Tag Archives: e-book

Monday Morning Musings (8/12)

Doing What I Want Experiment: Week 2

Realizations from week 2:

24/7 self-improvement doesn’t work, or at least it doesn’t work for me. I’ve given myself permission to fall back on old habits occasionally if I’m feeling too vulnerable or uncertain. More on this in a future post because it feels important.

Convenience should not be a major deciding factor for fun activities. Fun or rewarding activities are worth investing extra effort in.

Being open to spontaneity is part of good decision making. “But I always . . .” and “But I never . . .”  thoughts are not.

Being nice to myself is a valid reason for making a decision. I don’t need further justification.

For minor decisions, I don’t have to make the absolute best possible choice, I just have to make a choice I’ll be happy with. It doesn’t matter whether the Mai Tai will make me fractionally happier than the Margarita or I like the blue sweater slightly more than the red one. If I’ll be happy with either choice, I can choose on a whim and be done with it. I don’t have to try to be more happy or as happy as is humanly possible as the result of a decision. Buying a sweater is not the same as buying a car.  Continue reading Monday Morning Musings (8/12)

Monday Morning Musings (8/5)

Doing What I Want Experiment: Week 1

Some reflections from the first week of my “What do I want?” experiment:

The first two nights I dreamt about making decisions. My brain is  uber-serious about this experiment.

Side note: I’ve been having weird disturbing dreams all week. Not sure if that’s related to pushing myself out of my comfort zone with decision making or something else.

Decision making seems to be a multi-step process:

1. realize that a decision is required
2. sense my wants
3. align the wants with possible options for fulfilling them
4. choose among them based on convenience, preference, etc.

. . . okay, clearly more work is needed on the “just feel it” part of decision making

I made two big decisions:

The first was emotionally hard. I was proud of myself because I overrode my instinct to make the other person happy. It took a lot of effort but I felt accomplished when I decided to do what would be best and healthiest for me.

The second was a situation where I would normally have defaulted to making plans based on what the other person was doing, but I overrode that and thought about what I really wanted. The end result is I’m going to be doing something in the fall that I find a little scary but exciting.

I tried setting a 30-second time limit on minor decisions. Meh. I need a better strategy for minor decisions.

When a decision feels frightening, it might be because I don’t have enough information so I should ask for more details.

Funniest moment: The Scientist was rearranging the couch/hassock for TV watching and asked where I like to sit. I replied “however you like it is fine—no, no, wait, wait, in the hole” which he magically understood as “I like to sink into the crack between the cushions so put the hassock where I can do that and still put my feet up comfortably.” The magic of being married forever. Also, look at how I caught myself defaulting to his preference and changed strategies – yay!

Key realization: I’m an adult. I can decide how to use my time. If I’m bored, I can actively choose to do something else. This probably sounds stupid but I’m throwing it out there because it was a revelation to me.  Continue reading Monday Morning Musings (8/5)

Monday Morning Musings (6/10)

E-book Released

I Think I Might Be Autistic: A Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis and Self-Discovery for Adults went live yesterday at Amazon.com. If you have a Prime membership and a Kindle, you can borrow it for free.

Thank you to everyone who helped me refine the cover art last week and cheered me on. That last mile was more difficult than I anticipated.  Now I need to do some promotion so I can get my giveaway idea off the ground. Strangely, I’m really good at promoting other people’s stuff and am probably going to be terrible at promoting my own.

Another Adult ASD Research Study

This week, I received information on two more research studies. If you live to fill out questionnaires, are over 18 and have an ASD diagnosis, read on. Both studies are by being conducted by Kathrine Birt as part of her Doctoral research at Deakin University in Australia. The goal of the studies is to better understand the impact of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses on intimate couple relationship development (in adulthood).

The first is a questionnaire that takes about 20 minutes to complete. To participate, you need to be over 18 and have an ASD diagnosis. You don’t need to currently be in a relationship to be eligible, but if you are in a relationship, you’ll be presented with additional and more detailed questions. (I’ve completed both questionnaires, because I like to be sure I know what I’m sharing information about.) More info about the first study is here.

Study number 2 is for adults with ASD and their intimate partners. Both partners must be over 18 and one must have an ASD diagnosis. The questionnaire for the individual with ASD takes about 30 minutes to complete. After completion, a link is provided for a second (10-15 minute) questionnaire to be completed by that person’s partner. More information about study #2 is here.

Note that for both studies, clicking the “continue to study” button on the first page takes you to a second page with more details about things like the type of information collected, how the information will be used and privacy protections.

