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TJ
Thursday, January 7, 2010, 5:15am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Several of us here seem to have a common problem in dealing with sensory input (me included).  Specifically, the inability to filter undesired stimuli from our attention.  Anyone suffering this can tell you how frustrating it is to try having a coherent conversation in a room where there is a TV on or other conversations going on at the same time (or BOTH ).  I think it was mentioned in the ADD thread that you could do some training to improve on this.  I'd really like to read about this, and the condition in general.  Can anyone suggest books or websites?  Also, is there a name for it???
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Lola
Thursday, January 7, 2010, 6:08am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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individuality! that s the word!

I simply avoid such situations.....

I rather concentrate in learning other things which are more appealing to me.


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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Lloyd
Thursday, January 7, 2010, 2:18pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Are you referring to 'focus'?
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Vicki
Thursday, January 7, 2010, 2:47pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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When I'm disinterested in the topic at hand, anything can draw my attention away from it.  For instance, the hum of an old monitor that is in "sleep mode" in the desks at the back of the room.  When I am interested in a topic, nothing holds me back from absorbing as much as I can.

I work in an environment that is occasionally overwhelming but, often, I'm so interested in the topic at hand, that it doesn't affect me too much.  Sometimes I must explain that the person I'm helping must move or speak up so that I can focus on them because of the overwhelming "outer stuff".  Others seem to understand my request and comply so that we can work together.

If these overwhelming situations became the norm, I'd seek a different position or a different employer.  

For school, I recommend sitting in on a class or two of a prospective instructor, with permission.  See how the class goes and the instructor's teaching style.  Interview the prospective instructor and make sure it is a good fit for your learning style.  Be very selective about which instructors you take classes with, just like any other service you purchase.  If you find you need additional help, seek a peer, tutor, computer training, etc to assist you in meeting your goals.  

If you must complete a boring task, find ways to "distract" yourself while you do it.  Singing or counting or switching between two tasks, etc.  
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Golfzilla
Thursday, January 7, 2010, 3:05pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from TJ
Several of us here seem to have a common problem in dealing with sensory input (me included).  Specifically, the inability to filter undesired stimuli from our attention.  Anyone suffering this can tell you how frustrating it is to try having a coherent conversation in a room where there is a TV on or other conversations going on at the same time (or BOTH ).  I think it was mentioned in the ADD thread that you could do some training to improve on this.  I'd really like to read about this, and the condition in general.  Can anyone suggest books or websites?  Also, is there a name for it???


TJ ~ I can relate however mine is related to Tinitus, very distracting




If you keep doing what you've always done, and you keep getting what you've aways got, perhaps it's time for a change...
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TJ
Thursday, January 7, 2010, 10:57pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Lola
individuality! that s the word!

I wish it was so easy.  This aspect of my individuality is a liability, not an asset.  I can't always choose to avoid such situations without foregoing a great deal of meaningful and important experiences, so I need to learn how to work around this obstacle.
Quoted from Lloyd
Are you referring to 'focus'?

Yes indeed.
Quoted from Vicki
When I'm disinterested in the topic at hand, anything can draw my attention away from it.

This is a struggle even when I'm interested in what I am trying to focus on.  The only exception I can think of was during periods of obsessive, escapist computer gaming in recent years, and that was not a healthy state to be in.

I do work in a noisy environment, but I only work 18 hours (or less) per week.  I can usually handle it at that level of exposure.  I have a fair handle on how to live within my limitations; my interest at this time is how can I increase what I can handle?  If I can train my brain to focus on what I want to and to filter out the rest, it will do wonders to help me in daily living.
Quoted from Golfzilla
TJ ~ I can relate however mine is related to Tinitus, very distracting
You have my sympathy!  I don't know of anything short of cutting the auditory nerve to eliminate that problem, and that is a drastic remedy, to put it mildly.
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Lloyd
Friday, January 8, 2010, 1:52am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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TJ, you might try the Cognitive Improvement Protocol along but regular 'exercise' in the form of some kind of logic puzzle or other mental endeavor is probably needed. Work on details and patterns, problem solving. It builds up over time.

