|Photo by Martinak15 on Flickr|
You know the phrase "use your words"? It's not very helpful if you don't HAVE words at that moment, and can invalidate all the very real non-verbal forms of communication. Neurodivergent K has dissected that phrase on Radical Neurodivergence Speaking:
"'Use your words' holds my needs hostage to performance of typicality and says I do not deserve to have my needs met if I cannot make that performance work. That is what you are saying when you tell me to use my words."
Executive dysfunction kinda sucks. It can really get between what you want or need to do, and what you're actually able to get done. Autistic group blog We Are Like Your Child has looked at this, focussing on how it can screw up a student's ability to manage things like homework:
"I had no trouble whatsoever grasping the academic content. It was not a challenge. Getting the work done was, because the attitude was still 'if you're so d*mn smart just do it... what are you stupid or something?'"
The same time I was writing about trying to get a decent night's sleep, there was some research coming out exploring the links between the severity of autistic symptoms and sleep (or the lack thereof). You'll find the spiel here. The research doesn't appear to have looked at sensory dysregulation, which I personally find unfortunate since that's the first and most obvious thing to be affected when I'm not sleeping well, but it's promising to see some research that could lead to something of use and help to autistic people. The idea that we're not at our best when we're sleep-deprived and exhausted is hardly revolutionary, but having some concrete data to support that can only help it be taken seriously.
Speaking of sleeping, before the industrial revolution came along with its artificial lights and associated paraphernalia, people didn't sleep in one eight hour slab. Rather, they'd sleep for three or four hours, wake up for a couple of hours to read, tend the fire, pray, meditate, get it on, or even go visiting, then crash again for another couple of hours shuteye.