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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Brenda Pruitt. Powered by Blogger.

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To Be Me


I want to hide in a closet when I hear someone say the words: Have you heard this joke? And then before I answer they plunge into telling the joke. 

How they remember the words to the joke is beyond me. I was never able to memorize. 

But the worst part is that I won't get the point. And I won't know when to laugh. 



The person telling the joke will stare at me, their smile fading. "Don't you get it?" they'll say. 


No, I never get jokes. I cannot explain to you why. I simply can't find the humor or grasp the point. 

I have learned how to do things by watching those around me. But that can only take you so far.

I cannot follow directions. The other day I went to my local nursery, which I've been to many times. It is only a few miles away. I tend to talk to myself as I pass points of reference. A farmer's market, a grocery store, a bank. 

Talking to myself, aside from sounding ridiculous and a bit strange, I can soothe myself and remain calm. No radio, just me and my voice. 

I get to the nursery, make a point of noting that I had to go in one entrance because there was no other, and am inside maybe 20 minutes. 

When I come out and get in the car and drive to the only entrance/exit, I am confused as to which way to go. Was it my right that is now my left? Or was it my left that is now my right? I can't just sit there, so I choose one and off I go. 

It didn't take me long to figure out that I had gone the wrong way. An immediate U-turn in the middle of the street because there was little traffic. So off I go in the opposite direction, and I start looking for my points of reference. The farmer's market, the grocery store, the bank.

I am now completely lost. I do not own a smart phone because heavens, it costs enough just to pay the internet bill in my apartment. And besides, I can only imagine how confusing that would be to work. 

So I do what I always do. I keep driving and turning around until eventually I manage to find something familiar. 

This happens quite a lot. Hence, I don't go out much. Getting lost is exhausting. I get very anxious. 

I fear I will drift into gang territory and not know it. You do not want to roll your window down and ask someone where you are if you might possibly be in gang territory.


How many times has someone said: "But you seem so intelligent. I just can't figure out why you can't follow what I'm telling you. It's very simple."

It may be simple for them, but not for me. So if someone is measuring my aptitude and intelligence by the things I simply cannot master, I am going to score very low. 

I really would fare better, I believe, if I lived in a small town with less distraction. Less distraction and noise means less anxiety.



I hear people say they're going to the airport and flying out of state for something. A meeting or vacation perhaps. This is so far beyond my comprehension that the mere thought makes me break out into a sweat. 

How would I handle the chaos of an airport? How would I find where I needed to go inside the airport? How would I know where to go when the plane landed? Directions, directions...

These things seem so simple for everyone around me. But you see airports are usually crowded places and people are jostling against me (I don't like people brushing up against me). It is noisy and I cannot separate the various conversations. 

It would be absolutely overwhelming to me. 



My life follows a very strict schedule. If I get off the schedule somehow, I try to backtrack and start over from that point. For instance, if I have to be at a doctor's appointment and don't have time for my coffee, but need to eat a bowl of cereal because I'm hungry, I will do so. 

But when I get back home, I will eat that same bowl of cereal so I can have my coffee. 

People wonder why on earth I would do this. Why not just have the coffee when I get home? 

Because patterns and habits are rules for me. If I get off track, I am easily confused and find it hard to catch up. If I go back to the beginning and start again, I am soothed by the ritual. I can catch up to my regular schedule and proceed through my day. 


I'm sure these things sound rather ridiculous and certainly abnormally concrete. I live in a black and white world. There is little room for gray. 

And it seems that somewhere in those gray areas are how other people somehow solve problems and get through their day. 

What I would give for a little gray. I have some in my hair. But apparently none in my thinking patterns. 

If this sounds like someone you know, maybe you should tell them that agonizing over the "whys" does not help. Getting a diagnosis might not free them from the difficulties of everyday life. But it might help them to forgive themselves for being who they are. 

It might mitigate their confusion a bit. And they might not be so hard on themselves because they are simply different. 