I don't know what was suggested elsewhere.
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VictoriousLiving
Friday, January 8, 2010, 2:04am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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TJ,

check out this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

This helped me understand synesthesia, which I have, as well.


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Kristin
Friday, January 8, 2010, 2:14am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Could you be an HSP (highly-sensitive person)?

"Too-Sensitive

- Yes, this is our major trait. We assimilate everything around us at once. Lights, noises, smells, energy vibrations, they all get absorbed, processed and evaluated. Unfortunately when there's too much activity and noise around us, we can't handle it for a great length of time. For example, what may be a low to moderate level of music for a non-sensitive person could sound like the level of a rock concert to us. Emotionally, we're affected by much of the disharmony in the world. We feel another person's heartache, we are aware of low levels of anger or resentment in a room, we empathize with other people's problems, and feel great sorrow over horrific tragedies."

Check out http://www.hsperson.com/  

There is a self-test to find out if you are indeed an HSP (which is an inherent trait that is part of one's genetic make-up) and also lots of support on this website for being part of the sensitive tribe.


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Vicki
Friday, January 8, 2010, 3:41pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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paul clucas
Friday, January 8, 2010, 8:40pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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For literature on the  Audio-Psycho-Phonology explanation:

http://www.tomatis.com/English/Articles/literature.htm

Your attention to your senses is first developed before you are born, with sound being first and dominant sense.  Normal development of the listening (consciously focused hearing) function will allow a person to enter a room with twenty conversations and choose to listen to one.

In computational terms this is more complex than the ability of the eye to focus on a visual target.

Neurologically speaking, the ears are partly outgrowths of the cerebral core.  I say partly, since the air conduction impulse travels externally and rejoins the spine.  The external pathways are unevenly long; the left ear nerve is long enough to take 1/11 of a second more to get to the brain.  Stuttering works when the person is listening equally and repeats both "beats" of what is heard.  Stuttering is not a lack of control of the voice, but a lack of control of hearing.  Improve the hearing and the stuttering disappears.


My weight loss goal: 220 lbs.  A 6'4" dyslexic oddball: the size of a line-backer, the silhouette of Winnie-the-Pooh.
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TJ
Saturday, January 9, 2010, 4:19pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Lola
individuality! that s the word!

Lola, I hope I didn't come off too sharply in reply!  I will have to eat my words here.  I talked to my therapist yesterday about this same problem, and she said I am the kind of person who likes to be aware of what's going on around me, as opposed to the kind of person who likes to stay focused intently on one thing (which she thought was a very dull way to be).  I agree with what she said.  I guess it would be more accurate to say that I need this skill of focusing in certain situations.

Lloyd, I think the mental/logic puzzles are a great idea to sharpen my mind and focus.

Gloved, thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think synesthesia is my problem.  Maybe I'm just hyper-vigilant.

Kristin, I am most certainly I HSP.  I looked into this last year.  I had forgotten about it.  I lose some of it when I am in the hypomanic part of my bipolar cycle, and when I'm in balance and consistently getting good sleep I feel a lot more resilient against the over-stimulation.

Good one Vicki, maybe I need to start using up my minutes!

Paul, what you have said may be the most interesting thing I've heard yet!  I will do some reading on the Tomitis method later.
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Lola
Saturday, January 9, 2010, 5:16pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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no worries!


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TJ
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Paul, I love what I read about the Tomitis method.  Have you used it?  I did notice it wasn't indicated for people with tinnitus.  It makes a lot of sense, and I'd love to try it, but as is so often the case, money is a seriously limited resource for me.  Perhaps I will be able to pursue this avenue in the future when/if I have the funds.
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Ribbit
Sunday, January 10, 2010, 3:55pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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You and me both, TJ.  I don't want to hijack this thread.  That's not my intention. But sometimes somebody else giving input helps people say, "Oh, yeah.  THAT."

