View Full Version : rituals, routines, and non-verbal comprehension


Justtess
06-14-10, 04:21 PM
I'm trying to understand these words in relation to Asperger.

ritual is defined as: In psychology (http://www.addforums.com/wiki/Psychology), the term ritual is used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; it is a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (http://www.addforums.com/wiki/Obsessive-compulsive_disorder). (in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritual))

when I looked at the DSM-IV part B (2) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals.

However, I cannot find examples of what this may be except a blog from a person who writes that she circles and paces about for a couple of hours. Does this also mean the inability to reorganize a morning or evening routine even if is logically benefical to do so. Stuck in a pattern...sort of speak.

Another part of the asperger dx has me a bit perplexed.


A.Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
(1) marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
(2) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to development
(3) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
(4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

If a person just has AD(H)D...they may share the same imparement that will improve with meds and perhaps cognitive behavioral therapy. However, on with asperger may find reading non-verbal language more difficult to decode...needing repetative therapy to grasp and synthesize? For example, I can tell a child dx with AD(H)D that if no one is laughing at the joke, then others do not think it is funny. However, if I tell a child dx with asperger the same thing, they may find the statement unbelievable because they find it funny (failure to empathize).

What are other examples of non functional routines and rituals?

EshkaronsEngine
06-14-10, 04:32 PM
I like to smell myself.

Lunacie
06-14-10, 08:11 PM
It may depend on whether you're talking about a child or an adult.
Other examples:

Having to follow the same route to the store/work/school.

Buying the same meal in the same restaurant each time.

Drinking only from a certain cup or kind of cup.

Insisting that the furniture always be in the same place.

Sitting in the same chair every time, or the same end of the sofa.

Reluctance to wear new clothes or wearing only one certain color.

Listening to a certain song at bedtime.

Getting dressed and other tasks at a certain time - after watching Curious George on PBS.


Some of these I have seen in my Autistic granddaughter, others in my youngest sister who is dx with OCD but I suspect has ASD.

Justtess
06-14-10, 11:54 PM
It may depend on whether you're talking about a child or an adult.
Other examples:

I was thinking hindsight when my son was a child and what he is doing now. There just seems to be some issues that has not quite improved while on meds and has me a bit stumped.

fracturedstory
06-15-10, 04:16 AM
It may depend on whether you're talking about a child or an adult.
Other examples:

Having to follow the same route to the store/work/school.

Buying the same meal in the same restaurant each time.

Drinking only from a certain cup or kind of cup.

Insisting that the furniture always be in the same place.

Sitting in the same chair every time, or the same end of the sofa.

Reluctance to wear new clothes or wearing only one certain color.

Listening to a certain song at bedtime.

Getting dressed and other tasks at a certain time - after watching Curious George on PBS.


Some of these I have seen in my Autistic granddaughter, others in my youngest sister who is dx with OCD but I suspect has ASD.

OMG that's me! Then again I've known I have AS for quite some time.
But still I've got my favourite clothes, cup, sitting area and have to follow the same route. I can't even get out of bed before 9am.

Lunacie
06-15-10, 10:49 AM
OMG that's me! Then again I've known I have AS for quite some time.
But still I've got my favourite clothes, cup, sitting area and have to follow the same route. I can't even get out of bed before 9am.

I'm like this to a lesser degree myself. Haven't been tested by a doctor to see if it's more than just ADHD but Asperger's and Autism do run in our family.

I was so surprised to learn that my sister who takes her shower just before going to bed at 9 pm every evening - didn't take a shower or get ready for bed the night the tornado hit. She was able to defer her routine and when the siren went off, she headed across the street and asked to hide in the basement with the rest of the folks there. When she came out and the power was off and most of the town was missing, there wasn't much she could do - and she couldn't take a shower, so she simply went to bed. Her apartment was one of the few buildings in town that wasn't damaged or destroyed. So the routine wasn't completely wrecked. (wink)

Was just reading a post (on a different forum) from a mom who tried to get her adult autistic daughter to go to the basement when the siren went off and the daughter refused to go. Not part of her routine I imagine.

tipoo
01-11-11, 03:00 PM
It may depend on whether you're talking about a child or an adult.
Other examples:

Having to follow the same route to the store/work/school.

Buying the same meal in the same restaurant each time.

Drinking only from a certain cup or kind of cup.

Insisting that the furniture always be in the same place.

Sitting in the same chair every time, or the same end of the sofa.

Reluctance to wear new clothes or wearing only one certain color.

Listening to a certain song at bedtime.

Getting dressed and other tasks at a certain time - after watching Curious George on PBS.


Some of these I have seen in my Autistic granddaughter, others in my youngest sister who is dx with OCD but I suspect has ASD.


