Las Trampas supports adults with developmental disabilities to discover their capabilities and to lead full lives in their home, at work, and in the community.

Confessions of an ILS Client

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I am a young guy who lives in the East Bay. During most of my adult life I have faced the challenges of noise sensitivity and social anxiety. According to a doctor in San Ramon, the root of some of my problems is largely a vertebral disc in my neck that pinches a nerve to the degree that my body is in the ‘fight or flight’ mode at times. I am taking medication and emphasizing relaxation techniques to overcome this issue, which I believe is improving quickly.

Noise sensitivity has always been a struggle for me.

 

I experience sudden responses to unexpected sounds nick-image-2and lose in focus on activities or objectives. I could be walking on a sidewalk toward a grocery store, or just making my way over to my car in a parking lot when I hear an engine revving, leading me to stop, look at the source of the noise, and shift my body in the direction most comfortable for the situation. Generally, a noisy social situation is likely to move me away from the area because I do not want to interfere in a conversation and have the police called on me (it’s happened), or be remembered as an odd member of the community.

Despite the fact that such responses seem ordinary to me, I’ve noticed that no one else reacts similarly to excessive noise. I am continuing to work on being calm while walking in public.

nick-image-3Social anxiety has been my main obstacle since young adulthood. I have a history of obsessive-compulsive-repetitive-movement habits.

On occasion, while walking toward a destination I step on uneven walking ground and back up to start over. When strolling through a busy area, I perceive myself to be overwhelmed by all the activity around me and become unsure how to make a turn towards something I want without being influenced by someone nearby. As a result, after turning, I turn back to try again, which makes me look indecisive and peculiar.

During my late teens to early twenties I maintained a medication routine that led to complications. I had the dosages lowered, and I eventually stopped taking both. My sensitivities went back up.

I figured I would rather live with them than depend on any other pharmaceutical.

I am in the process of learning how to manage my learning disability, or Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis, and my body’s high sensitivity to a variety of stimuli. Importantly, I have learned the social significance and common sense of public activities closest to home. My experiences define a young adult aiming to improve a psychological disability, manage a physical condition, and relate with others in the communities where he works and lives.

Thank you for spending your time reading about a young adult striving to fix his sensitivities for the sake of himself and others. My hope is that people everywhere will begin to understand that this alert bodily state exists, and that a community member with nervous system sensitivities can function in the community. My hope is that as awareness spreads so will tolerance, understanding and acceptance.



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