The Diary Of My Mind

A few things about me…

  1. I hate driving. Driving is something that I do to get to work, doctor appointments, and the store, but I hate it. Driving causes me a great deal of anxiety, there is just too much going on around me to be calm. In the back of my mind I am always fearful of getting into a wreck or breaking down on the side of the road.
  2. I hate brushing my teeth. Just the feeling of the bristles going through my mouth gives me the chills. I do brush my teet but wouldn’t if I could get away with not doing it…
  3. I hate Velcro. Just the thought of the sound made when someone pulls apart velcro freaks me out. This was bad when I was a kid who couldn’t tie his own shoes until he was 8. 
  4. I hate having anything on the back of my hands or neck. This is especially true with sticky or oily substances. It freaks me out and I instantly have to stop whatever I am doing and go wash up. 
  5. I hate sunny days. The light is too bright and it gives me an awful headache. So when everyone else is happy about the clear sky, I’m trying to figure out how to work underground for the day.
  6. I love thunderstorms. Nothing on earth is better than listening to a loud thunderstorm as I drift off to sleep. I even slept through a tornado that tore through our backyard once. Storms calm me down incredibly well.
  7. I love anything to do with history, especially the Pre-WWI. I love learning about the napolianic wars, the Vikings, the mayans and aztecs, etc…I also hold a very special place in my heart for pre-history as well.
  8. I love Star Trek. With Spock being my favorite character of all time. I associate a lot with Spock and remember wishing as a child that the vulcans would return and take me home with them. Everyone around me seemed to exist in such an illogical fashion that the vulcans were the only ones possible of being my true family.
  9. I love zombie films. This is my absolute favorite genre of film and I’ve seen about 90% of the zombie films in existence, The original dawn of the dead is my absolute favorite. I think part of my love for these films stems from the idea that the whole world was out to get me as a child. So in my mind, zombies are society and the survivors are those who dare love outside of societies rules. Anyway, I love this genre of movie!
  10. I love Oscar Wilde plays. He does such a great job of pointing out the absurdities of “normal” life and makes fun of it all. I wonder if Wilde was an aspergian? It would explain a whole lot.
  11. I have a love/hate relationship with music. Sometimes I love music and it can calm me, other times it does nothing but overwhelm me and I can’t stand it.
  12. I have a love/hate relationship with friendships. I want friends but I can’t stand having them. Friends are exhausting to me. Always wanting to invite me places, ask me for stuff, and pop in with little warning. This kind of stuff drives me crazy and I really don’t think there is an answer to this issue.
  13. I have a love/hate relationship with deodorant. I wear it, but at the same time I am highly sensitive to fragrance. I’ve actually had my armpits crack and bleed due to using the wrong deoderant. Even now I am likely to forget it at least once per week. It’s annoying!
  14. I have a love/hate relationship with politics. I am absolutely excellent at picking out winners and losers in political campaigns. I knew Donald Trump would win the day he announced. I’ve never supported him but I took a lot of flak and was insulted pretty bad by those on the right who said it was a joke and that there wasn’t a chance he’d win the election, let alone be the nominee. Still waiting on those apologies guys…
  15. I have a love/hate relationship with Ketchup. I love ketchup on French fries, and that’s it. I hate the taste of ketchup in anything else. Just seeing someone dip something in ketchup, outside of French fries, makes me physically ill. It’s weird, but that’s me.

Thank you for reading this post. I love reading and responding to your comments so please, do so below. ūüėé

The Diary Of My Mind

Shut Downs and Emotional Turning Off

Since I was a child, I’ve experienced what is commonly called a shut down. Basically this means I stop talking, get completely quiet and I look completely emotionless. Behind the scenes, in my mind, there is a lot going on. I am generally trying to work through something that requires my complete and total focus.

Things that might cause a shut down

  1. Stress
  2. Anger
  3. Sadness
  4. Problem solving
  5. Being Insulted

The fifth one there is actually a big one. If I’m insulted I almost instantly shut down. Now shut does can lead to a few results. With the other four, I can generally get over them fairly easy with some coping mechanisms I’ve developed over the years. Number one is a bit hard to deal with but removing myself from the situation, even for a few minutes, seems to work fairly well.

Number five though is another story.

When I am insulted my mind rushes and I am faced with several choices,

  • Vacate, it’s not worth getting worked up over.
  • Emotional outburst, often ending with their feelings hurt worse than mine ever were.
  • Turning my emotions completely off.

The third choice there is, I believe, a holdover from all the bullying that I went through as a child. My mind developed a defense system where I can completely turn my emotions off towards a person or a group. If this happens, that person is more or less dead to me.  Eventually I have to deal with the pain of this type of shut down but that can be months or even years into the future. 

I’ve had friends who were fairly close to me, one day they said something that really bothered me, or did something to me in an insulting or mean fashion. I turn off the emotions and then I don’t care if I ever see that person again. Maybe years down the road I’ll remember them but rarely do I feel bad for a friendship ending in this fashion.