Whats the threshold for those things though, I mean for example I like one cup the best out of the rest in the house, but I won't throw a fit if someone else is using it, I'll just use another one for that time. Does it come down to impairment in real world settings, much like ADD diagnosis?

daveddd
01-11-11, 03:30 PM
Whats the threshold for those things though, I mean for example I like one cup the best out of the rest in the house, but I won't throw a fit if someone else is using it, I'll just use another one for that time. Does it come down to impairment in real world settings, much like ADD diagnosis?

i would say pretty much throwing a fit if you cant do one of those things


because im pretty sure most of those apply to all people on earth

Lunacie
01-11-11, 04:00 PM
Whats the threshold for those things though, I mean for example I like one cup the best out of the rest in the house, but I won't throw a fit if someone else is using it, I'll just use another one for that time. Does it come down to impairment in real world settings, much like ADD diagnosis?

Yep, I'd say it comes down the level of impairment. If you can deal with things being different once in a while, no problems. If you have to have it the same way and can't move on to the next thing until it "gets fixed", then it's a problem.

fracturedstory
01-11-11, 05:40 PM
i would say pretty much throwing a fit if you cant do one of those things


because im pretty sure most of those apply to all people on earth
Saying 'fit' in that context is insulting.
You're talking about a meltdown. People with ADHD have meltdowns too because of a disregulated limbic system.
A fit is a seizure but even then I find that term offensive.

A fit is pretty much repetitive like a cleaning fit or a coughing fit.

Not everyone with ASD would lose control if their routine was interrupted. It's the sudden change in an unfamiliar environment that sets me off.

tipoo
01-11-11, 05:42 PM
Saying 'fit' in that context is insulting.
You're talking about a meltdown. People with ADHD have meltdowns too because of a disregulated limbic system.
A fit is a seizure but even then I find that term offensive.

A fit is pretty much repetitive like a cleaning fit or a coughing fit.

Not everyone with ASD would lose control if their routine was interrupted. It's the sudden change in an unfamiliar environment that sets me off.


Sorry, I didn't mean "fit" to be insulting, I just meant its not something that would upset me in a big way.

Lunacie
01-11-11, 06:17 PM
Sorry, I didn't mean "fit" to be insulting, I just meant its not something that would upset me in a big way.

I almost said something as well. But I understand that people who don't know anything, or don't know much, about autism just don't understand that it's not a temper tantrum or a fit. Our first therapist called it "overload mode." That's a good description, when things are going smoothly we can deal with a little bump here and there. But when things are going rough all it takes is one more bump to put us into "overload mode" and precipitate a meltdown.

A meltdown is rather like a nervous breakdown that only lasts for 30 minutes to three hours, instead of weeks or months.

daveddd
01-11-11, 06:42 PM
Saying 'fit' in that context is insulting.
You're talking about a meltdown. People with ADHD have meltdowns too because of a disregulated limbic system.
A fit is a seizure but even then I find that term offensive.

A fit is pretty much repetitive like a cleaning fit or a coughing fit.

Not everyone with ASD would lose control if their routine was interrupted. It's the sudden change in an unfamiliar environment that sets me off.

well i was just responding the same way the question was asked


thats weird i never heard any adhd people on here having meltdowns

guess ill start to look for it

Lunacie
01-11-11, 07:12 PM
well i was just responding the same way the question was asked


thats weird i never heard any adhd people on here having meltdowns

guess ill start to look for it

I've seen lots of posts in the parenting section about ADHD kids having "temper tantrums" and lashing out and being really angry out of proportion to the event. They have meltdowns too, but they generally don't last as long as with Autistic kids. They aren't usually called meltdowns although they are very similar.

fracturedstory
01-12-11, 04:50 AM
I don't think all ADHD outbursts are temper tantrums. There are still sensory issues and anger problems. A tantrum is when you want to get your own way, but in autism and ADHD sometimes the thought process is so rigid that a tantrum is not the same as an NT tantrum.

Fortune
01-12-11, 05:29 AM
well i was just responding the same way the question was asked


thats weird i never heard any adhd people on here having meltdowns

guess ill start to look for it

Here's a blog post (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/05/sneaky-hate-spiral.html) by an ADHDer talking about what her meltdowns are like, in the form of a humorous comic strip. When I've linked it before, others have indicated they're familiar with the experience.

Lunacie
01-12-11, 11:51 AM
I don't think all ADHD outbursts are temper tantrums. There are still sensory issues and anger problems. A tantrum is when you want to get your own way, but in autism and ADHD sometimes the thought process is so rigid that a tantrum is not the same as an NT tantrum.

