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Mental Reinforcement

This is one of the posts where I won’t be able to tell you specifics. It’s actually been one of the toughest posts to write, the reason will become apparent... All autistic people will have a set of rules put in place by their instinctual side. These rules can be behavioural (OCD can be connected) like I must turn off the tap to stop it dripping, so you check the tap every time is used. It can also be avoidance or sticking to a strict routine and adherence. To me the most frustrating one is food temperature. I don’t know how much money I have spent on burgers from McDonald’s or Burger King that have ended up in the bin. I tried explaining it had to be made fresh, had to be hot but it never made a difference to be honest. Unfortunately, I don’t have a choice in that, if I don’t eat food when freshly made or cooked I can’t eat it. This is the tricky bit, the best way I can put it is rules are like racing patches. As you progress through your racing career (life) you get different sponsors and patches added. As we go through life, we have experiences (not always, but often formed by negative ones) so your instincts try to guide you. If you are made to eat food cold because you didn’t finish your dinner, then not eating food that isn’t roasting hot can be the result. That becomes a rule in your head and you can’t override it. Your life experiences create the rules so although we will all have them they will be different from person to person. There isn’t a way for me to say it will be this or that because anything can create them. If you have an autistic child and they can communicate, even just a nod, asking “Is your head saying no?” can tell you if it’s something their instincts are physically stopping them from doing. Other than that it’s a case of adapting and looking out for repeating patterns. Rules don’t go away so if you see refusal or sticking to the same thing multiple times, it’s most likely a mental rule. And your mind simply refuses to let you change it. Please feel free to share any of my posts and please like or follow to be notified of future posts. All the best Ross Words – Ross A Fraser Graphic Design App – Canva #NewLifeAutistic

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