The Awe of the Autistic Mind

The key to wonder is an ability to focus to the point in which all else falls away. An ability to observe the finer details for long periods of time. When the Autistic mind is overwhelmed, flooding may present as heightened hypersensitivities, rigidity in thinking, intolerance to uncertainty, routines, rituals, and perfectionism. In these instances it is important to focus on two things; self-care (e.g., reducing the physiological sensations) and what will happen next (a compassionate response). The GPS method is to navigate the self towards focusing on what needs to happen next (e.g., a sensory break), whilst ensuring not to focus on the wrong turn. When the Autistic individual is tired and overwhelmed it may feel like they pre-set and practice for what could happen at any given moment. Recognition that some of the difficulties experienced by Autistic individuals, stems from a society that is not yet inclusive or sensitive to the needs of Autistic individuals, is important. Masking is physically and emotionally exhausting (which can lead to social fatigue or burnout), and is particularly adverse for mental health (anxiety, depression), self-perception and self-esteem. Acceptance, understanding, hope and perseverance from others is crucial in supporting people who feel the weight of symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder as they work incredibly hard to centre the mind and body. Autistic individuals are acutely aware of their differences energetically, physically, emotionally and mentally, and their acute sensitivity to sensory experiences and stimuli gives them a remarkable view of the world.

Hyper-focus, a common trait of Autistic individuals allows them to focus on one thing for a long period of time. Surrendering is the strength of detaching from what life must look like (fixed outcomes), and the science of finding something thanks to an observant mind. The energy of people aspiring to create, teamed with the surrender of the Autistic mind, is powerful and creative. There is a natural love of learning, fascination with facts, ability to listen without judgement or assumption, maintenance of order and accuracy, a pursuit of personal theory despite conflicting evidence, and a heightened awareness of details which leads to great insights. There is a pure intention to be your best self, the way you know how. Connections (as distinct from socialising which is internalising social norms) provide meaning in relationships with people (sincerity, loyalty, authenticity), objects or stimuli (special interests). By, offering respect, support, and flexibility (accommodations in the workplace and education systems), we will encourage self-determination, empowerment and innovations for the good of all. A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder can allow Autistic individuals to stand with pride and connect to their tribe.

Please note DSM-V diagnosis, provides the key to understanding, resources and support. The Functional Legacy Mindset – Five Mind Model™ should not be used to replace a face to face clinical interview to assess diagnosis of mental health concerns and material on this website does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing significant emotional difficulties, you should contact your GP to obtain a referral to see a qualified professional. The Functional Legacy Mindset™ approach was designed to address environmental factors that may be adversely impacting different minds.

The Functional Legacy Mindset™ approach was designed by Dr Kerry Chillemi (Clinical Psychologist) to