For example: My ex used to scream and throw things at me. Usually this would lead to me having a meltdown lasting several days. Eventually, this occurred so frequently that I simply shut off my emotional response to her. We stopped talking and eventually got divorced. A shut down helped lead me away from an abusive relationship. 

People might find my shut downs odd but they have helped me in numerous ways throughout life. The peace that can be found in a completely emotionless experience is therapeutic in a way. Helps me sort or what needs sorting. 

Do you experience anything along these lines? I wonder how prevalent this is as a coping mechanism. Let me know in the comments below,

Eat Me

Eat Me #2: Stores, Stress, Sleep Issues and Storms

For last weeks article, click here.

1.)Stores

I absolutely hate going grocery shopping or any kind of shopping in particular. If I could, I would do all of my shopping on-line. Unfortunately once a week we need to go to the store for food and other items. Jen wasn’t feeling well today, so my daughter and I went to the store on our own. This trip would be even more awkward because our daughter needed a new bra and wasn’t thrilled to be going bra shopping with dad.

So we make our way to the store and it was about three times busier than usual. Already not good but we head on in. We head straight to the section with the girls bras and it is awkward… My daughter picked out one and went to try it on. While she did that I sat there looking at my shoes. Why are the dressing rooms at Wal-Mart always situated directly next to the lingerie? Very Annoying.

Anyway, she found one and we moved on to our other items on the list. Recently, the store we go to updated their entire floor plan, which means nothing is where I remember it being. Being someone who is adverse to chance, this makes shopping even more stressful. I’d go to where I think something should be and then realize I was in the wrong area. It might not seem that bad to most people but to me it is a nightmare.

Lastly, it seemed like everything on our list had someone standing directly in front of it. So I would patiently wait for the person to move on, yet more often than not it seemed like the people were statues just standing there. This drove me absolutely up the wall, I didn’t want to be rude but several times I had to ask people to move so that i could get the item that we came for. Anyway, it’s over, but shopping can definitely Eat ME!

2.)Stress

Today wasn’t as bad as the rest of the week as far as work goes, but the entire week as a whole has been awful. One stressful situation after another. I work in a high stress career, accounting, but generally things don’t hit you left and right. This week though was really bad.

On top of this, many of my old coping mechanisms seem to be working less since my diagnosis. I know that this is psychosomatic but it is very bothersome. The fact that my stimming and quiet moments don’t seem to be working at calming me down has made the days seem to last forever and the stress simply compound. At the moment the only thing that seems to have a calming effect on me is my writing and Star Trek. I’ll go more into Star Trek in a later post, but I’ll only say that the show has an effect on me that almost nothing else does. I’ve watched all of the shows and seasons multiple times but find new things to love each time I watch them.

Anyway, the stress has led me to have some severe stomach issues and headaches. It has been bright and sunny all week which has led to my sensory issues being even worse. As I’ve said many times, I love my brain and I hate my brain, this week I’ve been more along the lines of hating my brain. I’m just glad it’s over and this week can eat me.

3.) Sleep Issues

So I finally got on Ambien which has helped me get to sleep and stay asleep, yet I am no more rested. The doctor and Jennifer believe that I have sleep apnea. So on the 20th of this month i have to go in and do a sleep study. Basically that means that I will go to the hospital, have a bunch of electrodes attached to my body, and be forced to sleep like that so that the specialist can judge whether or not I have Apnea.

In all honesty, I probably do have Apnea but the thought of the test is awful to me, the idea of having a CPAP machine is awful to me, and the whole thing is just plain awful to me. I’ll go through with it and do as the doctors say, but it is not going to be easy on me. I am incredibly stressed about this, How is it that I can’t even sleep right? Anyway, my sleep issues can EAT ME!

4.) Storms

I swear if I see another religious person blaming the severe weather that we have been experiencing nationwide to the wrath of god I will spit. Whether that is the hurricanes, wildfires, or extreme droughts, these folks are completely willing to blame it all on an invisible man, instead of calling it what it actually is, the effects of climate change.

Some people will say they don’t deny that climate change is real only that they don’t believe it is actually caused by man. Well the science is in, it is due to us, grow up or get used to these severe weather patterns. ¬†To continue denying this fact is to leave our children and grandchildren with a worse world to clean up, if they are even able to survive on this planet by that point.

What makes this worse currently is I have two kids that live in Florida. They aren’t expecting to get the full brunt of the storm where they are at but it is still concerning to me. I hope they will stay safe and things remain calm for them throughout the next week. Seeing folks act as if god is doing this because he is pissed off about something, or that this is actually some insidious plot by the government, is incredibly annoying to me.

Science deniers, whether they be religious or conspiracy theorists are doing the world an incredible disservice. It absolutely sickens me that a huge chunk of the American population falls into these two categories. If you do fall into one of these categories, EAT ME!

 

Fiction and Stories

Super Tim Meets The Silent Avenger (An ASD Children’s Story)

The Super Tim series are based around my own experiences as a child, those of my nephews and several friends with children on the Autism Spectrum. I hope you enjoy them.


Tim didn’t much care for school. It wasn’t the lessons or the teacher but he never could quite understand the other kids in his class. Maggie still picked on him and this bugged Tim a great deal. His friend George was nice, but had some tendencies that really bothered Tim. The worst of which Tim found when his mother had George stay over for the night.