Not Quite a Hippity Hop

This is my new exercise ball:


I’ve been using the exercise ball at the gym after my twice-a-week workouts and decided I needed one at home. It’s a fun sensory toy and a good way to stretch and release the tension that I seem to perpetually carry in my upper back and shoulders. Once, a yoga instructor who told me that I carry my negative emotions between my shoulder blades. My slightly less interesting explanation is that I unconsciously put myself in awkward postures that create tension in my body, maybe as a kind of stim. The exercise ball is a good way to consciously check in with my muscles and release the tension so it doesn’t build up into nagging injuries.

Sadly, it doesn’t have a handle so I can’t hop around the living room on it.

Some Girl Stuff

Last week Asparagus Girl wrote a blog post about perimenopause and Asperger’s. Not much has been written about menopause by women on the spectrum so I was excited to see her tackling the subject. The post mainly focuses on mood swings, which should be called mood slingshots or mood boomerangs or something more violent and dangerous and in line with reality.Think PMS on steroids.

I’ve noticed an uptick in meltdowns over the last few years as my hormones become more wacky. I’m definitely more irritable, too, and sometimes I find myself in a strange, unpleasant moods for no obvious reason. There’s other stuff–some that’s TMI even for me–and taken together all of these changes have me wondering if women on the spectrum experience perimenopause differently from typical women. Not necessarily if we have worse symptoms, but if our funky brain wiring creates unexpected side effects of the hormone fluctuations that precede menopause.

Predictably, this isn’t any substantial research on autism and menopause. Like a lot of aspects of being an autistic adult, I’m finding the best source of information is other women who are going through or have done through the process already.

Monday Morning Musings (6/3)

Yale Autism Seminar Video Series

I’ve been watching the Yale Autism Seminar video series (available free from iTunesU). It’s advertised as the only autism-specific college course and is basically a chance for you to sit in on the lecture portion of the course as it was given at Yale a couple of years ago. The videos cover a wide range of topics, with a strong focus on childhood autism. Each video is a 60-90 minute lecture on a single topic. A few of the lecturers include videos or other visual media to illustrate key points, but generally think “text-heavy Powerpoint presentation” for the lecture format.

Because each topic is covered by a different specialist, the quality of the lectures varies. I especially liked “Communication in Autism” by Dr. Rhea Paul. It was packed with information about how children develop language from birth through adolescence. I’ve also enjoyed Dr. Ami Klin’s presentations.

Be forewarned that there is triggery content in most episodes–not so much the factual information but the language that many of the lecturers use and sometimes their attitudes toward autistic people. I consider myself pretty resilient to triggery content but I can’t watch more than one (and sometimes only half) every few days. It’s eye-opening to see how professionals who work with autistic people view autistic people.

Not Very Neanderthal

Back in March I spit in a little tube and sent it off to 23andme to get my DNA genotyped. Last week, I finally received the results. The biggest surprise is that my body doesn’t make the lactase enzyme. I guess I’m lactose intolerant but didn’t know it? My 40s are turning out to be a banner decade for stuff like that. I also have an elevated risk for Type II diabetes. That’s good to know, because I can actually do something about it. Not so much on the elevated risk of Alzheimer’s or restless leg syndrome.

There are some fun facts among the results: I can blame my higher than average caffeine consumption on my genes and I have a significantly lower than average percentage of Neanderthal DNA (in the 8th percentile). I never put much stock in the aspie-Neanderthal theory, but I gotta admit I was curious.

I Made a Thing

I’ve been putting my Adult ASD Diagnosis series together into e-book format. This is what I have for a cover design at the moment. Yeah? No?


I’ve added about 5,000 words to what’s been posted here on the website: primarily background material about ASD and the DSM-V criteria plus a big list of questions I developed to help people identify autistic traits in themselves. My main goal in making it into an e-book is reaching a wider audience. When I first went looking for information about ASD, I went to Amazon.com and did some web searches. Neither of those was very helpful. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover the blogs of autistic adults until later.

The material that’s posted on the blog will stay, so no worries about anything disappearing. I’m also hoping that I can use the proceeds from the book to do some giveaways here. I thought about donating to an autism-related charity but then I thought “hey, I know plenty of autistic people!” and wouldn’t it be better to do a giveaway of something like a weighted blanket to an autistic person who will directly benefit from it. I have no idea how this is going to work, but that’s my dream outcome.

ETA: I accidentally fell way behind on bringing over the survey replies from Survey Monkey for the final survey ! Executive Function fail.  I’m so sorry and am in the process of getting caught up. There are about 20 additional responses that I will post this morning.