Monday Morning Musings (5-20)

This might be a new regular or occasional feature. How’s that for a commitment? There are a lot of little things that come up during the week that I’d like to share but they’re too small to make a proper post about. Instead, I’m going to roll them all up into one hot mess of a post on Mondays.

News from the Melatonin Front

I accidentally bought 3 mg melatonin tablets rather than my usual 5 mg tablets. Cue three nights of bizarre dreams before I realized my mistake (followed by a frantic midweek trip to Target). Yikes. Now I see why some people can’t take melatonin. I didn’t have nightmares but I did have some freaky dreams and woke up feeling like the night had been about a week long.

Hey Target, think you could possibly make these bottles look anymore alike?
Hey Target, think you could possibly make these bottles look any more alike?

Research on Using the Internet as a Communication Medium

Amy Woodham, a masters student in psychology in the UK is doing a study on how women with Aspergers and High Functioning (ack!) Autism use the internet for communication. It’s a short, mostly multiple choice survey that took me about 15 minutes to complete. To participate, you need to be a female over the age of 18 with an official diagnosis of AS or HFA (I know that rules a bunch of you out, sorry). If you’re interested, you can find details here.

**Updated to add that you’re welcome to participate in the study if you are self-diagnosed/suspected AS/HFA. See the comments for the source of this additional information.

A-dar is an Actual Thing

I live next to an elementary school now. It has a giant playground with a forest of colorful plastic playground equipment, as playgrounds do these days. Last Tuesday when I took the dog out for our midday constitutional, I saw just one girl on the playground. She was walking around the paved play area, making loud vocalizations while looking at the numbers and shapes painted on the ground (for playing hopscotch and such). There were four adults nearby, chatting and paying no mind to girl’s unusual behavior.

“Wow,” I thought, “best recess ever.”

As I rounded the corner of the playground and headed out into the nearby field, I noticed another girl, hunched over at the end of a slide, scraping up and sifting through the bark mulch. Then a boy, kneeling under another slide, doing something in the dirt I couldn’t make out. Oh, and a second boy, sitting in the middle of yet another slide, flapping his hands, which were hidden in his shirt sleeves.

This seriously looked like the best recess ever to me. ย As I walked by the fence, feeling happy for these kids who were getting to whatever they damn well pleased on the playground, the flappy boy slid down the slide and ran over to the chain link fence to watch me. I waved. He licked the fence.

My tribe. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cool New Comic Series on Tumblr

If you haven’t seen Par-la-fenetre’s web comics about being autistic, check them out. They make me smile and sometimes they’re like a punch in the gut. In a good way, of course. I especially like the one about breaking routines and the one that started it all.

Got Something to Share?

This would be even more fun if you all had things to share too. What’s going on with your week? Find anything new or exciting or interesting you want to tell everyone about? Could be ASD-related or not. I have no idea how this might work, except that we should do what makes us happy.

24 thoughts on “Monday Morning Musings (5-20)”

  1. Belated welcome back! And thanks for the link to the webcomic and the part about the flappy little boy. I enjoyed that very much.

    I’ll have you know that I once attempted to retrieve my ball from under a swing that was in use. I thought I could get under it, get the ball and get out quickly enough. And that is how I lost my 2 front teeth.

    1. Oh ouch! Were they baby teeth or permanent teeth?

      Thank you for the welcome back. I’m planning to post something of substance later this week – just need to finish writing it first. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I enjoyed these snippets/bobbits.
    I confess I tried to do that survey and abandoned it. Too many assumptions in some of the questions and the typos and grammatical errors got to me too (ahem, I know my problem!). Might have to try again later when I’m more relaxed ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks a lot for the links…especially the story about the playground, we live next to a school too, and I like it.
    You always offer me something new, it delights me – thank you.

    1. The survey. I had some issues with it too (maybe you could tell from my description of it :-/ ), but also want to support research about autistic adults (especially women!) because there’s so little getting done in general. *sigh*

      I’m enjoying my new apartment next to the school. It’s in a city-ish location and I like the ebb and flow of people going about their business outside my window all day.