The problem is, Paul, when I enter a room with 20 conversations, the blood pressure instantly rises, I get very hot (I have learned to dress lightly when I know I'll be around a lot of people), my ears are filled with what I call "cafeteria noise", and it takes a tremendous amount of concentration to focus on one conversation, even if the people are right in front of me. In fact, I can often concentrate better on somebody else's conversation nearby than the people right around me.  I've learned to position myself next to, rather than in front of, somebody I'm supposed to be listening to.  Otherwise I can't hear them.   I zone out and leave feeling rather shaken and exhausted, having gotten nothing out of it.....Unless I dose up on caffeine.  Then the situation is totally different. We've talked about this before.

I feel similarly when all my children are talking at once.  It's very overwhelming--even if it's cheerful chatter!  They're slowly learning that they have to tone the noise down a little.

TJ, people fit into the category of Highly Sensitive Persons because they have Sensory Integration Dysfunction.  Do some googling.  I have worked with children who ACT like I FEEL.  A couple more ticks in that direction and I think it would have pushed me over the edge into their little world.

My hand found DH's hand last night as I was falling asleep.  He pulled his hand away after a minute and I realized I was "stimming" again.  Look up "self-stimulatory behavior".  We all do it--chewing nails, twirling hair, rocking back and forth when we're bored, foot tapping, etc.  I tap out rhythms with my teeth, and I add in other percussion: tapping my fingers (gives me 5 extra parts), blinking (give me two extra parts), two sets of muscles on either side of each eye (4 extra parts), the muscles on the inside of my elbows (2 parts), backs of my elbows (2 parts), two little bumps of skin under my tongue that I run the end of my tongue over constantly (2 more parts), the muscles on the outside of the backs of my knees, and inside the backs of my knees (4 parts), and a few of my toes that I can move individually (about 6 parts).  So I do this very complicated rhythm with all those different parts and muscles going.  It's imperceptible to anybody else (except I might look a little dazed, I dunno--my teachers called it daydreaming; my brothers called it laziness; my mom called it "If she would only apply herself") but I'm never bored!  There's always something pretty entertaining going on in my head.

All that to say when I lay down at night, I have to consciously stop it all.  It annoys DH, although to a certain extent he understands it because he deals with some of the same stuff hearing-wise.  Caffeine calms all that.  Yerba Mate REALLY calms all that, but not consistently.  Stress makes it overwhelmingly worse.  I've been doing it for 25 years and it's hard to stop.  The Bach Flower Remedy white chestnut (I think that's what it is) helps.

I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to have other people say they understand.  I've never been understood and it's really nice, I must say.  I've always been "a little odd" and now I know it's okay.


ISTJ, BTD since 5/05.  Battling chronic Lyme disease since ~1985.

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TJ
Sunday, January 10, 2010, 6:35pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I've been thinking about this in terms of the BTD vs. the GTD.  I think the coping strategies we can apply to eliminate things that aggravate our sensitivities are like the BTD.  I'm looking for the GTD strategy that will also help change me into a less over-sensitive person!

Quoted from Ribbit
The problem is, Paul, when I enter a room with 20 conversations, the blood pressure instantly rises, I get very hot (I have learned to dress lightly when I know I'll be around a lot of people), my ears are filled with what I call "cafeteria noise", and it takes a tremendous amount of concentration to focus on one conversation, even if the people are right in front of me.

From what I read at Paul's recommendation, the stuff on the Tomatis method could be a fair explanation about the why behind this thing.

Quoted from Ribbit
TJ, people fit into the category of Highly Sensitive Persons because they have Sensory Integration Dysfunction.  Do some googling.  I have worked with children who ACT like I FEEL.  A couple more ticks in that direction and I think it would have pushed me over the edge into their little world.

I did.  I think I have some symptoms of it.  I sent mom a page about it and asked her, "is this me?"  She read and said, "No".  I asked her about it in person today.  She said I wasn't like that as a child, and she figured that was the most important time to notice.  I wonder if I am just on the borderline too, and all the stress of adult life has pushed me over the line.

I do remember a lot of experiences as a child/youth that suggest I have a mild case of SPD (clumsy, withdrawn, difficulty making friends, avoiding sports, driven crazy by socks and seams and tags, irritated by bright light), but then, I did well in school (even if I was really spacy, reading novels or drawing in class) and didn't mind getting dirty.  I am sure I've gotten more sensitive with age, especially to noise (easily startled by sudden loud noise, loud music and noisy crowds drain my energy).