It seemed like George had to touch absolutely everything. This was especially bad when they were in Tim’s room. Tim had everything in his room laid out in a very specific way and could tell if anything had been moved. After George had spent the night Tim spent the next week fixing all of the stuff that George had moved. Still George had been the first friend Tim had made and so he decided as long as he kept George out of his room, they’d be ok.

One day at school, Maggie was in a really bad mood. All the way to school she kept yelling at Tim and making fun of him. Even when George spoke up, Maggie didn’t stop. It seemed like nothing was going to stop her that day. Before class started, Maggie had taken Tim’s headphones and had passed them back and forth with another child, Joe. They had laughed and continued this until Miss Marble walked in and put a stop to it.

Class started with Miss Marble saying that a new kid named Sam would be joining the class that day. She wanted everyone to welcome him and make him feel at home. His parents worked at the nearby Air Force Base as mechanics and she said that he had moved three times in the last two years. When Sam entered the class, he sat down in the back row and didn’t make a peep. The one thing that Tim couldn’t get out of his mind was just how big the new kid was. He was huge and reminded Tim of the professional wrestlers that Tim’s dad watched on TV sometimes. “Better steer clear of him,” Sam thought, “I bet he makes Maggie look like nothing.”

Class was interesting. Miss Marble was teaching the class about fossils and had brought in a ton of examples that she had collected on a recent vacation. Tim marveled at every example that was passed around the room. Miss marble even brought in a piece of dinosaur coprolite. When she asked if anyone knew what it was Tim shot his hand in the air.

“Yes, Tim?” Miss Marble said.

“It’s dinosaur poop!” Tim said

“That’s right.” Miss marble responded. Part of the class laughed while the other let out a loud, “Ewwwwwww!”

At recess, Tim sat feeling the wind on his skin. He wondered if Dinosaurs had enjoyed feeling the wind too. He imagined that they had not since they had to spend way too much time trying to find something to eat or keep from being eaten. His mind continued to wander and he failed to notice that Maggie was standing right behind him. A big shove and seconds later Tim felt himself falling to the ground.

Hitting the ground, Tim scraped his knee and hands. His lip began to quiver and his brain began to get stormy.

“Are you going to cry?” Maggie asked “Look everybody, he’s going to cry!”

Just then something covered both Maggie and Tim in a great shadow. They both looked up to see the huge shape of a large boy standing above them. It was the new kid, Sam. He let out a grumble and stepped between Maggie and Tim. He then reached down and helped Tim stand back up.

“What are you doing, don’t you know he’s a weirdo?” Maggie said.

The boy simply let out a growl and gave Maggie a look that chilled her to the bones. ¬†She began to stammer and said that she was only kidding. She didn’t mean anything by it and that if Tim hadn’t been so clumsy he never would have fallen. This caused Sam to let out another growl and he pointed towards the school. Maggie soon ran in the exact direction that Sam had pointed, her lip quivering as she went.

Meanwhile, Tim had managed to pull himself together and patted the dust off his clothes. He looked at Sam who was still pointing at the school watching Maggie run in the other direction.

“Thank you.” Tim said

Sam looked back and smiled.

“Do you want to be friends? Tim asked.

Sam shook his head up and down. This was the beginning of a friendship that would rival all the greatest friendships in history. Tim and Sam were inseparable from that point on. George and Tim were still good friends but Sam was Tim’s best friend.

Sam didn’t say much, in fact he didn’t say anything at all. When Sam wanted something he would point at it. If he really wanted something he might grunt or make an excited noise. For the most part Sam liked to hum, whistle, and laugh. He could remember just about any song he heard and would hum the entire top 40 while he and Tim hung out.

The other thing that Tim liked about Sam was his ability to draw. Sam could draw absolutely anything with incredible talent. Soon the walls of Tim’s room were neatly covered in drawings of Dinosaurs that Sam had made for him. Whenever they hung out, Sam would hum and draw while Tim would show Sam everything that he knew about Dinosaurs and his other interests.

One day while they were sitting in Tim’s room, Tim’s mother brought in a load of laundry. On top of the clean clothes was his cape, freshly cleaned and folded. Sam let out an excited sound and pointed at the cape.

“Do you want to wear it?” Tim said.

Sam nodded yes.

“Ok, but there is something I need to show you first.” Tim told Sam.

Tim walked to his bed and grabbed the paper his mother had written. He unpinned it from the wall and took it over to Sam.

“I’ve never told anyone else this, but I have super powers.” Tim said.

Sam’s eyes got wide and he smiled.

“It’s true! Look!” He then showed Sam the list.

Tim’s Super Powers
1.) Super Hearing
2.) Super Sight
3.) Super Touch
4.) Super Memory
5.) Super Sweet

Sam pointed at the last one on the list and let out a laugh.

“I know, it’s such a mom thing isn’t it. I don’t like that one. Anyway, every superhero needs a sidekick, would you like to be my sidekick, Sam?”

Sam shook his head no.

