getting things done (including hygiene) simple tasks etc

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pency
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17 May 2020, 1:42 am

Hello

I am writing my biography and listing things - symptoms or describing my struggles throughout my life etc
I am 54. In writing down my history I am somewhat embarrassed (I guess I shouldn't need to be if I want to be 100% truthful w Drs which I have't been until this point)

Do others (anyone here) have difficulty accomplishing every day chores? And even taking care of their hygiene?

I have lived on my own & even then my Mother has cooked for me or done shopping and laundry for me.
I now am w parents in the 80s and they go to grocery store for me and prepare my food. My mum does my laundry still.
I have laminated "to do lists" hung on my bathroom mirror w list of daily hygiene goals:
Shave, bathe (I can wipe w wash cloth, I cannot tolerate water running all over my body and especially scalp/head), brush teeth

I have a list in my bedroom with my bed time/lights/tv off to "de-stress" and try to sleep etc

Even when I exercise or go to appointments my Dad still helps me.
If left on my own I would be overwhelmed and not no where to start and likely meltdown or go back to bed.
If my Dad will go on a walk with me every day after breakfast, I can do that with some routine and structure.
If left on my own I have not been able to do this.

I am 55 soon and my parents won't be here forever. My therapist and social worker is helping me w housing.
I am afraid if I have to:
shop
clean/vaccum
clean toilet
do laundry
grocery shop
prepare meals
change clothes
wash and clean/shave etc myself

That I will be unable to do this. I haven't been able to do it until this point. Most of these chores have been done by family members

I am reading about executive function.
Even the housing applications which appear to be simple..have been sitting on my desk for over 2 months.
I have been anwering phone calls, writing and have had medical appointments lately. All of these things wear me out and i don't have the ability to sit and focus, organize papers etc for housing app.

Is this what they are talking about in terms of impaired executive functioning?
When I was much younger I was an "A" student and could drive to school, park, go to lass, do homework, study, etc
All VERY difficult but I could do it with a light course load

But now I struggle to do day to day tasks.
Is this common?



dragonsanddemons
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17 May 2020, 9:22 am

I have issues with many of the same things, the one exception being that I do my own laundry. I use the washcloth method for cleansing too, also because of sensory issues. I also still live with my parents, and they take care of a lot of these things for me. I am completely dependent on them. If left to my own devices, I don’t even eat. I also can’t drive, so that means my parents have to take me to appointments and stuff. I can’t answer the phone unless I know who it is and am expecting the call, because I get so nervous that I can’t speak understandably. I need lists like that if I am going to get anything done. I also have significant memory issues compounding this. Setting alarms on my phone doesn’t work because I turn off the alarm and continue what I was doing until I reach a stopping point, but by then I’ve often forgotten that there’s something I need to do. I don’t know how common this is or isn’t, but it certainly is something I struggle with as well.


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17 May 2020, 9:27 am

pency wrote:
I am writing my biography and listing things - symptoms or describing my struggles throughout my life etc
I am 54. In writing down my history I am somewhat embarrassed (I guess I shouldn't need to be if I want to be 100% truthful w Drs which I have't been until this point)

Are you diagnosed?
Quote:
Do others (anyone here) have difficulty accomplishing every day chores? And even taking care of their hygiene?

Yes. I can get showered/washed and dressed easily, but it is fatiguing. I am 39 and have not been able to keep my apartments clean enough.
Quote:
I am reading about executive function.
Even the housing applications which appear to be simple..have been sitting on my desk for over 2 months.
I have been anwering phone calls, writing and have had medical appointments lately. All of these things wear me out and i don't have the ability to sit and focus, organize papers etc for housing app.

Yes that's difficult for me as well. Filling out applications is the worst.

You could add lots of food that requires little or no preparation to your diet if/when you become responsible for your own meals. Nuts, seeds, fruit, cold sandwiches, veggies that don't need to be cooked (carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.) Hot cereal you can just pop in the microwave for a few minutes; potatoes you can put in boiling water or the oven for fifteen minutes.
Quote:
When I was much younger I was an "A" student and could drive to school, park, go to lass, do homework, study, etc
All VERY difficult but I could do it with a light course load

But now I struggle to do day to day tasks.
Is this common?