Whatever you do, please don't say to them: "But you seem so intelligent..." Or: "How about I tell you a joke?"
Cozy Little House
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66 comments:

  1. You are extremely intelligent, my dear. I'm sure your brain has blocked certain things off for you to cope. You are a bright shining light that has the biggest heart in the whole world. You help so many with your words.
    Love you,
    Jamie

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    1. You carry with you a special light of your own, Jamie.

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  2. Hey I am like that with directions! :)
    AND so.....you might not get the punchline in a lame joke but you can crack us up in a post, where you tell us about something going wrong but make it extremely humorous as you unveil your story. I'll take the latter any day :)

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    1. I know. Sounds strange, doesn't it? But I just tell the story. If it is humorous, it just comes out that way.

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  3. In a way, it's almost envious that you have found ways to calm yourself and to get back on track when you're thrown off (cereal with coffee). Everyone needs ways to cope with various things in their lives, so it's great you've found what can help you! Thanks for being so open. I enjoy reading this, as I have suspected for a long time that my father has something similar...

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    1. I hope your father does not torment himself as I did until last week because he is different. Perhaps get him to a doctor???

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  4. Brenda I read your post the other day where you had gotten a diagnosis that put you on the Asperge/Austism Spectrum. Your difficulties are classic manifestations of the disorder. I have a 24 year old Aspie son we deal with the same problems. He is smart but I cringe when I watch him cross a street or a parking lot for fear he will get hit - he has no concept of space and speed. He has completed college classes but wouldn't be able to find his way home if we didn't go the same way every time. Routine routine routine are the way we live our lives. Years ago it drove me crazy but the older I get the more I am happy and comfortable with our routine. We find joy is a small simple life. That big noisy world out there will get along fine without us. Take comfort in the little cozy home you have made for yourself. It is something we strive for too. Hugs.

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  5. Routine is soothing. You learn it and don't have to think about it, unless it is disrupted. I am enjoying my simple and small little abode. Painting it bright colors simply because it delights me to do so!

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  6. Your "symptoms" if that is what you want to call them are part and parcel of autism...what to someone that is not affected by autism is manageable becomes overwhelming for you. I find that people with autism are most often extremely bright----so bright that they don't know what to do with the tiger they are holding onto...their brain.
    Routines are very important as are rituals.
    At least now (after your dr visit) you KNOW what is going on with you AND you can talk about it and no longer feel you need to hide it away.
    You have no idea how many people you might help by being "out there".
    My husband is a brilliant man but rarely gets jokes...even when you explain them to him. Imagine HIM living with ME! It has made for some interesting moments in life.
    God bless ya, Brenda. You are such a good soul. xo Diana

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    1. For so many years, I just thought I wasn't trying hard enough.

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  7. I understand your routines because my brother has MS. He will be in a wheel chair very very soon. He has rituals and schedules. When he has to give himself a shot (3x week) it is an all day process. He has a ritual, he prays for hours prior to the shot and after. But he has a disease where my parents and I do not, and therefore do not understand why the all day ritual for one shot that takes two seconds. It baffles my parents more than myself. It is what it is and if rituals and schedules help soothe the person with the disease so be it, whom are we to judge. I thank my lucky stars I don't have the debilitating disease. I have rituals too. I have to make my bed every single morning. I have to make sure no dirty dishes in the sink prior to leaving the house...that sort of thing. I have to have a clean house prior to bringing fresh flowers inside....see we all have our own little routines as weird as they are, we all have them! Hugs, happy hump day.

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    1. Okay, now I've read this numerous times...but what is hump day?

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    2. Hi Brenda. Hump Day is a nickname for Wednesday. Imagine the five days of the work week are a little hill, or hump. On Monday and Tuesday you are climbing up the hump and it seems you have a long way to go. On Wednesday you have made it halfway, and you are at the top of the hump. On Thursday and Friday you are heading down the other side to the weekend. So, that's why Wednesday is hump day.

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  8. Thank you so much for writing as honestly as you do. Friends of mine have children at different places on the autism spectrum, and your writing gives me a new way of thinking about them. What makes me especially happy for you is not that you struggle with the trip to and from the garden center, but that you do not let these struggles prevent you from going. I'm a better person for your willingness to share.