I think there are two factors to consider.  First is the actual sensory processing difficulty, that makes the processing of sensory input very inefficient and draining, or even impossible in some severe cases.  Second is the mental energy used to carry out these processes.  Someone with a high-energy brain could cope with some degree of SPD and look fine until it all becomes "too much".  Someone with a lower energy brain could be obviously in trouble act the same level (or lower) of sensory processing inefficiency.  I'm not in any way suggesting "brain energy" has anything to do with intelligence.  It's more like the fuel supply to an engine.  (Not to brag, but I feel like I have a racing engine brain with a lawn motor fuel supply. )

Quoted from Ribbit
I tap out rhythms with my teeth...

Seriously?  I worry that I'm wearing out my teeth, clicking and grinding them in rhythm to the music I'm listening to (at loud or in my head).

Quoted from Ribbit
Caffeine calms all that.

...but it makes the adrenal insufficiency worse, and I have a hard time falling asleep with caffeine.

Quoted from Ribbit
I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to have other people say they understand.  I've never been understood and it's really nice, I must say.  I've always been "a little odd" and now I know it's okay.

So true.
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Lola
Sunday, January 10, 2010, 6:49pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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keeping my system free of inflammation, meaning absolute compliance, keeps this LDN,
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Ribbit
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Mommies don't always know.  I hate to say that, because I feel like I know my children very well, but I don't really know what's going on in their heads unless they tell me.

DH and MIL argue a lot about his childhood.  He talks about being suicidal and very depressed and super-sensitive and she denies it all.  "No," she says, "You were a very happy child.  Blood sugar problems, but happy.  You enjoyed school."  But he says, "No, I hated school because I was totally bored.  I got in trouble for doing my work too fast and answering the questions before the other kids did.  I got yelled at for writing in cursive because the other children hadn't learned it yet."  "But it didn't affect you," his mom argues.  "You bounced back very quickly."  Which is typical of a B, to bounce back, but what was going on in his head was very different from what she thought was going on.

So mothers don't always understand, especially if they're distracted with other children.


ISTJ, BTD since 5/05.  Battling chronic Lyme disease since ~1985.

"Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial..."  I Corinthians 6:12

Family: 3 As, 1 B, 1 AB, 1 O
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TJ
Monday, January 11, 2010, 11:17pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ribbit, that is very true.  Mom was very busy with my three younger brothers.  Plus I think parents like to think the best of their children.  To admit (even to yourself) that your child is "defective" may reflect badly on you.  I think I will bring this up with my therapist next week.  If anyone can give me good feedback, she should be able to.  Meanwhile, I will keep mulling it over.

Of course, if it is thought that I do have SPD and there's nothing I can do about it...
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Mayflowers
Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 3:44pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Is that the same thing as being really annoyed by people who crack their gum or snort loudly all day long?
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paul clucas
Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 7:16pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from TJ
Paul, I love what I read about the Tomitis method.  Have you used it?  I did notice it wasn't indicated for people with tinnitus.  It makes a lot of sense, and I'd love to try it, but as is so often the case, money is a seriously limited resource for me.  Perhaps I will be able to pursue this avenue in the future when/if I have the funds.
I worked at the therapy for a year and a half and at the end my elementary school grades all raised a letter.  

My English went from a D to a B!  The cost was thousands of dollars and the time was effectively like a part-time job, except during the summer when I was going full-time!  I am grateful that my parents sacrificed both the time and the money.  

At 4, my educational prognosis was "He is bright, but don't even think of university."  I succeeded in getting my degree in Mathematics after four years.  I had to adjust to the transition from the Canadian system to the English and other issues.

Tomatis therapy is useful for combating tinnitus; this is how my father alleviates his.  Both of my parents had access to the therapy since activation of dyslexia is environmentally contagious.  If your prenatal sonic environment (what your mother hears - but filtered by the amniotic fluid) is mainly the speech of dyslexic parents, any susceptibility is likely to be triggered.  

