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Michaela O'Connor

Michaela O'Connor

Studying towards becoming a counsellor.
Areas of particular interest: psychology, ADHD/autism spectrum disorder, climate science and advocacy.

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  • @ChristopherReynolds it definitely looks like something that can't currently help PTSD sufferers, given their levels of norepinephrine while sleeping. Medication to reduce norepinephrine levels seems like it would be needed first.
    I think the sound trigger is purely for the purpose of the experiment, so they can tell when that person is going to be...

  • I'd also like an answer to this!

  • I'm here to see how it could be useful with my autistic teen. Following you for more insight.

  • @GrahamNimmo is it common for this sort of exercise to make the person doing it cry? Everyone here has commented how soothing and restful and happy it made them feel so I just wondered.

  • I'm the same, and I can't see how the breathing would help really. :-/

  • This is fascinating and also a little sad to me, because what this is, is teaching non-autistic people to "stim" so they can feel better, whilst at the same time other areas of psychology do their utmost to stop autistic people from stimming and make us "normal". Please think twice before you stop an autistic person from flapping or tapping or doing whatever...

  • I recently came across this energy accounting activity. While it was designed for autistic people like myself, I think anyone could use it. It helps establish which activities/situations are likely to deplete one's energy stores - you could easily adapt it to have four different sections, one for each "table...

  • I didn't find his voice dull, but he speaks too slowly for me so I speed the video up (I often do this with FL videos anyway,and put the subtitles on). In case this helps you too, you can do it in the bottom right corner of the video under the little cogwheel symbol.

  • It has a neat side-effect of making taking drugs look less cool, so the younger generation may be less likely to get involved.

  • I like this statement from the video:
    "To me, wellbeing is the state in which we’re sufficiently resourced and supported that we are able both to meet the difficulties of life and be present to its joys."
    I often find I can cope with the difficulties but am not really present to the joys.

  • I am in Switzerland and I've joined this course because I'm about to start training to work with the local equivalent of the Samaritans helpline, so it seems useful.

  • Yes, the question rather seemed like it was saying: "is peer pressure or peer pressure the main reason?" Which would explain why the poll shows a roughly 50-50 distribution!

  • Why should we get certification free of charge? It was pretty clear when we signed up to the course that picking the "free" option meant there was no certification. Or do you not think people deserve payment for their work?

  • What you have written above is misleading. 200 pounds is not the price for *this* course, but for access to certificates in all FutureLearn courses. For those only wanting access to this individual course, the price is 74 dollars, which is nothing like 200 pounds - it's all very clearly stated everywhere when you go to pay. If you paid the higher amount, that...

  • @DonovanChoy Please try reading the link I posted. Denial is now a failed tactic in the light of it being really obvious that it's happening, so the former deniers have switched to "it's too late, it's too hard, we can't prevent so let's just adapt to the new reality and certainly not change anything that we're doing to make the new reality happen".
    When in...

  • @D.Henderson the course literally says we should adapt "instead" of preventing, in the first paragraph of this page:
    Quote:
    The reality is that climate change is what some have called a “wicked problem”—trying to eliminate this on a global scale would be too costly and political unattainable. There is now a growing consensus today on the need to approach...

  • Yes it is a separate diagnosis, you can have one or the other or both. In fact IIRC for a long time you could not be diagnosed with both, as they thought you could only have one or the other.

  • @GeorgeWatts this is an excellent point. Perhaps especially for autistic parents who were raised in an environment with clear rules (e.g. religious) and where there is seen to be a morally-right way of parenting (e.g. spare the rod and spoil the child). I know many autistic people, myself and my son included, may not be interested in what is socially...

  • The Adam Smith Center is a neoliberal thinktank, I just learned after being disturbed by the same thing as you. So not experts on climate change, and with their own reasons for not wanting policy change. I have reported the course for climate misinformation (see my comment above for reasons).

