Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finding craters from home - a job for ASD folk

Many people with Aspergers or other ASD diagnosis want to find work that they can do from home in peace and quiet. With the advent of Google Earth you too can find meteor craters. While the pay is variable you have to admit, the investment is low except for time. And if geological structures, meteor impacts or astrophysics are one of your obsessions then this is right up your alley. All you need to do is grab Google Earth and go to town. Here are some examples of others who did the same thing:

Inconclusive find - http://blog.bahneman.com/content/discovering-meteor-impacts-my-contribution
Confirmed find - http://www.universetoday.com/48962/dreamtime-meteor-impact-found-with-google-earth-2/
Confirmed find - http://www.physorg.com/news199331930.html
Slash Dot article talking about Emilio Gonzalez who found 4 in a line - http://slashdot.org/story/06/03/11/1357219/How-to-Discover-Impact-Craters-with-Google-Earth

Relevant Dilbert Cartoon for ASD folk



In case you did not know tl;dr means "too long; did not read". You will see it from time to time on posting threads or e-mails where people are a little more, uh, blunt with each other.

Where you will probably not see tl;dr is in the workplace. Often when someone is enthusiastic or passionate about a subject they will churn out an e-mail or a report that attempts to explain their entire position in one document. And if they are lucky one person may read the entire thing and possibly two others will look at the first couple of sentences. Everyone else on the list will inwardly groan and close the e-mail/document having not read it at all.

Be sure to keep your messages short and write them as invitations for people to ask for more. Limit yourself to three or four sentences in an e-mail with the idea that the sentences will elicit a "tell me more" response.

Monday, May 30, 2011

ASAN Calls for Resumes

Lifted from the Wrong Planet message forums:

Edit: link to ASAN's post: Call for resume's

ASAN Calls for Resumes from Autistics


The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is calling for resumes from Autistic adults. Several large American corporations have contacted ASAN expressing interest in creating internships or hiring college-educated Autistic people in order to create a more diverse atmosphere at their workplaces. In addition, ASAN is frequently sent openings for jobs in the government, non-profit, advocacy and public policy sectors for which we would like to recommend adults on the spectrum. As a result, we are reaching out to the broader community for resumes of interested Autistic applicants who are seeking employment.

While Autistic adults from all backgrounds are invited to send their resumes, ASAN is especially but not exclusively interested in resumes from Autistic adults in the Washington, D.C. Metro area with college educations and/or backgrounds in information technology, computer science, biology, finance, economics, political science, marketing, and other professional fields. ASAN is considering various possibilities for enhancing employment opportunities for Autistic people who do not have a college education as well as for those working in non-professional fields. We hope to offer additional calls for resumes towards those ends later in the year.

ASAN plans to keep these resumes on file and will make them available to employers upon request. If successful, this will enable ASAN to keep a database of qualified Autistic people who are looking for employment in specific areas, and those resumes may be submitted to companies interested in employing Autistic adults. With low employment rates among both college graduates and Autistic adults, we hope that this will help to level the playing field for Autistic people searching for jobs.

By submitting a resume to ASAN, an individual is agreeing to allow ASAN to share their resume and any information they provide with potential employers, including their status as a person on the autism spectrum. Individuals should only submit resumes if they are comfortable having this information shared. For privacy reasons ASAN will not make the database itself publicly searchable or available.

While ASAN hopes that this will help more Autistic people gain employment, we are unable to take full responsibility for finding employment for Autistic people and ask that those who submit resumes continue their own searches for jobs. Please do not direct follow-up inquiries to ASAN. Those wishing to submit their resumes may do so by emailing them as attachments to resumes@autisticadvocacy.org . Please ensure that resumes include contact information, educational and employment experience (including internships), volunteer experience, types and areas of work the applicant is seeking and any other information you hope to make available to an employer.


The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Capstone/Thesis on ASD v NT Communication

About a year ago I wrapped up my Masters in Industrial/Organization Psychology. My capstone (in place of a thesis) was on the communications difficulties between Aspergers and NT folk. I posted a PDF out on my business website for those of you who are interested.


The Daniel Jordan Fiddle foundation

The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation is the first 501(c) (3) national organization in the United States with the mission to develop and award grants to programs that benefit adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We have developed and supported many employment projects for young adults and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome throughout the United States.
Check out their programs at: http://www.djfiddlefoundation.org/index.cfm

Saturday, May 28, 2011


If you are looking for a job or want ideas on how to customize employment check out Flex Jobs. It is an attempt to group non-traditional jobs into one place. Warning though, scammers abound on the site so beware of the jobs that sound too good to be true.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Workplace checklist

I have been working on an article for my business website about a checklist to determine if a workplace is ASD friendly or not... and it has not been going well. I had hoped to pattern it after Joel Spolsky's checklist for good software places to work. Unfortunately a good ASD place has more than 12 characteristics... or I am complicating things too much.