I don't think I expressed my thoughts very clearly. I was trying to say that many, if not all, so-called 'temper tantrums' by ADHDers are quite similar to Autistic 'meltdowns.' I think the duration and degree of self-control is the only real difference.

daveddd
01-12-11, 11:56 AM
there seems to be a relationship between adhd and aspergers assumed here that i dont think exists anyone more than a few common symptoms


same as depression and adhd

anxiety and adhd and so forth


am i wrong ? last i read they are not related

Lunacie
01-12-11, 12:08 PM
there seems to be a relationship between adhd and aspergers assumed here that i dont think exists anyone more than a few common symptoms


same as depression and adhd

anxiety and adhd and so forth


am i wrong ? last i read they are not related

That used to be the common thought. It's been changing. Doctors and researchers are seeing a lot that all these neurological disorders have in common as well as the things that are different.

I myself wonder if it's not all one vast neurological spectrum that manifests in ways as varied as the fact that every person has a fingerprint and yet no two fingerprints are exactly the same.

daveddd
01-12-11, 12:13 PM
That used to be the common thought. It's been changing. Doctors and researchers are seeing a lot that all these neurological disorders have in common as well as the things that are different.

I myself wonder if it's not all one vast neurological spectrum that manifests in ways as varied as the fact that every person has a fingerprint and yet no two fingerprints are exactly the same.

its gotta be

i simply cannot buy that some people have 3,4,5, separate conditions all with extreme overlap in symptoms

especially with so many with similar abnormalities in the same areas of the brain

Lunacie
01-12-11, 12:17 PM
its gotta be

i simply cannot by that some people have 3,4,5, separate conditions all with extreme overlap in symptoms

especially with so many with similar abnormalities in the same areas of the brain

Yeah, the symptom overlap was what first made me think this way, but the research on how all these disorders affect the same part of the brain keeps me going down this road.

Also the heriditary aspect - how can one family have so many members diagnosed with similar, yet differently diagnosed, disorders? If it's all genetic, doesn't it make sense that the Autism and the ADHD and the Anxiety and the Depression are all different symptoms of the same genetic disorder?

daveddd
01-12-11, 12:23 PM
Yeah, the symptom overlap was what first made me think this way, but the research on how all these disorders affect the same part of the brain keeps me going down this road.

Also the heriditary aspect - how can one family have so many members diagnosed with similar, yet differently diagnosed, disorders? If it's all genetic, doesn't it make sense that the Autism and the ADHD and the Anxiety and the Depression are all different symptoms of the same genetic disorder?

it does, in my years of reading along with my psych professor in college , i found that there are many doctors that still dont believe in the term comorbid

Fortune
01-12-11, 12:38 PM
there seems to be a relationship between adhd and aspergers assumed here that i dont think exists anyone more than a few common symptoms

There is a relationship, to the point that, say, a large number of autistic people also fit the criteria for ADHD. And yes, there is overlap, but they're also distinct in many ways.

same as depression and adhd

Depression has an established relationship with ADHD, and is one of the most common comorbids, for a lot of reasons.

anxiety and adhd and so forth

Again, an established relationship.

am i wrong ? last i read they are not related

All three have established relationships with ADHD.

And ADHD and autism apparently have genetic links (http://www.huliq.com/10178/adhds-genetic-link-also-implicated-autism-and-schizophrenia). There has been talk that ADHD is an extremely mild form of autism, although I doubt it will ever be defined as such.

To be honest, I don't quite understand your complaint.

daveddd
01-12-11, 12:40 PM
you are assuming im complaining?


i just wasnt aware that adhd and autism were related

daveddd
01-12-11, 12:42 PM
depression has been linked with similar abnormalities in the brain along with a life of misery

i was depressed long before i was miserable

Fortune
01-12-11, 12:48 PM
you are assuming im complaining?


i just wasnt aware that adhd and autism were related

I meant this:

its gotta be

i simply cannot buy that some people have 3,4,5, separate conditions all with extreme overlap in symptoms

especially with so many with similar abnormalities in the same areas of the brain

The question is, does diagnosing people this way provide means to treat the problems and help them? I think that seems to be the case. If it also accurately describes their situation and meets their needs? Is it a problem?

daveddd
01-12-11, 12:51 PM
being a problem and being skeptical are 2 different things

in my life i have had 7-8 dx

currently 3

bipolar, adhd, SA


i just have a had time believing that my problems stem from different disorders


is it my writing style that makes you assume im complaining when i state a viewpoint?

Fortune
01-12-11, 01:05 PM
She didn't agree with the statement that prompted me to respond. Look at your first statement about the relationship between Asperger's and ADHD - you say there is no relationship. She says there probably is a relationship.

And do we need to go back and forth over semantics? This thread is plenty derailed. I believe you're not complaining, but you asked why I thought you were. So I told you.