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  9. What you are doing is good for you. As a teacher, 4 and 5 year olds who were found to be autistic (during their time in my class), were overwhelmed by the number of children, the sounds, etc. when placed in a small class, with trained adults..they thrived. There was a routine. There were short periods of lessons, followed by rewards..some liked having their arms brushed with a soft brush, done liked squeezing a squishy toy, etc. after 1–2 years, the students often returned to mainstream classes, much more prepared to handle that. When leaving my class, the child might not appear to know my name. Two tears later, upon returning, the child would greet me in the hall by name. Much had been unlocked..allowed to surface in a comfortable and nurturing setting. Your ways are instinctively the best ways. These routines are nurturing and comforting and appropriate. How wonderful!

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  10. I've just learned to adapt in a world that I find very confusing as best I can.

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  11. This world is so chaotic these days. Too many choices, too many distractions. Those don't help any of us. I always struggle when I go out because I'm afraid I'll forget something important. I don't go out much. Maybe that's why. It's such a monumental event for me. I might go out once or twice a week. I come home exhausted! I feel for you, Brenda! Have you ever tried using a GPS? They can at least take some of the fear out of getting lost. You plug in your destinations and it directs you to them. Then you can set it to get you home. Just a thought.

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  12. Hallo again, the word Hump is an expression that I learned from my american friends, and it seems to be meaning Wednesdays, which they say is the hump in the middle of the week.. after the hump its almost the weekend... so the hump is Wednesday** HOPE that was clearly explained, I think thats what my friend said! Meanwhile, it is marvellous that you now know what that feeling of being outside everything means. It must have been quite amazing to realise that you are not alone, and it can be quite normal.. if anything, it seems to happen to super intelligent people, so for years thinking you were less than others because of it... just remember you are more, and that you are soooo worth it!!! I do so enjoy your blog and will be back... as Arnie says** hugs from across the pond..jxx

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    1. It was a relief to know I was not alone. I feared telling people many things about myself because it sounded so strange even to my own ears.

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  13. I hope you know that you are never alone, Brenda. You have touched so many lives, and there is no greater gift than that. It is interesting that you said that about a small town. I was actually thinking that for you earlier.That might be something to consider in the future. xo Laura

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    1. I think I would be happier in a smaller town. Maybe 30,000 people. I once lived in a town that size and got around pretty well.

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  14. The hardest part is coming to terms with yourself and not fighting it. Once that is approached and attacked you become you, and you really are an intelligent, creative and generous person. We all have our routines, our little quirky ways no matter who we are. Wouldn't the world be boring if we were all the same. Take care xx

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    1. Routines are soothing. I guess we do all have them. Especially as we get older it is reassuring.

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  15. Don't feel bad, Brenda. I'm a 'black or white,' 'yes or no,' 'are or are not,' 'do or don't' type of person. It has to be one or the other with me. I have no middle ground. But I do love jokes. Some I don't get and I will say so. Of course, once it's explained to me, it really wasn't that funny in the first place, then the person will stand there for a moment with this, what I call, a 'duh' look on their face and melt to the floor in either humiliation or embarrassment, or both, and I do find that funny. But it's all good.

    New reader here. Love what I've seen/read so far.

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    1. Thank you for visiting my little blog! I welcome all readers and love that you entered the dialogue.

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  16. Wow, Brenda, how brave you are to tell your story. I can't help but feel there are others out there that need to know that they are not alone. I hope knowing more about why you do the things you do brings you some peace. Best wishes along your journey.

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    1. I figure that once you understand something about yourself, it will probably help someone else. If I had heard this from someone, I probably would have picked up on this earlier in life.

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  17. Brenda,

    I love your sheer honesty. It's so wonderful to read. Not that it's the same thing but Ihave a special needs child and when people say the absolute wrong thing it's so infuriating. More so because they usually don't know that they've said something hurtful.

    I was wondering if in addition to the Aspbergers you might have some sensory issues along with anxiety. Not that I want to slap more labels on you. Then again with a label comes the ability to educate and get skills. The reason I ask is that my daughter has sensory issues and I have depression and anxiety issues and in reading your post there were some little lights going off. I hope I haven't offended you by asking.

