Women and Autism – How one woman’s letter to a psychologist finally helped her receive an ASD diagnosis after years of personal invalidation.

[content reblogged]

Seventh Voice


This amazing letter was written by a woman who suspected that she may be on the Autism Spectrum, prior to meeting her psychologist for the first time. Here’s what she had to say.

“Dear Dr L—

I hope in this letter I can give you a more thorough explanation of how I feel, the way these feelings affect me and why I think a diagnosis and continued support would be beneficial to me.

I have an over-active mind and experience high anxiety.

I constantly see things at multiple levels, including thinking processes and analyse my existence, the meaning of life, the meaning of everything continually.

Nothing is taken for granted, simplified, or easy.

Everything is complex.

Being serious and matter-of-fact has caused me many problems and I have been told on numerous occasions that I come across as rude and/or abrupt.

Every year my work progress development…

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Polaroid Z2300 Instant Digital Camera

If you’re on the autistic spectrum and only take photos occasionally, digital photography can be more trouble than it’s worth. All that finicky business of transferring the pictures to your computer, then printing them out on the right kind of printer and paper, etc. The Polaroid Z2300 is an instant camera that gives you the option of printing your pics straight from the camera, or saving them to an SD card for digital storage. The pictures have peel-off adhesive backs, so you can stick them straight into scrapbooks, etc. All-in-all, a neat product for fun photos without the fuss, and also shoots videos. The demo below is from the Home Shopping Network.

New study finds that individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome don’t lack empathy – in fact if anything they empathize too much

[content reblogged] For more on the Intense World Theory, read this interview in Wrong Planet with Kamila and Henry Markram. Their research paper is available here in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Seventh Voice

“A ground-breaking theory suggests people with autism-spectrum disorders such as Asperger’s do not lack empathy – rather, they feel others’ emotions too intensely to cope.”

“People with Asperger’s syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, are often stereotyped as distant loners or robotic geeks. But what if what looks like coldness to the outside world is a response to being overwhelmed by emotion – an excess of empathy, not a lack of it?

This idea resonates with many people suffering from autism-spectrum disorders and their families. It also jibes with the “intense world” theory, a new way of thinking about the nature of autism.

As posited by Henry and Kamila Markram of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, the theory suggests that the fundamental problem in autism-spectrum disorders is not a social deficiency but, rather, a hypersensitivity to experience, which includes an overwhelming fear response.


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Iris Scott: Wonderful Finger Painter

Art therapy is often recommended for autism, as a way to improve coordination, de-stress and express oneself freely. Many autistics may find the use of a paintbrush intimidating and difficult, because of poor fine-muscle control. Washing brushes is also a time-consuming and messy business. Finger painting allows one to use the sense of touch as an additional tool for guiding the hand, and also adds to the tactile pleasure of the experience. Iris Scott is a wonderful finger-painter I came across on YouTube, where she demonstrates her technique through videos. She uses latex gloves, a good idea for keeping the hands clean and smooth. To change colors, she just wipes her gloved hand with a paper towel before dabbing a new shade. She recommends Holbein Aqua Oils paint. Enjoy more videos on her YouTube channel and visit her website for more info.


An Architecture for Autism

As a young architect, Magda Mostafa was given the task of designing an educational centre for autism. She searched the research literature for autistic-friendly design guidelines, and found very little. So she did her own research from the ground up, and published her findings in An Architecture for Autism, the most-downloaded article from the International Journal of Architecture Research for 2012. For more on Magda, check out this interview with her from ArchDaily.