTs, people with Asperger’s syndrome and autism are also susceptible to gender identity crisis and gender dysmorphia.

Final Thoughts

People diagnosed with Asperger’s and autism may be different from the abled crowd in many ways, but they’re still capable of loving and managing their sexuality.

Even though people in the autism spectrum think, act, and feel a little differently, it does not mean that they’re less capable than NT people. When you have friends like this in your circle, or you’re in a relationship with one, the key is communication to know better how they feel.

It may be difficult to understand them at times, but to keep a healthy relationship with them, it is best to try to put ourselves in their shoes even if they cannot always do the same.

Mental Health 101: What To Do If Someone With Asperger’s Melts Down

Dealing with the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome is undeniably challenging for anyone who has it. Although the condition is high-functioning autism – meaning, a person can typically attend regular school and pass as a regular human being – there are still instances when it makes you stand out in a not-so-good way. For example, you may not understand when someone cracks a joke or react quite well to sarcasm. If you do realize it later, it might embarrass you and knock your confidence level down a notch.

Nevertheless, this particular autism spectrum disorder does not merely affect the mental health of the patients. It changes the psychological well-being of their loved ones too, primarily after witnessing someone with Asperger’s syndrome experience sensory overload. Hence, the latter yells, cries, throws and breaks stuff, and acts violently towards people.

If you are a relative or friend of a person who has the same disorder, you should know what to do when he or she has a meltdown for the sake of your mental health.

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1. Don’t Get In The Way

The first thing you should bear in mind when someone you love breaks down is not to try to hold or hug him or her. Sensory overload is tricky to handle, you see. Even laying a finger on that person might enable his or her fight-or-flight reaction.

2. Avoid Forcing The Individual To Speak

In case your sibling, child, or colleague seems okay one second and then melts down another second, you should not bother to ask “What happened?” You won’t be able to extract a sound answer from this fellow at the moment. If we are honest, your question might even aggravate the condition as it may sound much louder in their head now.

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3. Keep An Eye On The Person

Take note of that fact that all meltdowns can quickly turn into dangerous situations. The individual cannot get a grip on reality due to his or her senses getting overwhelmed, and so it is possible for him or her to self-harm subconsciously. Though it may not happen often, it may still be best not to leave the person alone as a meltdown takes place.

4. Help Your Loved One Remember Coping Mechanisms

Assuming you have been living with an Asperger’s patient for some time now, you likely have an idea of what movements will allow him or her to overcome sensory overload. For instance, vocalizing, scratching, blinking, head-banging, and rocking physically. If you notice that the individual seems to have forgotten any of that, you may offer a subtle reminder without getting in their way still.

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5. Try Not To Feel Negatively When It Happens

Whenever you are in the room when your loved one’s Asperger’s is on attack mode, and he or she starts saying hurtful things, you should try not to let the words get inside your head. It is as if a wayward soul takes over his or her system at this point. He or she may not even remember whatever has been said when the meltdown stops. Thus, you should understand that the person does not mean anything he or she might talk about then.

Final Thoughts

Watching someone that you love deal with meltdowns because of an incurable disorder and being unable to make it stop for him or her may genuinely be unbearable for friends and family members of an Asperger’s patient. However, keep in mind that this person needs you now more than ever to feel as normal as possible. If you don’t take care of your mental health, you cannot help the disabled individual at all.

The Correlation Of Autism And Anxiety

Individuals on autism spectrum receive a clinical diagnosis of anxiety. However, it doesn’t limit the condition there. Children also experience subclinical levels of anxiety that don’t necessarily need a diagnosis. It affects their lives even without noticing any signs and symptoms.

 

Top-Down And Bottom-Up Data Integration

 

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The integration of top-down and bottom-up data is crucial in helping children with autism. The top-down process is where teachers provide parents with a standardized checklist and questionnaires about anxiety symptoms. It allows parents to monitor their children in their respective homes to know how often they show signs of anxiety. The bottom-up data, on the other hand, is the collection of data where teachers evaluate to understand what anxiety looks like to children experiencing it. The top-down and bottom-up data integration helps in getting a more in-depth and fuller description of what anxiety looks like in children with autism.

Anxiety undergoes a lot of description, which is why there’s a need to know its specifications. The development of an anxiety profiling system allows identifying children’s signature over the mental condition. It is called a signature because every child in the autism spectrum suffers from different signs and symptoms. The process allows teachers and parents to know if the symptoms of anxiety will stay the same as children grow of age or it will reveal changes as they cross different educational settings. Though the process may somehow take time, it is proven to show significant results to those who underwent anxiety profiling system.

 

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Understanding Primary Emotions

Understanding the primary emotions of children with autism is an essential factor in helping their developmental growth.  Their fear and anxiety give them a constant sense of doom. So to get a cut-down on the emotional and psychological dilemma, there must be sameness in children’s lives. There should be a predictable and safe routine environment where children can stay away from drastic changes so they can avoid getting freaked out. Though change is an inevitable event and no one knows what could happen, children with autism should get an idea that things will soon happen. It doesn’t have to be precise though. Encouraging a safe environment is enough to grow children with autism into adults who are flexible and adaptable.

 

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Less Anxiety With Visual Support

Visual support creates lesser anxiety for children with autism. With the use of a lot of pictures, it helps them understand and follow things thoroughly. It allows them to know entirely what they have to do every day in school or even at home. Since children with autism do not tend to initiate, visual representation breaks down their expectations and gets them to do each step. However, it is significant to note that every child is different. Therefore, not all visual representation applies to all of them. Depending on how severe the autism spectrum condition is and depending on the rate of their IQs, results may take time.

There is no easy way to teach children with autism anything, so patience is a must. Instead of pushing them to know things, allow them to learn it through themselves. It is essential to understand that these children need support, care, and attention, so the first way to do it is by removing their fear and anxiety out of the way.

Autism: What You Should Know and How You Can Handle It

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A child “on the spectrum” is what some people would refer to a child who is diagnosed with autism. This has also been mentioned in https://www.urgentteam.com/. Autism is not limited to just one particular type of condition. Instead, autistic conditions may vary in challenges that include trouble with social skills, learning disorders, repetitive behaviors and speech and nonverbal communication, to name a few.

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