    Lastly I can completely understand not wanting to do a smart phone but have you thought about a stand alone GPS system? It is an expense to start with but usually easy to learn and might make navigating much less stressful.

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    1. I guess I need to look into a GPS, but money has been kind of tight lately, so I put it on the back burner. Of course it doesn't offend me. I welcome your telling me. I do have quite a few sensory issues and remember as a child how noises bothered me, sometimes light, touch, textures. Is that what you mean?

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  18. I was getting anxious reading you sharing your frustration in the car. I certainly wouldn't want you drifting off into gang territory. You have opened a whole new world to this thing you speak of as Autism and Asbergers, shedding light on this. I so appreciate your sharing your story and your everyday trials and tribulations. It saddens me that apparently so many children or young adults are not diagnosed w/it in schools, just given the label so often of ADHD. Until a few years ago I'd never heard of Asbergers.

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    1. I think ADHD might be over-diagnosed. I really hadn't heard much about Aspergers until my cousin brought it up 4-5 years ago. Then I looked it up. But I was in the middle of leaving TX and decided to deal with it later. I decided it was time to explore it more.

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  19. I am diagnosed OCD, so I completely understand the doing it in order thing.

    No one should ever say things like, "But you seem so intelligent". That's rude.

    Oh and flying and airports are overrated. I never do it anymore, because I hate it, so don't feel like you're missing out.

    xoxo,
    rue

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    1. I don't think people get that saying that just makes one feel worse. Intelligence has nothing to do with it. But people that haven't dealt with it cannot comprehend it.

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  20. I have a saying about going somewhere new: I was lost the whole time until I got there. I often have the feeling of being lost. A couple of years back I invested in a GPS for my car because I don't have a smartphone. It was absolutely the best money I ever spent. I went to a different Kohl's today and once I got there I knew where I was but I was absolutely lost in a city I grew up in. LOL. Some tech toys are required to make my life easy and I may drag my foot to the check out because I don't want to spend the money, but I'm so glad I did buy this tech toy. As far as habits, patterns, routines, I love them. I know what I've accomplished as I go through the rituals. After that I may try those things that I'm not sure about. You may not be the person you think you need to be, but as long as you've figured out how to live comfortably, that is all that matters.

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  21. It sounds scary ... that being lost thing. I know I can trust you to be careful. I think a lot of people have some form of (the dx formerly known as) Asperger's. Right in my own family and among my friends. I have one friend who absolutely, positively will not (cannot) drive across a bridge. Another friend can only drive straight to work and back. Anywhere else and she panics. And she did have an accident recently driving to work, her fault because she didn't see the car coming. I say we should celebrate Asperger's people who are so incredibly artistic.

    Including, and especially, you.
    Mary

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    1. I wonder why this type person seems to be more artistic or creative? An interesting concept.

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  22. I love routine too. Your move from Texas must have been incredibly stressful.

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  23. i love your openness; your willingness to share your struggles. Over the years as i have read your blog i was impressed with your creativity and cleverness to make and do things to make your home so lovely no matter if it was a little blue house or your new condo. What does it matter if you don't get jokes; many people don't. It is scary to be lost; i am extremely directionally challenged myself and unless i have been somewhere many, many times, i will forget how to get there or how to get home. You have many strengths among which are a gentle and loving spirit. Keep on keeping on, you're doing very well!

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  24. Oh gosh, if someone rattles off directions to me I just shut down. I have to make bullet points and highlight. And when the weather changes I'm really in trouble. My father used to say of someone dropped me off in the backyard I wouldn't know where I was. I used to love to take life as it came and fly by the seat of my pants. I wish I was still like that. I'm not. I have to have a definite routine. I wonder if that's why I hate to travel? I wish I could be like the poem....When I get Old I'll Wear a Purple Hat.