Anyway, if you get a chance check out Joel's site www.joelonsoftware.com as he has some excellent ideas about how to approach a career. You may need to abstract the ideas away from programming but they are very useful.

High tech job for Aspies that does not involve Computers?

Listening to NPRs Morning Edition this morning I heard of a job that is right up the ally for ASD folk. Requires intelligence, attention to detail, performing repetitive tasks and an deep understanding of arcane knowledge. Yep, you too can be a human bee pollinating cotton plants. Someone walks from plant to plant rubbing the flowers of one against another. And it requires you know about the plants, pollination processes, and horticulture at a high level.

Check it out: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/05/27/136690812/looking-for-high-tech-job-try-cotton

Thursday, May 26, 2011

AutismNow Job section

I have not looked through the site yet but I figured I would pass it on. AutismNow has a job site: http://autismnow.org/on-the-job/

Making money from blogs

Some people do make money from blogs although how much money can be made is debatable. However there is good reason to think that at least a little extra cash can come in if your blog is well written and about a subject people find interesting.

As of this writing I have one follower (my lovely wife) so it is hard to see this as a cash cow. But it is young (less than a month old). The same goes for any new blog. Persistence is the key; one column I read said give your blog 2.5 years before you think 'maybe this isn't working'. And if you enjoy doing it keeping it up is a reward in itself.

Where ASD folk excel is in collecting exhaustive information on sometimes arcane subjects; niche subjects that are likely to have specialized audiences and that is where some money can be made. These niche audiences can draw specialized advertising that are worth more than your common keywords. Your blog, with persistence and devotion to a niche subject can pay off. While you might not be able to survive on the income it can supplement the earnings from a desk job any make your life easier.


Lo and behold there is an article about blogs making money using AdSense and direct advertising. Keep in mind this is one of the success stories but it shows what is possible: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/My-Blog-Is-Also-Paying-My-nytimes-1951716015.html

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Aspie in the workplace cartoon

Matt at Dude I'm an Aspie is doing a cartoon illustrating the advantages of Aspergers in the workplace. Check it out and chime in with your thoughts.

Matt's Cartoon

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Helper Animals

In the Job Accommodation Network presentation I mentioned in an earlier post (Working with your workplace) they mention allowing ASD folk to bring helper animals into the workplace. This may sound like a huge battle but at some companies you do not have to play the ADA card.

Business Insider has an article listing some of the companies where office pets are allowed as a matter of general policy and the benefits they provide workers. So it may be riding the NT train a bit but still, if it helps you retain and advance in your job, use it.

Creating your own job

Mel Kiper Jr.created his own job and ran with it. He is ESPNs NFL Draft Expert a position he largely created by taking something he obsesses about and showing its value. It certainly did not happen overnight but with persistence he was able to get it to stick.

You do not necessarily have to follow his steps (I mean he is on television) but you can certainly learn from his example. Consider these steps:

  1. List your obsessions
  2. Determine which one might be marketable
  3. Find a company that is related to that obsession
  4. Create some examples of the depth/quality of your obsession (articles, videos, blogs, models, etc.)
  5. Determine who in the company can make things happen (e.g. CEO, Managing Director, etc.)
  6. Send them a job proposal (see: How to write a job proposal or Google "how to write a job proposal")
  7. Follow up with them
  8. Repeat that last step in many different ways (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, letters, phone calls, 'run into them' at conventions, etc.)

When you get hired you are not an employee, you are a business partner and you are working in the area of one of your obsessions... probably from an environment you choose too.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Announcement from Aspiritech

"We will be presenting at the Fourth Annual UJA Hilibrand Symposium this Thursday, May 26 in NY. Dr. Temple Grandin is keynoting the day-cannot wait!"

Worth checking out if you are in the area.

Reposted from Aspiritech

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Networking via the internet

Part of a proper job hunt is specifically that... a hunt. You find your prey (a position you like in a company you like; hopefully with people you like) and then you stalk it. For a while lets assume you found the right job in the right company-- that would be several pages to describe-- but they are not hiring. What to do?

