Aspienwomen-1


Von Tania Marschall
Tania Marshall is a psychologist, working with individuals having mental health difficulties, anxiety disorders, social phobia and depression. Tania is the best-selling author of the book “AspienPowers: The Unique Constellation of Strengths, Talents and Gifts of Females with Autism Spectrum Conditions”

1. Cognitive/Intellectual Abilities
Tend to have high average to genius intelligence.
Superior long-term memory
Weaker short-term memory
Often have a rigid negative thinking, inflexible black or white thinking style or rigidity of thinking

2. Career/Work
Often drawn to the helping, artistic or animal professions, and often an “expert” in her chosen field. I know of many Aspienwomen who are successful in the following careers: artists, actors, poets, writers, teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists, special needs teachers/consultants, horse trainers/whisperers, doctors, scientists, accountants, authors, childcare workers, models, comedians, computer-related specialists, animal handlers, university professors, nurses, psychics/mediums and photographers.

May miss days of work due to social exhaustion
May find great difficulty attending/participating in staff meetings, lunch breaks, work social events
May make up excuses for not attending work/staff functions
May have a history of being unable to cope with work/employment environments, often moving from job to job, especially in younger adult years
Hard-working conscientious worker
May get stressed if have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time
May become frustrated/stressed if asked to do too many things at once
Tries very hard to avoid making mistakes, forgetting things
Tries hard to please others
May burn bridges (walk out or quit jobs or relationships without notice)

3. Friendships and relationships
Preference for one-on-one social interactions, single close friendships
Need more time away from people than their peers (solitude)
May experience stress, anxiety and confusion in social group or group work situations
Strong preference to engage in conversation related to their special interest
Strong dislike for social chit-chat, gossip, nonsense, lies or conversation that lacks a ‘function’ to it, but some are known to engage in it themselves
A history of being bullied, teased, left out and/or not fitting in with same-age peers
An intense dislike of lies, but may lie herself
Has an ability to socialize, however is unable to do so for long periods of time. Suffers from “social exhaustion” or a “social hangover” when socializing too much. The hangover can last hours to days, which can be debilitating
Experience great difficulty with conflict, arguments, being yelled at, fighting, war
Has great difficulty asserting herself, asking for help, setting boundaries
May need to drink to be able to socialize
May currently have or have experienced Post-Traumatic Stress, often due to being misunderstood, misdiagnosed, mistreated, and/or mismedicated.

Social Skills differences – is exceptionally good one-on-one and presenting to groups, however has difficulty working within group situations
May find herself in social situations or relationships that she is unhappy with

History of being taken advantage of by others
Often bored in social situations or parties or does not know how to act
May say “yes” to social events, then later make up an excuse as to why she cannot attend
Often prefers to be engaged in her special interest, rather than socializing
May be considered the “black sheep” of the family
Others consider her different, odd, eccentric or “weird”
May feel like she has to act normal” to please others
Copies, mimics, acts in order to fit in and make others like her
A people pleaser, but then may burn bridges suddenly (for e.g., quit relationships), as she has difficulty managing conflict
Females appear to be better than males at masking the traits of autism in social situations.
May be considered a “loner” OR may have many acquaintances, but no real friends

Social naivity, may believe anything told to them by others (gossip, stories, jokes and teasing), difficulty interpreting the intentions of others, misinterprets other peoples intention, often jumping to conclusions about others

4. Communication
Difficulties communicating her thoughts and feelings, in words, to others, especially if anxious, stressed or upset. Often can type or write her thoughts much better
May dislike asking others for help, be unable to ask or not know how to ask for help
May be passive, not know how to assert her boundaries in a healthy manner
May offend others by saying what she is thinking
May point out other people’s mistakes
May give too much detail and end up boring others unintentionally
May ask embarrassing questions
Unusual voice (flat, monotone, high-pitched, child-like)
Tendency to take things literally, missing what people are trying to say
May talk too loudly or too softly, often unaware that she is doing so
Often surprised when people tell her she has been rude or inappropriate

5. Physiology/Neurology
A. Highly Sensitive
Highly sensitivity, may not be able to listen to or watch the news, listen to the radio, read the newspaper, watch violent movies, see hurt or injured animals, abuse, war, trauma, are sensitive to the emotions and “emotional atmosphere” of the environment, experience referred emotion and psychic “6th sense” abilities, may have strong intuitive or psychic abilities

B. Sensory Processing Condition
May have sensory sensitivities in the following areas: hearing, vision, taste, touch, smell, balance, movement, intuition
May be very sensitive to pain or have a high pain threshold
May be clumsy or un-coordinated

May dislike loud noises and/or be overwhelmed or stressed by bright lights, strong smells, coarse textures/clothing, sirens close by or people too close behind her.
May find children hard to cope with due to crying, screaming or other loud noises
Sensitive to the way clothes feel and how they may be more important than how they look
May have to withdraw, isolate herself when overwhelmed by her senses
May not be able to tolerate sounds, sights, smells, textures, movement that she dislikes
May not like to be hugged, cuddled or held.
In social situations, the nervous system tends to be overwhelmed easily, leading to withdrawal

She may notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works of art, and pieces of music.
C. Anxiety, stress or anger. Recent brain scanning research points towards enlarged Amygdala’s role in intense emotions, anxiety and anger
D. May have auditory processing issues
F. May grind teeth or have lockjaw (anxiety)
G. May have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or traits
H. May have one or more of the 7 types of ADHD
I. Usually has executive function difficulties (i.e., time management, planning ahead, organization)
J. May rock, leg-bounce, fidget or other movements with hands, twirl hair, stroke soft fabric to self-soothe (aka stimming or self-soothing)
K. May be very sensitive to medications, caffeine or alcohol
L. May have gluten, wheat, casein or other food allergies/intolerances, gut issues
M. May have sleep difficulties, a preference for staying up late at night, usually not a morning person, may be very creative at night
N. May have Dyspraxia
O. May have tics (for example, throat-clearing, coughing)

6. Physical Appearance
Usually dresses differently from her peers, often eccentric.
May try very hard to fit in appearance wise or may not care at all
May have a special interest in fashion
May not shower or upkeep hygiene at times, due to different priorities (usually being involved in special interests)
Looks younger than her years
Has an unusual voice; may be “child-like”, monotone, loud or soft.
Often does certain things with hands (twirling hair or items, different movements) or legs (leg “bouncing” or rocking while standing)

7. Lifestyle
Books, computers, the Internet, animals, children, nature may be her best friends
She loves quiet, solitude, peaceful surroundings
She may be ultra-religious or not at all. Buddhism appears to be common
May prefer to spend as much time as possible by herself, with animals or in nature
May have a strong preference for routine and things being the same day after day
Gets pleasure from being engaged in her chosen work and/or special interests
She may make it a high priority to arrange her life, events, work, and environment to avoid overwhelming, stressful or upsetting situations.

 

Galina Toktalieva

Kyrgyzstan-born author residing in Graz, Austria

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