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literally the most confusing thing you can ask me is “how are you?”

i don’t know where on the spectrum from “i’m fine” to “here is my full medical history” you want me go

(via bishiesparkleflash)

So…I need some help. I’m looking for more resources besides this video that discuss alternatives to using functioning labels. Does anyone have any suggestions?


Description and Labeling: A Guide for Everyday People Who Know Me in Real Life

[Note: this is NOT Lynne’s Manifesto Against Labeling. Labels do play an important role—one that is certainly not to be overlooked.]

Describing my disability presents me with more than a few challenges. It is much more than a simple black-and-white. My many diagnoses overlap and blend together; my perspectives change; my ideas about who I am as someone with a disability sometimes differ week by week. My mood is not constant: on some days, I feel highly motivated and ready to tackle the day’s challenges. On others, I find myself wishing I could sleep all day. Many days fall somewhere at the midpoint of that scale—and with that description, I touch only the surface of the issue.

I long ago decided that I don’t need to label some of my challenges as ‘autism issues’ and others as ‘NLD issues.’ ADHD doesn’t need its own category. I simply can’t waste precious time to tease apart each thread in my neurology tapestry and decide whether it is an NLD thread, an autism thread, or an ADHD thread. Rather than using up all of my energy slapping labels onto my difficulties, I have decided to simply acknowledge them, accommodate for them, and move on with my life. 

Labels are necessary for my doctors, and they sometimes help others to understand my struggles, but as I’ve come to realize, they offer little help to me as a person. In my everyday life, I don’t think of myself as an Autistic or an NLDer or and ADHDer, specifically. I choose instead to think of myself as me. I am unique—a fascinating melting pot of strengths and weaknesses.

What are my disabilities, you ask me? My answer is this: get to know me. Talk to me. Become a true friend of mine. At that point, you won’t need any labels. 

I want to make a Tumblr NLD support network.


I am going to make a page on this blog dedicated to a list of actual people with NLD who are willing to talk to others (be that other NLDers/parents/anyone who is interested) about NLD. If you want to be on the list, let me know! :) I will not include you on the list without your express written permission, so it’s important that you reach out to me. 

To those of you who have already liked the post: do you want to be on the list? 

To make this easier, I will say for the future: if you like this post, you are giving me your permission to include you on the list. 


I want to make a Tumblr NLD support network.

I am going to make a page on this blog dedicated to a list of actual people with NLD who are willing to talk to others (be that other NLDers/parents/anyone who is interested) about NLD. If you want to be on the list, let me know! :) I will not include you on the list without your express written permission, so it’s important that you reach out to me. 


Sensory Overload and how to cope.

(click on images to zoom)

Transcriptions for sharing!

Sensory Overload And how to cope

Sensory overload has been found to be associated with disorders such as:

Fibromyalgia (FM)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Autistic spectrum disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)


Sensory overload occurs when one (or more) of the body’s senses experiences over-stimulation from the environment.

Basically it feels like everything is happening at once, and is happening too fast for you to keep up with.

Sensory overload can result from the overstimulation of any of the senses.

Hearing: Loud noise or sound from multiple sources, such as several people talking at once.

Sight:  Bright lights, strobe lights, or environments with lots of movement such as crowds or frequent scene changes on TV.

Smell and taste:  Strong aromas or spicy foods.

Touch:  Tactile sensations such as being touched by another person or the feel of cloth on skin.

Obviously, everyone reacts differently to sensory overload.  Some behavioral examples are:


Angry outbursts


High energy levels

Fidgeting and restlessness

Shutting down

Refuses to interact and participate

Low energy levels


Avoids touching/being touched

Covers eyes around bright lights

Covers ears to close out sounds or voices

Difficulty speaking

Poor eye contact

Muscle tension

Difficulty concentrating

Jumping from task to task without completing

Complains about noises not affecting others

Overly sensitive to sounds/lights/touch

Difficulty with social interactions

There are two different methods to prevent sensory overload: avoidance and setting limits:

Create a more quiet and orderly environment—keeping the noise to a minimum and reducing the sense of clutter.

Rest before big events.

Focus your attention and energy on one thing at a time.

Restrict time spent on various activities.

Select settings to avoid crowds and noise

One may also limit interactions with specific people to help prevent sensory overload.

It is important in situations of sensory overload to calm oneself and return to a normal level.

Remove yourself from the situation.

Deep pressure against the skin combined with proprioceptive input that stimulates the receptors in the joints and ligaments often calms the nervous system.

Reducing sensory input such as eliminating distressing sounds and lowering the lights can help.

Calming, focusing music works for some.

Take an extended rest if a quick break doesn’t relieve the problem.

What if someone you know is experiencing sensory overload?

Recognize the onset of overload.  If they appear to have lost abilities that they usually have, such as forgetting how to speak, this is often a sign of severe overload.

Reduce the noise level.  If they are in a noisy area, offer to guide them to somewhere more quiet.  Give time to process questions and respond, because overload tends to slow processing.  If you can control the noise level, for example by turning off music, do so.

Do not touch or crowd them.  Many people in SO are hypersensitive to touch—being touched or thinking they are about to be touched can worsen the overload.  If they are seated or are a small child, get down to their level instead of looming above them.


Don’t talk more than necessary.  Ask if you need to in order to help, but don’t try to say something reassuring or get them talking about something else.  Speech is sensory input, and can worsen overload.

If they have a jacket, they may want to put it on and put the hood up.  This helps to reduce stimulation, and many people find the weight of a jacket comforting.  If their jacket is not within reach, ask them if they want you to bring it.  A heavy blanket can also help in a similar way.

Don’t react to aggression.  Don’t take it personally.  It is rare for someone who is overloaded to cause serious harm, because they don’t want to hurt you, just get out of the situation.  Aggression often occurs because you tried to touch/restrain/block their escape.


When they have calmed down, be aware that they will often be tired and more susceptible to overload for quite awhile afterwards.  It can take hours or days to fully recover from an episode of sensory overload.  If you can, try to reduce stress occurring later on as well.

If they start self-injuring, you should usually not try to stop them.  Restraint is likely to make their overload worse.  Only intervene if they are doing something that could cause serious injury, such as hard biting or banging their head.  It’s a lot better to deal with self-injury indirectly by lowering overload.


To summarize—Remember the 5 R’s:

Recognize the symptoms of overload.

Remove yourself from the situation.

Reduce the stimulus causing the overload.

Relax your body and calm yourself down.

Rest yourself as you will most likely feel fatigue.

(via autisticwomen)

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