Extrovert NTs with a savvy approach would network to the job. Put themselves in front of the relevant decision makers at the company and show their value... or at the very least make sure they were the first person in the minds of the decision makers when it came time to hire.

For ASD folk this present numerous challenges including the networking part. However the internet has made networking much easier. As an example I recently applied for a job at the Cheezburger Network. It would have been a great job working remotely at a company that I really liked.

Rather than posting my resume via their online application system I looked up their CTO, found his e-mail address and sent him a message saying "What would I need to have on my resume for you to hire me?" I also found him on Twitter and LinkedIn so that when he followed up I could mention relevant things in his life in the e-mail. I made on-line friends with a couple of the people who worked there too.

I did not get the job but I certainly was considered for a position that was a step up which is a minor victory. Moreover, nothing prevents me from applying again.I plan on demonstrating how much more value I have added since this last process. A case in point is that the CTO wrote an article on what he looks for in hiring people and I will certainly address that in my next query to be hired.

The lesson here is that online, Aspies & HFA can communicate professionally with relevant decision makers. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr and yes, blogs, all offer clues as to what the person is interested in and will respond to in a message. Use it. Put it in your communication. Did the person recently injure themselves? Offer sympathy. Do they love mountain climbing? Mention that you read Into Thin Air. These things are what will hook them and draw them to the person beyond the resume.

Working with your workplace

Being assertive without being an ass can be difficult for those on the Spectrum. And even when people are generally supportive of accommodating autism in the workplace they may not understand the request or have a general suspicion of all employees (being in HR does that to you). One useful resource is the Ask JAN (Job Accommodation Network) series from the US Department of Labor. They have a specific presentation just on Aspergers in the Workplace that can server as guidance for the next tension fraught conversation about why you need noise canceling headphones or really do not want to go to a meeting.

Ask JAN on Aspergers in the workplace

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fluorescent lights

Many ASD folk have a sensitivity to light; specific bandwidths, colors and intensity can cause agitation and discomfort if not outright headaches.

Of course offices are rife with the tubed wonders of the world, the fluorescent light. I have a love hate relationship with fluorescent lights. They are certainly efficient but they drive my brain nuts. In some places I have been successful in requesting that one or two tubes be removed from the fixture(s) above my desk. Other times I have moved to a darker corner where, for some strange reason, the builder decided not to make the light approximate the noonday sun. I have not yet resorted to wearing sunglasses but one HFA person I knew did have anti-glare hunting glasses he wore and swore by.

In any case it is worth paying some attention to the lighting in your work area as that constant, harsh white glare can add to any meltdown or keep you in a constant state of annoyance.


About once every three months or so someone reminds me of VolunteerMatch.org. It is a great place to look for suitable volunteer activities.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Is 3% really worth it?

One time I went into a meeting about my annual raise and saw 1.85% on the paper. The sad part is that 1.85% was one of the highest raises anyone got in the group; my manager had to fight to get that much. That came out to $23.13 a week more before taxes or roughly $14 more a week in my pocket. At that point I decided my dignity was worth more than $14 a week.

The counter-reasoning to that is I got $14 more a week than I had before so I should be happy and it is true $14 is more than $0. But at some level self-respect has to be worth more or we find that we have sold ourselves... cheaply.

So do your job, do it well but only because you want to not for a raise. You negotiate for a raise based on good results but in today's corporate world if the bean counters tell the company they have to average a 3% raise across the board there is little you can do at the annual review to change it. What you can do is off cycle make a case for yourself, maybe find another offer to lend strength to it and then go in with the leverage necessary to get something more substantial than 3%.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Conflict in the workplace

This article lays out a nice model of how conflict in the workplace effects those with Aspergers including the nature of the business as well as people.  It is an excerpt of a larger book and one that I will have to take a look at.

Artcile: http://www.aspergermanagement.com/conflict

Using electronic task lists to run your day

Like many Aspies I can get drawn off task by the myriad of environmental distractions in an office:  meetings in the aisle behind my cube; someone's cell phone turned up to 'I am at a rock concert and still need to hear my phone' levels; the flickering of those damnable lights. I will easily go to one of my favorite stims/obsessions like hitting the random link on Wikipedia or the random LOL button on I Can Has Cheezburger.

Thankfully Outlook (and other email applications) has a lovely task list that provides reminders and even the capability to schedule reoccurring tasks. I  often use this to keep myself on task at work or remind me that I should be on task.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Using a website to extend your resume

A resume is a very limited way to show what you can do. More than that it is rare that a reviewer reads much of it. However, a website, with a link on your resume, can show much more and in an easier to read format.  Thankfully doing an easy personalized website is not hard.

