About The Autist Artist

My name is Nicole, and I am eighteen years old. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. I also have synesthesia, which means I see music. My main interest is musical instruments and I have learned around 25 so far and am hoping to learn more.

10 responses to “About The Autist Artist

  1. I just came across your videos of you on bass clarinet and I loved them. You’re so creative. My cousin alwyas thought that I had mild Autism with my social skills and interest in music and other weird things. How do I know if I have it? I also play the bass clarinet and many other instruments. How did you learn all those instruments?

    • Thanks for your kind words! The best way to find out if you have an ASD is to go to a psychiatrist or other therapist, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that unless you are having trouble coping with symptoms, or if it is interfering with your ability to live a regular lifestyle. If you’re starting to have trouble at work or something like that, that would be a reason to see a doctor. If you are not having trouble, though, the best way to know whether you would fall into the autistic spectrum is to do research. Major symptoms besides social impairment and odd fixations include hypersensitivity, especially to loud noises, and, in the case of mild autism, language delays. If you never had language delays, you probably do not have autism, but Asperger’s Syndrome could be an option.
      I learned all my instruments because of my obsession with musical instruments. Most kids liked to play with dolls and things like that, but I liked to play music. I am also able to learn instruments very fast because I have synesthesia, which lets me see notes and instruments as colors and shapes. I hope that helped!

    • Hi Andrew!I know when Isy reached scoohl age Liz did a huge amount of research on what scoohl to place her, we did have a choice! The idea of this directory is to try and make that process a bit simpler by tying to have the choices available in the one location. From there you can get info and contacts to take it further and apply to have your child placed in the scoohl of your choice. Obviously there is a process to follow and DECS does have a say.Cheers

  2. Hi Nicole,
    I just finished reading your article on Four Things You Probably Don’t Know About People With Autism. It was great! I have a 4 year old on the spectrum and I’m always trying to read all I can about autism. Keep up the good work! I will be subscribing to your blog! Thanks! Keep in touch!
    Karina

  3. The symptoms of autism usually commence at an early age, but several parents are unable to observe the trends either because they really are ignorant of what to lookout for, or they are too desirous of a healthy child that they live in denial of the warning signs as they appear. A great psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose an infant with autism from the indications that they showcase really early into their lives. The absence of the archetypal social smile that infants have when folks make gestures or advances at them can be a dead giveaway.

    • Thanks for posting this. Only 2 tnhmos’ post-diagnosis, I am still trying to get my mind around what is really going on here. I told my husband that I am beginning to suspect that the concept of the “autism spectrum” is like a bunch of ER doctors sitting around wondering about this “Broken Bone Syndrome” (that’s BBS) they keep seeing. Gosh, they sure see a lot of people in there with a broken leg and a broken arm plus also bruises. Hmm, what if the leg’s not broken? I guess that’s the “Not-so-bad BBS.” Well, what if the spine has been severed? Oooh … well that’s “Really really bad BBS.” What causes BBS? We don’t know, but we’re pretty sure this is a “thing.” These folks sure have a lot in common. Only, BBS would be a lot more like ASD if we imagine that the doctors aren’t allowed to talk to the patients or X-Ray them. I still don’t understand everything, but it sure is obvious to me that if the problems that these children are experiencing are coming from a lack of connections in the brain, then their problems will be different depending upon (a) how poor the connections really are; and (b) exactly which portions of the brain are actually affected. Meanwhile, it should be equally obvious (to me; of course I’m a layperson and have no idea what I’m really talking about, so this probably isn’t really obvious to an expert:)) that if a set of behaviors or problems on the outside are caused by problems with brain connections, that there must be hundreds of types of things that could go wrong to mess up those connections. I guess we know that a huge number of these folks have inflammation in the white matter where the connections are supposed to be, but even so there must be lots of different things that could cause that kind of inflammation. Further, surely you could wind up “underconnected” due to injury or trauma, or maybe that whole under-myelination thing. At the end of the day, I really believe that arguments over DSM criteria is a red herring that distracts from the real issues we need to focus on if we are going to help our particular child: (a) do we think that our child is actually “underconnected,” and if so can we figure out which connections are problematic? (b) if our child is underconnected, do we have any good ideas how it happened so we can try to do something to make sure it doesn’t worsen? i.e., is this an autoimmune disease? if it is, should we follow an anti-inflammation diet? etc. (c) once we address whatever is preventing the connection (as best we can, which is maybe not at all, although I personally have become a true believer in the fish oil for some children), what sort of activities can we engage in that will help them to continually strengthen their personally problematic connections? Of course I haven’t even read what these DSM people are discussing and I’m sure they are all very smart folks. BUT. Is it really helpful to try to create all these categories? Really? I just think there is no *there*there. Oh, and you may be interested to hear, if you haven’t already, that they have demonstrated (as I understand it, to the satisfaction of conventional medicine, for what that’s worth) that there is a subpopulation of children with ADHD who most certainly mature out of it. These kids’ brains reach peak thickness (or something like that) about 3 years later than everyone else. Whether that’s analogous or not to PDD I don’t know, but I know that attention issues are often a big part of “PDD” and indeed it is often very difficult even for professionals to tell them apart. Did you know that according to something I read that 50 to 70% of kids with ADHD have some kind of language disorder? Very interesting to me. By the way, I mentioned the Mislabeled Child before, written by these very nice neurologists in Washington (nice enough that they emailed me back!) — it is awesome for explaining all the different parts of the brain and how to identify the specific issues and tell them apart (like, e.g., prosody, by the way! multiple pages JUST ON THAT!), and even better, what you can do to help a child with issues in that particular area. But I would still like to really get to the bottom of what PDD is really all about. I wish I could stop time and then spend about a year or two doing nothing but reading and researching this stuff. Your blog REALLY REALLY helps though, because I don’t have time to find all these resources you give us!

    • I understand your itnotniens of identifying all of the special needs schools/classes but its a little misleading in that the way it comes across to me is that people have a choice as to what educational enviormoment their children are able to access.These classes are generally not Autism Specific and children are placed in these classes based on a needs basis. An austism diagnosis of any variety plays no part on selection for entry to a special needs class or school, however the classes generally have a decent number of kids with ASD that fit the needs basis criteria based on an assessment by a DECS psychologist.In short DECS decide if your child can attend these schools.

  4. We are in the process of rinnsegdieg our web site to contain this sort of information. We would appreciate links and information from parents to share groups, organizations, businesses, doctors, places of worship, etc. that are autism-friendly. We will set up a special section for such information. Please keep coming back to check our progress! We are very excited about improving the site and our ability to share information with parents like you!We also have a group on facebook you can find it by searching Autism Society of Forsyth County. We also have a parent support group that meets the first Friday of each month (that would be this Friday) at the Panera Bread on Cloverdale/Miller St. from 9:30-11:00. You can also email us at .

  5. Do you have trouble Sleeping????

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