Asperger's Syndrome, Autism, books, DAMP, He Was Weird, mental health, ticks
I’ve just return from a three day client holiday as part of my job working with adults with Autism. For the purpose of this post and any future posts I write involving these two clients, I shall refer to them as Henry and Henrietta. Note: Henrietta is the only female service user with the company and while that has never been a problem with me, some of my female colleagues have born the brunt of her outbursts due to her Autistic needs. However, the idea for today’s post comes as a result of an observation on Henry.
One great thing about taking these two on holiday is that most activities usually work out for both of them. If any planned activity involves a fairly long ride in the car, Henry is happy and as for Henrietta, if the end of the journey results in a stop at a cafe so she can have a hot drink, then she is happy. This formula worked very well throughout the three days.
My observation came today as we were planning to make our return. While eating breakfast at a local supermarket restaurant, Henry, out of the blue, stated that he wanted to go to the local Marks and Spencer’s. I explained to him that as we were heading home and going there would mean backtracking on ourselves. I also told him that we could stop at a better Mark’s and Spencer on the way home. For all my reasoning, Henry kept repeating that he wanted to go to the local Marks and Spencer, it seemed as if his mind was stuck. In the end, after our breakfasts were finished, we all just got in the car and headed back. I expected some sort of kick off from Henry but he didn’t. We did stop and go to the bigger store and this made Henry content.
What Henry did is not out of the ordinary when it comes to people with Autism. When they get a certain idea in their minds, that mindset is stuck and there is nothing that is going to alter it. It is as if someone has hit the pause or repeat button inside their minds. I know this for a fact because there were times in my life where my mind got stuck. Unfortunately, people handled it the wrong way. Usually by belittling me or even threats of violence instead of, like in the case of Henry, and I’m not patting myself on the back here, patience and understanding.
Shameless link to “He Was Weird”: There were a couple of minor instances in the story where this has happened although I don’t know if I convey it well enough. My experiences with the teacher whom I based the Miss Erichetti character on was the worst in this realm and her way of dealing with it was to humiliate me in front of the class. Even more so than the character does to Mark in the story.
People with Autism who experience this aren’t being stupid or anything like it. It’s a tick which inside their mind which causes it to stick. When it happens, what is needed is patience and understanding.
To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Was-Weird-Publisher-Generation-Publishing/dp/B00SLVHRFG/ref=sr_1_1?crid=36I8I1G32U0R4&keywords=he+was+weird&qid=1679430831&s=books&sprefix=he+was+%2Cstripbooks%2C148&sr=1-1
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