Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Not an Idiot Child

Sometimes the people doing a job make things harder. Sometimes it is the job itself.

Yesterday I had to sit on my son and hold him by the hair to get his COVID test done. (One of the downsides to traveling.) Dar is super cooperative with the deep nasal test but in Canada they swirl the cotton tip near the edge of the nostril which, for most, people is easier. Dar has a different sensory system. The front of his face has always been a challenging spot to touch gently. It hurts him. He understands that he needs the test and we have to comply. He knows I have no control over how the country does the test. He means to cooperate. But it hurts. So if the person doing the test acts in anyway like Dar is just a baby with no IQ to speak of, the emotional anguish increases the pain and he cannot do it. At this point I have to step in and manhandle him.

I hate this! He trusts and loves me enough not to throw me off his lap but he still fights it. So I have to grab his hair and shove the thing in his nose. Five long seconds for each nostril.

Of course this then means his hormones (adrenaline, cortisol etc) flow profusely (and they take longer for him to ‘turn off’ and recuperate from than a more flexibly brained person would require) and cause physical symptoms.

He had diarrhea, headache and numbness for 24 hours after the event. We were with extended family so he really tried to be his best self. But he could barely eat (his usual comfort creator) and needed to hit the numb spots on his face just to feel anything other than fire-like tingles. 7 hours after the test, food finally helped. He was happier, more relaxed but still had diarrhea all night long.

It is 24 hours later. He is well.

All of this could have been avoided if the woman just hadn’t treated him like an idiot child.

Please people, don’t judge a person by their presentation.

There is no harm in acting as if the person you are speaking to is smart. You can always simplify verbiage and reduce the number of words you use without talking down to them.

I can’t do anything about the test (yes, it was negative) but I can ask you to think and talk up.

Important: Act as if, then simplify. Act as if you will be understood and if you are not, simplify. Do not talk down, simply simplify.