Does Anybody Else Have Difficulties With...

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Coda
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16 Jun 2015, 4:52 pm

Performing simple tasks like getting dressed, putting on shoes, preparing a sandwich in a normal time scale?

It takes me quite a long time to dress myself. I have to make sure everything feels right otherwise it'll just ruin my entire day. To put on socks and shoes, it takes around an hour. I have to wear my socks inside out because of the seam and my shoes have to feel evenly tied. Preparing a sandwich can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an entire hour. Using a shower... It takes me about an hour or more. Once I sat cutting an apple for about 30 minutes until I couldn't take it anymore and just screamed.

Cutting food is the worst. It seems like my hands lose all of their bones and I lose all control of them and can't cut my food up. I have to get my mum to do it for me otherwise it will end up off the plate and on the floor or it'll be completely cold by the time I've actually cut it up.

It makes no sense as I'm very talented at piano, guitar and drawing and to do that you need very good hand and finger coordination yet peeling and cutting an apple feels almost impossible. :(

My mum constantly tells me I take too long to do practically everything and loads of people constantly point out that I take so long to do stuff.

I use PECs to help me like for instance in the bathroom and in my bedroom I have a PECs timetable to visually remind me what to do otherwise I lose track of what I'm doing but it doesn't help me with the amount of time I take.

(Some of my PECs Timetables)

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Does anyone else have this issue? Do you have any ways to combat this issue because I'd sure like to hear about them so that I can finally stop taking 2-3 hours just to get ready for college in the morning.



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16 Jun 2015, 4:57 pm

I know it's frustrating---but at least you get stuff done. And at least you go to college. You are very persistent, and will be successful when you finish your education.

Sometimes, things just don't make sense.

I can type very well--but I can't fix anything to save my life.



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16 Jun 2015, 5:56 pm

I struggle to do things outside more than inside. At home I am alone most of the time. I do my rituals a lot and nobody interferes. But when I am outside, the sensory hell and people talking stops me from even being able to cut food on my plate properly. I often wish I didn't need fresh air and could just lock myself away in the house for a week at a time.


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16 Jun 2015, 8:41 pm

Would frequent time-feedback help you? Or would it make you more anxious?

Some of those things just seem like they take a long time for you to get everything the way you like it (such as getting dressed). For those instances, I think simple acceptance that it will take a while could be useful.

Why do you think you take a long time in the shower? If it's like dressing, and you just need to do certain things to feel okay later--just accept it. Are there things you can leave out or do every other day instead?

Cutting up food might be an anxiety thing for you...do you think that might be true? In that case, maybe things that reduce anxiety would help. Remind yourself that it's okay to spill or for the slices to not be perfect. If your mother is making you anxious, can you do it when she is not watching?


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17 Jun 2015, 6:59 am

Does it worsen in the mornings or you have such problems during other times of day? In my case I tend to do things faster the later time of day it is but even then I am usually fast enough do get things done so I cannot identify with your problem. The only thing I can identify with is the trouble getting dressed up - I also tend to waste time trying on a lot of different clothes because nothing feels right. I make a huge mess in my room then.

You might find changing the time of some activities some help.
You can for example take a shower and prepare a few sets of clothes in the evening so in the morning you will be just left with choosing which set of clothes feels right and preparing the breakfast.
Although I know how it is easier said than done - my mom always say I should prepare my clothes the evening before but when morning comes I go on with my clothes hunting and end up wearing something else anyway.

About breakfast - you might simplify the whole thing.
If you have trouble cutting the bread - buy precut one so you take a piece of bread in right shape straight from the box.
If you try hard to make a perfect sandwich with butter, cut vegetable slices etc. - don't bother. Just put a precut slice of cheese straight on your bread(without any butter) or cover a slice of bread with some peabutter or whatever food paste you like/can eat(since you might be allergic to peanuts).
That's what I do. Take a bread slice, take a cheese slice, put it together and eat.



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17 Jun 2015, 7:14 am

I had a friend/roommate who took 2 or 3 hours to get up and get dressed. Once I realized that she couldn't help it, I made sure that she never had an appointment before 1 pm. And I would tell her "it's time to get ready" about 3 hours before we were due to leave. It also took her 1-1/2 to 2 hours to shower. The hot water would always run out of course, so she began taking baths and only showering off at the end. In other words we just adapted every activity to knowing ahead of time that everything was going to take a certain amount of time.

