June 25, at 3: What was good for Einstein is most probably not good for anybody else. But the main emphasis in your life is to concentrate on producing as permanent a body of knowledge as you are capable of. Our one interest and one concern, namely, that as astrophysics must give more clue on electronic theses papers should be developed and pushed to the maximum that was possible.
As my nephew, who was diagnosed as being on the spectrum around age 7, puts it: The world is built around neurotypical ways, which makes studying while being on the spectrum particularly hard. I often get asked about PhD strategies for people with ASD, but, despite experience living and working with people on the spectrum, I am no expert.
I was happy when Kim sent in this post and I hope it might encourage others living with ASD to share their experience. Kim Kemmis has spent the last ten years working full time and pursuing postgraduate study in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. His interests include Australian cultural history and the history of sexuality, and is currently writing on opera as a social phenomenon in Australia.
When I started my PhD I knew there would be challenges. The way we process information and respond to the world affects how we work and how we connect to others, and for the HDR student there are some particular difficulties.
If research were only sitting in the archive working on Phd thesis on autism it would be the best of all possible worlds.
I can focus on the detail and feel the brain fire up with new information and connections and ideas. You will know this place by the unicorns roaming outside. Hot-desking is a vicious variation on the hell of open-plan, where even neurotypicals suffer.
At my worst, is not a matter of diving-in but zeroing-in. I circle around the text, looking for a phrase to spring off the screen or to catch my attention, to coax the brain into comprehension.
Every few minutes I have to give the brain a break, preferably by doing something work-related or tuning into my music rather than social media.
Sometimes I have to drag the brain back, with the to-do list, or by breaking the task down so I can do it in baby steps—any structure I can use to keep moving in the right direction.
On good days form takes care of itself. On bad days syntax and sentence structure fail catastrophically. The brain switches off between phrases and jumps to something else; I grab at what I thought I was writing, but my thinking has moved on and the sentence is a series of non sequiturs.
But after three-quarters of an hour teasing out the phrases and connections I suddenly get into the zone. Connecting with others is difficult; activities such as class participation and supervision are complicated, and you become estranged from many of the collegial experiences.
In my undergraduate days I was criticised for not joining in the discussions, even though I was probably working the hardest of anyone: Now that happens in supervision meetings. Is that what I call subjectivity or is it something else? As a historian I have to interview people.
But using that empathy is exhausting, and so are the burdens of initiating and maintaining conversation, and the emails and phone calls required to keep the relationship going. As a research student you have to make contact with peers and influencers and grow your network.
You can stick with people you know and connect through their connections. During papers I try not to be distracted by the rustling of pens scratching on poor quality notepaper, or the suspicion that the weird smells from the seats are possibly organic in origin. I enjoy the para-conference that Twitter provides; distilling the essence of a paper to characters including the conference hashtag helps me engage, and the online interaction complements the more difficult physical socialising.
But I stink without a script. Every word is prepared, even the impromptu remarks. Questions can be an adventure: But I have found ways of working that work for me—which is what the PhD is all about, for all of us. Thanks for sharing your experience Kim! What strategies do you have in place to cope with the challenges?
Love to hear your ideas in the comments. Related Posts Stuggling with thesis production? My own go to expert on all things thesis with autism is Daveena at the Scholar Studio blog — check it out.
Love the Thesis whisperer and want it to continue?Research Studies The following is a list of some of the ASD research studies currently being conducted in Canada and abroad.
Each study calls for participants with an ASD diagnosis. Autism Spectrum Disorders. If you want to specialize in autism spectrum disorders, many schools offer students the option to take additional classes to gain the required knowledge to work in this benjaminpohle.com is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a .
Kerry Mataya, MSED, is the founder of Autism Asperger Syndrome Consulting Group, LLC, and Asperger Connection, Inc. In the Alabama area, she has provided almost 10 years of educational consulting, after-school social groups, and summer camps, including overnight camp, drama camp, sports camp, and play-with-me camp.
Richard, Great post. I just finished grad school for my masters degree focused in Organizational Leadership and was looking to pursue my doctorates in I/O Psych. People who show characteristics of autism are more at risk of attempting suicide, according to a new study.
Researchers found that people who exhibited higher levels of autistic traits were more. I’m an Autistic PhD student and Postdoc concurrently – I’ve been lucky enough to start my Postdoc a few months prior to thesis submission.
My thesis and Postdoc are both in the field of autism, so being Autistic has in many ways been an advantage for me – what my colleagues understand in theory, I understand In practice because I live.