Considered a 'Unique' Case of Autism - And organisational problems

So, after being pressured by family for a painful amount of time, I'm posting on here.

Firstly, I've been told by many I have some rather unique symptoms of Aspergers'. For example, I don't struggle with social interaction beyond mild social anxiety. After being friends with more than one autistic person, I've begun to notice more and more that I don't suffer from symptoms like other people. In fact, it's at the point where I've had to spend a long time with the university I go to in two weeks and explain everything in fine detail, and every time they made an assumption it was wrong.

And I don't doubt i have aspergers. I am oversensitive to smell and sound (though almost never overwhelmed), my head tends to do its own things and stick me in its obsessive loop and I struggle to 'put away' thoughts. I hope there's someone on this forum who's had a similar experience.

Secondly, I find it impossible to organise. Beyond impossible. I'm getting a dyspraxia assessment soon but to put it simply, sometimes I just don't remember. The spark isn't even there. When I have the moment of thinking on what I need to do, important things just don't come to mind. I can be telling myself every day for a week and remembering to do something and then I'll forget. And every method I've tried to keep organised has turned out bad. The last eight reminders on my phone went wrong in a variety of different and remarkably stupid ways. I forget to take planners around, lose them, never check them, or write in the wrong parts of them again and again until I can't find where I'm meant to be.

Has anyone got any good solutions/band aids to this?

Parents
  • Hello and welcome.

    I think every 'case of autism' is unique. There used to be this category 'PDD-NOS' for diagnosticians to put people in who met some but not all the criteria. In my case (AS diagnosis), I don't have noticeable sensory hyper-sensitivities, which is the main reason to doubt my diagnosis, don't have apparent problems with social interaction (it could be said that I 'mask') but something has stopped me integrating and socially advancing, and it's probably more than lack of self-confidence. I do probably share your problems with organisation, although there are many different possible things that can 'go wrong' with self-management. Here's a good introduction to the idea of 'executive function', some of which might resonate with you:

    https://musingsofanaspie.com/2014/01/07/executive-function-primer-part-1/

    Having said that, there are bound to be people here with characteristics more like you than I have.

    It sounds like control of your attention is one of your differences. ADHD has been suggested for me, although I wonder if it would just be subsumed under being autistic. Actually I wonder if my low mood is a self-regulatory thing that stops me pursuing my obsessions or interests. I do often manage to make a plan for the next hour or so to try to make some progress, and execute much of it before getting distracted. But yes, things go wrong in 'stupid ways'. I would be easy for someone to suggest 'self-sabotage' but that's superstitious to my mind.

    Good habits and routines help, and need practising. They say you have to do something about thirty times before it becomes 'automatic', an unconscious competence. Of course some things are too rare or responsive to become habits. I've just been told organisation is about finding whatever works for you. If you find something that doesn't work, try something else; if you find something that works, do more of it.

    It sounds like you want something simple to help stick to a plan. There's probably an app for it, but I recall the days of a diary and a wristwatch. I think I could probably do with a list of things that seem feasible and a thing that goes 'ping' on the hour to help me check it.

    By the way, you can create more of an 'identity' on these forums by changing your nickname and picture from the anonymous defaults. Just go to the round button up the top right of the screen, then go to 'Profile' and 'Edit profile'.

    We're all 'unique' here, some more than others.

  • I'm the same with meal times. Very variable in time and number. And I've read others here say the same.

    Sorry if I misunderstood, but I mention attention because:

    sometimes I just don't remember. The spark isn't even there. When I have the moment of thinking on what I need to do, important things just don't come to mind.

    Isn't another way of saying that that your attention isn't where in retrospect you would want it to be, on your plan and list of important things?  Do you find your focus is stuck on an interest and you don't notice stuff outside your mental filter and what's happening around you?

    I think some of this may be what researchers call 'prospective memory', being able, ahead of time, to associate 'when I go out the front door' with 'take the rubbish out'. It's definitely distinct from declarative memory (facts) and episodic memory (experience).

    Some of these things can be very hard to describe. I know. I've tried, and in some ways they defy common sense.

    I don't know anyone else with the same issue I have

    Could you try to describe it a bit more?

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