• Understanding Autism from the Inside

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High Functioning My Ass-perger’s! Part I: Sensory Issues

Do other Mom’s with Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulty with everyday household chores?

Sometimes I get so tired of feeling like I should just be able to do things that I cannot seem to do!  If all the difficulties aren’t enough, my extreme sensory issues have to be at the top of my list of worst things I can say about my Asperger’s.

Super-powered Sensitives – Interfere with daily household chores

I don’t know how many of you experience sensitivities, but I know that many of us do.  I wonder how bad it is for others. For me, all my senses are effected! We joke around in my house that my hearing, and sense of smell are my super powers!   I can sniff out any bad smell, even if no-one else can smell it.  I can recreate many recipes just by tasting them once, or by smelling it and recreating the taste by smell.  I can literally taste what I smell.  In these instances, yes–they are my super powers.  But in a house full of three boys, smelly socks, dirty diapers, over-flowing trash cans, and a dang dog who has peed on my floor twice in two days, it is an absolute nightmare! Try tasting those smells!

To make things worse, a smell immediately triggers my gag reflex, and if I get too close, the barf is not too far behind.  Then of course I can’t get near to that enough to clean it without the cycle happening all over again.  Talking about feeling like a little kid!  I am an adult damn it and should be able to clean this mess!

Last night, I was so exhausted that I passed out at 7 p.m.!  Usually I have such severe insomnia that I only sleep a few hours at a time, if I am lucky.  So when hubby saw me passed out, he let me sleep.  I woke around 10pm, took a 5mg dose of melatonin, and went back to bed.  Miraculously I slept until 6 am!  Many times when I get this much sleep my sensitivities are much calmer–not so today.

I realized that noise causes pain, smells make me sick, and putting them together makes me irritable and angry. So when I woke this morning to a screaming baby, who quiet literally screamed for two hours straight for no apparent reason, I knew this day was heading south already.

I managed to get to the kitchen where hubby poured me coffee at 6:10 before he left for work. Trying to retrieve my coffee, I slid, nearly busted my butt, which is how I learned that the dog had peed on  my kitchen floor! Deep breaths… After one sip of coffee, I went back to the bedroom to retrieve the baby, get dressed, and get little guy up for school.

By the time I made it back to my coffee in the kitchen, I’d forgotten about the dog’s mess and slipped again.  When I reached for the paper towels to begin to clean the disaster area, I discovered we were all out so I had to use a dish towel (now in the trash) to clean up the floor.  No time to mop–got to the to school! Opened the cabinet to grab my Adderall to stop my brain from scattering in a hundred directions at one time, but as you can probably guess by now it wasn’t there.

I remembered that I left the Rx on the counter last night still in its little white bag from the pharmacy, but that too was not there! Hubby had cleaned up the kitchen and dishes last night so he must know where it is.

I called him; he didn’t remember seeing the bag and suggested maybe he tossed it in the trash by accident and luckily for me it hadn’t been taken out yet! No-way I am sticking my hands in that bag.

Little guy calls from the bathroom, he can’t find his toothpaste.  He refused to use the Transformers toothpaste because that is his brothers, and his Spongebob toothpaste has vanished.  It was there yesterday, I know this because he used it!  In less than an hour my head was pounding, my nerves fried and I was ready to scream! Two hair brushes are kept in the draw in my bathroom–both gone. Do I just need to never sleep? When I finally sleep everything in the house gets moved or vanishes!

I splashed some water on my hair, pulled in back with my fingers and wrapped a ponytail holder around it.  Dragged everyone out to the car, and flew to school because now we were running late.  Baby screamed all the way there and little guy decided that car line is too long for him to listen to the baby screaming the whole time.  So he declared that tomorrow, he is taking the bus!

An hour wading through Wally World (Walmart),  got me these….

adult autism mom sensory processing disorder

along with several different types of air fresheners and a 12 pack of paper towels! Well, even with the gloves and air fresheners I didn’t make it through the trash. I put it out on the back porch for hubby to rummage through it when he gets home, but the dog tore it up. And I still cannot find the prescription! It’s only 10 a.m., can I run away now please?

Why does it seem easy for everyone else?

We talk about Asperger’s and say “high-functioning,” to which I reply– My Ass-perger’s! I want a definition of this so called high-functioning.  Yes, I am intelligent. I learn quickly, and have an elephant’s memory. But it seems like I look around and are surrounded by woman who manage to work, keep a house, and get there kids to school on time without their hair sticking up in the air. Their houses are presentable, they aren’t yelling, screaming, and running down the street after a dog who doesn’t listen, and crap isn’t falling out of their mini-vans when their kids hop out at school.  I feel like I am always in a whirlwind of chaos that I cannot control!  I’m always running and unable to keep up!

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.