She had been scolded so much for being slow by other people in her life that she often panicked whenever I said "how are you doing?" or "would you like any help?" I reassured her countless times that I wasn't rushing her or scolding her, and that she had plenty of time left to do her things. After about a year of no one scolding or rushing her, her panic settled down somewhat. She remained just as slow for the three years she lived with me, and couldn't change at all even though she wanted to. We decided our only choices were to either fuss and worry about it, or accept it. So we accepted it.



animalcrackers
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17 Jun 2015, 12:01 pm

Coda wrote:
Does anyone else have this issue? Do you have any ways to combat this issue because I'd sure like to hear about them so that I can finally stop taking 2-3 hours just to get ready for college in the morning.


Yes, it takes me forever to do things. Not everything, but enough things that it bothers me sometimes.

I take about 3 hours to get ready in the mornings. I have never found a way to get ready in the mornings in a normal amount of time -- 3 hours is the best I can do. The only way for me to get ready quickly is to technically just not get ready at all and instead rush out the door without washing, eating breakfast, and/or taking the time to make sure I have needed items (e.g. coat, wallet, watch, phone, keys, bag) ...... When I rush out really quickly (with less than an hour to get ready) I'm lucky if I leave the house with enough/appropriate clothes on and remember to lock the door without locking myself out of the house or leaving my keys dangling from the lock, forgetting most everything else I need and eventually arriving at wherever I'm going hungry, unprepared, and some degree of dishevelled-looking (and possibly late, too, even if I left the house on time -- I've often had to run back home for bus fare after missing the bus because I only noticed I'd forgotten my fare as the bus pulled up and I reached into my pocket to get it).

I have never found a way to do things like shopping in a normal amount of time, either -- although it did make a huge difference when I started drawing my shopping lists instead of writing them in words, making separate lists for each store, and planning my shopping trips to minimize sensory overload (the more overloaded I am the harder it is to think and keep track of things and the slower I get....plus it takes hours or the whole rest of the day to recover from sensory overload, which can make me very angry and start a horrible downards spiral). I'm still slower than normal but not nearly as slow as I was before.

For me, the slowness seems to be caused by mental processing issues -- most of them fall under "executive functioning problems". Routines help to a degree (cuts down on the amount of stuff I have to process), and so does finding ways to work with my brain's natural modes of thought, but I don't think I'll ever be able to do some things as quickly as others can. I just plan my life accordingly.

If getting stuff ready the night before would be helpful (either becuase you do stuff faster at night or because it helps to not have to do everything all at once), here are some more suggestions for specific tasks:

>Put a bowl and spoon and cereal on the table for breakfast (or a plate and knife and whatever toppings or bread you can keep out of the fridge, put out beside the toaster if you're having toast);

>Make your lunch;

>Put books, assignments, supplies in your bag and set it near the door;

>Put stuff like keys or bus fare into your pockets the night before (or keep them in a specific place (like a coat pocket or bag) all the time;

>Put things like a coat or umbrella or shoes right next to your bag;

For the cutting and peeling apples thing, would it help to use apple peeler and slicer gadgets? Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

Image
(link to img source page: https://www.starfrit.com/en/apple-peeler)

I have also seen gadgets for chopping and slicing other foods -- some of them are electric and some are manual.


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18 Jun 2015, 6:46 am

The only problem I have is the sense of time... Me getting up either takes 5 hours (which involves a lot of distraction) or 25 minutes (just get up, wash, get dressed in a minute, get a bite of breakfast, then run wherever I should go. I really mean it with the 'run' part)
And occasionally forgetting what to bring stuffs (keys, bag, umbrellas, whatever I should bring with), which is usually important ones whether I'm in a rush or not.

My screwed sleeping schedule doesn't help... But I'm rather used to the chaos quite a long time ago.


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19 Jun 2015, 9:31 am

Yes, I have time management problems with tasks like getting ready. Some of the problem is similar to yours: things have to feel right and comfortable and I have to do things in a certain way.

Other than that, I don't even know where the time goes -- I have a feeling I may tend to space out, go into a daydream -- I've started to think I should set up video on myself to find out exactly what happens to me and what I'm really doing.

By videoing myself I may possibly discover that sometimes perhaps I just stand still and stare into space. I do know that I often get into a state of stress and start pacing and talking to myself, particularly when I don't like the place I'm about to go to, and this of course interrupts my practical tasks too.

