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earthworm-2.pngThe warning signs of Autistic Burnout are actually quite easy to spot if you know what to look for, either from an external point of view, as an observer, or loved one or internally, from an Autistic self’s point of view:

  • A growing lethargy
  • An increase in irritability
  • An increase in anxiety
  • An increase in over-sensitivity to sensory information
  • A dramatic decrease in sensitivity to sensory information
  • Heightened Auditory processing disorder
  • A decrease in verbal language
  • A decrease in text language
  • An increase in Shutdowns and heightened withdrawn state
  • An increase in the frequency and severity of Meltdowns
  • A diminished ability for the person to self-regulate their emotional state
  • The slowing down of the thought processes
  • Brain fog
  • Memory loss 
  • A decrease in your ability to effectively communicate what you want 
  • A decrease in motivation
  • An inability to generate momentum of body and of action
  • An increase of rigidity, narrowing of thinking
  • A feeling like your vision is tighter or narrower
  • Extreme forgetfulness
  • Extreme overwhelm
  • A massive increase in guilt
  • An increase in Executive Dysfunction
  • An increase in Demand Avoidance
    From The Autistic Advocate

The symptoms in bold and italics are symptoms I have and struggle with daily.

I was supposed to feed the family today. I managed to heat leftovers for my Wife, per her request. Then I cooked for myself – something relatively easy (made in the time it took to heat pasta water and boil the pasta). Then I sat down to eat – managed to get 2 forkfuls down – the food was delicious (most of my food is), and despite being ravenous I could eat no more – picking up food, chewing and swallowing were too energy demanding. I had run out of spoons… now I am beyond the point of being ravenous…

The Spoon Theory by  Christine Miserandino