Struggle seeing the “bigger picture” and how to deal/cope wi

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Joined: 20 Jul 2012
Age: 36
Gender: Male
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Location: North Charleston SC

27 Feb 2016, 8:03 pm

People on the Autism Spectrum such as individuals with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism often have trouble seeing the bigger picture. In other words, individuals on the spectrum are often detail orientated. The autistic mind is wired to focusing intensely on one idea at a time. This causes individuals on the spectrum to have strong interests, be very knowledgeable about one thing but not others, but have trouble understanding abstract things, struggle with change, planning, organization, and of course not seeing the bigger picture sometimes which I will focus on here. Being very focused and not seeing the bigger picture trait does have great advantages, one of the biggest being that individuals with it often has a narrow intense focus on one thing and become very interested and skilled in it and not be distracted by other things. However, there are of course drawbacks to this that cause individuals to struggle with this trait because they may miss out on other essential details essential to a specific outcome. This often causes individuals to struggle solving problems, coming up with ideas, understanding other people’s perspectives, or even properly performing everyday task making them successful or earn a living. Individuals on the spectrum often struggle seeing the bigger picture but there are ways in which they can deal and cope with it.
The first thing a person on the spectrum can do to help them see the bigger picture, is to practice being open to new ideas. Individuals on the spectrum often pick a specific way to solve a problem and when it feels like a good method, they’ll stick with it until the end. Sometimes this can be a good thing, however, there might be better methods or ideas out there. In order to accomplish something, it is important to be open to other ideas or methods. A person on the spectrum needs to learn to be comfortable with new ideas. Sometimes this can be hard. However, this can be achieved if the individual is trained to know that other ideas can be good too. This can be done in advanced. Before starting a project and individual can tell themselves, “I am open to other ideas and ways to get this done.” Learning how to deal with change helps and this can be done by also knowing that change is often a good thing and it is a part of life. The more times an individual accepts new ideas and sees the benefit of them, the easier it will be for the individual to accept them in the future.
The second method a person on the spectrum can do to help them see the bigger picture, is to ask other people for input. This can be done by having other people see what the individual is doing and asking for suggestions to make the solution even better. Doing this has many benefits. First, it will help make an individual open to new ideas and see that there are other ways things can be done. Secondly, asking for help and seeing different methods can help them use other parts of their brain and train them to see things in different ways using different methods instead of just one.
The third way a person on the spectrum can do to help them see the bigger picture, is to write a list of other ways things can be done. This can be done by taking a sheet of paper and writing the preferred method. Then the person can start writing a list of other methods that could work too. The individual can then write sub lists under each idea outlining how it can be done. This can be written in outline form, web diagram, or other means that is helpful to the individual. The benefit of this is that it is an easy way to come up with new ideas, in addition, it will help an individual come up with other ideas. This will help an individual not get too set on one narrow-focused method.
The forth tip a person on the spectrum can do to help them see the bigger picture, is to learn how to push themselves to switch gears. People on the spectrum often have a hard time stopping one idea or task and starting a new one. For example when an individual is watching wrestling on television and suddenly realizes they need to take out the garbage because it’s Wednesday, they may have trouble stopping their previous task to do the next one. This is particularly difficult if it’s something they’re really interested in which in this case can be something there working on involving a method they feel is a good one. It can be difficult to be open to new ideas because it might mean the individual may have the stop the previous idea, method, or task he/she is comfortable with. The individual can get through this by simply pushing themselves to switch the mindset. It might take effort but if they do it, they will realize they sort of got over a “hump” and it wasn’t as hard as they thought it was. Soon they’ll realize they are benefitting from being able to accept the new idea.
The fifth thing a person on the spectrum can do to help them see the bigger picture, is to take natural vitamins to help with paying attention and concentration. There are many natural vitamins located at common supermarkets that can be purchased over the counter that can help with this struggle. Many of these pills help with focus, concentration, and multitasking. Research has found Ginkgo Biloba, Fish Oil, and Vitamin B Supplement pills help with this issue. I have also found this to be true from my personal experience. These are none prescription drugs and can be sold over the counter anywhere including Wal-Mart.
The sixth way a person on the spectrum can do to help them see the bigger picture, is getting involved in sports and martial arts. Getting involved in activities that involve moving your physical body in specific ways like coordinating your arms, hands, and legs actually helps train the brain to use and switch different brain centers. This mind training by using the physical body from sports for a long period of time can actually help a person see the bigger picture easier. Each time your arms and hands move in specific coordinated ways, your brain builds neuron pathways into different brain centers. The more a specific movement is made, the more these pathways get strengthened. If an individual where to choose a specific sport, the best sport would be one that uses your arms, legs, and body requiring it to do different complex movements physically the most. For example, running would be a bad suggestion because it doesn’t require a lot of different coordinated movement patterns while Martial Arts would be a good suggestion because it does.
The seventh way a person on the spectrum can do to help them see the bigger picture, is to get them to learn and experience a variety of things. This may seem like an obvious one but it is worth mentioning. Learning a variety of things is like playing a variety of sports mentioned in the last paragraph, it builds neuron pathways all over your brain and this can result in help an individual switch brain centers easier, come up with different ideas easier, and see the bigger picture. Not only will learning new things build neuro connections, there’s another benefit to this method. Learning a variety of things can help an individual discover more skills, interests, and talents which will improve social skills and chances of future success.
As individuals on the spectrum struggle to put things together, see how everything connects, and see an overall picture, they become focused one method that could be good but may close off other ideas that are better. However, I have mentioned a few suggestions that can be helpful. If you know any other suggestions in regards to this struggle please share. I hope you found this blog helpful. Thanks for reading.
James Edwin Hackett IV

James Hackett

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 62
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28 Feb 2016, 2:31 am

The most helpful thing for me has been reading a lot.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman