7 Signs You Might Have Chronic Pain

Why? Because when it comes to dealing with diseases and disorders that aren’t well-known, you really have to be your own advocate. If you’ve been struggling with weird CFS symptoms for a while, I bet you’ve been blown off by more than one doctor. I’m sure they said, “It’s all in your head,” or, “You just have your period.” Super annoying, I know.

It may be helpful to know that CFS falls under the same umbrella as fibromyalgia, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is a disorder characterized by widespread pain, sleep, memory, and mood issues. “Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia were both met with skepticism from doctors in the past. But as fibromyalgia has gained mainstream acceptance, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS), has continued to meet with confusion and disbelief,” noted health reporter Cameron Scott on the medical website Healthline.com.

Hopefully someday soon CFS will be recognized as a legit disorder. But for now, just because doctors don’t know the cause of all the annoying problems brought on by CFS, it doesn’t mean your symptoms aren’t real. See if the symptoms below ring a bell, and if you’ve been feeling bad, keep pestering your doctor until you get the help you need.

1. You Feel Exhaustion That’s Not Cured By Sleep

Chronic fatigue syndrome is an aptly named disorder, because one of the main symptoms is just that — chronic fatigue. But it’s not just normal tiredness we all feel in the morning, or after a long day at work. It’s the type of tired not healed by sleep, or a weekend spent chilling on the couch, according to the CDC. It’s always there, waxing and waning in intensity, but still present at all times. And it can really affect your work and relationships, especially since it’s so hard for people to wrap their heads around what it’s like to always be sleepy.

2. Everything Is Incredibly Achy

CFS causes all different types of pain from headaches, to muscle and joint aches, to sore skin. But the sore skin thing is especially interesting and unique to CFS. It can make you feel like you don’t want to be touched because any sort of contact is too painful. That must be really difficult to deal with, if I do say so myself.

3. You Have Memory And Concentration Problems

Memory and concentration problems are the most distressing symptomsreported by people with CFS. And I can understand why. CFS sufferers say they don’t so much forget things, but that they have trouble calling up memories, says Scott. It can feel like words are butterflies, and you’re running around lazily with a net, unable to catch any of them. Many sufferers call this feeling “brain fog.” Very distressing indeed.

4. The Lymph Nodes In Your Neck Are Swollen

It’s not well-known why the lymphs nodes in the neck and armpits swell up with CFS, according to the Mayo Clinic. It simply lacks a lot of research and understanding, much like the disorder itself. But it’s definitely something many CFS patients have in common.

5. You Feel Highly Sensitive

People with CFS often feel sensitive to lights, noise, or emotions, according to WebMD. Again, the cause is not well-known, but it could be due to something called “generalized hyper-vigilance,” which may in turn be caused by nervous system abnormalities or stress-system problems. So if you’ve been moping around, cringing at every sound, and pulling the curtains against the sun, then CFS may be to blame.

6. It’s Difficult To Recover After Exercise

Everyone feels tired after exercise, but those with CFS feel tired on a whole different scale. According to WebMD, you may even feel ill or weak. Exercise can also cause CFS symptoms to flare up — which may happen on a delay — thus causing some confusion as to the cause. And what’s worse is that once it starts, it may take you more than 24 hours to feel better again.

7. Ironically, You Have Sleep Problems

According to WebMD, insomnia plays into chronic fatigue syndrome, and it can be one of those “which comes first?” type scenarios. Do you have CFS because you have insomnia, or the other way around? Again, it’s not really known. Often times, CFS patients are prescribed a short-term course of sleep aids to help knock them out so they’ll eventually be able to catch up on their rest. And hopefully, with a little more sleep, they’ll at least be better able to manage their symptoms.

Chronic fatigue syndrome may not be well-researched or well-understood, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. If you’ve been feeling these vague, but incredibly annoying symptoms, be sure to follow up with a doctor until you get the help you need.

Possible first new treatment for ANCA-associated vasculitis in 40 years


Results of an Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) clinical trial may provide doctors with another weapon in the treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitis, which has seen no new approved treatments in 40 years. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that the drug rituximab provides the same treatment benefits as the existing standard of care, and appears to offer additional benefits to those suffering relapses.

ANCA-associated vasculitis comprises a group of autoimmune diseases in which affected individuals make antibodies that attack their own cells – called neutrophils – causing inflammation in small- to medium sized blood vessels. This leads to subsequent organ damage, particularly in the airways, lungs and kidneys. Wegener’s granulomatosis and microscopic polyangitis are the most common forms of the disease, the former affecting 3 of every 100,000 people in the United States and accounting for approximately 1500 hospitalizations each year.

The current standard of care for these conditions is a cyclophosphamide-based regimen that has been used since the 1970s. Although this regimen has been successful in inducing remission in the majority of cases, its immunosuppressive nature puts patients at risk of serious infection and cancer. Furthermore, many patients experience relapses after the therapy is discontinued.

The current study, led by Dr. John Stone of Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Ulrich Specks of the Mayo Clinic aimed to establish whether rituximab, a manmade antibody currently approved for the treatment of non-hodgkins lymphoma and moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis (marketed under the trade name ‘Rituxan’ by Genentech, Inc) could be just as effective.

The ITN study concludes that rituximab is not inferior to standard therapy for ANCA-associated vasculitis. However, in patients with relapsing disease, who were previously treated with cyclophosphamide at the start of the study (as opposed to those newly diagnosed), 67 percent of those in the rituximab group had no disease activity were able to discontinue all steroid use after therapy, compared with only 42 percent in the cyclophosphamide group.

“Although the two therapy regimens were equally effective in reducing patients’ disease activity, our results indicate that rituximab is superior to cyclophosphamide in inducing remission for patients experiencing a disease flare,” comments Dr. Specks.

Coupled with the fact that participants in the rituximab group received intravenous therapy once a week for 1 month–compared with 3 to 6 months of daily cyclophosphamide therapy followed by daily AZA—the observation that rituximab offers similar benefits, if not greater, for patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis is a significant advance in treatment. Investigators also did not observe any major differences in the side effects in patients from the two treatment groups.

According to Drs. Stone and Specks, ITN investigators plan to follow the participants until 18 months post treatment to determine if patients who received rituximab will relapse and to evaluate the long-term safety of this regimen.

The study was conducted by the Immune Tolerance Network and was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

One Woman’s Cerebral Palsy Story Should Encourage Sharing Your Own

We like to share a wide range of information on our Facebook Page, most often profiling the achievements and assistance available for children. However, we also like to show the incredible accomplishments that adults with Cerebral Palsy have accomplished. In doing so, we hope that the efforts inspire those who do not know what the future can hold for their child. One outspoken author, Nicole Luongo, accomplishes both of these goals: sharing her voice regarding childhood while also demonstrating the sky is the limit for those with Cerebral Palsy.

You may recognize Nicole’s name from items she has written that we have shared in the past. Beyond the content she has provided to the likes of The Mighty, she also remains active in building community around Cerebral Palsy. One extension of that, a brand new Facebook Page called “What Cerebral Palsy Looks Like,” breaks down stereotypes and stigmas by providing a human approach to what is still, unfortunately, a little known topic. What drives Nicole to speak out? In her own words:

I wish the media knew that children with CP grow up to be adults with CP. Cover our stories, too. We are productive, talented members of society. And, most importantly, we are not all the same.

So why do we want to specifically point out Nicole? In short, she represents a new, amazing opportunity that exists for people with all types of Cerebral Palsy. In her pursuit of raising awareness about selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and World Cerebral Palsy Day, she’s carrying her voice into the CP community specifically while also helping the world widely in understanding more about Cerebral Palsy. Where her voice may have been limited in the past to the Florida media or a newsletter, the Internet provides her a vehicle for change. And that vehicle is open to all of you as well.

We speak often about the value of support groups for parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, as well as for those with CP themselves. Using the Internet to connect is an amazing way to not only remove feelings of isolation but to learn and grow yourself. The shared life experience that is made possible can help yourself but also help others; activism is not the only way to create change as simply living your life openly can make for amazing results in so many lives. Find your voice, however it may come, and, in turn, you can increase awareness and perhaps change the world.


Nicole Luongos 

In one of her updates, Nicole describes herself as “one of the faces of Cerebral Palsy.” Our hope is that her example brings more faces to the forefront, whether they are parents, advocates or those living with the condition. When that happens, stigmas fall and additional success on the part of funding, assistance, kindness and more become possible.

To The Mom of The Special Needs Ones on The Hard Days

I understand. That’s all I want to say today, really.

And I wanted you to know that you are not invisible.

I know it is the kind of hard that no one else can fathom.

I know you felt a knife rip through your heart and a wave of relief flood your soul the moment that a doctor or a therapist confirmed what you had already known for a while, but maybe hadn’t been quite ready to admit.

I know that the novel that sits by your bed at night is not really a novel at all, but a stack of paperwork to be read and signed and returned.

I know that the first time you walked into that therapist’s office you felt like you must have failed somewhere along the way. But I know you didn’t. Because there you are, sitting in the office waiting room, doing everything you can do get support for that very same child that you think you are failing.

I know that it is so hard not to harbor resentment in your heart.

I know that you might have had to give up a promising career because there are so many daytime appointments now where a guardian needs to be present. I know that it is putting a strain on your relationship with your spouse. I know that sometimes you have to count the minutes until the end of the play date because it is difficult to be around other mothers while they talk about issues that seem so mundane in comparison to the cards you have been dealt.

I know that your weight is probably different now than it was before you got the news. It might be because you have been going to so many appointments every week that dinner comes from a drive-thru more often than it does not. It might be because you are eating your feelings, or it might be because you have been so sick with grief over what could have been that your appetite has disappeared completely.

I know that you might need a little bit of time to grieve. And I know that if that little bit of time starts to turn into a lot of time, then you shouldn’t be ashamed to talk to someone about it.

I know that talking to someone, even your husband, might feel pointless sometimes because no one really sees your child like you do. They aren’t there all day every day and they don’t see all of the everything.

I know that sometimes when you get a break for just a minute and everything seems infinitely easier, it is hard to put up the mental roadblocks against what could have been.

I know that it is almost impossible to stay away from “if only,” but I know that you have to if you want to survive.

You can’t think about the way that things could have been different. You can only deal with the way that they are.

You are strong. So, so strong. Even when you don’t feel like you are very strong at all.

The years will pass. At first it will go so slowly and it will be so hard that you think you might never make it out alive. You might feel like punching me right now because I just said “years” and you’re not even sure that you will be able to hold yourself together until dinner tonight.

If you can’t make it until dinner, then it is all right to cry right now. No, you’re right. It won’t change anything, but I give you permission to feel your feelings anyway. And I promise those feelings will not always be sad ones.

The job itself will not get easier, but you will get even stronger and smarter and your tool belt will grow.

There will come a day when you feel confident and equipped.

And then something will happen that brings you to your knees and the cycle will start again.

But it will be okay, because then you will know that blossoms can grow in even the stormiest weather.

By then you will have seen such tremendous growth and progress that the blows will be a little bit easier to take, if only because you know that there is hope.


Up until only fairly recently psychology and philosophy were thought to go hand in hand. It was only during the 1870’s when psychology became an independent scientific discipline. Since then through multiple studies and technological advances, we have learnt a great deal although still only scratched the surface. Check out these interesting psychology facts, and make sure to share your own thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

  1. If you announce your goals to others, you are less likely to make them happen because you lose motivation, studies confirmed.

There have been tests since as early as 1933 that prove that once intended goals are announced, people are less likely to follow through with them as they lose motivation. This is thought to happen because doing so satisfies a person’s self-identity just enough to prevent them performing the hard work to achieve those goals.

  1. Most people have a favorite song because they associate it with an emotional event in their lives.

It is well known that music has a direct effect on emotion. In a recent study on nine undergraduate students, it turns out that the flip side is also true – similar in a way that certain smells can remind us of moments in the past.

  1. Music affects the way you perceive the world.

A new study held at the University of Groningen has shown that music has a dramatic effect on perception. The study focused especially on the ability of people to “see” happy faces and sad faces when different music tracks were listened to. Listening to particularly happy or sad music can even change the way we perceive the world.

  1. Studies have shown that spending money on others provides more happiness than spending it on yourself.

Research performed by Harvard Business School has shown that people are actually happier when they give money to others. Of course, this should go without saying as we often anticipate how people will react to our own gifts at Christmas, more so than what gifts we may receive.

  1. According to studies, you’ll be happier spending your money on experiences rather than possessions.

Happiness has become an increasingly popular field focused on the scientific study of emotional well-being. Research has suggested that people often sacrifice things that make them happy such as vacations or going out to certain events, in order to afford possessions (such as property).

  1. Kids are more highly strung today, with high school students showing the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the 1950’s.

Approximately 49% of the general population suffer or have suffered from anxiety, depression or substance abuse. In particular, there is proof that the collective human race is becoming more anxious every decade and there are many speculative reasons for that. For instance, people move more, have less interaction with their communities, change jobs, are less likely to get married and more likely to live alone.

  1. It has been shown that certain religious practices like prayer and attending services is associated with lower psychological distress levels.

“The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Mood Disorders” discusses several studies that have demonstrated that people who partake in various religious activities may have a lower risk of depressive symptoms and other psychological disorders.

  1. While money can buy happiness to an extent, studies show that after $75,000 per year, increased income does little to boost happiness.

A study of 450,000 Americans in 2008 and 2009 suggested that there are two forms of happiness, emotional well-being (day to day contentment) and an overall life assessment. The more money people had, the higher their “life assessment”. However, findings suggests that once people earn more than $75,000, additional income is simply considered more “stuff”.

  1. By surrounding yourself with happier people, you’ll become happier too.

We’ve all been in the situation at one point of laughing out loud with someone purely because they had an infectious laugh. New research published in the Psychoneuroendocrinology journal shows that stress and happiness are both contagious, and being around groups of either type has a direct influence on us.

  1. People between the ages of 18 and 33 are the most stressed in the world.

After the age of 33 stress levels tend to reduce. According to a 2012 Stress in America survey by the American Psychological Association, people between the ages of 18 and 33 are the most stressed out, and that stress only seems to be increasing every year.

  1. Fooling yourself into thinking you’ve slept well, even if you haven’t, still improves performance.

We’ve all been in that situation when we wished for just one or two more hours’ sleep. A recent study published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology demonstrated that when patients were told they had above average REM sleep (when they hadn’t), they performed better on a given test. They called it “placebo sleep”.

  1. Intelligent people are more likely to underestimate themselves, while ignorant people are more likely to believe they’re brilliant.

Known as the Dunning Kruger Effect, some unskilled people believe they are superior and assess their own abilities as much higher than what is accurate. On the other side of the coin, some highly skilled people often underestimate their competence, assuming that what is easy for them, is also easy for others.

  1. If you remember a past event, you’re actually remembering the last time you remembered it rather than the event itself.

One interesting insight into how the brain works, is that every time we have a memory, we transform it slightly. Recent research conducted by Northwestern Medicine has shown that recalling memories often, makes them less accurate over time.

  1. Decisions become more rational if they are thought in a foreign language.

A recent study by the University of Chicago conducted on United States and Korean citizens has shown that thinking in a foreign language reduces deep seated and misleading biases.

How To Make Hazel Eyes Pop Makeup

When you have hazel eyes, your eyes aren’t just one color. Aishwarya Rai, Tyra Banks, Kelly Clarkson, and Angelina Jolie are some of the notable celebrities who possess such colored eyes. There are usually flecks of multiple colors in there, and you can totally play this to your advantage. A great way to bring these colors out is by using different eyeshadow colors.

How To Make Hazel Eyes Pop? Easily Buy on Google Or Stores

Here, I’ve compiled a list of 10 best eye makeup looks which make your hazel eyes pop and flatter. Check them out!

  1. Purple Smokey
  2. Hot Pink Eyes
  3. Gold And Black Glitter
  4. Eyes Of A Mermaid
  5. Bronze Goddess
  6. Tropical Sunset
  7. Classic Black Smokey
  8. Hide And Seek Pink
  9. Royal Blue
  10. Simple Cat Eye

1. Purple Smokey Eye Makeup

Purple Smokey

A great way to bring out the color of your eyes is to use colors from the opposite side of the color wheel. And somewhere along the opposite spectrum of the color wheel for hazel are purple tones. In order to achieve this look, bright purple, aubergine, and black shades have been used.

Products To Create Purple Smokey Look

  • Eyeshadows by MAC.
  • Eyeliner by Makeup Revolution.
  • Mascara and false lashes.

Tutorial on How To Get Purple Smokey Look

  • Start by packing on some of the bright purple on the lid, but don’t extend the color too much.
  • Go over it with the aubergine shade and blend it on the outside corner and crease. Then, using the black eyeshadow, define the outer corner.
  • Using a clean brush, blend it out so that there are no harsh lines. By using appropriate transition shades, you can make your hazel eyes pop.
  • Attach the falsies.
  • Finish with some mascara.

This Purple Smokey eye look is more suitable for Pale skin.

2. Hot Pink Eye Makeup

Hot Pink Eyes

Adding bright colors to your eyes is a definite way to make them stand out. A hot pink eyeshadow would do just that. Using a primer before applying the eyeshadow is a good way to start since it prevents the eyeshadow from melting into the creases.

Products Required to Create Hot Pink Eye Makeup Look

  • Peach Smoothie, Creme Brulee, Shimma Shimma Eyeshadows by MUG .
  • Melt Cosmetics Radioactive Stack in the shade Radioactive.
  • Mascara.

How to Get Hot Pink Eye Makeup Look?

  • The way to achieving this bright pink look is by starting off at the crease with a hot pink shade. Take your time in blending it out, because that makes all the difference. Work with a little amount of product at a time to get a diffused look.
  • Now pack on a frosty shade at the center of the eyelid and the browbone. Use a clean fluffy brush to blend the colors.
  • Dab some purple kohl from on the outer corner of your waterline as well as the center and blend.
  • Finally, to finish this look, use some mascara and a purple liner to create a wing. You will have yourself hazel eyes that pop through these gorgeous fuschia colors!

3. Black and Gold Glitter Eye Makeup

Gold And Black Glitter

Gold and black – A powerful combination. The gold make the flecks in the eyes pop out and the black adds a strong contrast with hazel eyes. To achieve this look, you will need a pigmented gold with micro glitter and a gray-black shade.

Products to Create Gold And Black Glitter Look

  • Eyeshadows by MAC.
  • Eyeshadows by Make Up Revolution.
  • False lashes by Red Cherry.

How To Do Black and Gold Glitter Eye Makeup?

  • Start off by priming the eyelid and going over it with a neutral shade matching your skin tone in order to create a transition shade.
  • Using a sticky tape, apply the black eyeshadow along the lower lash line to create a refined line as shown.
  • Next, work the metallic black shade on the outer corner and crease.
  • Continue from the outer corner to the lower lash line to derive a smokey look.
  • It is now time for the gold! Pack some of the product into the center and rest of the eyelid. Build the product up slowly to prevent fallout.
  • Pop some of this lightly in the inner corners as well.
  • Finish with fake lashes or just mascara.

This Gold an black glitter look is suitable for all skin tones.

4. Mermaid Eye Makeup Look

Mermaid Eyes

Blue, green, and purple is a beautiful combination. It often reminds us of mermaids. These colors create a magical look and bring out the color of your eyes. Prep and prime your eyelid as you normally would and create a neutral base. For this look, we need to start from the outside and work towards the inside. Since this look is a mermaid look, make sure that all the colors that you will be using from the next step are shimmer.

Products To Create This Look

  • Mineral eyeshadow powders by Caylin Cosmetics
  • Maybelline Falsies mascara

Mermaid Eye Makeup Tutorial

  • Taking a subtle orange shade, go over the area above your crease.
  • Next, use a purple shade to apply at the outer corners, crease, and bottom lashline.
  • Use a clean brush to blend the orange and purple.
  • With a metallic blue kohl, line the upper and lower lashlines.
  • Now, grab a metallic blue and cover your eyelid with it and blend.
  • Then, take a bit of green onto the brush and apply it at the center of the eyelid.
  • Use a clean brush to blend out any harsh lines.
  • Once you are happy with the colors and their transitions, finish with some mascara.

This Mermaid Eye Makeup is one of the best choices for all All skin tones.

5. Bronze Goddess Eye Makeup

Bronze Goddess

Bronze eye makeup will make you look brazen and sharp. It compliments the gold flecks in your hazel eyes, and it’s a great look for all occasions. This look will require shades of bronze and copper, and an eyeliner.

Products To Create Bronze Goddess Eye Makeup Look

  • Eyeshadows from the Naked palette by Urban Decay
  • Illamasqua gel eyeliner

Bronze Goddess Eye Makeup Tutorial

  • Prep and prime your eyelid and browbone.
  • For this look, we see that the eyeshadow is extending in a sharp line. To achieve this, you will need to use some tape along the lower lash line.
  • Apply a copper shade over the eyelid.
  • Now take the bronze shade and apply it into the crease and browbone.
  • Using a clean fluffy brush, diffuse it out.
  • Finally, create a winged line with a navy blue liner and top it with mascara.

Bronze Goddess Eye look is more suitable for Warm or dark skin.

6. Tropical Sunsets

Tropical Sunset

Can’t go on vacation anytime soon? Bring the vacation to you! With colors like orange, purple, and gold, you’re bound to brighten up your eyes (and mood) and make them pop.

Products To Create Tropical Sunset Look

  • Mi Vida Loca eyeshadow palette by Kat Von D.
  • 24 karat glam liner by Nyx Cosmetics.
  • Ardell lashes in 160 black.

How To Do Tropical Sunset Eye Makeup?

  • Begin by prepping and priming your eyelids.
  • Apply a yellow eyeshadow under the brow bone to start off the gradient look.
  • Next, apply an orange-toned eyeshadow a bit lower than the first layer.
  • With a clean fluffy brush, diffuse these colors so that there are no sharp lines.
  • Pack some purple eyeshadow at the center and outer corner and blend them out as shown in the image.
  • It is now time for the bling to top it off – the gold winged liner. The gold adds quite the contrast to the purple and brings out the gold flecks in hazel eyes.
  • Finish with false lashes or mascara.

This is one of the best suited and favorite look for Fair skin tones.

7. Classic Black Smokey Eye Makeup

Classic Black Smokey

You cannot and will not go wrong with the classic black smokey eye. The intensity of the black will bring out the color of your eyes. It provides a strong contrast to the warm colors found in hazel eyes.

Products To Create Classic Black Smokey Look

  • Naked eyeshadow palette by Urban Decay.
  • Perversion mascara by Urban Decay.

Tutorial on How To Get Classic Black Smokey Look?

  • Once you have primed your eyelids, use a neutral brown tone suitable for your skin under the browbone so that a perfect transition can be created.
  • Pack the black eyeshadow onto the eyelid in batches.
  • Slowly build the product to achieve the required intensity.
  • Use a clean fluffy brush to blend it out.
  • Apply some of the product under the lower lashline as well.
  • Using a black kohl, line the upper and lower lashlines.
  • Finish with mascara.

This classic black smokey look is more suitable for fair and warm skin tones.


8. Hide And Seek Pink

Hide And Seek Pink

This is a spinoff of a winged liner. Instead of going for a plain winged liner, you can make your eyes stand out by adding a hint of color. In this look, the color being used is pink. You can use any other color, but make sure that it is bright.

Products To Create Hide And Seek Pink Look

  • Pink eyeliner by Shu Uemura
  • Black eyeliner by Bobbi Brown

How To Get This Hide And Seek Pink Look?

  • Prime and prep your eyelids.
  • To create this look, use a black liner to create wings as you normally would.
  • Then, create a line underneath the black line of the extended wing with the pink one as shown.
  • Put some shimmer on the inner corner.
  • Finish with a coat of mascara.

Hide and Seek Pink Look is most suitable for  all skin tones.

9. Royal Blue Eye Makeup

Royal Blue

Although this shade isn’t completely royal blue, it is along those lines and it definitely looks regal. This is a sure shot way to make your eyes pop.

Products To Create Royal Blue Look

  • Seventeen Single Eyeshadow in the shade Regal.
  • Kiko eyeshadow stick in the shade 31.
  • Revlon Single Eyeshadow in the shade Periwinkle.

How To Get Royal Blue Look?

  • Start off by priming your eyelids and applying a neutral base.
  • Pack a navy blue shade onto the eyelids in such a way that it looks intense and pigmented.
  • Now, take a fluffy brush and blend it.
  • Apply a lilac shade at the inner thirds of the eyelids and diffuse it with the previously applied navy blue.
  • Use a neutral brown shade to blend out the harsh lines under the brow bone. Use a clean fluffy brush so that the transition is clean.
  • Apply some lilac kohl on the lower lashline and finish with a winged liner and mascara.

This Royal Blue look is most suitable for Warm undertones.

10. Simple Cat Eye Makeup

Simple Cat Eye

A simple flick goes a long way. When you don’t have any time but want to add an oomph factor to your eyes, wing out that eyeliner and you’re good to go. I understand that it can be a challenge to do your makeup when you are in a hurry. A simple cat eye will make it look like you have put some effort into it.

Products To Create Simple Cat Eye Look

  • Maybelline Gel Eyeliner.
  • Perversion mascara by Urban Decay.

How To Get Simple Cat Eye Look?

  • The trick to perfecting the cat eye is small strokes.
  • Start from the inner corner and remember not to pile on too much product at one go. You can always build it up later.
  • Now comes the tricky part – the wing. Remember that the wing is supposed to be an extension of your lower lashline.
  • Follow its path and you can’t go wrong. If you are worried about whether or not your hands are stable enough to do this, you can use a card of some sort and place it under your eye along the path of the outer corner of the lower lashline.
  • When you are satisfied with the line, you can join it with the rest and fill in any gaps.
  • Finish with mascara.


Other Tips to Make Hazel Eyes Pop

Apart from the eyeshadow colors you use, there are a few other ways to bring out your hazel eyes.

  • Many people ask “What hair color makes hazel eyes pop?” – I can say that Hair color plays a major role in bringing out the color in your eyes, and I personally suggest brown hair or red hair are the best shades that do so.
  • Dress Colors that Make Hazel Eyes Pop – The color of your outfit can also make your eyes pop. When you have hazel eyes, wearing all black can help intensify your eyes. Wearing shades of green and khaki can also brighten them.

So there you are! Ten gorgeous eye makeup looks and other tips to bring out your hazel eyes. Now, if you don’t have hazel eyes, doesn’t mean this isn’t for you! It’s just that these looks, in particular, make hazel eyes pop. In the end, these looks will look good on everyone! Go ahead and experiment!

PTSD Differences Among Men and Women

Men and women are different. A few decades ago, that idea made the cover of major news magazines. But researchers are frequently confronted with differences between the sexes. A recent study on the mental health condition known as Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) suggests that gender differences may play a role in who is most vulnerable to developing the condition.

National surveys and statistical models which predict PTSD cases say that women are far more likely than men to experience PTSD. Some experts suggest that women are as much as two times more likely to develop the condition. This could be because so many women undergo trauma. One survey says that as many as one half of women can expect to live through a serious trauma at one point during their lifetime. Since PTSD is an outgrowth of experienced trauma, researchers wondered about the links between gender and PTSD development.

In reality, men are more apt than women to experience a traumatic life event. During a given year, 60 percent of men will live through a traumatic event while just 51 percent of women will do so. Nevertheless, fewer than four percent of all who experience trauma will go on to develop PTSD. All of which highlights the fact that undergoing trauma does not guarantee that a person will experience a disordered response to trauma.

Since women experience fewer traumatic events but have a higher risk of developing PTSD, researchers looked for what could explain the gender gap. They found that women who had lived through violent traumas such as sexual assault, injury-causing trauma or trauma which was perceived as life-threatening, were more prone to developing PTSD. Other risk factors which affected whether a woman developed PTSD included subsequent stress events, inadequate support networks following the trauma and a history of mental illness. Emory University research further suggests that a chemical factor could help explain female susceptibility to the disorder. A hormone known as pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) could be responsible for women succumbing to PTSD more often than men. That hormone showed up in significantly higher levels among women who manifested symptoms of PTSD during the study.

Another reason why women may be more liable to developing PTSD is their emotional make-up. Women are known to be more prone to anxiety and depressive disorders in general. Unlike men, women tend to take personal responsibility for their victim status. These tendencies can make it harder for them to avoid cycling into other disordered emotional responses to trauma.

On the upside, women tend to be more open about how they are feeling than men. In addition, they are more willing to seek out help when they realize they are struggling emotionally. Women also do better at creating support networks to help them sustain recovery after therapy has given them a healthy re-start. So while women are more vulnerable to developing PTSD, they are also more equipped to seek out and sustain recovery.


5 Foods to Avoid If You Have Bipolar Disorder

Can an unhealthy diet play a role in triggering bipolar mood swings? According to recent research, the answer is “yes.” In fact, certain foods — such as caffeine, alcohol, and fatty foods — could lead to worse outcomes, finds research in the July 2016 issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research. It’s a good idea to follow national healthy diet guidelines, such as eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats. But you may also want to pay attention to some of the subtler points raised in this study.

“Evidence of poor diet in people with bipolar disorder is found in the altered metabolism of important healthy fats and is consistent with an imbalance in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 intake in diet,” says study authorMelvin G. McInnis, MD, the Thomas B. and Nancy Upjohn Woodworth professor of bipolar disorder anddepression, and director of the Prechter Bipolar Research Program in the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.

Dr. McInnis explains that this means people with bipolar disorder should rebalance the types of fats in their diets to include more omega-3 fats, and fewer omega-6 fats. You only need a small amount of omega-6 fats each day, which come primarily from vegetable oils. Omega-3 fats come from sources such as salmon and other fatty coldwater fish, flaxseed, nuts, and certain plants, such as basil.

If you choose to eliminate bipolar-offending foods from your diet, you’ll do more than keep mood swings in check and reduce periods of mania: You’ll also improve your heart health. That’s important, because with bipolar disorder you’re at a greater risk of obesity and heart and vascular disease, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

“People with bipolar disorder have, in general, poor diets and are not good at planning healthy diets with appropriate foods,” McInnis explains. One particular problem is fast food, which is a primary food source for a good number of people with bipolar disorder, he says. “It’s convenient, cheap, and provides satisfaction — albeit short-term.”

RELATED: Olympian Turned Escort: Suzy Favor Hamilton on Her Bipolar Disorder

Other factors that could lead to poor dietary choices include medication side effects, inadequate exercise, smoking, and lack of access to care, explains psychiatrist Jess G. Fiedorowicz, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the departments of psychiatry and internal medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City.

Your first step? “While there’s been some speculation regarding specific diets forbipolar disorder, simply eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important start,” Dr. Fiedorowicz says.

Foods and Drinks You Should Ditch

The fundamentals of a healthy diet include not just what to eat, but also what not to eat. Consider skipping these choices that could worsen your bipolar symptoms:

1. Caffeine

“Stimulants can trigger mania and should be avoided,” Fiedorowicz says. “Caffeine is an underappreciated trigger and can also impair sleep,” and sleep deprivation is a notorious trigger for bipolar mood swings and mania, he says.

The National Sleep Foundation points out that caffeine can increase irritability andanxiety, in addition to affecting sleep, and recommends avoiding caffeine as you approach bedtime. Fiedorowicz adds that some over-the-counter medications — such as pseudoephedrine, which is found in some cough and cold medications — have stimulant properties similar to caffeine and can also trigger bipolar mood swings.

2. Alcohol

Bottom line: Alcohol and bipolar disorder make a bad combination. Alcohol can negatively affect bipolar mood swings and may also interact negatively with medications such as lithium, according to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (NIHCC). People with bipolar disorder are also more likely to die prematurely if they use alcohol or other substances, according to an analysis of data that included more than 11,000 people with bipolar disorder published in the july 2016 issue of The Lancet Psychiatry.

3. Sugar

Eating a diet high in sugar can make it harder to control weight, and obesity — including related belly fat — may make some bipolar disorder drug treatmentsless effective, according to results of a multicenter study published in the June 2016 issue of Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. If you need to satisfy a sweet tooth, reach for fruit.

4. Salt

If you’re on lithium, moderating salt intake can be tricky, because a change in salt intake — either a sudden increase or a decrease — can affect lithium levels, according to the NIHCC. Talk with your doctor about how to safely manage the salt in your diet to stay within a healthy range. The American Heart Associationrecommends consuming less than 1,500 milligrams a day. Equally important when taking lithium is to make sure you drink enough fluids: Dehydration can cause dangerous side effects, Fiedorowicz cautions.

5. Fat

Fiedorowicz suggests following the heart-healthy recommendations from the American Heart Association to limit the amount of saturated fat and trans fat in your diet. That means opting for lean protein and low-fat dairy products when choosing animal products. You might have heard that the fat in foods could alter the way your body uses medications: Generally, your medications will still be effective, but eating a lot of fried, fatty foods just isn’t good for your heart? And remember that the oils used for frying are high in the omega-6 fatty acids you want to avoid.

Healthy Food Swaps to Try

Planning a healthier diet doesn’t have to be drudgery. McInnis advises going to your local farmers’ markets, exploring the options, and talking with the farmers themselves about how to enjoy their produce. And for quick stops at the store, he recommends sticking to the periphery, where whole foods, such as produce and fish, are usually found. For more ways to make your diet healthier, McInnis says:

  • Instead of potato chips or fries, munch on crispy vegetables with a savory dip, such as hummus.
  • Skip the sweet pastry and instead top a slice of whole-grain bread or a few crackers with fruit preserves.
  • Instead of a fourth or fifth cup of coffee, choose a decaf latte or an herbal tea.
  • Skip the fast-food burger and fries and order a fresh salad instead.
  • Swap a fried entrée for steamed or broiled fish.

Building the best diet often takes teamwork, including help from your medical team. If your diet and lifestyle need a complete makeover, reach out to your doctor or dietitian for help.

10 Things We Know About Autism That We Didn’t Know a Year Ago

Just two decades ago, autism was a mysterious and somewhat obscure disorder, commonly associated with the movie Rain Man and savantism. It affected an estimated 1 in 5,000 children.

How times have changed. Today, thanks to awareness and advocacy efforts, people now have a much better understanding of autism. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now estimates that a staggering 1 in 88 children, including 1 in 54 boys, in the United States has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Another recent federal report presented data that autism prevalence among school-aged children, as reported by parents, is 1 in 50. An Autism Speaks-funded South Korean study, which used a more rigorous methodology, found a prevalence of 1 in 38 students.

With the increase in reported prevalence and overall awareness has come a significant expansion in the field of autism research. Piece by piece, we are starting to get a much better picture of what this disorder is and the extent of its complexity. We now know there is not one autism, but rather, a spectrum of disorders that have different causes and different manifestations. We know that both genetic and environmental factors are involved,

April is Autism Awareness Month, a good opportunity to reflect on the notable progress made by researchers, as well as the critical importance of building on this success and advancing the science much further.

Here are ten important things we’ve learned about ASD in the past twelve months that not only hold interest for researchers and clinicians, but also offer new insights and actionable information for parents:

1. High-quality early intervention for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can do more than improve behaviors, it can improve brain function.

2. Being nonverbal at age 4 does NOT mean children with autism will never speak. Research shows that most will, in fact, learn to use words, and nearly half will learn to speak fluently.

3. Though autism tends to be life long, some children with ASD make so much progress that they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for autism. High quality early-intervention may be key.

4. Many younger siblings of children with ASD have developmental delays and symptoms that fall short of an autism diagnosis, but still warrant early intervention

5. Research confirms what parents have been saying about wandering and bolting by children with autism: It’s common, it’s scary, and it doesn’t result from careless parenting.

6. Prenatal folic acid, taken in the weeks before and after a woman becomes pregnant, may reduce the risk of autism.

7. One of the best ways to promote social skills in grade-schoolers with autism is to teach their classmates how to befriend a person with developmental disabilities.

8. Researchers can detect presymptom markers of autism as early as 6 months — a discovery that may lead to earlier intervention to improve outcomes.

9. The first medicines for treating autism’s core symptoms are showing promise in early clinical trials.

10. Investors and product developers respond to a call to develop products and services to address the unmet needs of the autism community.

This World Autism Awareness Day and throughout April Autism Awareness Month, as we celebrate the contributions of people with autism to our lives, it’s important that we also recognize autism as a public health crisis in this country that demands a commensurate response. Quite simply, we need a national action plan for autism, a coordinated approach to funding research and critical services for people with autism across their lifespan.

We must do more to help the millions of people living with autism today maximize their potential and lead fulfilling lives. They and their families — our friends, relatives and neighbors — deserve nothing less.


What I’d Like You to Know About Those of Us on the Autism Spectrum

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

First I’d like to thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedules today to come here and read this. I am genuinely flattered because, you see, to me, all of you – whoever you are and wherever you are – are the most important people in the world.

Chances are you are overworked, underpaid, and under-appreciated. You have ridiculous schedules, insufficient materials, and are frequently asked to do the seemingly impossible. You get paid a fraction of what any professional entertainer or football star might make.

No one is ever going to wear your ID on a jersey or chant your name from the stands. At least not that you know of.


Well, maybe that is not true.

You see, precisely 20 years ago, a man standing in front of a classroom of 30 kids looked at me and did something that changed my entire life.

He recognized that I was different. Specifically he figured out that I – a troubled and troublesome child who spoke little or screamed much, who could not stay in my chair or focus on my books, a boy who fought in the schoolyard and dressed like I used a dumpster for a closet, a student who would not look him in the eyes or who would call him a (obscenity deleted) – was autistic.

Yes, that’s right.

Twenty years ago in August, a high school professor discovered I’m on the autism spectrum.

And he used that knowledge to get me the help I needed.

Today, I am a published author, a produced playwright and a successful tutor. I own my house and car, and am debt free. I have three jobs I love, and I can look you in the eyes and tell you all about them.

I owe my life to a person who cared enough about people like me to have educated himself along the way.

So today, I would like to talk to you about autism so someday someone will be chanting your name, maybe not from the bleachers, but instead from behind a lectern, or in an interview with Wired or Forbes or Rolling Stone.

I want you to understand me and all the people like me so you too can save someone’s life. But we’d better get down to it. We only have a limited time to share.

So let’s start with this.

How do you recognize a child with autism?

That really depends on the person. You see, we are all different and in many variegated ways. That is why autism is a spectrum disorder. But there are quite a few commonalities and there is an agreed upon list of characteristics as provided in the DSM-5, which is often considered the gold standard among those of us who live the life and work with fellow autists.

So what characteristics your person exhibits depends on where he or she is on the autism spectrum.

And to make it more complicating, all of us with ASD – autism spectrum disorders – are not only different depending on where we are on the spectrum itself, but also based upon when we were diagnosed and how much therapy and intervention we have received.

And to complicate things further, some of us have co-morbid neurological challenges as well, such as communications disorders, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.

We have to learn how to compensate with all of those things, and how we do that will vary from person to person.

So what do you look for?

Let’s begin here with the less stereotypical behaviors of the autism spectrum, the almost purely social.

While less immediately visible and more nuanced than the behavioral markers of the spectrum disorders, these are important.

For example, the person in question might fail to respond to his or her name or appears not to hear you at times. This is a big one. A lot of us have a neurological problem dealing with the speech centers in our minds. The truth is we tend to hear everything at exactly the same volume. To us, your voice sounds as loud as and is about as important as the kid scuffing his sneakers under the desk behind us. Just try again, OK? But never touch without permission (more on that in a minute).

We tend to resist cuddling and holding and seem to prefer playing alone — we may retreat into our “own world.”

We might not like to be touched. All of our sensations are over-amped, and this includes our sense of touch. To you, a caress may be a wonderful thing; to us it may mean we can feel how dry or moist your hand is, how many calluses are on your fingertips, if you bite your nails, how warm or cold your hand is, and frankly we will focus just on your hand and how many layers of stimuli there are, and in that moment that one to five extra layers may just be way too much for us to process. I hug two people on Earth, and I suspect the second one is as uncomfortable with the idea as I am.

And yes, we may have poor eye contact and/or lack facial expression. The eye contact issue is a big deal here in America. This is not something I was born knowing how to do. That part of my brain is different, OK? I still have trouble looking people in the eye. This is not a sign of disrespect. I may think you are the most awesome thing in my universe, but I still might not look you in the eye. So again, I’m not lying to you, I am not dissing you, I am not guilty of pinching little Suzy.

And facial expressions are another biggie. I am actually face blind. A lot of us are. We were not wired to tell a smile from a frown, much less a real smile from a fake one. Looking out over you, I do not see your faces. I can’t tell if you are smiling, smirking, frowning, or looking at me like I’m the biggest liar since the Baron Von Munchhausen. I have to, and can, read your body language to gauge how you feel about what I am saying right now. Again, I learned how to do all of this. I had some amazing teachers. Your new student – the awkward, shy one, has not learned how to do this yet, may never learn how to do this, and your frown might mean absolutely nothing to him or her. Not a thing.

In fact, your face may mean nothing to the child. I have failed to recognize my partner, my best friend, my adoptive father, and my brother on various occasions when I saw them out of context or if changes were made. One friend has gone bald and I looked at him for 20 minutes before he came to my rescue, and another has shaved off his mustache and I guarantee you I won’t recognize him if we meet either.

We may not speak or have delayed speech or may even lose previous ability to say words or sentences. A lot of us have language problems on top of cognitive hearing problems. We may be trying to repeat what we hear you do and be hearing it incorrectly, or we may completely understand you and want to share our thoughts with you only to have the words hang up in the electrical storms taking place between our brains and our mouths.

Then we tend to be unable to start a conversation or keep one going, or may only start a conversation to make requests or label items. Yes, coherent conversation is difficult for most people, even you. You get distracted, or get nervous, your cell phone rings, your nose itches. For us, that is all magnified by the fact that our brains do not look, function, or really even vaguely resemble yours. We think faster in terms of sheer hertz per second, we think more literally, we tend to associate differently. So it is not really surprising that we have trouble talking to you. You might say, “Beautiful day, huh?” And we might think “Yes, gorgeous, like the day I took the train ride through the golden leaves with Mom and George and Jim got a bug in his mouth and I got a hotdog,” and what comes out of our mouth is “Hot dog.” And then you look confused or say, “What?” and we panic and go, “Oh, no what comes next?” And so on. Or maybe we hear, “ Beautiful hay, huh?” and wonder about your odd grain fetish.

Some of us speak with an abnormal tone or rhythm — may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech. This one usually comes from cognitive hearing disorders but is sometimes associated with speech center challenges.

Another vocal oddity is that we may repeat words or phrases verbatim, but may not seem to understand how to use them. It’s not just that we might not understand the words – that depends on verbal fluency – but that we get the wrong context or because we have associated them improperly… I recently read a story of a young autistic boy who told his teacher, “You go straight to Hell, Lieutenant!” when he was upset. He had apparently seen this line many times in his father’s favorite movie and rather than associating it with the military or the situation or even with the actual meanings of the word, he just associated them with being upset. He was upset and this was the only way he knew to express that to his teacher. She misunderstood. He was expelled. And the whole fiasco cost him 30 days of education and emotional trauma and cost her a potentially good student who just needed a bit more understanding.

There will also be times when we appear to misunderstand simple questions or directions. Especially if you expressed yourself idiomatically or while we were fascinated by the show of leaf shadow light on our desks.

But the biggest communications-related thing is that we may not seem to express emotions or feelings and appear unaware of others’ feelings. I want to get this clear right now. We have feelings and are capable of empathy. Period.

The lack thereof is characteristic of sociopaths or psychopaths of a certain type. We are neither. And we do express our emotions. We just do it differently. I may not smile at you, but I might turn my body toward you and uncross my arms. I may not kiss you, but I might do all the house chores that day. I’ll never write a love note, but I’ve been in a stable relationship for 17 years. I may not call you a jerk, but I might kick your desk. And if I am really really angry I might go to the gym and do six rounds of sparring in the ring.

We also may not point at or bring objects to share with others.This is a hard one. Reasons for this range from being distracted by what we are looking at to being afraid to share with you because we are not really sure how.

Another constant challenge is that we often inappropriately approach a social interaction by being passive, aggressive or disruptive. Or utterly confused. How well we deal with the situation and whether we are passive or aggressive or disruptive will largely depend on how we are treated and how much help we had. Most of us do not have the ability to note the dozens of social cues all of us produce daily, open palm or fist, frown or smile, that the rest of you note subconsciously and adjust for, so we are going in unprepared and “blind” so to speak. Then there are our various quirky patterns of behavior.

Let’s start with those repetitive movements, such as rocking, hopping, spinning or hand-flapping, or may perform activities that could cause harm, such as hitting ourselves lightly on the head, face, arms, or upper thighs. This is called “stimming.” That’s self-stimulation. It’s how we ground, focus, or comfort ourselves. I need to clarify here that this is not something we do all the time. In fact, as we grow older it often grows rarer or more subtle. We may still flap our hands, but we might camouflage the gesture – by tapping rhythmically on a desktop for example. Or we might hit ourselves very lightly in the head once. And we may indulge in all of these behaviors or none of them. I stim by touching different textures with my fingertips and tracing the surface lines. I only curl or rock if I am in a state of really severe agitation.

It is also important to remember that female autists may show different characteristics from male autists, and this includes how we stim.

Another biggie is our specific routines or rituals and how disturbed we become at the slightest change. Well, routines are safe and they are easy to remember. We feel more confident and more prepared if we can function in our routines and we are less able to adapt. How well we deal with something new depends on the individual and what therapies he or she has had. For us, rules are rules are rules. They are immutable and as permanent as any Newtonian Law.

So a younger less experienced autist might very well respond poorly to something as apparently simple as being asked to move to a different desk. To him his desk is his desk as Mt. Everest is Mt. Everest to you. You do not expect to hear someone has moved Everest on a whim, and the news would cause you some serious shock as you attempted to process a seeming impossibility.

Within the autistic framework, rules — such as where we are to sit – are set things, as set as the Himalayas, and telling a child her desk has been moved will result in the same kind of shocked reaction as my moving Everest would for you.

And the child may resist the change. Not out of anger or defiance or rudeness but rather out of a sheer inability to process the new order of things. The change causes pain and confusion and requires time to sort out – if it even can be sorted out.

Punishing one of us for this makes no sense. Nor does telling us to “get over it.” No more than telling you Everest is now in Paris so get over it would be helpful to you. That said, we are capable of adaptation, but it takes time and patience. This is something to remember if a child seems to completely “lose it” over a new locker assignment.

What helps with this is simply explaining why you are making a change. If you offer us a rational explanation and show us the thinking behind the new codex of rules then we are more likely to accept the situation. So if you tell us the new desk allows us to hear you better or the seats were rearranged because someone new was added to the class and you wanted the kids arranged boy/girl or alphabetically or whatever, we are far more likely to sit in the new seat with a minimal of fuss. And anyone who knows one of us can tell you we often move constantly.

I do not live in your world. I am overstimulated all of the time. People like me compensate for this in movement. Those of us with a better grasp of the social conventions can sometimes regiment our behavior for a certain period of time within certain environments – a trait characterized by apparently too soldierly or too obsessive as we overcompensate – but eventually something will give.

I can be “normal” for about four hours. After that it is soft fuzzy clothes, soft music, and a rest. For those on a different part of the spectrum it might be a lesser period of time with a sharper recursive bounce back. Say an hour of class and a screaming meltdown in the playground.

Another frequent complaint is that we are “uncooperative” – this one harks back to rituals. It’s not that we are uncooperative; it is that we are locked into our patterns and you want to change the pattern. We have serious problems with that sort of thing.Sometimes we have problems with coordination or have odd movement patterns, such as clumsiness or walking on toes or odd, stiff or exaggerated body language. Our spatial relations and proprioception tend to be way off. Your body tells you where your feet are. We tend to have to look.

And yes, we can absolutely get distracted. We tend to become fascinated by details of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car, but still somehow miss the larger picture of the subject. This is a classic case of too much information. We see lights, motion, colors, textures, and details… and it is sometimes very difficult for us to pull out and see the bigger picture. If I am looking at a tire and you are talking Nascar, then sorry, my friends, we are not talking about the same things, and you probably will receive a blank stare. Sometimes you can pull us back, but in small stages, wheel to paint job, paint job to car, car to speed, speed to racing, racing to Nascar — then you might get a smile.

Also, we may be unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch, yet do not notice pain in the usual fashion. Our sensory regions are huge — and for the record we do feel pain — the problem is we have trouble localizing it. This is because our body awareness tends to be so low that a cut finger can equal a hurt hand.

A lot of us do not engage in imitative or make-believe play. Since our world is literal and sensory and we feel far too much information is being offered to us almost all of the time, tell me why we would feel a need to manufacture further stimuli? It’s not that we can’t. I rather obviously can. One of my students also writes plays. I know of one autistic filmmaker and one autistic actor. It’s just that this is not something most of us feel a need to do. The exception tends to be those of us who use creativity as a form of externalization. “This is way too many words – so I think I’ll write a book.”

The child autist may become fixated on an object or activity with abnormal intensity or focus. “Abnormal” compared to all of you, perhaps. But tell the truth, now. In American culture we have many euphemisms for certain people who do this and are our heroes. Euphemisms like “Finding flow,” “Hitting one’s stride,” Finding the groove,” “Having one’s game on.” The truth is this one is only a problem if the outer world adjudges it to be so. If one is hyper-focused on writing in math class, for example, then it becomes an issue and one that can be linked all the way back to the inappropriate social reactions problem.

He or she may have odd food preferences, such as eating only a few foods, or eating only foods with a certain texture. This is another stimulus issue. It does commonly manifest as food behaviors but there are others. I hate having tags in my clothing. I love fuzzy blankets. My Godson prefers cold things to hot things – and this, sadly, includes pizza. And it all comes down to the fact that we sense things differently than you do. To you it’s a pizza, steaming hot cheesy delight; to my Godson it’s a mass of super chewy dough with slimy snot-like stuff on it that burns his mouth and gets steam in his eyes and smells awful… unless it’s cold. So if you have a student who won’t write in pencil ever, try asking why, rather than sending him or her to the principal’s office.

Some of us show these characteristics in less obvious ways or don’t exhibit them at all. We all have different habits.Some of us talk continuously and in great depth about one topic ad nauseam. We don’t care that you don’t know what a glial cell or a coprolite or a narrow gauge track is, or that your eyes are glazed and your jaw slack and your only vocalization has become, “uh huh” or “how interesting.” We were told to talk. People talk. We are talking. Sorry.

We also tend toward limited or inappropriate social interactions – inappropriate age behaviors are common.

We have a tendency now and again to talk with a robotic voice or indulge in repetitive speech. It’s called echolalia. We subvocalize, too. If you say something important, don’t be surprised to hear me repeat it.

And we have all kinds of challenges with nonverbal communication (gestures, facial expression, etc.). I can stand up here in front of you today only because I have 20 odd years of social, kinesiology, body language, proprioceptive and verbal therapy under my belt. And it’s purely intellectual – rather like piano playing. Piano playing is not innate; you learn it, and when you are sick or tired or drunk, your skills will drop off. I lose my social skills when I get tired or am sick.

To add to the social faux pas list, we may have a tendency to discuss ourselves rather than others, although this is not exclusive to people on the spectrum.

Then there is our inability to understand social/emotional issues or non-literal phrases, idioms, or jokes. Joking and active humor are actually both very social actions and require an ability to read a room or time a remark in just such a way, a skill most of us do not have.

Even so, please don’t tell me you are going to knock off for the day if I have not had my morning cuppa, because frankly, my brain will go how does one knock what off for what reason for a day? You are “off the clock”? Why were you on it in the first place and how’d you get up there and isn’t it rather small? You might want to remember all of this. It means the student who asks you a question like this is not being a smart butt — he or she is genuinely confused, and punishing them is only going to make a bad situation worse.

Some have an obsession with specific, often unusual, topics – for me those topics just happened to be neurology, body language, and social manipulation. (And steam trains.)

For another it might be lizards, or jello, or the color blue, or why we should all stay away from cars or that polo shirts are the only real shirts on earth or video games or Ireland.

Remember that for us, all of this is an intellectual exercise. Remember the pianist? Well, what if I asked him to dance and sing and maybe catch an apple all at the same time. Harder, yes? Very few people can pull off that level of legerdemain but we’re expected to do it all the time. Talk coherently, look you in the eye, control my feet, control my hands, and intelligently field any questions you may be asked, oh yes, and smile now and then. Something is going to slip.

Which brings us to another big one. Many of us are lousy liars. We tend to be blunt and outspoken and to have boundary issues especially if the boundaries are societal ones. Things come out of our mouths at times. Many a parent has come to have problems with us blurting out, “Mommy look at the fat lady. She smells.” Yes, inappropriate. But why? Because our socio-cultural rules say so. We are not supposed to say these observations for reasons that make no sense to us, and that causes problems. I once got in trouble as an adult for telling a man his coworker told me his wife was cheating on him. Inappropriate? Oh yes. Absolutely. But I was not considering what the revelation would do – nor did it occur to me the coworker was lying – I just did not want the man stuck with a cheating wife. Chaos ensued. And I got into trouble. No surprise, right?

And if I had thought it through, utilized all my resources, it would not have happened. But with kids, these things are bound to happen. You might as well just expect them. Some of us also have memory problems, formative, episodic, and long-term. So that does not help much either.

All that duly noted, I am going to say this again. We are all different. We are not all Rain Man, nor are we all Sheldon Cooper. And how we vary varies. 

But maybe this little talk has given you some idea of what to look for. I hope so, it may save a life… and earn you that metaphorical jersey.