No matter what age you are, most people inherently feel the need to belong to something and to be accepted by society, and the same goes for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, in our case, this tends to be a little bit harder, so we tend to rely on a coping mechanism called “social masking” or camouflaging in order to keep up appearances. This can be emotionally and mentally exhausting for us, but more often than not, we feel that it is necessary in order to blend in with our colleagues and friends. Another coping mechanism that we also use is imitation, and I believe that this one is more prevalent in the teenage and young adult years, especially if you are still figuring out and finding your true self. In this post, I hope to explain both what camouflaging or social masking and what imitation is when it comes to being on the spectrum, and I hope that you will be able to glean some insight as I also reflect on my own experiences with it.
Whether you are part of the entourage or not, weddings are always beautiful and wonderful, from the ceremony all the way to the reception. Aside from weddings being wonderful and joyous celebrations of love, weddings also sometimes end up being mini-reunions, especially if you have friends in common. Of course, there are some occasions in which you might not no anyone there at all save for one or two people. Nevertheless, for a high functioning autistic, preparing to attend a wedding and even attending the wedding itself can cause a lot of anxiety and nervousness- especially when you think of how much you also have to prepare as a guest, the anxiety of being social, and the sensory stimulation you might receive during the day itself. However, just like any situation, these things can be survived if you know what to do, and thanks to a recent wedding I attended, I have come up with a few tips that might help you before, during and after the event.
Everybody, from time to time, has particular moments in their lives in which they have no motivation or drive to do anything at all. Sometimes, it is caused by too much stress; and other times, it is accompanied by depression or waves of despair. Both neurotypicals and those on the spectrum experience these moments, but I do think that in some ways, that having no motivation and giving into despair hits us harder, and that we have more episodes in which this happens. So, in line with this, I decided to compile a list of tips on how I cope with those particular moments.
No man is an island, and we all gravitate towards others who have the same interests that we do, or those we get along with. Along the way, as we get older, we both lose and gain friends, in different stages in our lives, but in the end, you know that there will be a handful of people whom you know will have your back all the time, and that you have their backs as well. For most people, making friends and maintaining these relationships is easy, however, for people on the spectrum, both making friends and maintaining them is quite hard.