“You’re right, you would never be a very good sidekick, you’re bigger and stronger than me. Would you like to be my partner?”

Sam nodded yes.

“Okay, you can be my partner but you need a super hero name.” Tim said

Sam watched intently as Tim handed him the cape. Sam then started naming off possible hero names for Sam.

“The Ninja?” Sam shook his head no.
“Dino Dude?” Sam rolled his eyes.
“The Whistler? Sam laughed but shook his head no.

“How about the Silent Avenger?” Tim asked. Sam immediately nodded yes.

Silent Avenger….I like that too! Super Tim and the Silent Avenger!” Tim said. “Can anything stop us?
Sam shook his head no.

Other Stories from the Super Tim series can be found below.

Super Tim Goes to School (An ASD Children’s Story)

Super Tim and the Lost Keys (An ASD Children’s Story)

 

 

 

An Aspie In Iowa

An Aspie In Iowa #2: Stimming and Eye Contact

For last weeks article, click here.

1.) Stimming

This weeks article will address stimming but not specifically what it is. If you are interested in finding out more you can find information on stimming here.

So as a brief synopsis of what Stimming is, it’s repetitive motions or sounds that folks on the spectrum do that can appear as odd or annoying to the outside world. However to people like myself, they are therapeutic, calming, they can also help us focus on and process the information that we are taking in.

When i was a child I would constantly tap on my desk, stand up and spin, rock back and forth as well as flap my hands. All of these things were considered distractions and incredibly frowned on when I was in school. I can remember several times when a teacher might say something along the lines of, “We will continue with the lesson once Matthew sits down and is quiet.” Not being able to continue the lesson meant that recess might be delayed or eliminated altogether. This led to mob justice in the form of my peers and even more bullying than I already experienced.

So through time I forced myself to stop stimming outside of wiggling my toes in my shoes. I would learn later in life that this wasn’t enough and I was actually causing myself a lot of mental harm by not calming and processing in the way that my mind wanted me to. Nothing was more apparent than my hands.

For as long as I can remember my hands have shaken horribly. I’ve actually been checked for Parkinson’s in the past and it was one of the first things that people would point out and question when they met me. The more stressed I would become the worse my hands would shake. It was horribly annoying to me because as the shaking would worsen my ability to type would become nearly impossible, being an accountant, typing is something I have to be able to do.

When I began researching Autism, I came across an article dealing with stimming. It reminded me of all the things I did as a child to calm myself down. So I decided to ¬†do a simple experiment. The next time I noticed the shaking in my hands begin to worsen, I got up from my desk at work, walked to the bathroom, locked the door and flapped them to my heart’s content. The result was immediate. The second I began flapping the shaking began to subside. After a few moments, my hands were as still as anyone else’s. Stimming fixed an issue that I had just lived with and had accepted as incurable for nearly 25 years. Now, anytime they begin to shake a bit, I stim and the shaking goes away.

Some of the other ways that I stim is through certain words. I really don’t know how this works so if someone in the comments could explain it, I would be greatly appreciative. Saying certain words or making certain sounds has a great calming effect on me. One such word is “panda.” I’m a large, 6 foot 2 inch man, with a beard, but if I get stressed and you get close to me, you might hear me repeating the word panda under my breath. I also sometimes get this feeling that I have to say a word or make a noise, when I explained it to my psychiatrist she thought I might be talking about tourettes but eventually that was not a part of my diagnosis. ¬†One of the main noises that i make is a slight clicking noise in the back of my throat. I do this when I am really interested or focused on something.

Other ways I stim is through sensory information. When I am stressed, I love the feel of metal on my face. I have a metal stapler at work that I will press to my cheek if I am really stressed out. I also constantly crack my knuckles, run my fingers through my hair and tap on stuff. Each one of these things helps me in a certain way.

So to parents, please don’t force your children to not stim. If their stimming is something dangerous, such as self biting or hitting, or is interfering with their ability to focus on school work or anything like that, maybe suggest some alternate forms of stimming. Please don’t force them to stop stimming altogether. If they are like me and high enough functioning to do that, it can lead to even more issues with their mental health and even physical symptoms.

2.) Eye Contact

Eye Contact for me is incredibly difficult. I describe it as if I am having the noise of fingernails on chalkboard going through my brain when I am making eye contact. Over time I’ve learned to look at foreheads and teeth in an effort to avoid eye contact and this works for the most part.

However eye contact still bothers me and it’s more in the way that it is seen as normal for the rest of the world. Why is eye contact even seen as a good thing. Look at our primate cousins, eye contact is a sign of agression and something that you avoid unless you are attempting to challenge someone in the group for a higher position. Watch some chimpanzees or gorillas interact and one will be looking down while the more powerful one is standing over. They don’t like eye contact yet we do.

The second thing that makes this so strange is that we are taught not to stare from the earliest age. Staring is considered rude and invasive, but When in a conversation you are supposed to stare at the person directly in the eyes. How does that make any fucking sense?

