Article written by Accalia Baronets.
So you want to play a character that has Asperger Syndrome/High Function Autism eh?
Well then this article is for you.
Continue reading as I take you on a little trip into my world. I have Asperger Syndrome myself and it irks me when I see people portray it poorly.
1. This is what the world sounds like: https://youtu.be/r7we6ixNkDk
Remember how the world sounds to me? I hear that everyday.
I cannot filter the world out. The world is a scary place and I constantly feel scared even though there’s nothing to be afraid of.
A) Sheer Panic
Imagine that you’re being chased by a bear. How would that make you feel? You’d be very afraid wouldn’t you? Now take away the bear, but keep the feeling. Anxiety shows up without warning and often this is the first part of an attack.
B) Irrational Thoughts
Often times when I’m having an anxiety attack I often have thoughts that are completely irrational.
Stimming is self-stimulatory behavior. In other words Stimming is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or objects.
Common examples include: hand flapping, making noises, twirling hair, etc.
When do Autistic people stim?
All the time!
Feeling happy? Stim. Feeling sad? Stim. Feeling scared? Stim. Feeling anxious stim. It is most common with anxiety attacks.
Imagine having all of your senses on overdrive. They’re all muddled into one. Imagine walking into a room and not being able to see because the florescent lights are blinding you. Imagine hearing every single noise in the world at once without a way to filter it out. Imagine trying to communicate only to fail because you don’t understand social cues. Imagine every single sound in the world being played at the same volume all day every day.
You’re having sensory overload. You just want to scream, so you do. You have no control over your body. You want to destroy something. You may even feel angry. You might even cry.
You might even lash out.
This is what’s called a meltdown. Usually seen in children, but adults can get meltdowns too.
You’re having sensory overload. You’re so overwhelmed that all your senses shut down. Your mind has shut down. You have no access to the outside world. You can’t hear anything at all, so you can’t communicate with anyone. Your hands don’t want to move. Your legs feel like jelly. You want to scream, but you can’t. You want to speak but you can’t. You’re trapped in your body.
C How long does a meltdown last?
The meltdown will continue to happen until I am out of the environment that triggered it in the first place.
D) How long does a shutdown last?
This is where it gets complicated.
Shutdowns can last up to at least a week.
3. Panic Attacks
Your heart starts to beat very rapidly. Your heart feels heavy. Your throat feels tight, and you feel like you can’t breathe. Irrational thoughts start to play in your mind. You start to hyperventilate. You’re afraid, very afraid. You feel like you’re going to pass out. Who am I? You wonder. Your hands start to shake.
E) What causes panic attacks?
Anything and everything can set me off! Such as: making decisions, having to socialize, certain smells, certain sounds, etc.
I am a very socially awkward person. Why wouldn’t I be when everything I say is twisted into something I didn’t say?
There are so many social rules that I have to remember to use around neurotypicals that aren’t in the autistic world.
- When a neurotypical asks you to be honest DON’T be honest. They’ll get mad at you.
- Not saying what they mean. Why do people insist on using idioms.
Saying “It’s raining cats and dogs” makes no sense.
Why can’t you just say what you mean without me having to encode what you’re saying?
- Body language. Autistic people don’t need eye contact in order to communicate. Eye contact HURTS. It feels like my eyes are on fire when I try to maintain eye contact.
Lack of fine motor skills
I have little to no motor skills. This makes it difficult to do certain tasks by myself.
I HATE idioms! When you say “It’s raining cats and dogs outside” I’m expecting it to actually be raining cats and dogs from the sky, not water.
I don’t like to be touched. Only touch me when I ask you to okay?
Change is NOT a good thing
I HATE changes in routine. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
I am still learning social skills. While they may be common sense to you, they’re not to me.
Article written for us by Accalia Baronets