Currently I am tutoring students in maths and physics.  The education is still there after twenty years.  I forget the names of situations and techniques, but am able to use them without having to do any research.

This beats other money-making options and is a low stress option.  Considering that at my last job, I gained 40 lbs and enough edema to increase my shoe size, this is important!

Quoted from Ribbit
The problem is, Paul, when I enter a room with 20 conversations, the blood pressure instantly rises, I get very hot (I have learned to dress lightly when I know I'll be around a lot of people), my ears are filled with what I call "cafeteria noise", and it takes a tremendous amount of concentration to focus on one conversation, even if the people are right in front of me. In fact, I can often concentrate better on somebody else's conversation nearby than the people right around me.  I've learned to position myself next to, rather than in front of, somebody I'm supposed to be listening to.  Otherwise I can't hear them.   I zone out and leave feeling rather shaken and exhausted, having gotten nothing out of it.....Unless I dose up on caffeine.  Then the situation is totally different. We've talked about this before.
Yes adjusting your brain activity levels by stimulant or depressants it is always a temptation.  Its better to fidget than to coffee up!

I would love to make this therapy more available.  The only option that is likely to lessen the cost is the LIFT program.

Quoted from TJ
Someone with a lower energy brain could be obviously in trouble act the same level (or lower) of sensory processing inefficiency.  I'm not in any way suggesting "brain energy" has anything to do with intelligence.  It's more like the fuel supply to an engine.  (Not to brag, but I feel like I have a racing engine brain with a lawn motor fuel supply. )
Some of that energy is scattered nervous energy that indicates a lack of mental focus.  All your life you have been (unconsciously) engaging in compensating strategies.  We are all meant to be social, communicative beings.  When there is a blockage to that, the drive is to overcome that way.  The usual paths are blocked or choked, so alternative ones are sought.

There is a divide in understanding between neurologically normal and "spectrum" people.  As far as I know only people who successfully go through the therapy can bridge that gap in understanding.  This makes mis-diagnosis likely!

A "Spectrum" label can be put on a neurologically normal person to cover unpleasant behaviour and get the responsibility shifted.  Also a "Spectrum" person who is intelligent enough can pass for a normal person for years.  At the age of four my ability to memorize abstract patterns was double that of what is normal for that age.  This helped me to be the bookworm that I am.


TJ, you could get a listening test.  Apart from the travel, it shouldnt cost too much.  Then you could know.  There were at least five centers that can do this for you in the US when I last checked.

Quoted Text
Is that the same thing as being really annoyed by people who crack their gum or snort loudly all day long?
This is not a noise-specific issue.  Imagine being forced to really listen to everything that is happening.  All at once, without any slacking!

Imagine being unable to listen to someone if there is any music or repeated sound happening!  The ears function all the time - even when you are sleeping. There is no off switch.  The only control is neurological and unconscious - when it is damaged, there are massive recercussions for that person.


My weight loss goal: 220 lbs.  A 6'4" dyslexic oddball: the size of a line-backer, the silhouette of Winnie-the-Pooh.
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TJ
Thursday, January 21, 2010, 10:29pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sorry guys, I've been offline.  My monitor or video card or SOMETHING in my comp has stopped working (just as I finally get internet, of course).

MayF, that isn't very bothersome.  Like Paul said, repetitive, rhythmic noises/sounds are very distracting.

Paul, I like what you said about compensating strategies.  I feel very inefficient, mentally.  All these years I've been spinning my wheels and barely moving.  But I don't understand what you mean about neurological vs. spectrum.
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paul clucas
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The difference that I think you are talking about is between neurologically normal people (or non-Spectrum) and Spectrum people.  Since there are many kinds of labels, I use the word Spectrum to include: Autistic, Dyslexic, ADD, ADHD, Aspergers Syndrome, Learning Disabled, etc.

There is little sympathy for people who cannot tolerate noise.  I walked past a house today that was emitting some awful high frequency garbage - I could hear it a block away!  


