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Change the environmant, not the child.

One more time for the people at the back!

Good morning lovely people. I wanted to address something regarding one of my posts about anxiety not being part of the Autism diagnostic criteria as it seems to have caused some confusion and questioning.

So, as Autistic people, we generally have a higher baseline level of 'arousal'. This is because our brain/senses take in so much more information than an NT brain and we are constantly aware of what is happening in our environment. This means that our baseline level of anxiety ( often what it's called for lack of a better word) is higher than an NT person. Me personally, I refer to it and body anxiety because often our brains don't feel anxious. (although that's another Alexithymia-shaped rabbit hole altogether!)

That being said if we are experiencing "brain" anxiety it's usually an environmental issue as Autistic mental health is more often than not an "outside-in" experience. For example, we will be exposed to an environment that we find traumatising and this then has a knock-on effect leading to burnout or mental health issues.

Now, this does not mean that we may not have co-occurring conditions that may be the cause of anxiety but Autism alone does not mean we are anxious by default. Higher state of baseline arousal yes. Anxious, No.

Dr Luke Beardon put it best with his golden equation.

Autism+Enviroment = Outcome

The only changeable thing is the environment. This feeds nicely into the social model of disability. Which simply put means that we are not disordered or broken but in fact disabled by an environment that wasn't made for us.

Hope that helps? Much Love Tanya <3

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