Sites like W3Schools offer excellent tutorials on how to read the underlying code for a website (HTML). With a few short lessons you will learn how to edit the text and pump up the important pieces of your website for review.

And rather than creating one from scratch Open Web Design and Open Designs offer templates that you can download and customize yourself. Designers have already taken the time in laying out pleasant looking web sites that are just waiting for your words.

And you do not even have to pay money to host the simple site out there. Coral Rift offers free hosting where you claim a site like <your name>.coralrift.com and then drag and drop your web pages onto the page. Viola you have a professional looking web site with your name.

Your content can then be tailored to talk about you, what you produce and what your interests are. Bonus points if the resume/website reviewer finds content directly applicable to the job you're applying for!

Google your way to getting hired

On the heels of my last post comes an article that demonstrates a way to impressing interviewers and that is by stacking your Google results in your favor. Thanks to my wife for forwarding this along. Not sure if this is the original post but it properly cites the author Adam Waxler:

A Unique Way to Get Hired Using Google to Separate yourself from the Competition

Monday, May 16, 2011

Turning an obsession into value

One of my favorite ways to spend time is to hit the Random link button on Wikipedia and read the article that comes up. Sometimes it fits into an already existent obsession and sometimes it spawns a new one. Wikipedia specifically and the Internet in general have been boons to ASD folk looking to indulge an obsession. Thankfully there is a way to capitalize on this knowledge.

By using the free blogging tools (e.g. BloggerTypepad) and the ability to research a subject to exhaustion you are able to create a series of articles that tie together disparate sources of information into one location.  Additionally you can then edit the Wikipedia article to add in information as well.

As a concrete example, one of my obsessions is World War II Naval ships (for some reason WWI is not as big a deal for me). Imagine a blog that examined a ship that sunk, say the HMS Hood, and traced the fallen sailors back to their hometown and then their progeny and/or family? It would be of interest to WWII buffs and the family impacted (and maybe a few other Aspies).

But how is it valuable to a job search?

It helps answer a few different questions that can help you make that personal impression so valuable to rising above the other candidates. A frequent question in interviews is "What do you outside of work?". "I write a blog on <a safe noncontroversial obsession>" may invite you to speak about that obsession more allowing you to show passion and animation OR if you are really lucky the interviewer likes that same subject and you have developed a connection.

It shows that you can investigate and communicate about a complex subject. Many jobs require communication skills or even translating arcane processes into documentation. A blog showing in depth research is an example of what you can produce for them.

It might, might, get you noticed as an armchair authority by someone looking for help with that subject. It is a long shot but seriously what do you have to lose?

Another volunteer opportunity

On the Wrong Planet Work Forum there was a thread of people chiming in about their volunteer work at Animal Rescue Shelters. If you want to limit human interaction this is a great way of doing it. In fact you could even see it as having dozens of Service Animals right there for you.

While the position itself may not lead to pay it certainly shows that you can get out of the house, take care of business and interact with humans.

And besides... you can pet kitties and doggies all day (or other animals as are there).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Honoring Barbara E. Biggs

Much of my success as an adult can be attributed to Barbara Biggs who passed away recently. Her grace and intelligence as a therapist helped me deal with many of the issues arising from my Aspergers long before I received an official diagnosis.

I will miss her dearly.

Value -- seeing what you are worth as a whole

Once I finish on the Aspie/HFA friendly workplace I will be starting on an article about establishing your value to an employer. It can be a hard concept for people to grasp as it devolves the common concept of a worker and dehumanizes the worker.

To illustrate think of gold for a moment. What is the value of gold? And I am not talking about the monetary exchange value of it but the actual intrinsic value. What makes gold valuable is what someone else can do with it. The nature of gold as a malleable metal that is pleasing to the eye and in limited supply makes it valuable. Just sitting in a vein in the ground, gold has the same value of any other rock in that it takes up space.

Shifting that thinking to a person the Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Experience possessed by the individual have no value in and of themselves. They simply indicate what is there for another person to make use of. Much in the same way that the malleability of gold is useless if the gold is not mined and brought to the surface for a smith, the ability to do advance mathematics in a person is useless if it is not brought to the front and exposed to those around them.

