Is this what Autism feels like?

The pounding in my head will not stop. It is as if every thought is piling on top of one another. What needs to get done, what I must do, what cannot wait?
I try to decipher it all… to make sense, organize it in my head. But the pound, pound, pounding will not let me to do it!

I pop a Tylenol hoping it will make the pounding stop so I can do what needs to be done, what must be done, what cannot wait. I follow the pill with three glasses of water. Perhaps I am dehydrated I think. Suddenly everything I have ever read about dehydration flashes before my eyes. More thoughts now about what I should have done, what I did not do, what did not get done pile on top of the needs to get done, must get done and CANNOT WAIT ones. One glass of water, then another and still POUNDING!

A list! Yes I will write a “to do list”. If I get all these thoughts on paper, perhaps that will help. So I start jotting down things, making sure to put a star by everything important that needs to get done, what must be done, what cannot wait. I stop because I realize that everything I have written on the paper has a star besides it!

The pounding in my head continues.

A walk outside. That will help. I just need to clear my head, get some fresh air. I grab the dog’s leash and set out to take him for a walk. After all we cannot just walk for the sake of walking. No, the dog needs to be walked, must be walked… cannot wait.

The crisp morning air feels good. I breath in and out and for a brief moment I think the pounding has stopped. I feel relief. Now that the headache is gone I can tackle all that needs to be done, must be don’t, and cannot wait. And before I can even decide which starred item I will do first when I return back home, the pounding starts again.

Abruptly I stop. The dog pulls wanting to continue on the walk. But I do not care, even if he does need it, must have it and it cannot wait. I stop because all the sudden I cannot help but wonder, is this is how my boy feels all the time? This stress, the anxiety, the confusion…is this what autism feels like? Thoughts always going, the dialogue in your head never stopping and the feeling as if you are always trying to be two steps ahead because you need to be, must and cannot afford to not be!

The dog pulls and I slowly start walking again in the direction of home. I notice that my head is not pounding any more, but my heart is!

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