7-Day Neurodiversity Inclusion Challenge

The 7-Day Neurodiversity (ND) Inclusion Challenge is a self-guided learning and reflection experience that highlights the need for true inclusion and acceptance in the Brandeis community and beyond of those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and other neurological disabilities. The ND Challenge is modeled on the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge that the Heller community also spearheaded. Because the concept of neurodiversity is not yet familiar to many people, the ND Challenge adds additional introductory text to each day’s suggested sources and allows individual participants to select from a varied set of reading, viewing, and listening options. read more

I participate in a weekly Asberger support group. I have been doing it for the past several years. We talk about various topics in each session. Today the question was raised about Autism and ADHD.

Unfolding Autism and ADHD
Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often overlap, making it difficult to disentangle their biology. A new review probed the patterns of brain foldsknown as gyrification, in the cortex of people with either condition. Across 24 papers — 20 focused on autism — the researchers found no differences in cortical gyrification between controls and people with either condition. It is possible these differences really don’t exist. It’s also possible, however, that they are too subtle or varied to be picked up in such a research review, the researchers note. Differences may only emerge in controlled studies using the same protocols to compare people with the two conditions.

The work was published in Cerebral Cortex in December.

Life During Covid

Today is the first time since Covid that I have made an entry on the web site. I want to share my experience in what I call life during Covid. When the virus first started and the stock market made a quick adjustment I thought the virus would last just a couple of months. As a person on the spectrum I have lived most of my life with fear and anxiety. I am very routine orientated by nature.
For the first 6 months of Covid I was very anxious because the rules were changing in the world and the places I often go to like retail stores and the coffee shop. Because I could not wear the standard mask issue due to anxiety issue, glasses fogging up, and breathing my own carbon back in, I purchased a face shield that sits on my neck called Z shield which helped me meet the needs of protection and society. I found myself in conflict with the so called mask police at times, being told I was not meeting the standard to enter an establishment. I would say that I have on the Z shield due to Asbergers and anxiety issues, but most of the time there was just no understanding. Our way or leave. I would get angry at first but as this wore on I just by limiting the number of places I went to. I just did online ordering for any needs I had. I found it frustrating with the coffee shop I went to. One day I can sit inside and now for the past 6 months have to sit outside in any kind of weather. The restaurants were different. Things need to be more consistent in my area of the country. I know a lot of it was driven because of the fear of lawsuits.
I stopped watching the news to keep my anxiety down, and my mood leveled out. My volunteer work just went to zero and the places made it so hard I was discouraged.
 I attend my Asberger support group on a weekly basis,12 step meeting several times a week, and various other seminars. I sometimes feel I am getting more done this way instead of driving all over town. To give me more to do I even joined several dating sites. For me, dating sites give me a chance to meet people I would normally not meet. This gave me the chance to practice some social skills with people. I was glad I was kind of isolated from meeting people to some degree in person.  When I tell a person that I have Aspergers they generally lose interest. I have not been on an airplane since this started because I could not sit for hours with the mask the airlines require you to use.
Yesterday I was in my small pharmacy checking on medication instead of driving an hour away with big crowds. They said they were doing testing giving the vaccine and would I be interested in it. I said yes and felt like I had 10 Christmas gifts. I wanted to pinch myself. I have felt like I have been in a prison cell for the last year.