16 October 2008


Transitions can be difficult.

Especially when you are sick when making them.

I had to make a trip to the doctor by bus, and forgot that you have to pull the thing to make it stop. So I just stood up and started to walk out, when the bus was moving away!

I was falling back and grabbed onto a seat, and finally grasped onto a string to pull, though the bus driver seemed mad at me, saying that "it's not an automatic stop there". Well it's not that I thought that it was an automatic stop, it was that I forgot that you had to pull anything at the stop to begin with!

I knew that autistic people can have difficulty generalizing skills to different places, but I didn't think that I had a difficulty with this. Sure, I have difficulty navigating new places I've never been, but I usually think of the rules as something that would translate well from one situation to the other.

But that's why, just because someone has demonstrated being able to do something once, doesn't mean that if they aren't doing it now that they're just not trying hard enough. Even if the same person was able to generalize across situations before. And I'm pretty sure that I'm going to generalize some skill or other to some other situation in the future. Would that suddenly make the incident at the bus "not real"? An exception (even if there were multiple examples like this)?

My AlphaSmart hasn't been working, most likely due to a malfunctioning battery, so we need to get a new one. So I brought a pen and paper. The nurse asked if I was listening to music at one point, because she was saying and doing so many things I had to keep track of, and I had to make sure she used the not-auto-matic blood pressure device, which I asked just in time. Then she asked if I could hear her or if anybody was there.

I've been working on alternatives to self-injury (which is not because of being depressed, which I am not - it's because I am frustrated), and I like sewing a lot, but the main problem is that it's not immediate enough - I have a lot of physical energy that needs to go NOW. But I do like the calming place that sewing gets me to, whereas things like hitting a pillow or stomping release some of the energy, but the tension is still there. Perhaps I will try combining them, hitting some external, inanimate object instead of myself or other people or other people's property, something immediate that just releases the frustration, then transition from that into something calming like sewing.

Writing the musical Aspielicious still. Plot and characters mostly fleshed out, working on songs a bit more now, getting to the heart of the matter.


abfh said...

Martial arts is a good way to release physical tension while also having calming effects. When you do punches and kicks, it's done in a very repetitive and ritualistic way.

Or perhaps yoga, if you're looking for something that is more on the calming side, but still involves physical activity.

Halo said...

Hi, I came across your blog when browsing Autism Hub. The word 'Transitions' stuck out to me. I've just posted about my autistic daughter and her extreme fear of moving from room to room etc. And have been told it could be transition problem.

geosaru said...

When I was little, I had trouble recognizing and navigating places (still do). So maybe the unfamiliarity?

When I was about 6, and we moved to a new house, and I was terrified of taking a bath because of the new bathtub. It was NOT "my bathtub".

Claire said...

This is an off-topic comment, but I just ran across an article that might interest you: Choice and disability