Autism and Working Memory…

Doing daft things with no reason behind them is nothing strange in anyone’s life, we all do it!  I’ve found dishcloths in the fridge and butter in the dishwasher and have no idea how I’ve done it, and I’ve had no-one else to blame, so, no, you’re not going mad, it’s just that you’re distracted by other things.

Imagine though, having a brain that runs at least 10 times faster than yours and takes in 100 times more information at all times.  Imagine having a brain that never switches off to allow you any space to think about other things and all of your working memory (the bit that enables you to actually think things through) is cluttered up with stuff you don’t need but can’t effectively process?

That’s what it’s like to be on the autism spectrum, coping with a brain that works at hyper speed, sometimes with a photographic memory that is storing every image it sees and sensorily, taking in every sound, image, movement, touch, scent and taste around it.  There’s an awful lot going on inside their heads which explains some of the cute, eccentric behaviours we see.

And we’re a house full of ‘funny little ways’, so when Lorie suddenly realised she was eating her dinner with 2 forks it was a moment of hilarity but not a moment of any great surprise!

Lorie and forks.jpg

Lorie always reminds me a little of Frank Spencer from ‘Some Mothers do ‘av ’em’, one moment of not thinking a situation through to the end result (all of my kids do that!) and chaos ensues with the problem becoming rapidly 100% worse than when she first started!

Most of these issues are caused by an acute lack of working memory due to their overloaded brains, but there are strategies that can help with this and I’ll discuss this one further in a future blog.  Happy Mishaps Guys!!


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