Sunday 30 April 2017

30 Days of Autism Acceptance: Day 29


Day 29:

Talk about executive functioning.  Do you experience executive dysfunction?  How do you deal with it?

First of all, apologies for the ack of post yesterday - I was at my friends' wedding so didn't have the opportunity to post. I'm still pretty knackered form it so this won't be a particularly long post, especially as I've still got today's prompt to do as well!

Musings of An Aspie has a good definition of executive dysfunction here and the slideshow is particularly useful.

I've got quite a few issues with executive dysfunction; it's always been there and I've always had some issues, but it's got worse since the fibro and ME kicked in, probably because the fatigue exacerbates it because it limits my ability to process and do stuff.

I have difficulties with planning, particularly with schedules, tidying and housework. I did a pretty good job of planning my wedding, although there were some things I was a bit lax on (fortunately there were no disasters and everything went smoothly), but there are other things I really struggle with. When I'm tired and the brain fog has kicked in, I'm pretty rubbish.

As for problem-solving, it depends on the circumstances. If I have no frame of reference at all, I'm pretty hopeless. Sometimes I can manage, but it's sporadic. Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that I can't always identify when there's a problem in the first place!

My attention is substantially affected. I'm dreadful at blocking out environmental distractions - noises, movements, etc catch my attention and distract me constantly - and I really struggle to pay any attention to something if it doesn't interest me, even if it's important.

My working memory is generally pretty bad. If someone gives me a list of instructions through speech and doesn't write them down, it's impossible for me to follow through because I just don't remember them. I need the instructions written down.

I have difficulties with inhibitions - I'm constantly fidgeting, I don't always follow conversation rules and conventions, and I'm not so great with turn-taking. I try but I'm not that great at it.

Initiating actions is a big problem, especially these days, because the fatigue, brain fog and pain exert a massive influence on it. I intend to do something but I really struggle to actually start it, and often need a lot of prodding and prompting.

When I'm under a lot of stress or in an unfamiliar environment, performing even familiar tasks can be difficult, if not impossible.

My cognitive flexibility is fairly poor. I do not cope well at all with change and I can shut down completely if it's an unexpected one, suddenly thrust upon me.

There's so much more I could say on this but I'm exhausted and so I'll be coming back to this subject in greater detail at a later date.

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