Here’s the deal, if you are having a conversation with me and you force me to make eye contact, then I won’t be paying attention to anything that is coming out of your mouth. The only thought that will be running through my mind will be, “When is this going to be over, I’m uncomfortable, I want to look away, I hate this!” If you want me to do something correctly, allow me to look away while you speak. I will hear you far better, process what you are saying far better, and get the task done far better if I am just allowed to be myself.

Anyway, i hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Thank you for reading.

The Diary Of My Mind

Discouragement and Self-Doubt

Do you ever get discouraged writing your blog? I had a pretty major set back this week that I don’t want to go into but it really made me question if I should even keep writing anymore? I really enjoy writing but at the same time I constantly fight with self doubt. What do you do when these doubts hit you?

Personally when I have an issue I can’t get it off my mind. It constantly swims around poking it’s head up from time to time. In the past I would have simply given up, but part of this blog is about challenging myself to keep going. Part of growing up not knowing I was autistic, was being told by many people that I was simply dumb or lazy. Understanding myself has helped a lot with this but still these same old doubts pop up from time to time. As i said in another post, sometimes I love how my brain works, other times I hate it.

So what are some of the things that you do when you hit these walls?

Fiction and Stories

Super Tim Goes to School (An ASD Children’s Story)

These stories are based on my own, my nephew, and several friends children. That said they are all based on an ounce of truth. I hope you will enjoy them.


 

Tim Brentwood sat on his porch swing feeling the sun and the wind on his skin. He saw a butterfly pass by and noticed the pretty pattern on the butterfly’s wings. It was a warm summer day and Tim though to himself that it couldn’t get much better than this. However, Tim was scared, at 6 years old Tim’s mother had told him it was time to go to school.

She had told him of all the people he would meet, all the friends he would make, and all the new and cool things that he would learn. A few days earlier, Tim and his mother had visited the school to meet his teacher. Tim’s mom assured him that she was a sweet old lady but Tim saw her as a monster. She seemed too nice, far too sweet to actually be a real person.

As the days grew closer Tim began to get more and more worried. He begged with his mom, “Please don’t make me go to school! I don’t want friends and I already know all I need to!” At night he lay awake scared of all the new things he would be forced to do. ¬†School was a bad idea and if only he could come up with some plan he could save himself the awful experience.

The first day of school came and when his mother went to wake him up, Tim was nowhere to be found. She called out to him and didn’t hear a peep. It took almost ten minutes for her to realize that the pile of blankets in the corner of Tim’s room was a bit too lumpy and that blankets don’t generally breathe.

Tim cried and begged his mom not to make him go, but she bathed him, dressed him, put his backpack on him and then together they waited for the bus to arrive. The bus arrived and Tim’s mother walked him to the door. She kissed him on the head and told him that she would be there when he got home. Tim didn’t believe her, he thought that this was going to be the last day of his life. Nothing had prepared him for something as awful and as overwhelming as school.

He took his seat and almost instantly felt something wet on his neck.

“Bullseye!” Shouted a voice behind him.

Tim felt his neck and came back with a small ball of wet paper, a spit wad.

“Well….aren’t you going to say anything?” The voice from behind him shouted.

Tim turned with tears still in his eyes, “Don’t!’ He shouted as another spit wad hit him between the eyes.

“QUIET DOWN BACK THERE!” Yelled the bus driver.

At the next stop a short round boy got on, he asked Tim if it was ok if he sat there. Tim was far too upset to respond and so the boy sat down.

“My name is George, I like video games!” The short round boy said.

“No point talking to that kid,” shouted the voice from the back “he’s weird or something. Hit em with two spit wads and all he did was cry.”

“Shut up, Maggie.” Said George. “Don’t mind her, she had her braids attached too tight and it just makes her mean.”

That made Tim laugh. The idea of Maggie having her braids attached to her head like some sort of antenna was very funny to Tim.

So do you like video games? Have you ever played Blaster Zone? It’s the best!

“No.” Replied Tim

“Well, some time maybe you can come over and play it with me, I’ll show you all the secrets. I’ve been to the 10th level, even my brother can’t make it to the 10th level.”

Tim wasn’t really interested in games but the fact that George had been able to stop Maggie meant something to him. Before they got off the bus George asked him if they could be friends and Tim agreed. He wasn’t sure that he liked George but protection was something he thought might come in handy at school.

Tim got off the bus and walked through the doors. The bright lights and the sounds of lockers being opened and closed overwhelmed him. He started to cry again but George motioned for him to follow.

“What teacher do you got?” George asked

“Miss Marble” Tim managed to reply.

“Oh, her class is right there. I have Miss Samson, she’s across the hall. Want to sit together at lunch?” George asked

“Ok…” Tim replied

As Tim walked through the door to his classroom, Maggie shoved him.

“Out of my way weirdo!” She said.

Tim didn’t like being called weird. He didn’t think it was very nice and probably something his mom would be very mad about if she knew. Tim decided that he didn’t like Maggie and was going to try his best to stay as far away from her as possible.

Class began and the teacher began talking about something called a roll call. She began saying everyone’s last name and each student said “Here” when she got to their name. Tim’s mind began to wander to a book he had at home that he couldn’t wait to read again. It was all about Dinosaurs, his favorite subject.

