The Cure (?)For Autism, Part Two

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Speaking of the inside, that brings me to the point of this article. I titled this “The Cure For Autism” because I have it. I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog talking about the affects of Aspergers on me, and how I go about modifying my life to balance both my internal needs and those of the people around me. People say that autism is incurable, because it’s not a disease or something of that ilk. However, I believe that there is something that can greatly reduce, if not eradicate, the effects of autism. It’s a four letter word we use everyday.

Food.

Complex? Far from it. See, when we talk autism we immediately think of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Especially when regarding aspergers, since it is perceived to be a neurological disorder, do we assume that there’s something wrong with the brain. What scientists, autistics, and everyone in between fails to see is that our lower body is a mirror image of the upper regions. There is science out there that shows the similar the gut and the brain really are. The gut and the brain are connected, and when you alter one you alter the other.

A study released in the summer of ’15 showed that there was autism rates jumped 18% in children of teenage mothers. “This hasn’t really been seen before, and we can’t really explain it,” says Brian Lee, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University and a research fellow at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. He hypothesized that it may have to had to do with sub-optimal pregancies and health care, but what if has to do with the poor food choices made by teenagers in America today?

Reading on “Food For The Brain”, I found these key pieces of information in the fight for autism clarity:

“Deficiencies in essential fats are common in people with autism. Research by Dr Gordon Bell at Stirling University has shown that some autistic children have an enzymatic defect that removes essential fats from brain cell membranes more quickly than it should. This means that an autistic child is likely to need a higher intake of essential fats than the average. And it has been found that supplementing EPA, which can slow the activity of the defective enzyme, has clinically improved behavior, mood, imagination, spontaneous speech, sleep patterns and focus of autistic children.”

“There is much overlap between ADH/hyperactivity and autism, so for autistic children who show signs of hyperactivity, improving blood sugar balance is a must.”

“Dietary studies consistently reveal that hyperactive children eat more sugar than other children4. Other research has confirmed that the problem is not sugar itself but the forms it comes in, the absence of a well-balanced diet overall, and abnormal glucose metabolism. A study of 265 hyperactive children found that more than three-quarters of them displayed abnormal glucose tolerance, – that is, their bodies were less able to handle sugar intake and maintain balanced blood sugar levels.”

“In any case, when a child is regularly snacking on refined carbohydrates, sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks, juices and little or no fibre to slow the glucose absorption, the levels of glucose in their blood will seesaw continually and trigger wild fluctuations in their levels of activity, concentration, focus and behaviour-. These, of course, will not help any child’s brain function.”

“Paediatrician Mary Megson from Richmond, Virginia, believes that many autistic children are lacking in vitamin A. Otherwise known as retinol, vitamin A is essential for vision. It is also vital for building healthy cells in the gut and brain.”

“The best sources of vitamin A are breast milk, organ meats, milk fat, fish and cod liver oil, none of which are prevalent in our diets. Instead, we have formula milk, fortified food and multivitamins, many of which contain altered forms of retinol such as retinyl palmitate, which doesn’t work as well as the fish or animal-derived retinol. Megson began speculating what might happen if these children weren’t getting enough natural vitamin A12.”

“She realised that not only would this affect the integrity of the digestive tract, potentially leading to allergies. It would also affect the development of their brains, and disturb their vision. Both brain differences and visual defects have been detected in autistic children. The visual defects, Megson deduced, were an important clue because lack of vitamin A would mean poor black and white vision, a symptom often seen in the relatives of autistic children. If you can’t see black and white, you can’t see shadows. And without that you lose the ability to perceive three-dimensionality. This in turn leaves you less able to make sense of people’s expressions, which could explain why some autistic children tend not to look straight at you. They look at you sideways. Long thought to be a sign of poor socialisation, this sideways technique may in fact be the best way for them to see people’s expressions, because there are more black and white light receptors at the edge of the visual field than in the middle.”

This research is ASTOUNDING because it explains so much of what plagues those on the autism spectrum. Here we are, putting our heads in the sand believing that there’s nothing we can do for autistics, when in fact the very cure is right in front of us.

Take it from me, someone who works at a donut and coffee shop and whose favorite foods just happen to be the worst foods for me. It will be hard for me to give up things like donuts and pizza, but there’s nothing I wouldn’t give so my limitations could be breached. I’ve read the stories and heard the struggles. They can end, right here, right now.

Drastic reductions of symptoms are possible, IF we change our lifestyles. These changes are not easily undertaken, but gradual reductions of things like gluten, casein, and artificial sugars can change the lives of autistics across the world.

Starting today, I’m going to change my diet. The process will be gradual, but I will document each day. I’ll record how I’m feeling and thinking. I believe that if I have the ability to make myself better, why ignore it?

Maybe I’ll even encourage my fellow autistic bloggers to do the same.

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The Cure (?) For Autism, Part One

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I’ve lived eighteen years on this wonderful planet, but only in the last five have I known I was on the autism spectrum. I barely knew anything about the condition except for that people who had it were not treated kindly, there was an organization that supposedly strives to raise awareness, and they are often very smart. My own personal story has made me reconsider much of what I thought about autism and how I respond to what people say about us in the news. I used to think that if someone changed their opinion too much, they couldn’t make up their minds.

