A very good evening to you! I’m doing much better today, for those wondering. Today, I was going to go through Executive Function skills and say what I’ve been doing to help myself get better at doing those things. Tip: The sooner you find a system that works for you, start doing it so it becomes a habit. And never stop doing that. I’m struggling to get to using my pocket planner and my wall calendar again. It was hard enough to start the first time, and trying to get going again is proving nigh impossible for some ridiculous reason.
Anyway, the first Executive Function Skill we’ll be looking at today is Impulse Control. What this means in our Executive Function Dysfunction skillset, is that we who lack Executive Function also tend to lack Impulse Control. I know I have a hard time not blurting things out and not doing what I want exactly at that moment. How do I control my random impulses? Mindfulness. I hate to say it, but Mindfulness is a huge step towards Living a Life Worth Living and all that jazz. And I only hate to say it because Mindfulness is such a confusing term and it’s so difficult to get into the practice of Mindfulness. Mostly because I’m lazy. If you lack proper Impulse Control, I suggest Mindfulness and Meditation practices. They’re boring at first, but eventually it gets easier. I hope.
Moving on towards the next Executive Function Skill, we have Emotional Control. I have no idea why this isn’t the same as Impulse Control, because it seems that over-reacting without thinking is what Dysfunction looks like here. I probably just have a really skewed idea of Emotions because Autism. I’m going to say Mindfulness also is appropriate here and just move on because fuck emotions.
Okay, I’m starting to think that Executive Function Dysfunction is just a fancy term for “various things Autistics have problems with” because Flexible Thinking is next on this list of 8 and if you have a Dysfunction with it, it looks like rigid thinking. Looking at things from a specific view point and saying fuck you no, you cannot use the fucking bathroom soap dispenser in the kitchen and don’t you dare even try moving it. I take a deep breath and try to ask people for their perspective when it comes to this sort of thing, because let’s face it, I have huge issues with “rigid thinking”, or as I like to call it, “Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you no you can’t colour the horse pink because it is brown you uncultured swine.”
Number 4: Working Memory, or following directions. I have to write everything step-by-step or I can’t do it. I do laundry at least once a week and have been doing so for roughly 20 years, give or take, and I’m so glad they have pictures to show the proper way to put everything in and which setting is for which load of clothes. I swear, without such things, I’d be at a loss. If you still have troubles with other Adulting things, may I suggest Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown. Link to the book on Amazon. My therapist recommended it for me and it’s just bloody fantastic. 9/10, in my honest opinion. Read it and treat it as your Executive Functioning Guidebook or something. I keep my copy in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet. Where I keep all my other guidebooks that I lose interest in.
And then we got half-way done and talked about Self-Monitoring. Basically, keeping track of how you are doing, I guess. I have a sticker chart that I use. After I’ve earned enough stickers, I can get myself a prize. Without my sticker chart, I am useless. Without me, my sticker chart is useless. Did I do my chores? Sticker. Did I go to therapy and did I avoid being a little shit? Sticker. Did I remember that I’m supposed to eat today? Sticker. Think of fun things for your own sticker chart! Or, you know, come up with something less child-like and maybe less weird if you were to have guests. I don’t have any friends, so I don’t have to worry about such things.
Planning and Prioritizing. Uh. Flow-charts work well here, right? Because I cannot do this one yet. I’m putting this on my List of Things I Need to Work On, which is starting to gain a life of it’s own. I normally have someone help me with this.
Task Initiation is number 7 and Organization is number 8 and I’m going to lump them together because I’m just like what the fuck. I guess using Habitica would be a good place to start? I mean, it really has helped me floss and to clean the bathroom and to do homework, so I guess it’s a pretty good thing to use. Personally, these last 3 things are the hardest things for me. Planning shit, Starting shit, and Organizing shit. On the bright side, I’m real good at Avoiding shit.
That brings us to the end of Executive Function Skills, which are hard as fuck and I hope you can give me some ideas or maybe the number to a better shrink because I’m going to curl up in a little ball of frustration and confusion because Executive Function shit, all this stuff? It’s so confusing and I just want ice cream but ice cream makes me sick because Dairy Intolerance. Here’s to getting better at Executive Functions and not having a nervous breakdown doing so.
The Sarcastic Autist
PS, I may have had excessive amounts of caffeine today and also I’m down 3 lbs so yay me. Also, I feel super hyper and super happy with how far I’ve come with my Japanese. Omedetou!