  • I'm rather disturbed by the following:
    "There is now a growing consensus today on the need to approach climate policy from an “adaptation” perspective instead. Climate change is simply a reality that we have to adapt to."
    Instead? No. As well.
    The sentence above is typical of the new climate change denial (=instead of denying it's happening, delay us...

  • (As long as the child is happy, sleeping and eating of course! But if it's happy sleeping and eating and there is no discernible difference in ability to focus, the dose is probably too low).

  • You probably know this already but just putting it here for anyone else who might read your comment: ADHD meds, whilst commonly available as pills which are harder to fine-tune the dose of, are often also available as drops, which can be fine-tuned really carefully to hit the sweet spot where they are helping and not causing harm such as major loss of...

  • @LisaBarker is it actually possible for children under 5 to be diagnosed with ADHD? We live abroad and when I asked our pediatrician about it for my youngest (given neurodivergence in every member of the family so far!) he said they wouldn't even consider looking at it until she's in proper school, which here begins at age 6-7.

  • My daughter has AD(H)D - it's the same diagnosis now. She has the inattentive presentation. I would say that if yours is happy, and the traits you mention are not causing her problems that she finds distressing in school or elsewhere, you may not need a diagnosis. But that is very much our personal experience, and if you live in a country where a diagnosis can...

  • @AimeeWainwright my daughter has ADHD. It literally prevents her from focusing in school, to the point where my bright, intelligent girl who wants to be an astrophysicist went from top of the class to failing maths in the space of two years. She was devastated. When she was diagnosed, the doctor said: "if your daughter had bad eyesight, you would give her...

  • @ChristineElson parents are not the only people responsible for childhood experiences, especially in a country where children go to school from age 4!

  • @barbarahart if neurotypical people feel more comfortable with other neurotypicals, but the only thing they have in common is their neurotypicity, is this going to produce a lasting and meaningful relationship?
    Stop reducing us to one thing! We are not just autistic and nothing else, just like you are not just old, or just neurotypical, or just female. Lots...

  • Those are all great points and I think you're the only person who has mentioned them, particularly the language issue.

  • Speaking from personal experience:
    People in their non-native culture can face an extra set of obstacles in daily life. "Have coffee with a friend" or "attend a church service" is a much more daunting prospect if no one locally speaks your mothertongue, so you are not just overcoming depression to get out there but also overcoming a linguistic barrier which...

  • I have one or more in almost every category mentioned in the National Autistic society link. I assume that can also be true of a non-autistic person? (I'm not saying neurotypical as obviously there are non-autistic NDs)

  • The "bad weirdnesses" like sensory issues go hand in hand with the good ones though. Several years ago, my youngest was given a T-shirt that said "Stay Weird" on it. She's now on her third (due to growing out of previous ones) and I've also copied the design onto a cushion cover. Our family is weird but we're happy, happier than a lot of NT families we know. I...

  • @HannahBerry yes Swiss teachers are very keen on chewing gum for this reason! We also tried a "chewigem" which is like a silicone thing on a necklace they can bite on. But we found this led to bullying from other children who thought it was disgusting. (Personally I think gum is disgusting, given how it ends up under desks or on the bottom of shoes). She has...

  • @KarenMcGovern in case George doesn't get to this for a while: no you don't need to read all the comments. :-) You don't even have to read any. Personally when I join a new course I read quite a few of the comments on the first couple of articles, "follow" the people I find interesting, and then only read comments from people I am following or who have...

  • @barbarahart I hear your worry and I do feel it myself as well sometimes. But as several of us on here, myself included, have non-neurotypical families of our own, I can reassure you that that is just as good as having a neurotypical family like you want for your grandson. Happiness is not necessarily always found in being just like everyone else. :-) (And of...

  • Some of the small goals could also be done while breastfeeding, for instance browsing for new recipes. If she has a baby sling, she can also soothe the baby this way, carrying her while doing other things.