 

Now I know it’s essential, when gaining new knowledge and insight, to always be changing. You cannot gain and stay the same. At least I couldn’t.

The last five years of my life have easily been the best. I needed a window out of my confusing and easily angered childhood, but early on my Aspergers diagnosis only made me angrier. I hated this weird sounding name that made me feel more obvious than I already knew I was. What I needed was an example. I wanted to find someone, anyone, out there that was succeeding. If they could, in spite of our numerous limitations, then I could too. That’s when I discovered John Elder Robinson. I read his books, and more importantly than the information I gained, my entirely different outlook on my new life.

I wasn’t just the angry, confused, autistic kid.

I was the weird, informed, confident (and somewhat arrogant) autistic kid.

Over this time, my life has changed drastically. Some ways were obvious, like my need for music. I spend a great part of my life just listening to it, and I feel stronger when I do. The silence (without being silent) is immensely therapeutic, and I thrive when I have this balance. I’ve also gotten outside more often. Not only did my job require it, but I’ve felt the desire to get outside and, yes, even be around people. Contrary to the garbage that comes from Autism Speaks (among others), people with aspergers don’t mind being around people. In my individual case, it’s how many for how long. Being around two or three people for a couple hours is totally cool with me. Surround me twenty people for less time (funny, huh?) and I’m a disaster on the inside.

(The second, and most critical, part of this piece will feature tomorrow night. I hate to be so blunt with the ending but I wasn’t sure how to end)

I Don’t Know When To Quit (And Neither Should You)

I don’t know when to quit

i just live

wake up and smell

plastic burning

thats from all of you

blowing up my Facebook

Twitter, and WordPress

having such a following

is nothing short of a blessing

and a miracle

considering how bad I am with people

but I don’t care

DGAF

I love who I am

no matter the comments they leave

likes don’t matter much

compared to trust

I’ve gained in the workplace

maybe I’m better than I thought I was

or they care little as I

there’s so much I want to do

and so little time

every little post, every little link

makes you stop and think

you don’t need a book to change lives

or be president to change times

you just have to not know when to quit

push back until you have nothing left to give

More Afraid Of “Yes” Than “No”?

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I hate change.

I wake up the same time: between 6-7am

wear (basically) the same clothes: some combination of jeans, T shirt, and jeans

eat the same food: eggplant wraps, sandwiches, fruits, salads, occasional fast food, donuts

do the same thing: work, write, read, watch the news

listen to the same music: Fall Out Boy, panic! At The Disco, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj (she’s my queen)

 

The only change recently that I’ve actually welcomed is my friend counter going from zero to one with the addition into my life a very sweet and funtastic girl named Rosa.

 

I’m more aware of what makes me tick, and that has helped me cope when change does come, but it doesn’t take away the defensive mechanisms I was born with. I still get extremely emotional (mostly anger, even when the change benefits me) and it takes me some time to process it all. You can give me a second or three years and I’ll still respond the same. I would rather things just stay the same, and I know that would make this world very bland, but that’s me.

 

This brings me to why I wrote this to begin with: the girlfriend question. I’ve never had one, probably won’t ever have one, and wouldn’t know how to process it if I did have one. I few weeks ago I was thinking about an article topic, and this thought ran across my mind: “am I giving off energy that keeps me from having a girlfriend because I’m more afraid of yes than no?”

 

See, if I pursue a girl and she says no to me, then that’s fine. I’m a teenage black autistic poet (weird combo to say the least) I’m used to rejection. But if a girl says yes, that’s when problems arise. I’ve never had one before, so what do you call that? CHANGE. Not that I would ever be opposed to the idea, but my mental wiring would resist it (even if she looked like Kate Upton). I realized that while my heart would love it, my head hates it, and that’s why it hasn’t happened.

 

As I’ve talked about in some of my poems, I’ve deeply considering giving up. I realized that would never do because it’s never right to give up on something that is good. For now, I’ll keep trying. The wall has to come down eventually. What if, through trial, error, and repetition, I can make my brain more accommodating to change? (that sounds wrong but I needed to write it) I’m not a scientist, but I’m not going to call it impossible until I haven’t done it.

 

Until next time 🙂

 

 

The Problems With Aspergers and Shame

 

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As me, Devereaux, I do a lot of things. I work at a coffee and donut shop. I write poems on the way to and from work. I listen to Fall Out Boy and watch American Dad. I read books and talk to my best friend about school and teenage life. I run this blog while submitting to various magazines, websites, and hope to have my poetry anthology published. I watch the Chiefs during the NFL season. As me, the aspergian, I do things I probably wouldn’t do if I weren’t.