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  25. Brenda, the Garmin GPS brands are really good. They are a bit pricey (look on Amazon), but if each of your blog readers donated a dollar to a fund to cover the cost, I'm sure you'd have enough in no time. My suggestion though would be to first ask around to those you know and see if anyone has one you can borrow. Then you can try it out and see if you'd like one before you buy.

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  26. You are repeating something to me that I'm very familiar with because of my son. He is mildly autistic and definitely follows the same routine every day! if I'm going to be gone, he must know where and when I'll be back. If he is going with me somewhere he needs to know the same info. He takes everything literally so you can't really be "sarcastic" with him. If I say something like "lets kill two birds with one stone" he takes it literally when really it's just a saying for let's get two things done by doing it this way. We however don't tell him he is autisitc. We don't want him to think he is any different than others because then he will obsess over that.He already notices others that are because they are so obvious. My son isn't obvious. he is quiet and shy but can hold a normal conversation and look you in the eyes. Labels can do that to people. We will wait until he is older to discuss this with him. The autism spectrum is very diverse! Don't feel bad about fearing the airport. There are people like me, who don't have autism that wouldn't be comfortable traveling alone like that too. I'm terrible with directions too! I'm sure if I was a single woman I would have to overcome a lot of fears that i haven't had to face alone so far.

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  27. I get disoriented every time I visit the dentist. When it's time to go, I inevitably go the wrong direction (inside the building!). I also like quiet. I no longer like to attend big functions where there are many conversations going on at the same time. It could have something to do with my hearing loss, but I'm more comfortable in small gatherings. I live in a small town, and many drivers don't even bother to use signal lights when they turn. Luckily for me, I'm usually a passenger when driving in large cities. You've had to do everything by yourself, and you should be proud of all you've accomplished these last few years!

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  28. Brenda, I started to comment here hours ago, closed the laptop to fix supper but have thought about what you've written during this time.

    You have done wonderfully these years that we've known you here at CLH. When I think about you going through a divorce, moving to another state, making a home in the little blue cottage, and now moving again to create another lovely little home, not to mention going through surgeries, being in pain for so long, being limited physically, attacking all the red tape of divorce and health care system, taking wonderful care of two precious pups--and, being a lynchpin in the blogging community, well dear friend, you have done an amazing job!

    And now everything is beginning to make sense. All these things that you have learned ways to survive and thrive--even these routines that help you to function well. Even your ways of driving to where you need to go, not done automatically as some do but in the way that works for you.

    You should be so proud of yourself! And now you have opened up a conversation here about something that seems to touch so many people. Educating others.

    And who knows how many other people who have read these posts, those who may just read and never comment, how it might touch them, a need they or a loved one is struggling with.

    Many of the things you've written about in this post happen to some of us who are seniors. I understand more now of why both my parents depended so much on their routines as they grew older and now I see the same thing in myself. I hope you continue to take us along the path with you in your posts, along with those posts that focus on creating unique homes.

    And, just like your previous story of the doorknob, I love that you don't give up, you persistently move forward in the way that works for you, personally. I would say keep it up, but I know you will anyway!

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  29. I think routine brings comfort, too...and it's hard stepping out of your comfort zone, even more so when you have to deal with challenges differently. You seem to figure out how to find your own way, to get what you need done. I am sure your openness and willingness to share, are helping many other people.

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  30. I lived in a house for four years and every time I got to the end of the driveway I had to tell myself left is Roy right is Yelm. We were in the country and those were the closest two towns to go to. Moving is very disorienting. When I learned a new job or task I had to write down every little step. But once I got it I got it and it stayed. My daughter has a way of helping me learn like no one else, she is my best friend!! I think there are great things with being a black and white person but I am learning there are places to live in between that makes me happier!! I'm 55 so I guess it's never too late to learn!

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  31. A lurker here..... just reaching out with a big (((((((((HUG)))))))))

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  32. You may not always feel like it, but you are a very lucky woman Brenda. For every person who has commented here, I'm sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, who are reading and becoming inspired by your writing. That's a huge gift.

    As for the GPS, I like Kim's idea. I know you would shy away from asking for help, but I think I speak for many of us when I say it would be our privilege to help you. You have done so much for so many, it's absolutely the least we can do. (As for a smart phone, even if you had one the navigation usually uses up so much of your space it can get pricey.)