School was easier for me too. I think it probably is common for adulthood to be more difficult for people with executive functioning issues. Other people make our schedules and prompt, remind, and direct us to follow them when we are young. There is a lot more to do and remember as an adult, and we aren't given explicit directions about how to do a lot of it. Plus trying to function with neurotypicals as a child can leave people exhausted once they reach adulthood.



pency
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17 May 2020, 9:32 am

thank you both for replies.
as far as diagnosis:
I have had 2 therapists suggest ASD (specifically Asperger's about 15-20 yrs ago. At that time I had never even heard of it)
I have had a Medical Doctor also say to me "you are likely on the spectrum"
I am 100% certain, but officially getting diagnosed later this Summer (August) with a psych evaluation.
It was suggested I write my history to be certain things are not overlooked or not addressed w the standardized testing and limited time in interview.



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17 May 2020, 12:47 pm

According to the Internet:

People struggling with executive skills may:

* Have trouble starting and/or completing tasks
* Have difficulty prioritizing tasks
* Forget what they just heard or read
* Have trouble following directions or a sequence of steps
* Panic when rules or routines change
* Have trouble switching focus from one task to another
* Get overly emotional and fixate on things
* Have trouble organizing their thoughts
* Have trouble keeping track of their belongings
* Have trouble managing their time

One of the tools I use for weakness in executive function is list. I constantly develop list for example shopping list, to do list, etc. I always remember my shopping list when I go shopping. I always strike of completed tasks on my to-do lists. Anytime I need something, I immediately put it on the shopping list.

Executive function weakness is probably due to a lack in short term memory.


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pency
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17 May 2020, 1:32 pm

thanks Jimmy

yes, i am a list maker too. I live by lists. it helps me stay organized and "on task"

odd about memory though ...my memory is incredible. i remember everything...in great detail too.



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17 May 2020, 1:56 pm

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17 May 2020, 7:42 pm

When I am struggling with unexpected changes, my executive ability suffers. It took me many years to discover some basic things in my new house. When large goals are overwhelming, I try to avoid withdrawal and start work on at least part of a task.



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17 May 2020, 8:06 pm

yes to your question regarding executive function .
i do believe everyone posting to this thread may have that too and are expressing , how their Executive function difficulties affect them. Have my own issues with those issues. Hope you might be okay with yours


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17 May 2020, 8:10 pm

this thread is scarey to me. seriously.... aspects of executive function disadvantage have to face now. Whats possible worse am not equipped for this aspect of this situation , .......... . .


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17 May 2020, 8:42 pm

Hi again Pency,

I remember chatting with you about your decision to seek an ASD assessment. I'm glad you've been able to get it arranged, and start on the intake paperwork about your developmental history. I'm wondering if you have ever had Occupational Therapy support for your difficulty in "getting things done"? Your ASD diagnostician could most likely arrange OT in your recommendations.

I agree that executive dysfunction isn't always about memory deficits. It's often related to anxiety or an inability to direct your thoughts in unison for prioritising, planning, executing and completing tasks. This leads to overwhelm and a fear of failure / maladjustment / sadness. Sometimes ADHD plays a role in this cycle.

It's nice to see you posting again. I hope your assessment goes well and you can start receiving more support.



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17 May 2020, 8:52 pm

jimmy m wrote:
According to the Internet:

People struggling with executive skills may:

* Have trouble starting and/or completing tasks
* Have difficulty prioritizing tasks
* Forget what they just heard or read
* Have trouble following directions or a sequence of steps
* Panic when rules or routines change
* Have trouble switching focus from one task to another
* Get overly emotional and fixate on things
* Have trouble organizing their thoughts
* Have trouble keeping track of their belongings
* Have trouble managing their time

One of the tools I use for weakness in executive function is list. I constantly develop list for example shopping list, to do list, etc. I always remember my shopping list when I go shopping. I always strike of completed tasks on my to-do lists. Anytime I need something, I immediately put it on the shopping list.

Executive function weakness is probably due to a lack in short term memory.


This is a good idea. I am on disability thought it is for severe depression not ASD. I am certain the ADS is what causes my depression. I really like this list, is there a link for it? I have a terrible time with directions or instructions of any kind. I just can't figure things out. My cousin is OCD and I have been spending a lot of time with her for the past year, she helped me get an iphone a week ago and it's nice. She also hounds me about cleaning/hygiene stuff because she is so anal. I think she's a good influence. I buy tons of notebooks for lists and never do it. My executive functioning is terrible, really.



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18 May 2020, 12:22 pm

Electrolysis



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18 May 2020, 12:51 pm

jimmy m wrote:
According to the Internet:

People struggling with executive skills may:

* Have trouble starting and/or completing tasks
* Have difficulty prioritizing tasks
* Forget what they just heard or read
* Have trouble following directions or a sequence of steps
* Panic when rules or routines change
* Have trouble switching focus from one task to another
* Get overly emotional and fixate on things
* Have trouble organizing their thoughts
* Have trouble keeping track of their belongings
* Have trouble managing their time

One of the tools I use for weakness in executive function is list. I constantly develop list for example shopping list, to do list, etc. I always remember my shopping list when I go shopping. I always strike of completed tasks on my to-do lists. Anytime I need something, I immediately put it on the shopping list.

Executive function weakness is probably due to a lack in short term memory.



That's very interesting . Thanks for posting it . I definitely have 1,2,3,4,5,8 and 10 .

As for the OP. I am not good when it comes to practical ,daily tasks . I was having a cleaner come in 2x a week. That was arranged by my s/daughter. I can put washing in the washing machine and do it , but struggle putting it on the clothes when washed so my s/daughter does that . Getting to anywhere that is not very close to where I live I rely on my s/daughter or a granddaughter to take me there. Doing a big grocery shop my s/daughter usually takes me and guides me round the aisles . Because of the current situation she's been doing my shopping for me .

Hygiene is OK, but if I didn't know my s/daughter was there to read the riot act if it slipped it could well be a different story. Let's just say my hygiene at my previous address was far from good . I am not good when it comes to oral hygiene. That's something mentioned as far back as the early 1980s in my psych notes .

I don't think many people can understand the gap between intelligence and what is called 'adaptive functioning' that can often occur with those of us on the spectrum .


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19 May 2020, 9:18 am

IMHO my long term memory is good but my short term memory is bad. It is probably the way my brain processes and stores information. Here is an example. As a child I had a problem with reading. I could read words and even sentences but when you began to put sentences together, that is where I ran into problems.

This recalls another type of special education that I received. When I was growing up, I never enjoyed reading for reading sake. I only associated reading with schoolwork. The only exception to the rule was comic books. But when I entered high school, the requirement to read efficiently became extremely important. My school must have recognized my limitation and placed me in a strange type of special class during my freshman high school year. The training was a type of reading comprehension training. The closest I could describe this approach was a class in Speed Reading. They would flash a paragraph or two of information for a very brief period of time and then measure my comprehension. They tried to teach me tricks on absorbing written material quickly and effectively.

My ability to learn was hindered by my lack of short-term memory. I would read the first sentence of a paragraph and then I would read the next. But by the time I finished the second sentence I forgot what the first sentence was about; so I would reread it. Then off to the third sentence but part way through that I forgot what the first two sentences were about, so I reread them. So it might take me an hour to read one paragraph - a single paragraph. What speed-reading taught me is to quickly identify one or two key words in a paragraph. This was the essence of the paragraph. Once I found them, they would anchor the entire paragraph around those couple words. So instead of reading linearly, I would read information from the inside out. I learned to comprehend meaning by drilling down from those key words to frame the entire paragraph.


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19 May 2020, 2:45 pm

Weaknesses according to Cognifit.

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Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 133 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 47 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)