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It’s Never Just a Sandwich

Photo © Angelina Creations | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: An Asian child eating a sandwich.] Emma Dalmayne twitter.com/EDalmayne As an autistic adult and a mother of autistic children  I am often asked about meltdowns and how they feel. I can tell you how it feels to have a meltdown from my perspective, and how to help your child. When you have a meltdown it’s as if the world is ending. Everything is too much, and you feel like an overwhelming darkness has engulfed your very being. Irrepressible anger that may seem completely irrational to an outsider can be inwardly devastating us internally. When your child suddenly explodes because their sandwich has been cut at the wrong angle, or another child has won a game—or even because they have been jostled in a queue, that’s the catalyst. It’s the last straw on the camel’s back. It’s not the sandwich necessarily; it’s a…

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Autistic Replay: Both Involuntary and Misunderstood

Photo © Dean Shareski | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: Close-up photo of a remote control’s “Replay” and “Rewind” buttons.] Emma Dalmayne www.Autisticate.com Content note: This article discusses trauma and an infant being assaulted Have you ever watched an autistic individual joyously laugh or begin to sob broken heartedly for no reason apparent to yourself? It’s very likely they are replaying a memory of an event that has passed, possibly as recent as that day or even months or years ago. We can feel the exact same intensity that we felt at that moment, see the same sights, smell the same smells, and hear the same sounds. Depending on if it’s a pleasant memory, we may sit there smiling, giggling, or laughing uproariously—to the amazement of anyone nearby. Similarly our distress is absolute if it’s a depressing memory: tears will run, and the devastating sadness experiences at that time will…

It’s An Autism Thing … I’ll Help You Understand It

Emma Dalmayne autisticatedalmayne.com When I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome two years ago I felt relieved, jubilant, and sad all at the same time. Relieved, because I now knew myself, I could understand so much more about myself. There were a lot of ‘ahh!’ moments to look back on! Jubilant, because I know knew I wasn’t unreasonable or a complete misfit; I was part of a neurodiverse community that helped me be proud of my autistic identity. Sad, for all the missed opportunities I had had, all the misunderstandings and meltdowns that are — in short — terrifying when you do not understand why you are going through them. Most of all I wanted to help other parents, as I am a mother to neurodiverse children, including two with complex needs, and felt I could offer help to others. I started a Facebook group with a large volume of autistics…