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  33. trying for the 6th time to comment lol... seeing comments cause it lets me click on Notify Me- but wont let me=publish.... grrrrrr

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  34. wow finally.. been trying for days.. anyway
    love you just exactly as you are~!!!! I mean that with all my heart..
    you are Honest, Forthright and cut right thru the usual BS I get from others.. plain and simple answer to questions I ask.... no round the world answer or having to think about what you say- how you feel about any given issue... Have you any idea what that means to me and probably many others? its means we can TRUST YOU.... a character issue rarely found these days. so please Be Proud- Feel Cherished and appreciated.
    I too cant handle the BS- so this is said from one who has sought someone just like YOU to bring Truth back in my life...... OK I'm selfish and really sorry some of your issues have brought you pain but dang sweetie- you mean so much to so many.... ya know that song- don change a hair for me?? or something like that lol.. please stay just the way you ARE.. That light that clearly shows the way and that breath of Fresh Air in an ever more stagnant world.......
    Sonny

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  35. Good morning Brenda. I love reading your posts, as I have said many times. But now they are even more interesting. I believe we are all unique in our own ways. It is sometimes what some may think as quirky, that is actually what makes us who we are. It would be so boring if everyone was the same, and yet so many people want to lump all of us together. I like a schedule and certain things at the same time each day. It makes me feel secure. I like peace, and quiet, and I don't like jokes at all. I get lost and I have lived in the same place for 40 years. Does that make me different . . absolutely not. . it makes me who I am and I am happy with that. Each journey in life teaches us our self-worth. And we are worth a lot! You have a wonderful day. Keep making your U-turns if you have to, and it is ok, to come back home and start all over again. . .Hugs, to a friend, Karie

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  36. Brenda don't feel bad...as I've gotten older I find it's harder for me to follow directions on things. While out and about I have to use a GPS most times because honestly I can get lost in a paper bag! Now I know that GPS might not be a good thing for you because of the noise..but maybe something to check into.

    Take care!

    Seu

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    1. And it seems I can't even spell my own name

      Sue

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  37. First and foremost I am a religious daily reader of your blog and I enjoy it so much. Even though I do not know you personally I know from your words and getting to know you here that you are an amazing woman. One who has found the courage to stand up and on her own two feet through circumstances that many people in this world wouldn't have the courage to do. You've faced so much in your life yet you still find the meaning of living each day and keep putting one foot in front of the other. For that I admire you so much Brenda.
    I am 44 years old and I suffer through some of the same things you speak of. I went through a very traumatizing ten years with my son. I'll not go into the details but I'll say it changed me completely as well as my health. I live in a large city and it's new to me. I get lost all of the time and easily get frustrated. That in turn often leads to one of my panic/anxiety attacks which makes things so much worse.

    I don't like crowds at all and find myself picking times to go to the grocery store when I know there will be few people there even if that's at 6:00 a.m. in the morning. I too tend to remain at home with my husband and our little dog and it makes me perfectly content. I'm most happy working in my yard, reading, cooking, watching a good movie, listening to music - at home just me or just the three of us.

    I have depression and panic disorder. There are also other diagnosis that affect me with other things such as sensitivity to chemicals, the sun, chronic pain....really the list could go on and on. I've even been told that I more than likely have PTSD from all of the trauma that I've gone through. It's been a journey for me and one that I have to say has made my life better. I know that' odd to say but it's true. Not being able to take prescription drugs because of my chemical sensitivity disorder has led me on a path of changing my diet and my entire lifestyle to all natural and chemical free.

    I am healthier than I've ever been and so is my husband. Yes I have days that are a struggle for me and I probably always will but I personally believe that it's my journey that was meant to be. And I'm going to walk this path with my head held high each day, enjoying each moment that I'm blessed to have and not be so hard on myself. It's not always easy because many people even those close to me do not understand all that I have gone through nor do they understand why things have to be a certain way for m or why I cannot always do what they ask of me. It's difficult to deal with but I'm learning more and more each day that it's okay. If they cannot understand then maybe they don't need to be a part of my life.

