The Care and Feeding of your Aspie Uncategorized

Care and Feeding of your Aspie: Part 30 – ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorders

I have talked about comorbid conditions a bit in this series, and as I find the time, ability and focus, I am going more in depth into some of specific conditions. ADHD is one of them. ADHD, is one that I suffer from.

I have been striving to explain ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) to those who don’t suffer from it. I use the word suffer – but, personally, I enjoy it. It allows me to get a lot done… Well… in short bursts.

I have explained it before… “Ask me about my attention deficit disorder… or pie… or my cat. Wait! A dog!. I have a bike. Do you like tv? I saw a rock. Hi.” This really doesn’t explain it… it doesn’t even begin to touch on it – but tonight, I found the perfect way to explain it.

Moulin Rouge.

I know you heard me, but I’ll say it again – just to be sure.

Moulin Rouge is exactly like what it is like to have severe ADHD. If you don’t know what I mean. Watch this! Pay especially close attention to the disjointed nature of the editing. Pay close attention to the fact there there are about 400 different ideas all clashing together in this 6 minutes of video. The images whirl around in a mish-mash of… glorious chaos.

Now, take a moment to reflect on what you just saw. Take each of these warring images off the screen – take each of them and make it a thought. That is what ADHD is like.

I mean seriously… something that was described as “One of the most amazing cinematic love stories ever committed to celluloid” makes me feel like the movie was laying in wait and ambushed me… The love story starts in an elephant’s butt! (I can’t make this shit up)

I mean let’s take a look at this from an existential standpoint. Ironically enough, I believe that all love stories firmly belong in an elephant’s butt… and the fact that this elephant’s butt had a heart shaped locket over it’s sphincter is an accurate expression of symbolism.

Look at some of the characters… there is a dwarf (Toulouse-Lautrec), a narcoleptic Armenian, a kid whose name translates to Brat Cheese, Nini Legs-in-the-Air and a potions master from Hogwarts. I think there is a real correlation between this character list and real life.

Next…

What? You want me to explain that? I’m already on to the next point!

I don’t have to explain myself to you… I mean, really… this is an essay on ADHD and it would really drive the point home if I just… moved on.

Very well…

Brat Cheese… There are a bunch of small things in the world that are a pain in the ass… even if you don’t sweat it, they are still there… Brats… and… ummm… they smell like cheese? NO! I got it… Cheese! It’s a metaphor… cheese means farts… flatulence… we all have to deal with the bratty, stinky little things that ruin our life… “Don’t sweat the small stuff!” and it’s ALL small stuff.

Nini Legs-in-the-Air… hmmm… well… It’s a statement that we’re supposed to enjoy those very things that make us human… Those instinctual things that we make us human… appreciation of beauty, the need to create and every once in a while, the need to … well… Have the sex. It’s kind of like those things in life that feel sooo good… sex, smiles, laughing, a warm rain, sunsets, kittens… Weird emo pop songs…

Yes… Like that… I know… it is horrible, sappy and emo as crap… but it is a guilty pleasure…

The narcoleptic Armenian… I can do this one… Ummm… narcoleptic Armenian… narcoleptic Armenian… Got it! There is a need of the body to do some things. Like the aforementioned sex, eat salty foods, have a steak… and the human need for naps. The Armenian represents the need to just GIVE IN to your baser desires sometimes…By ignoring those baser, instinctual needs… we are diluting that which makes us strong!

Ok… Toulouse-Lautrec… a bohemian… midget? Little Person? Dwarf? Bohemian: a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices. AHA!!! Toulouse-Lautrec represents the need of modern man to step away from conventional world and take a break, enjoying something that we don’t normally… like a tulip, a star-scape, dancing, kittehs (Cats are weird – damn you!), cartoons…

There! I did it… The whole damn movie is metaphor for life-lessons that we must learn…

I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all… I feel like it bludgeoned my senses and committed sexual harassment (i.e. fucked) some pop culture…

ANYWAY…

Oh? You say I forgot one? The potions master from Hogwarts? I could of sworn I covered him. OH OH OH! I saw a rock, once… Hi.

Now… How does this relate to Austistic Spectrum Disorders? Well… let’s look at it logically… We Autists have problems with concentration already… When ADHD kicks in, these problems are exacerbated. We cannot focus at all, and even hyperfocus is ceases to work. Your Aspie may end up frustrated, angry, or worse – having a tantrum or a melt-down.

From a personal standpoint – ADD/ADHD can be horrific… I will sit down and try to edit a video, write, watch a movie or even play a video game… All things that are my special interests… all things that should allow me to focus with a supreme will… and there are times… were I can’t… I just can’t. I will sit at the computer staring for hours… something that should take a couple of hours doesn’t happen… my brain won’t let me…

So, in the grand scheme of things, if your Aspie lives with ADD or ADHD, be prepared for some additional emotional trauma… They may not mean to be upset… but having intense desire to do something but being prevented from doing it by your very brain is extremely upsetting. As with everything else dealing with our condition, we have to have a little understanding… if your Aspie is diagnosed with ADD/ADHD along an Autism Spectrum Disorder – when there is a bout of unspecified and undefined frustration, ask them if they are having problems concentrating. Chances are, they will be immensely grateful for this LITTLE demonstration of understanding.

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