 

Sometimes it’s because I feel the need to fit in. Despite being very understanding of my position in life, I still find the urge to want to be like everyone else. Five years later, and I still feel less than. Maybe it’s because I’m on the societal crust, but I’m just not always okay with being on the outside. I’ll push myself into places, conversations, and the like so I don’t feel standing alone. It’s easy to pick on the stragglers, so if I look like everyone else, nobody will suspect me. At least that’s the thinking. The problem is when I go overboard (on a personal note, I know no moderation. I either do too much or too little of something) people start to suspect things anyway. There was one time I was with this group, and I only talked to this one girl. I didn’t think anything wrong about it at the time, but then I realized how I distanced myself by picking and choosing who to talk to. As an aspie, I didn’t realize that people began to question my true intentions, and ultimately I pushed them away.

 

Other times I do things to prove a point. I’m extremely vocal about my condition, and I take it seriously. When people talk about autism and make jokes about it, I take it personally. I see how the media portrays us, and sometimes I take it in my own life to prove them wrong. I walk when told to run, and vice versa, because I’m not what they think we are. This usually leads to disaster, because I’m putting myself in situations that I might not even be ready for. I used to make friends with questionable people just so I could prove that people with aspergers can make friends. I now realize I was being dumb, but when you’re young you make those types of decisions. I didn’t want to be your stereotypical autistic.

The downside (if there is one) to being very aware about my condition is that I know immediately when I’ve done something very (for the lack of better words) anti-neurotypical. I’ve become very aware of my stutters, mildly incoherent sentences, or just plain silence when I really need to say something. It’s very uncomfortable, and the worst part is I know people are just as conscious of it as i. I’m not trying to, but I can’t avoid it, and once you’ve done it, like you can’t go back and fix it.

Maybe it’s not so much shame, but not being fully okay being myself, but that’s how it feels. Like I’ve done something wrong. I guess I still have a lot of growing to do.

 

Until next time

Victorious (When You’re Autistic Like Me)

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(Whew. Two book rejections in one day had me feeling down. Then this came along…)

Victorious

In spite of everything they said

Victorious

Even though we only get glory once dead

Victorious

In these poems that are bled

Victorious

In the words that aren’t said

 

Night and day I fight a battle against you

These feelings I have aren’t even close to new

Sometimes I feel so left behind, but you knew

Sly grin, haughty chin, it can’t be true

 

They say they’re active but they’re hardly aware

How I love your lips and the way you do your hair

Caught you by surprise? I see you everywhere

But the will top take your hand, ask you out just isn’t there

 

We’re far more alike than they ever say

But our seismic differences keep getting in the way

I could hope and dream, and I do everyday

But call a timeout, coach I can’t play

 

I like you girl and you would know it

If I had a normal brain that could show it

Talk to you, laugh with you, show some emotion

Barriers breaking down in devotion

 

But I haven’t found it

Either that, or you’re still in the closet

Don’t worry, I was there too

Afraid to be me, I missed so much, that’s true

 

Now I’m victorious

Autistic as can be

No longer in need of your sanity

I stand on the inside of your outside

My life, my words come from insanity

Less is more, more is less

When you’re victorious

Like me

Isolation Burns Like A Dagger

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they offer me lunch

they don’t understand

behind the mask of darkness

they cannot see who I really am

 

because I won’t let them

I’d rather be a fool

than reveal my identity

have me treated as a tool

 

isolation burns like a dagger

regret blisters and boils everyday

but as long as I remain true, it doesn’t matter

and yet my soul stings in every way

 

because I want and hate it

circumstance has me elated

then reality sets in, I can’t sit by you

I’m too conscious to pretend it isn’t true

Sung The Blues, Swallowed Them Too

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stunning seconds of solitude

come from broken breaths

heartbeats come less

space between your ears

widens

deepens

falling off the radar

you are

because nobody wanted to see

the misery

professionals couldn’t explain the pain

just give him two of those

three of these

a shot of that

he will stop foaming eventually

so I sung the blues

swallowed them too

I became more insane

because of you

evenings spent banging

holes into walls

maniac running down the stairs

the crutches rarely stopped the fall

never paid attention

not at school, not at life

so many colors flowing through my veins

you’d think I supported Pride

I could never understand

why drug addicts stare

as if they can remove your soul

and give you theirs

but now I see why

tripped by the police

arrested for driving under the influence

caught unawares

and I’m sure

no one will ever see me there

not until I’m old

really really old

when my hair turns grey

hands begin to fold

 

See The Trees, Miss The Forest

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maybe I’m misunderstood

I guess that’s okay

they can see the forest

through the trees

like I probably should

and I would

if I didn’t have this funny brain

that makes me say

things that are sure to mess up your day

I try to be polite

but being outgoing just isn’t my way

I’d rather write the night away

with the muse I play

taking back more freedom

everyday

I silently battle

because I’m too afraid to say

that I’m on the spectrum

please accommodate

Except For Me

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the lights are about to go out

as everyone falls asleep

the whole world seems to be slowing

except for me

somewhere in this blue

I’m standing still

because I’m fearful

of what I won’t do

and what you see

only worsens my condition

ashamed of your intentions

I bottle up

so you can’t listen

beat me, blind me

rape me, kill me

just please

don’t ever find me

I hate

how they see me

because I’m not

what I meant

to be