My weight loss goal: 220 lbs.  A 6'4" dyslexic oddball: the size of a line-backer, the silhouette of Winnie-the-Pooh.
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TJ
Saturday, January 23, 2010, 3:13am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
Posts: 3,486
Gender: Male
Location: Midvale, UT, USA
Age: 39
This whole topic has got me to do a lot of reading today.  Hemisphere dominance, mixed dominance, etc.  There is a lot of (somewhat conflicting) information I read on the web, but I have gathered that it is possible for language centers to be on the right side for some people, as well as the other usual centers to be switched.  This was most likely for left-handed people.  I also read about foot and eye dominance, in addition to hand and ear dominance.  One site claimed that mixed dominance can cause developmental delays and attentional/sensory processing trouble.

This is interesting to me because I am left-handed, BUT I'm pretty sure I'm right eye and foot dominant.  I don't know which ear is dominant, but either way I've got mixed dominance issues.
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Ribbit
Saturday, January 23, 2010, 2:50pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

~W~A~R~R~I~O~R~ Defender, Survivor
Kyosha Nim
Posts: 8,156
Gender: Female
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Age: 36
I had speech therapy in 1st grade. They tested my hearing every couple of years in school.  They always said my hearing was just fine.  But I wanted to argue, "Sure, I can hear it just fine, but that's because you only played one tone at a time."  I was too shy and didn't have the words back then to explain it though.

The trouble, Paul, with not having the caffeine is that if I'm in a situation like that, I can't just fidget.  I will get hotter and hotter, more and more sweaty, my head feels like it's going to explode, and I have to get up and leave.

Caffeine helps me deal with the noise.  I still hear it, but I can process it better.

Alcohol helps me deal with the noise as well.  It actually deadens it some.  Or maybe it just makes me not care.  I do this many evenings as I'm cooking dinner.  The children are wild and noisy (sometimes fussy), and I can either get dinner on the table or I can keep telling them to be quiet so I can think.  Can't be both ways.  Except if I have a glass of wine it kind of fades a little and I can hear myself think better.

Here's something strange I wanted to mention.  When I'm doing my daily activities, occasionally the noise fades as if I'm falling asleep (except I'm awake)--or as if I turn the radio volume way down.  Then suddenly it's as if somebody turns it way, way up.  I either hear it too much, or I don't hear it at all.  This is all worse if I've had a rotten night's sleep, which leads me to wonder if adrenals play a big part here.  It's pretty annoying as I miss a lot of stuff, but then when I do hear it, sometimes it sticks in my head for years.  I can remember word-for-word snippets of dumb conversations from early childhood, the type which nobody remembers. I feel like my head is filled with consequential information--trivia--and I don't want to remember such things.  I could list all 20 kids in my class in alphabetical order in early elementary school, but I couldn't remember simple things I was supposed to hear my teacher say.  I couldn't copy things off the board either, but that's a different story. It's like my brain can't decide what's important to remember, so it remembers the stupid things that don't matter.  And yet....I still know my entire times tables even though I haven't used any of it in close to 15 years.

One of the Dr. Who episodes last season had Donna Noble being in a constant dream state.  In this dream state, she caused things to happen just by thinking about it.  She'd say to her children, "Time for bed," and suddenly the children were in bed, all without the whole process.  It was odd watching that episode because I feel like that a lot.  I do things so automatically sometimes that I don't realize I've done them.  I'll turn out of the driveway, blink, and be at the grocery store and have no recollection of getting there.  I just zone out.  (I have wondered if I have petit mal seizures, but if I did, I would crash, right?)  DH and I will watch a movie, and later he'll mention it and I have absolutely no recollection of it.  My famous excuse he's heard many times now is, "If we watched something or did something while I was pregnant, I won't remember it.  Or  if I'm nursing a baby, the hormones flood my mind and make me forget things."  He chuckles.....but this has been going on a lot longer than just the last few years.