“Brentwood.” The teacher said. “Brentwood, Timothy Brentwood.”

Tim was lost in thought, he was thinking about all the teeth that a T-Rex had. How they were used to eat their prey. A few summers back Tim’s dad had brought him home a tooth that was supposed to be from a T-Rex but it was really just plastic. Tim still liked it and it sat on his dresser at home.

“Brentwood,” the teacher once again called out “Tim Brentwood….”TIM!”

This brought Tim out of his thoughts and he replied, “What?”

“Are you here?” The teacher asked.

“I guess…” Replied Tim. The other students began to laugh but Tim didn’t understand why what he had said was funny. He simply went back to his thoughts. A few moments later an absolutely awful thing occurred. A noise, louder than anything Tim had ever heard rang out. It was the school bell but to Tim it was a nightmare. He grabbed his ears and shrieked.

This brought about another series of laughs from his peers and caused the teacher to yell out, “Quiet down everyone!”

“Tim, please come with me.” Miss Marble said “Everyone else, stay quiet.”

“Not even here a day and the weirdo gets taken to the office.” Maggie spoke up.

“That will be quite enough.” Miss Marble said.

Outside the class, Miss Marble asked him if he was ok.

“That noise was really loud, these lights are too bright, and everyone is mean!” Tim said.

“It will be alright…you just come sit by my desk and I will tell you when the bell is about to ring. Ok?” Miss Marble said. So when Tim entered the class he sat down next to Miss Marble and for the rest of the day, before the bell rang, Miss Marble told Tim to cover his ears. She wasn’t the monster that Tim thought, she was actually really nice.

Lunch was loud and Tim had trouble concentrating. George sat down beside him and talked about Blaster Zone the entire time. Soon it was time to head home. He got back on the bus and in a few minutes he was home. His Mom was waiting for him and they walked back into the house.

“Your teacher called me today. She said you had some problems with the noise at school.” His mother said.

“It was awful, but Miss Marble was really nice and she helped me.” Tim told his mother.

His mother took a deep breath and said, “Tim there is something I need to talk to you about.”

“What? Tim asked.

“Tim, we haven’t told you this before, but you have super powers.” His mother said.

“I do?” Tim asked.

“Yes, we didn’t want to tell you until you were old enough that you would only use these powers for good. Would you like to know what they are?

“YES!” Tim yelled

His mother took out a notebook and wrote…

Tim’s Super Powers
1.) Super Hearing
2.) Super Sight
3.) Super Touch
4.) Super Memory
5.) Super Sweet

Tim didn’t like the last one but he guessed it was possible to be super sweet. His mother told him that this is why the lights and the sounds had hurt him today. It also explained why he hated the sweaters that his grandma tried to make him wear at Christmas.

“Now you can only use these powers for good. You promise?” His mom said.

“I promise.” Tim replied.

“Now head up to your room there is a surprise on your bed.” His mother said.

“Tim ran up the stairs and into his room. On the bed there was a cape, the same kind that a super hero would wear and beside them a pair of shaded glasses. Also sitting on the bed was a pair of headphones with a T-Rex on both sides. Tim’s mother walked into the room.

“Every super hero needs a cape.” She said. “And the headphones and glasses will help you control your powers. I’ve talked to your school and they said it is fine for you to wear them while you are there. The cape has to stay home, you must keep your super hero identity a secret.

“I understand! Every hero has a secret identity.” Tim said. “Mom, this mean girl at school called me weird and she shot spit wads at me on the bus.”

“Every hero has villains, it sounds like she might be yours.” “I’ll call and speak to her mother about it. You aren’t weird son, you are super, my super little boy.”

Tim went to bed that night thinking about school. It was bad but not as bad as he had thought it would be. He didn’t like the noise or the lights but George and Miss Marble were nice. He even liked some of the stuff they had taught him. Maybe he would survive school, and with his super powers he knew that he would be far more ready than he was before. He fell asleep looking at his dinosaur book and wearing his T-Rex headphones. The note that Tim’s mother had written was pinned to the wall above his head. ¬†Super heroes, it turns out, need sleep just as much as everyone else.

To continue on to Super Tim’s Next story, click¬†here.

 

Fiction and Stories

Super Tim and the Lost Keys (An ASD Children’s Story)

I’ve often heard that writing a children’s story is one of the hardest things to do. So I thought I might try my hand at it. ¬†I’ll admit that there is a bit of truth to this story. Though some of the details have been changed.


Tim couldn’t wait for the weekend. Saturday was his 8th birthday and his parents had promised him something special. His mother and father had asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday?

Did he want a party with all the kids at school? No.
Did he want the newest video game, the one his friend George couldn’t stop talking about? No.
Did he want a new bike to ride around town on, the one his father had pointed out the last time they had been at the mall? No

What Tim wanted more than anything else was to see the Dinosaurs at the museum. Tim didn’t like to go much of anywhere but he had read about the exhibit a few weeks ago and the thought of all of those dinosaurs in one place thrilled him to no end. There would be a Pterodactyl, a life size model of an Oviraptor, ¬†and all kinds of things from the Cambrian explosion. Those thing were cool but the thing Tim really wanted to see was the T-Rex.

