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Featured Your personal experiences with executive dysfunction

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Kalinychta, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I’ve looked through past threads and read online articles, but I’m still not completely clear on executive dysfunction.

    What are some examples of how it affects your behavior and life?
     
  2. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    I have left my keys dangling in the door all day on numerous occasions, locked myself out with keys inside in numerous occasions.

    Caused many kitchen floods and destroyed numerous pots, a couple of small fires all from forgetting things and not attending to timers when they go off.

    Arriving at the checkout of the store and realizing i have forgotten my money at home ihas happened numerous times.

    It is not uncommon that once i get to a room I will have already completely forgotten why i was going there, I start off to do one thing and can forget it instantly when I see something unrelated that sparks a new thought process.

    It is easy for me to lose the thread of conversations and I am incredibly tangential when i try to tell narratives or explain even slightly complex things in spoken words ( I can compensate in writing but it slows me down a lot).

    I have difficulty holding/remembering things in sequence, which makes it hard to follow multi step directions.

    I have basically no sense of time.

    I struggle to regulate my emotions and internal state (like to sit still, to control impulses, to calm down when upset).

    My focus is generally all the way off (jumping all over the place, cant focus) or all the way on (so focused on one thing that i cant shift focus away from it and nothing else in the world registers)....


    ....none of this for lack of trying or caring, although with age, certain coping strategies and medication some of these things have improved ....

    Oh, and I break things a lot despite trying so so hard to be careful because I dont think about what im holding before tossing objects or i forget they are wherever i put them or i don’t think through all aspects of an action or situation despite having made the same mistake many times before and fully intending not to do it again (like resting a drink on/immediately beside a computer keyboard area).

    And Ive had my phone disconnected after forgetting to pay the bill for three months straight....didnt even occur to me this was why i suddenly had no service, found out when I called the phone company from elsewhere what the reason was. And at the time this happened i had a planner i checked constantly and a calendar and a white board i also used every day, all for organizing and remembering these things.

    That is all i can think of at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  3. dhl02

    dhl02 Active Member

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    Do you want me to write a novel? Lol
     
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  4. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Yes, please! Or maybe a novella.
     
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  5. dhl02

    dhl02 Active Member

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    I could go on forever about executive dysfunction. It's the most misunderstood autism symptom by neurotypicals. They think it is being careless, lazy or both. For me, I can't even begin to attack coping techniques until I can get the NTs in my support group to understand executive dysfunction, and to even acknowledge that it exists. I can't relax enough in day to day life until I break through to them. I'm getting to the point that I'm not going to ask people for advice if they won't acknowledge that executive dysfunction is a thing.
     
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  6. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Inattention: Burned/ruined food while cooking because I lose track and get distracted by something and totally forget the food until a burning smell wafts up to my room. I daren't take anything out with me that I need to carry in my hand like an umbrella, because I always, ALWAYS forget it and leave it behind. I've lost cards/documents this way. foorget what I went into a room for, forget to do things. Generally remember bills though, becuase I place them on the desk in front of me.

    Having to do things by phone is a problem. I only just realised today that I double-booked a student, because rather than write to me, the parent chose to phone me and I forgot about the student who had already booked. I also can't often can't recall things when talking to someone, on the phone or otherwise, things I should know, or words for things... it just doesn't come to me.

    When I was a child, I was extremely absent-minded and generally disorganised and the butt of jokes in my family. Forgetting things or leaving things until last minute. As an adult, better/found coping mechanisms - a diary, for example, but still have issues with timing/forgetting things. Things tend to take me twice as long as they do most people.
     
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  7. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    In truth, I only have ever heard this, since joining aspie central and had to look it up and I think I am not too bad, if I pay attention. Although my husband would probably laugh in sarcasm at that.

    What comes to mind, is carrying drinks from one end to another. I MUST concentrate on the drink in order to not spill it. As soon as my thoughts are diverted, spilliage occurs.

    I often lose my sunglasses and they are my life saver.

    My clothes will find all the hooks and door handles and have little holes in my clothes, as the testamony.

    I am clumsy, but try very hard to take hold of myself and that is tiring, but rather that, then feel ashamed.
     
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  8. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor

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    with big glittery pages
     
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  9. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    I keep leaving the fridge door open.

    Fortunately my new fridge beeps at me.

    Unfortunately I leave the door open just a little so it doesn't trigger the beep.

    The rest is just the standard armageddons of everyday.
     
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  10. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member

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    I think it's to do with a different sense of time, mine's ok if I'm not stressed, but my sense of time gets weak under stress, and if you can't 'feel' time, how can you sequence actions?
     
  11. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Heck yeah.
     
  12. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I read that meltdowns and stimming are the result of executive dysfunction, too.
     
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  13. Aspychata

    Aspychata But this is my happy face.....

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    Sometimes emotions overwhelm and then l am scattered -brain. I feel bad, it happens once a year l forget something really important. Lately l now run a mental checklist of what l could have forgotten. This is really helping. Like l walk to my car and say did l forget my phone? Do l have my wallet? This has really helped me.
     
  14. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Does this happen to anyone:

    A lot of the time I don’t do things (e.g. cook, clean, shop, etc.) not because I’m lazy but because somehow I just...can’t. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s almost like a low-grade anxiety feeling. I think it’s related to finding change stressful.

    But I read that this is a symptom of executive dysfunction.
     
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  15. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    Sometimes I cannot get started on things. I cant switch mental and/or physical gears....i get stuck on one thing and cannot shift to something else. It is related to (or counts as) “perseveration”, i think. I think it is due to the inability to control/regulate my attention and other inner state things.

    Other times i might ( or “might also”) be faced with a task that is complex or requires a lot of sequencing and i struggle with organizing the parts and figuring out where to begin.

    Perhaps it is similar ?
     
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  16. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Yep! Especially the cooking and shopping. I've arranged my life to fix the problem by eating the same food every day, which doesn't require cooking, and I have everything delivered monthly or more if I need it, I buy everything online. Before I did this, I'd sometimes just not eat rather than do one of the needed things.

    Deciding which clothes to wear was so annoying that I labeled each for a certain day and wear the same things every week.

    I can't remember to do anything so I put literally everything into my phone and it reminds me to do things, otherwise I'd not be at work when I'm supposed to and other such things.

    Executive dysfunction is basically anytime you can't human right. Then I wonder why it's so hard just to continue existing.
     
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  17. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    “Before I did this, I'd sometimes just not eat rather than do one of the needed things.“ HAHAHA! That’s hilarious, and I know exactly what you mean! I read also that activities have to be initiated by someone else because otherwise the person affected by executive dysfunction won’t ever do it.
     
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  18. Xerces Blue

    Xerces Blue Evil Overload

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    This is the story of my life.
    too many times I've gone into the kitchen and found a something in the microwave I nuked the day before and forgot about.
    Always find cuts and scratches I don't remember happening.
     
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  19. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Someone else mentioned this before, but I’ve always had such difficulty with speaking/expressing myself verbally (verbal acuity, this is called). The details of whatever it is that I want to say get jumbled up in my head, and I can’t sort them or organize them, or there are just too many things that I could potentially say (that on top of also trying to figure out what I’m expected to say), and so I end up making no sense half the time. This is another executive dysfunction thing. And it’s really, really embarrassing.

    Having trouble doing more than one thing at once, even things that you normally do on autopilot e.g. walking and talking at the same time - yet another executive function attribute.
     
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  20. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    Do you use Instacart by any chance? I use it all the time. It’s God’s gift to autistic people. It even says so in the Bible, if I recall correctly. In Genesis. “And then there was Instacart, and God saw that it was good.” See?
     
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