Nowadays the comorbidities of being autistic and having other mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is more prevalent than ever. With the blending of these comorbidities when something is communicated, it can cause a trigger to the autistic person in the form of unwanted behavior or anxieties.
For years, hearing unwanted opinions, comments or commands many times brought on times of anxiety and at times very challenging behaviors. Because of the latter, I was often called a spoiled little brat because I didn’t get my way. A common myth is that a meltdown and a tantrum are the same, however when this is displayed in autistic people, it is many times used as a segway of communication.
Many times when it is not deemed the appropriate venue or the ability is not present to battle when something is told to us that is what we don’t want to hear, we can sometimes hold it by a technique called autistc masking to prevent the meltdown occurring at that very moment. Instead, autistics will oftentimes wait until they are in their safe space and either have a meltdown or shutdown in order to cope from masking and trying to hold in their true selves so they can be seen in a neurotypical fashion. This is very exhausting for many. As a student in Junior High it was very challenging to navigate the school day as I did not have the proper accommodations while experiencing a host of bullying, I would experience these symptoms. Today it is known as the Coke Can Affect because we put on that mask and act like our neurotypical peers, then as I would enter my parents house at the time, I would explode into anger and frustration, many times directed at my parents.
The same when someone thinks we erupt in anger because they think it is something we don’t want to experience, but rather it is us communicating to them that we as autistics have stored enough frustrations in our volcanic bodies and we have erupted in anger because we are unable to contain anymore of our thoughts and mannerisms to navigate the day, When this occurs our very worst half of our personality can be presented to others and if they are hurt by our anger it can set like triggers and continue the battle to the end of time.
There can be times this can cause contentious behavior in the workplace for autistics because of many times not disclosing and asking for reasonable accommodation to make their working environment manageable for them and getting tasks completed without these necessary tools can present a challenge for all in the environment and oftentimes leads to these meltdowns and eruptions of anger occurring thus making the job retention rate of autistics very low.
Being independent can be said if autistics are not given the communication and coping skills when sharing common space within a housing community. As we have the right to live in our space, many times one who lives in a public housing agreement and doesn’t have in-house janitorial staff can be responsible for the upkeep of common space such as stairwells and laundry areas along with mislaid mail and other items that autistics at times cannot have the skill and knowledge to know these areas must be unkept along with notifying maintenance personnel should something not be in working order. This can at times be directed by neighboirs communicating the need to do things on the autistics part so the neighbor can do their part to keep the areas clean to the owner’s standards.
The environments in the last two paragraphs will be topics in future posts in my blogs on adulting, however learning to graciously accept the things that are difficult to heat can be hard sometimes,but you must do what you can to graciously and cordially accept what is told to you and at least finishing your part, doing was is asked or reaching out for help when necessary.