I remember my senior year of high school walking down the hallway after school was over and the  halls were empty.  I was zoning out, not really thinking about anything, when suddenly I realized I couldn't get my locker combination to work.  I fiddled with it a few minutes, wondering if maybe I'd forgotten the combination, even though I'd been doing it at least 6 times a day, five days a week, for the last 4 months.  Then I "woke up" and realized that I had walked to the locker I had in 9th grade, and was doing that combination.  I squinched my eyes shut, trying to remember which locker I was supposed to go to, 3 years later.  I thought, "Well, if I walk down to that end of the hallway, maybe it'll come to me.  Sure enough, I found my locker, but I couldn't come up with the numbers.  Then I put my hand on it, worked it without incident--I think my hand remembered the motions of the three numbers, even if my mind couldn't--and I felt really, really stupid.  I've never told anybody this before.

I zone so bad I may as well not be there.  I can snap out of a zone (without even knowing I'm in one) and have no idea what I was doing or how I got there.

Life is but a dream.

My dreams seem more real than real life.

I told DH when I woke up this morning that I think my adrenals function when I'm asleep better than they do when I'm awake.  I remember dreams I had when I was little....but I glanced through part of the Dream Thread last week and with horror read about one of the really strange dreams I'd posted about.  Not horror because it was a bad dream, but horror that I didn't remember it until I read about it, and then it all came flooding back.

I have a lousy concept of time too, and it's always haunted me.  Because I switch in and out of reality (the zoning thing)---and it's possible this is a coping mechanism I developed unconsciously over time---I don't know that time is passing.  It annoyed my mother (who is always "present") to no end because she'd tell me to do something (usually homework), come check on me an hour later and I would have had my name at the top of the paper.  Maybe.  And have no idea that any time had passed.

You know.....if I were 80 I think they would diagnose me with Alzheimer's.

Although when I talked with a psychologist a few years ago he said this is also what happens to people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I don't how much to attribute to whatever happened to me in early childhood (which also happened to my younger sister, which means I should be old enough to remember it), how much of it is adrenals, or how much of it is "being on the Spectrum".  Maybe they are all tied together.  Chronic stress perhaps.

I have filled notebooks with writings that sometimes when I read them I think, "Hey--I like that!  Who wrote that?....Oh yeah.  Me. Cool!"  

When I was taking Standard Process brand adrenal support I had NONE of these problems.  But it's terribly, incredibly expensive.

I didn't mean to sit here and drone, but this whole "problem" is very fascinating to me because it's my world whether I like it or not.

It's Saturday and my  husband's home!  I can concentrate on writing all this!

I used to know a young man with autism (I guess he was in his late teens) who I would watch intently sometimes.  (We went to the same church.)  I'd sit there and stare at him because I knew what he was doing!  Every time there was any noise, his eyes would widen slightly and he'd have to turn and look at it.  He couldn't filter out what he needed to listen to and what he didn't.  Any peep from one of my children and for an instant he would glance at them, almost like he had to register in his mind what had made the noise.  I don't have to do that--I can register a noise without having to look at it--but I understood what he was doing.  He was very fidgety and if the noise got to be too much he would begin to look very nervous (which I felt too, but I deal with it differently) and eventually would disappear outside.  Whereas he has to leave, I just zone.  On his birthday I made him gluten-free cake and we all sang Happy Birthday to him.  He looked a little panicky when we started singing, but we had agreed beforehand to sing quietly.  He relaxed and could enjoy the cake in the presence of all of us (which wasn't very many--maybe 15 people).

Now I have worked with children with autism before (I was an Applied Behavior Analogy Therapist for about 3 years), but never anybody older than about 10.  I felt like watching this guy was like watching me, only a little more extreme.  An interesting difference between us was how we sat.  I want to curl in a little ball, shoulders hunched, trying to get away from everybody and not be seen.  It's a conscious effort to not sit folded up.  He splayed all his limbs out.  Everywhere.  He was over six feet (but pretty thin) and took up a lot of space because his arms and legs were everywhere.  The both of us felt ourselves in space differently than most people, but the way we expressed it was opposite.


ISTJ, BTD since 5/05.  Battling chronic Lyme disease since ~1985.

"Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial..."  I Corinthians 6:12

Family: 3 As, 1 B, 1 AB, 1 O

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Ribbit  -  Saturday, January 23, 2010, 3:02pm
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