Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Aspies and Executive Function

An Aspie describes executive function and her problems with it in this video. I relate to her totally. She is healthy and young and may do better. I hope no one is lost in the morass like me. Sometimes its like sinking in a whirlpool.

Executive functioning is your go to place for GETTING stuff done. It includes Planning, organization, detail work, breaking things down step by step.  People with Aspergers lack it as described in the video above.

Many Aspies have problems with executive function. Executive function is the traffic controller of the brain. The practical actions in getting stuff done! I have serious problems in this area of life. Oddly for me, I am fine with it comes to academic based activities, but for the rest of life it is very severe.

As many know, I have described my life as an Aspie {person with Aspergers} many time on this blog. I can read 10 books a week. I like to write off the top of my head obviously given this blog. I could do great art work once upon a time and even teach a class, however my day to day life skills are very low. As one grows older we face head on our shortcomings. This is not easy to do. I know I am stuck in a rut. I want to get some things accomplished in whatever short time I have left. These things need dealt with to overcome some barriers.

I have been able to achieve some goals with blog writing, some volunteer projects and a few independent art shows of some years ago however lately I feel "stuck".  Life is a struggle in a way I simply cannot even describe. She is right it is a vicious cycle. It amuses me how she finishes her video in the car, running out of time. That is my life.

How does a disabled person who is completely free of responsibilities run out of time? Trust me I manage it. Even now, I made sure I took a shower and put some clothes away before coming on this blog, but in my mind is the unwashed bathroom floor, the unpaid tax bill, and wondering what to cook to lunch. I am no bored disabled person, the clock spins around for me even when housebound. Some people would be shocked by that. One blessing of my different brain, you could put me alone in a room for 2 hours with nothing to do and I could use the time up without a problem.

The dirty rug in my apartment needs replaced, I am thinking I am not in any shape to paint this place and don't have the 200 dollars for them to move my furniture for a new rug.  Without this money and abilities how will I get these things done? It troubles me. Too many of the barriers are financial. Many things do feel more complicated to me. Modern life is affecting me in the way, that the new technology overwhelms me. Details more then often hang me up. I absolutely get lost in them.

 My occupational therapist of last fall, taught me how to avoid becoming a hoarder and succeeded, but discovered some serious sensory problems. It included auditory beyond the deafness and even some visual. She said my focus was almost nil and mentioned ADHD acouple times. I heard about this from a therapist years before too.  She told me, "Your mind is all over the place." and it's true it is. The active mind that gives me intellectual pleasures, is an absolute wreck in the practicalities of day to day life. She taught me some focusing and sensory techniques which helped.

It is sad to be in your mid 40s and still feel so immature like you are not really an adult. Right now I am way behind and the saddest thing is I know it. Give me 20 more years to catch up! Remembering things is one of my hardest challenges. She has that right! Life for me is a confusing whirlpool. In my case I have to make constant lists.

I've read the books to help with this problem and made the lists. I study life skills online. Many of the books focused towards young Aspies make everything about school achievement. School was easy for me. For Aspies, they need to focus on jobs, how to make money and cleaning. I follow formulas--like paying the bills on a hierarchy method, to keep life going as an adult, but none of it comes natural to me. Tasks that are simple to an average person are intense and complicated to me. People think because I am so "smart" this simply couldn't be but it is.  I am the absent minded professor overcome by the practicalities of life. I'd rather go think of art projects and have long discussions then clean.

There's two Aspies in this household.  Someone needs to function and be able to operate in the real world, and when there are two of us together, it is complicated even if you have a strong bond between each other.  Paying our bills here, is like a byzantine operation. Staying afloat takes every ounce of mental and physical energy we have. He says he isn't an Aspie, but I'd lay money on it. He has strong traits at the very least.  His writing talent got him some places he may have not gotten to until newspapers imploded.

He says I am too hard on myself and doing the best I can with someone with such intense medical problems and we have normal life skills, and life is this much of a struggle for everyone and we aren't the only poor people out there but I don't know. He tells me, you are an extraordinarily resourceful person. There were times I solved problems under the gun that seemed unsolvable but one would like life to be more peaceful and clear cut.  One part of this is with the upbringing I had around people who never admitted any shortcomings, maybe normal people feel this scared and overwhelmed too. I'm not sure. I know I'm trying my best, what else can a person do? Executive functioning or lack there of, does influence one's life.


  1. All the things you are describing I have as well. I don't really know what Aspbergers is. I have a granddaughter who is severely autistic, so that I know. I heard they are on the same spectrum, but I don't see how. The autism is very visible.

    My symptoms, I can attribute to being an ACON, before my awakening I just felt crazy. Now I have the understanding of how my emotions were manipulated during my formative years, and that I was to never leave mother's side or lap, and that I was I was told I didn't want to leave mother's side or lap. I can see how that can have a life long affect on me.

    Maybe I do have Aspberger's, but I can't figure it out because I have Aspberger's maybe. lol. But I struggle with all the same symptoms as you do.

    I don't want to overdue the reading on Aspberger's, my ACON recovery is all my mind can handle right now, but I think I may research that soon.

    It's interesting that it seems to tie into narcissistic upbringing.

    1. There are online tests for Aspergers, though not conclusive they can give you some inkling to whether you have the disorder or not. You could bring it up with a counselor or someone then to see if you have it. There is some differences between full-blown autism and Aspergers, Aspergers are verbal while fully autistics are not.

      I go into some of the causation stuff here. Your mother sounded like an engulfer.
      Here is a link for female Asperger traits


      I hope this helps. I understand wanting to take one thing at a time. I've had to take my adoption search slowly even.

  2. Yep, mother was engulfing. I had to sit on her lap till I was 15 years old, in public. I was told that is what I wanted that I was so spoiled. :/

    I'll check into that reading, It will well worth my time.

    As far as taking things slowly, yes its very important to me. I hope your adoption search yields results and gives you some peace of mind.