Post autism diagnosis, and I’m still working through it, trying to get to grips with my symptoms. Below is the autism model that my consultant says is relevant to me.
Some of the information is taken from the copy letter from my neurologist, explaining my particular brain damage, which I gave to my autism specialist. My autism specialist goes on to explain in more detail my strengths and difficulties that have identified me as being on the autism spectrum.
Unusual Sensory Experiences
More than nine out of ten people with autism are thought to experience their senses differently to those without autism. These differences usually affect more than one of the senses and include over and/or under sensitivities to hearing, smell, touch, taste and sight.
If too much information is presented, it can overload the senses. This describes a disorder of brain function which affects emotion, learning ability, self-control and memory and which unfolds as the individual grows.
Neurodevelopmental Model of Autism
The brain damage in the right frontal lobe at birth has made me becoming autistic more likely, brought about through cerebral palsy.
This model of autism is relevant [to me] as it outlines that the parietal and temporal lobes part of the brain (that is affected) may process much more information than a person without autism, but processing too much information can lead to delayed sensory processing such as being slow to find objects in a cluttered environment.
In contrast, with people with autism, the ability of the frontal lobe to function when stressed is often impaired, leading to problems with short-term memory, switching tasks, reorganising oneself in response to sudden changes and understanding others.
It typically modulates emotion and attention, preventing emotions getting too high or too low, so that they’re more balanced. This can lead to a pattern of ‘hyper-focusing’ on a particular interest, or difficulties when it comes to concentrating on mundane tasks.
I am irritated that some of my struggles didn’t have to be struggles, but I am also grateful that finally I have managed to bring answers to symptoms I never knew I officially had.