Autism, ADHD, and Audio Processing Differences: I'm a MASTER at Hiding My Confusion
I didn't feel safe admitting my confusion for most of my life, so I learned to hide when I didn't understand something, becoming highly skilled at "figuring things out" on my own.
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Living in the world as an Autistic ADHDer (or AuDHD) who also has Audio Processing and Executive Functioning Differences can be (and often is) confusing.
The Autistic part of me struggles to comprehend the unspoken pieces of non-autistic communication and the fluffy words of allistic people around me.
I often feel frustrated and confused with people who expect me to "read between the lines" or insist I've implied something I didn't say when my words are particular and direct.
When I was younger, my visual thinking style meant I would take things literally, leading to miscommunications (and occasional scoldings from adults who thought I was trying to be a "smart alec" or a "wise ass").
My ADHD has a significant impact on my focus and executive functioning abilities, and I often will "space out" and forget what I was doing (or saying mid-sentence).
These occurrences (where I struggle to remember the point I was trying to make from the time I start it to the time I finish it) aren't "occasional." They happen so many times each day I can't keep track of them.
This (spacing out) doesn't just happen when I'm speaking; it happens when I'm taking in information as well - my brain will "wander off," completely forgetting the task at hand, sometimes missing important information that is shared with me.
Audio Processing Differences (sometimes known as Audio Processing Disorder) mean I rarely hear things people say word for word correctly, and sometimes (if I'm tired or there's lots of background noise), people speaking to me can sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown.
I'm often confused. I often don't know what's going on.
Because I didn't feel safe asking clarifying questions or admitting my confusion for most of my life, I learned to hide when I didn't understand something, becoming highly skilled at "figuring things out" on my own.
Founding members have access to the rest of this post as a thanks for their support.
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