  • @kirstyMillar-Kent that's interesting thank you. I wonder to what extent the ASD diagnosis is "corrupted" for want of a better word by the hearing/vision impairment. To explain: one of the things being looked for in an ASD diagnosis is difficulty in social situations. Being deaf, or partially deaf, automatically confers difficulty in social situations,...

  • @LisaBarker that's an interesting statement ("ASD comes through the father's bloodline") - can you point me to any studies that support it? In my family we assumed it came from my side.

  • My daughter chews things. Hems or cuffs of her clothing when she was smaller, followed by hair, fingernails,... now she will find something to eat if we don't stop her. It's like the mouth movement is a way of stimming. She only does it if she's bored or very focused mentally without her body being involved (which includes being in class and watching TV, but...

  • Does anyone know whether there are online quizzes (similar to the AQ one) where you can see what your profile looks like compared to the average person? Can that sort of test be used as part of a diagnosis, or pre-referral, or is it already?

  • @HannahBerry my tween was just the same! Even after she started kindergarten she would get home and remove all her clothes if at all possible. I have to guess what size the clothing she has handed down is, as there are no labels on it at all any more - slightly annoying when you have another child in line to use it! And she also refuses point-blank to have...

  • That's a great point that this may be different in different cultures! Thanks for sharing it.

  • @JuliaParkes my husband is a human factors engineer. He is very honest, but also very good at diplomacy. (If I have a difficult email to write I run it past him before sending!) I think the idea is that you catch more flies with honey. If my tone or phrasing upsets people, they won't accept the message, no matter how honest or accurate. But diplomacy can be...

  • My husband also made this comment - fostering a Them-and-us perspective is not necessarily helpful in the long run even if it helps redress imbalances in the short term.

  • I very much relate to Damien's friend who is perceived as aggressive when he is actually just being firm in the fact of injustice. Sadly both those things are more socially acceptable coming from men. As a woman people see me as completely inappropriate.

  • My husband probably has ADHD (our daughter has) and our experience bears out what you suggest. He is also very good at hearing my words and disregarding the tone of voice - sometimes he will tell me it didn't sound how I meant it to.
    Interested to hear whether other couples also have this experience.

  • @TanjaConniStrecker Yes exactly. I assumed that if there can be said to be a "right" and "wrong" interpretation (see text at 2'48" in the video), that means the people who created it had a specific interpretation in mind. Otherwise what would allow anyone to say that people who thought it was a fight were "wrong"?
    @KarenSmith I'm lucky enough to live in...

  • @GeorgeWatts does the presentation also change with age, to your knowledge? I wondered whether women from their forties were more likely to stop or reduce masking because they start not caring what people think as much (I'm told this is one of the advantages of the menopause?) Certainly I find it much harder to stay silent now when I see something that is...

  • I have been a foreigner all my life, only living a combined total of 7 years in my native country. The third question made me wonder what the average age of autism diagnosis is for people like myself (and my children) compared to people growing up in their native culture @GeorgeWatts
    My hypothesis is that we will be diagnosed later because people put at...

  • My son refused to play anything but Star Wars at that age. This made life hard for his classmates, as they wanted to be friendly but knew nothing about Star Wars and would get things "wrong", thus upsetting him.
    And still no one suggested he might need a diagnosis...!

  • @KarenSmith I had the same thought when reading the "wrong interpretation" sentence. I went back and watched it and I could kind of see the "fighting" version, although some bits didn't seem to match as well.
    Perhaps a better phrasing would have been "an interpretation other than the meaning intended by the creator"?
    It reminds me of one time we went to an...

  • This is pretty much what I saw too. I said baby instead of son (I have both girls and boys - I guess our own experience dictates what we see!)

  • A lot of what people describe as empathy is really more like sympathy. I've been doing a counselling course (which I'm going to give up as I'm poorly suited to it) and I always thought I was super-empathetic, understanding other people's feelings, but actually I'm highly sympathetic in that I see they are upset and feel sorry, and then relate their experience...