I think the times I take are not as long as yours but still long enough that other people can't understand why I'm not faster, and also that my timings cause problems in my life and make me late even when I believe I've made enough time to accommodate my time issues.

Someone mentioned getting faster later in the day -- I too have experienced this with things like showering. If I shower first thing in the morning while getting ready to go out to work, it takes much longer than when I take a shower during the evening. It feels like I move faster and perform all the same tasks and sub-tasks with brisker efficiency.

So I've tried to schedule showering as a "before bed" thing instead of a morning routine -- but unfortunately my poor executive functioning means I've had a hard time incorporating this new schedule as I've never done things that way before and it changes my whole routine. So that's another layer of problems I've given myself in trying to solve the initial one.

I try to have things prepared ahead of time, but again that doesn't always work out. Basically all my functioning and ability to time things is very, very poor and I struggle just to keep work in my life. I have a client whom I just know is dying to fire me right now.


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19 Jun 2015, 12:22 pm

Edna3362 wrote:
The only problem I have is the sense of time... Me getting up either takes 5 hours (which involves a lot of distraction) or 25 minutes (just get up, wash, get dressed in a minute, get a bite of breakfast, then run wherever I should go. I really mean it with the 'run' part)
And occasionally forgetting what to bring stuffs (keys, bag, umbrellas, whatever I should bring with), which is usually important ones whether I'm in a rush or not.

My screwed sleeping schedule doesn't help... But I'm rather used to the chaos quite a long time ago.



This sounds a lot like me really. I also have severe problems with cleaning, since I need to process every single item I pick up and exhaust myself.



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19 Jun 2015, 12:57 pm

Sometimes I put off doing things just because I know I will lose track of time while doing them and then I will become frustrated, so I just give up and don't even start them. I've found a couple of things that sometimes help:

- I play a game with myself I call "How Fast Can I Do This". For example this morning I was dreading a shower so I decided to see how fast I could do it. I considered using a timer but didn't want to over complicate things. I'm pretty sure I completed the shower in 60-90 seconds, and had a bit of fun making a game of it. That beats the usual 20 minutes I can spend in the shower if I don't pay attention.

- Toaster: each morning I have toast for breakfast and get bored waiting for it. I think it takes almost 5 minutes. So I make a game of seeing how much housecleaning I can do while waiting on the toaster to go "ding". I live in a small place so I can usually give the floors or furnishings a decent dusting in that time. That works out to about 30 minutes of housecleaning each week.



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19 Jun 2015, 1:02 pm

I too play those "Lets see how fast I can do this" games to help myself improve -- still doesn't work! Something, somehow, somewhere along the way, always still gets to make me delayed and late. I time myself in a lot of things, striving to get to the bottom of what could work better for me. I still can't beat this problem.


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If you have a problem with something I post, something I believe, something I do or say, something in my sig, or something I am stupid enough to share that I'm struggling with and being caused pain by -- TELL ME TO MY FACE so that I can defend myself, instead of see you make a mockery of or a dig about it later.

On the other hand, friends will never need an explanation, and enemies bent on disliking me will never accept one.

ASD Level 1, PTSD. Plus anxiety with panic attacks, mild sub-clinical situational depression -- and a massive case of sheer freakin' BURNOUT.

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20 Jun 2015, 2:48 am

I basically have to be looked after like I was three years old. Bathed, dressed and fed. Now I can dress myself, but it takes me forever, so on school days they just do it for me. They have me shower at night because that takes me forever. I need to have my food cut for me. I have to have someone with me outdoors because I get lost too easily, and will just keep walking forever without turning back for home. And also will most likely walk right out into traffic and get hit by a car. I use PEC's also. I keep working at it and trying to develop the muscle memory thing.



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20 Jun 2015, 6:30 am

Yes, everything takes me bloody forever.

I space out so easily, get distracted by basically everything, get confused due to having spaced out while distracted, forget what I'm doing while I"m doing it, or do loopy things like try to make a sandwich but forget the bread. Usually in sort of a dazed, airheaded state. Which seems to be how I am by default.

Just.... argh. It ends up taking me like 2 hours to get out the door each day, when it should take like 30 minutes at most. I tend to be late for pretty much any appointment, or things like that.

It can be very frustrating. I'll always get the stuff done eventually, but as the saying goes, I have my head in the clouds pretty much the whole time.



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20 Jun 2015, 6:42 am

Music is supposedly in a different part of the brain is probably why you having much more speed and comfort playing music.