Tim could tell you practically anything you would ever want to know about the T-Rex. He could tell you that their name means “Tyrant Lizard.” He could quote their top speed, 20 miles per hour. It was nothing for people to get into a conversation with Tim about whether or not the T-Rex had feathers, it didn’t. His favorite facts dealt with how even though the T-Rex was big and mean looking it was actually a very good parent, maybe almost as good as his own mommy. So it goes without saying that this exhibit was a must see for the young boy.

Saturday morning arrived and Tim got up, he walked downstairs thinking about the T-Rex he would soon be seeing. ¬†Tim knew that his father had told him they would be leaving at 8:30am on the dot but that didn’t stop him from being extra excited. Looking at the clock in the living room he saw that it was only 7am. So much time to wait before they left that Tim almost thought he wasn’t going to be able to take it.

He grabbed his favorite bowl from the cabinet and poured himself a bowl of cereal. ¬†His mother had marked a line on this bowl to let Tim know exactly how much milk he needed for his bowl, so after adding the milk, Tim sat down and started munching. Soon his father walked into the room and patted Tim on the head, he hated when his Dad did that but his mother had told him it was his Dad’s way of letting him know he loved him, so Tim had decided to let his Dad get away with it from time to time. This morning he barely felt it because the only thing on Tim’s mind was dinosaurs.

“Hey, Goodmorning Timmy,” his dad said, “did you sleep well?”

“Uh huh” was all Tim could say between bites.

Tim’s mother soon walked into the room. “Who is ready for dinosaurs?” She asked.

“Me!” Timmy yelled nearly spitting half a bite of cereal all over the table causing Tim’s mother and father to laugh hysterically. Tim didn’t quite realize why this was so funny but he didn’t care. Today was going to be awesome!

“Honey?” Tim’s father said in a strange way. “Have you seen my keys?”

“Did you check your pants from yesterday?” Tim’s mother responded.

“Yeah, they weren’t there. I was sure I left them in the key cup yesterday but they aren’t there either.”

Tim hadn’t heard this but he did go on red alert when his father said, “If I don’t find them quick we may be late to the museum.”

“LATE!” Tim yelled. Tim hated being late to anything. He believed that if you said you were going to do something at a certain time, you better do it at that time.

“I’m sure the keys will turn up soon. Try not to worry, Tim” His mother tried to reassure him.

Tim was worried though. He remembered a few years back when the keys had gotten lost the last time. It had taken nearly 3 hours to locate them. If it took that long, then they were definitely going to be late. He looked at the clock, 7:30, only one hour before they were supposed to leave. Tim decided that his parents were going to need some help.

See, Tim had super powers. Most of the people around him didn’t know this but he had been born equipped with certain skills. Some of the people that Tim knew didn’t think he had super powers and instead thought he was just weird. Maggie, the mean girl at school had called him weird and he hadn’t liked it, but his mother had assured him that one day his super powers would lead him to do great things.

He ran upstairs and put on his cape. Why? A super hero has to have a cape. He then looked at the checklist on the wall that his mother had made him after Maggie had been mean to him. It said:

Tim’s Super Powers
1.) Super Hearing
2.) Super Sight
3.) Super Touch
4.) Super Memory
5.) Super Sweet

Tim didn’t think the last one should be on there, it was such a mom thing to write, but he accepted it because his father had told him that this was one of the ways his mother showed him she loved him.

He looked at the list and thought to himself. I won’t need the first 3 on that list for this heroic feat but number 4 on the list was just what he needed. He sat and thought about all the places his father had been when he got home. Quickly he began searching the house.

His dad had gotten home at his usual time and had put some stuff down on the table. The keys though, were not there.
He then had sat down in his chair and watched the news. Tim didn’t like the idea of putting his hands into the seat where his dad farted all the time, but dire times call for dire measures. He checked every nook and cranny. Not there…
His dad had then gone out to the garage where he goes to swear and hit the car with his hammer. Mom said he did other stuff but it was loud and Tim never went in there so he wasn’t sure that she was right. No keys were there.
The same thing was said for the backyard where his father had mowed the lawn, The fridge where his father had gotten a soda, and he even looked in the planter that his father killed plants. Really his father had tried to grow many thing but every time he either watered them too much or too little. Anyway no keys were in the planter.

Tim was beginning to get really worried. When he got worried his mind would start to get stormy. That’s how he explained it. Everything would get real bright, the sounds would get really loud and he would feel his body begin to get really hard. Sometimes his mother said he looked like a stick. That made Tim laugh and would help calm him down but at the moment nothing was going to calm him down.

Then something clicked and Tim ran upstairs. He slammed through his parents door causing his father to yell, “No running in the house!” ¬†His mom was putting on make-up. She called it putting on her face, which Tim found very strange since she already had a face to begin with.

“What’s the matter, Tim?” She said.

He didn’t stop to give an answer, he ran past her into his parents bathroom. Tim let out an excited shriek. His mother ran into the bathroom hoping everything was ok and his fathers footsteps could be heard running up the stairs.