    You are an inspiration to me Brenda. I thank you for all the times that you've put yourself out here for all of us to see. I wish you peace, love and joy in your life. Blessings to you!
    Belinda

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    1. Love, good health and much love to you...

      Jane x

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  38. I'm not a blogger like so many other posters but I love to read blogs. Yours is one of my favorites and I have commented before. This post is wonderful. You shared your diagnosis of Autism with the world and now have shared how you figured out how to get through situations that make you uncomfortable even before you were diagnosed. That proves how intelligent you are. You are educating people left and right. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Your decorating, love of reading and gardening, and honesty have been inspirational to me.

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  39. Brenda, I admire you so much. For all these years you have figured out a way to do what works for you. I do understand as I have friends who just can't process certain things. It's OK! Why do we rush to judgement when all we have to do is let someone be themselves. Our brains are not all wired the same and your coping skills are admirable. Now that you have your diagnosis I hope this helps you to feel better about yourself. Sharing these things will only educate others and hopefully help many!
    hugs,
    Linda

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  40. I think we all have some "disability" or something that makes us different. For some, it's more visible; others, it's hidden. I think it's wonderful you have found what makes you happy, what helps and soothes you throughout your day and how you want to live your life.

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  41. A second bowl of cereal to get back on track...awesome! ; )

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  42. My grandson was just tested as autistic, on the higher spectrum. His mother, our daughter, was also told a couple of years ago that she probably was autistic. We were never able to get a diagnosis for our daughter. Doctors told us it was just a discipline problem, or some other "blaming someone" reason. Our grandson is already 6 years old. We have been trying to get him help for over 3 years. He did have some home therapy for speech and such. He was tested at 3 but no diagnosis other than sensory problems. It isn't easy to get the help you think you night need. I guess because a lot of the kids are so bright, it may seem to many like it is just a discipline problem. If only it could be so simple!

    I get lost on directions sometime myself. We use a TomTom. We had another brand before but it was to slow and hard to use.

    Thanks for your honesty and blogging about it here!

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  43. You may know this, maybe not, so here goes: you can google an address of where you want to go, then will be asked to put in your starting address. you can then, with your printer, print out the answer, which shows the path to where you are wanting to go, street by street and turn by turn, with how many minutes in between.. You can also put the addresses in the reverse order, like, for instance you were going to WalMart, put Walmart's address as the starting point and your address as the destination and print out the way back home. Easy-breezy and doesn't cost anything. :) Since you say you don't go many places, you could print directions for all and keep them in a handy folder-SO MUCH CHEAPER than a GPS!

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  44. I echo all of the comments here, Brenda. You search for your answers and then you deal with them straight on and honestly. You know YOU better than anyone else. You are a survivor and you will get over every hurdle that comes your way. You have a lot of believers. Keep inspiring!

    Jane xx

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  45. It's easy to get turned around. My Garman gps thing gives me confidence that I can get there and back! Sometimes it is something such as an accident or road work detour that gets in the way. Land marks change, new stuff confuses me. That Garman is there to help.

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  46. Hi Brenda, I'm going backwards here - I just read your recent article about your diagnosis of autism - I left a couple of comments there. My niece (age 36) has Aspergers to a relatively high degree. As I commented before, she is so nice, kind, I love her humor, and she is smart - she got her master's in English Lit. But, she really struggles socially, and she too has great difficulty with directions, she has her strict routines. Right now she is trying to get a good job but getting through the interview process is almost overwhelming for her. Going into a room and sitting at a table across from 3-4-5 people asking her all these questions...well, that is hard for anyone, but especially hard for her. Her last interview she was surprised with - "Lets go to lunch and talk" - this kind of spur of the moment thing, well its terrible for her.
    I think the more you learn about autism the better you will feel. I think you have done a great job at doing life your way, a way that is comfortable for you - this is so good and there is nothing wrong with the way you live! I do think as you learn more about autism/Aspergers you will understand better and this can help you - not change you, but help you. I so admire your courage talking about this!

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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