Women in Autism, Research Autism conference, London

I am currently sat in a conference about Women and Autism, set in International Women’s Week.
Being an adult female with autism doesn’t normally bother me. I would go as far as to say I love being me. My autism gives me a perspective on the world that helps me make better sense of things than people around me.
However today I feel my autism.
The conference opened with a welcome by Deepa Korea. Deepa is the Chief Executive of Research Autism, and has an extensive past with public and private bodies.
Professor Terrry Brugha gave an interesting talk about the research he has been leading into identifying autism in the general female population. They began by screening about 7500 randomly assigned households with a questionnaire based on popular autism diagnosis questions. A subset scoring higher than a cutoff were then questioned again with a more targeted questionnaire. The research found that the incidence of autism in the general population as tested with these standard tests does tend to reflect the rates given in clinical settings with regards to per capita and gender ratio.
The second set of speakers were students and staff from the Limpsfield Grange school in Surrey. These strong and smart young girls are fortunate enough to be in a very special school indeed. This school accepts them as they are. They have made a video about being a girl on the spectrum, and how they feel they are different, but equal.
This video and the talk with it perfectly fielded by the young women reduced me to a quivering wreck. I lost all my coping strategies one by one as I contrasted their experiences with my own. Normally I can deal very well with public situations, but as I saw these vibrant, friendly, accepted individuals so content with their school and friendships and so positive about their autism I fell apart.
By the time the break came I was unable to even ask people to move out of the way so I could escape for a smoke. I lost the power to look at people, to articulate, to do anything other than stand frozen, surrounded by a hubbub of autism professionals looking like a scared rabbit looking for a bolt hole. Thankfully a young girl who I later found out was on the spectrum herself identified my issue, and said “excuse me” to create a gap for me. I ran through it to freedom, and only realised what she had done when I reached the quiet outside.
I tried to talk with her and her mum when I came back in, but I totally broke down. No one had ever done that for me before. No one saw, understood, and acted without a second thought.
It’s after lunch now, and several outbursts of quiet tears later, I am coping OK with the other talks.
Sometimes it takes a random act of kindness to reduce you to your core. But it has made such an impact that I will remember this girl for a long long time.

So @patientanon it’s all down to you.

Someone I thought had forgotten about me shared this blog on twitter yesterday. By coincidence I had loaded it up myself for the first time in a long time earlier that same day.
I’ve been going through a strange time. Loss of direction, loss of laptop, loss of income.
What I haven’t lost is my aspergers and the unique chance that gives me to carry on my life almost stress free. I don’t worry about the past, or the future, I can’t change them. But I can change me.
I’m not one for New Years resolutions, those over hyped promises to the world that get swept under the carpet within a few weeks of the New Year, but I do make promises to myself.
Before discovering that @patientanon had shared my blog, I was secretly and quietly googling “weight loss for lazy people”. I don’t want to lose weight by doing hours of exercise, I can’t really because my back is still messed up after a slipped disc knocked other things out of place. I don’t overeat, in fact most days I only eat once a day, and can’t afford to snack.
I am on enough tablets to make me rattle if I jump.
But that’s ok. That’s me. It doesn’t have to be the me I will be, and I’m not unhappy with who I am.
I am a woman in my late thirties, who despite everything got a Masters degree (final assignment sent in from a hospital bed). I am the proud mother of three ASD kids and step mother to two NT girls. We are owned by three fantastic cats. I am overweight, that’s just a fact. I do suffer from depression, but I’m not unhappy.
Ok right at this minute I’m not overwhelmed with happy feelings for the two kids playing on the Wii (bickering and crying in the background doesn’t help me focus on this post at all), I don’t like them right now, but I do love them.
Maybe I should make a promise to myself to blog more. Not that I think anyone reads it, and it appears a lot of my tumblr import posts don’t work properly any more, but I still have lots to say.

Thanks @patientanon. This one’s for you.

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That´ll be the degu…

So we invite our eldest over for Sunday dinner, and think we are going to have a nice relaxing day. (HA!!)
Jay wakes up with the headache from hell, so I force him to stay in bed.
Darling daughter turns up an hour early upset as she´s lost her phone, and her broadbands run out, and all I wanted to do was crawl under the covers.
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Airport musings

So I am sat in an airport in Edinburgh trying to fill my time.

I dropped my son back off for school, and discovered my mate was the pilot. Had words and discovered that I would be able to fly back on the same plane if there were spaces, provided that there was an adult on the other side of security for my son. As he was being met, it seemed promising, and as we were running slightly late as it was, I thought the handover would go simply and easily.
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Here I am.

@asdquefty was first to read yesterdays update, and he would like me to share my thoughts about digital safety.

Do you ever worry about your privacy?

Do you ever worry about your privacy?

He has noticed that I use many services, and that yesterdays photos were location mapped. I will just wait here while you run to my twitter stream. You are looking for the second baby in a box tweet.
It was the first time I have used twitroid to upload piccies, so actually didn’t realise the geotag was there.
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It is nearly upon us.

And no I do not mean Xmas.
I mean the shopping.
We go shopping at about 3am tonight. Thats 3am, on the morning of Xmas Eve.
Our plan is that most people wont be shopping.
Everyone that can be described as NT that we have mentioned our shopping plans to have looked horrified.
This is a good sign.
I am going to try something.
Do not think anyones going to get involved as they never comment here, but worth a go anyway.

Shopping at 3am on Xmas Eve.
a) That would suit me!
b) You are nuts!
c) Why?
d) Have you not done your shopping yet?

Answers in the comments please 🙂