“What’s wrong, Honey?” His mother said.

“KEYS!” Tim yelled, holding them up in his hands.

Tim had remembered that his mother often times referred to the master bathroom as his father’s favorite place. Tim didn’t understand this but his mother would always laugh when she said this. All Tim knew was his dad would go in there with a book sometimes and not come back for what seemed like hours. There, beside the toilet, he had found the keys.

“They must have fallen out of my pocket yesterday.” His father said as he entered the room.

“Our little hero.” Tim’s mother said.

They went back downstairs and Tim looked at the clock, 8:25am. He had saved the day. Soon they were in the car and on their way to the museum. He saw the Pterodactyl, the Oviraptor, all of the things from the Cambrian explosion, and best yet. His parents let him spend extra long looking at the T-Rex exhibit. He sat in wonder looking at all of the things they had there. Someone walked past and said, “I thought they had feathers.” Usually Tim would correct them but this time he was just too enthralled by the exhibit.

On the way home, Tim fell asleep. He woke up right as they got home. His mother let him pick the TV show they watched that night, and he got to pick what they ate for dinner. They finished out the day with cake and ice cream.

Tim’s mom tucked him in. She kissed him on the forehead and told him good night. “I always told you that you had super powers. You’re our families super hero.” Tim went to sleep that night and dreamed about dinosaurs. He rode a T-Rex around while wearing his super hero cape. Today had been awesome, but this dream made it even better.

The Diary Of My Mind

Atypical Partial Review

So I haven’t finished the entire first season but I have for the most part enjoyed the show. I do have a couple of criticisms.

First off, the mother is completely unlikable, every other character on the show has some redeeming quality but her. Seriously, could they have made the mother less likable? It seems almost as though this is the purpose of her character. Any time we seem to get a moment that she seems like a decent human being, the next scene is her doing something that absolutely destroys that image. It’s really unnerving.

Secondly, the main character is autistic but they portray him far too often as simply clueless. For example:

In one scene his friend from work says he is going to “get down.” Sam looks down confused. His friend constantly talks about sex, it is completely illogical to me that Sam would not know what get down means having a friend like that. Basically, I understand that they are trying to portray that Sam has trouble with social situations and cues but being in high school he would have picked up on some of these things while growing up.

There have been times where I have really enjoyed the show, and have associated a lot with Sam’s experience. I think though that they have tried to overemphasize the autism to make the mental struggle more easy to understand for neurotypical people that watch it, but it just seems that they have created a show that provides a stereotype of autism and not necessarily a show that provides real information on what it is like to live with Autism.

All in all it’s still a decent show but I can understand why there is such a pushback from the Autism community. I think it will give people an idea that they know what it is like to have autism or what autism is, simply by watching this show. In those respects I believe that the show could be harmful in the long run.

If you are really interested in what life is like with autism. Check out Neurotypical, available on Amazon Prime. There are also some great books on the topic.

For my own personal type of autism, you could read “The Complete Guide to Asperger’s.” It was available on Kindle Unlimited, though I am not sure if that is true now.

Thanks for reading.

Matt

The Diary Of My Mind

The Internet and Communication

I honestly don’t know what I would do without the internet. I remember the very first time I got online. I was around twelve years old and the school had just gotten hooked up with it. A new and wonderful world was opened to me. I could research absolutely any topic that I wanted and learn absolutely anything. ¬†For someone who had read my grandmother’s entire encyclopedia collection, it was quite the experience to find out all that was still out there that I could learn.

However it wasn’t until we got the internet at home that my world was actually completely opened. Chat rooms and message boards opened up a way for me to communicate that was nearly impossible for me in a face to face fashion. To this day I am still far better at expressing myself on-line than I am in any fashion off-line.

This is a point that I want to make. Since starting this blog, I’ve had numerous people tell me how much better I communicate and express my feelings than other people on the spectrum that they personally know. ¬†I appreciate their enjoyment of my writing but at the same time I feel like maybe they are getting the wrong picture. Maybe some day I will make a video of myself speaking and then it will be far easier to understand.

I speak in a very monotone voice, my mannerisms and ways of speaking are broken and when stressed I have a stutter that bothers me greatly. People have called me emotionless and cold my entire life, I don’t tend to get excited in my speaking and many times I have been called boring.

I write this to let you know that the internet has provided me with an ability to speak and communicate that I wouldn’t otherwise have in the outside world. I met the love of my life on-line and most of the friends that I have come through the internet. Conversations on-line are far easier to keep track of, if I ever misunderstand something I can simply go back and read it again. Writing on-line also comes with the wonderful ability to edit what I have said, fix issues that may exist, and re-word things in a way that is far more acceptable for conversation.

So thank you for complimenting my writing skill, it is something that I have worked on a great deal over the years. I love to write and I love to read your comments and e-mails. My only hope is that you don’t see my ease of writing and think that I am far more advanced than those people on the spectrum that you know in the outside world, your friends and your family. I believe if you ask many people who are on the spectrum they will say the same thing as I have about communication and writing on-line versus communication and speaking off-line.

I look forward to your comments and questions. Thank you so much for reading!