      Glad you enjoyed this mish mash of things. I never know which of my brainstorms will work and which will fall flat. They all seem like such awesome ideas when I hatch them. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I forgot to say, don’t know if you’ve seen it, but something I really enjoyed watching this week was a TEDtalk by Jay Silver – his enthusiasm and sheer joy with what he does helped me feel great about being joyful, too…

        1. Thank you for sharing that video! His enthusiasm is definitely contagious. ๐Ÿ™‚ My mouth literally dropped open when he started doing the demos with piano circuit. Whoa.

      2. Hi, regarding the survey that Amy is conducting – I asked her whether she wanted me to fill it out even though I do not have a formal diagnosis, and she said, “Yes.” So I did fill it out. Apparently, she is going to separate self identified and formally diagnosed when she contacts people further – I suppose she didn’t think the issue through completely when she set up the survey initially. So if anyone is certain that they are Aspie, but don’t have formal diagnosis – do fill out the survey!

        1. Oh, and she just asked me to let people know that if they leave their email at the end then when she contacts them she will confirm whether they are formally diagnosed or self identified. ๐Ÿ™‚

        2. Thank you for the additional info! It’s rare that reasearchers are interested in self-diagnosed/suspected autistic adults so that’s great to know. If I remember correctly, I included my email so hopefully I’ll get to participate in whatever the additional portion of the research is.

  3. It is moving week for us, ending a year away from our home to spend time with family from whom we are usually separated by 900ish miles. It has been a wonderful year, and this week is filled with many emotions. Over the weekend we had a last play date at a park with our preK son’s best friend from this year. I commented to my NT wife that I could not tell the difference between the NT kids and the ND kids. Surely at least one of the many kids enjoying the wonderful afternoon was in some way ND, but they were all just having fun and they all just blended together to me.

    1. I hope your move goes smoothly and safely. Change is always so hard to process.

      I think what you say is true of most playgrounds–there must be a bunch of ND kids, diagnosed or not, blending in with the NT kids. My guess is that the recess I glimpsed last week was for kids who might regular recess too stressful or maybe it was just four classroom aides creating an outdoor break time for their four ND charges. I have no idea but the kids looked like they were really into it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Good post. When you wrote about the Best Recess Ever and called those children, ‘my tribe,’ well I smiled and fell in love a bit.

  5. I felt a sense of loss when I read about the flappy boy: you see that used to be me but I stopped as a result of teasing and now I miss the ability to spontaneously express myself in that way. Enough pathos ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ve got to thank you for the link to Par la fenรชtre: how well he describes aspects of autism with a touch of humor.

    1. They are wonderfully whimsical comics. It was love at first sight for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I lost my flap as a child and it’s a rare thing now but I’m trying to reconnect to that side of myself. Maybe it’s not too late for us to recapture some of that spontaneity?

  6. So glad to see Par la fenรชtre’s webcomics getting love, they deserve more attention ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh and FYI, ‘a-dar’ is often used to mean ‘gaydar but for asexuals’. I’ve seen ‘autdar’ used for the ability to spot autistic people before though.

      I hope you keep up these Monday morning posts, they remind me of what I liked about LiveJournal back in the day ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Oops. Thank you for telling me that it has an established usage.

        I think this Monday thing has some potential. I already have a couple of notes for next week so I think it’s something I can sustain on a semi-regular basis.

      1. I’ve mostly moved away from using Tumblr because the activist parts I was previously involved in had a tendency to attack people in mobs in the name of ‘social justice’ and ‘call outs’ and I found it increasingly uncomfortable and counterproductive.

        I should have a good clear out of who I follow on there and just use it for finding and sharing art I love though ๐Ÿ™‚

        I’m actually working on my own illustrated autism comicy series at the moment, but due to executive function, my busy life and perfectionism, so far I just have a domain name and some non-illustrated blog posts

        1. I ruthlessly curate my Tumblr. I follow a few people who post advocacy stuff but mostly I follow things that I find pleasing like thingsorganizedneatly, birdcagewalk and fuckyeahabandonedplaces.

          I didn’t know that you’re an artist! I’m looking forward to your illustrated series when you get to posting it. I added your blog to my reader so I won’t miss it.

  7. The comics were great. I’ve always wondered if my nail biting was a form of stimming. I didn’t see it referenced as often as flapping, which I guess I sort of do, but I’m a serious nail biter, especially when I get stressed.

    1. I love the ABCs of stimming series. ๐Ÿ™‚ I do think nail biting can be a form of stimming, although it seems like it’s a very common thing among both NT and ND individuals.

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