So the point of the resume/interview process is to establish your value by bringing all of your relevant or even possibly relevant skills to view with the employer. ASD people tend to have a lot of talents that are difficult to display given traditional resume methods. Interviews are even worse because it can highlight some of the difficulties we endure such as communication. It is my goal with ASD Job Sink to help create a value proposition that is easy to communicate in the interview.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Are you tired in the workplace

Fatigue is something that hits everyone on the Spectrum. While looking for definitions for the glossary on Job Sink I spotted this eloquent and heartrending post on Autisable expressing the pain and frustration of an ASD person at work.

Favorite quote: I make accommodations every single day to live in your world.

Accommodating Aspergers in the workplace

When looking at a new job, or if you are an employer seeking to accommodate an ASD individual one of the first places to turn is the web. Well, really, you should check out the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) first then Google. The first link below is from JAN and is very comprehensive.

As with all things on the web take it with a grain of salt. JAN is an offshoot of a government organization so has some authority to their words. Others, well, you will see


Limited to just social interaction

Much better than Legal Workplace, worse than JAN

Wage Dispairty for those on the ASD?

I wonder if anyone has looked at a possible wage disparity for those with ASD? I know my lack of 'emotional intelligence' has come up on a few reviews. Negotiation can be difficult if not impossible for ASD folk especially when it comes to something as tense as money.

Friday, May 13, 2011

An Aspergers & HFA workplace

Once on an interview I did an initial scan of the office to see if I would be able to sit in the environment. It looked promising: quiet, all offices except the receptionist, muted colors. Then I was taken back to the area where the unwashed masses err, I mean non executives sat.

A bright orange paint was on the walls.  All of them. The noise level approached a public pool during summer. Employees sat at long tables facing each other with narrow aisles in between the chairs. I groaned aloud, drawing a rebuke from the interviewer. They never offered the job although I did come down to the final two even with the unhidden opinion on the toddler painted zoo they called an office.

All this brings me to the point I am pondering recently... what is involved in making an office ASD friendly. Environment is part of it but also things like "Meetings should have agendas" & "Projects should have goals and steps". These may sound like givens, ASD or not, but I can tell from personal and anecdotal experience that is sadly lacking.


Customized Employment

Recently a woman named Denise Kramer reached out to me about my business and offering some resources she was aware of. One of which is  Cary Griffin who has done some great work with Customized Employment and is well worth a read. Thanks Denise!

Customized Employment

Redefining Unemployment for those with Aspergers or High Functioning Autism

I recently completed my article on redefining unemployment. Check it out: Redefining Unemployment

The basic idea is that Aspies and HFA folk should take up side projects during their time of not making money at a job. The benefits of this are:

  • Volunteer work is more flexible and can be done from home often
  • It keeps the social interaction chops up
  • References from the work help with the job search
  • Potentially you might find a job via the volunteer work
  • More skills/results on your resume cannot hurt
I even offer some suggestions that can be done from home online such as:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A post college job tranistion video

AAPC Publishing has a number of resources for learning about ASD. Their video, Asperger Syndrome: Transition to College and Work (DVD), is aimed at parents wanting to help their children even beyond the magical age of 18.

Check it out: http://www.aapcpublishing.net/multimedia/view/112/asperger-syndrome-transition-to-college-and-work-dvd

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I came across this gentleman's blog

It made me think about the subject for another article for Job Sink and that is what to do when you are unemployed. No matter what the disability I think everyone wants to be productive of at something; though we may disagree on what productivity id defined as.

When unemployed or underemployed we need to do something to keep ourselves sharp. Also, the projects can add value to our portfolio (learning a new skill, adding to our network, gaining experience) which can help impress an employer even though it might not be 'a job'.

One thing I like to keep in mind is that Albert Einstein's job, at least for a while, was being a patent clerk. Science was a side project. If my side projects could only be 1/1,000,000th as productive!

Link: http://aspieanimegeek.blogspot.com/2011/02/so-im-aspie-on-disability.html

Sell your work

On the Job Sink website I have an article about how results help demonstrate your employability or continued value to the company in question. On the My Aspergers Child blog they make a similar point in that the Aspie should sell their work including making a portfolio of it.

--from My Aspergers Child

This can be difficult if your job does not have easily portable results like art or writing. Even programmers can bring code samples or links to their projects out on the web. A horticulturalist? That might pose some issues. Still you can provide videos & pictures of you doing the work such as tending to well groomed plants or if you perform data entry then videos of you using the software or your self created guides for training others or reminding yourself of tasks. These demonstrate what you are able to produce for the new employer.

And if you are at a company be sure to keep a list of all projects you do. That comes in very handy at review time; think of it as your portfolio for selling yourself allover again.

Aspergers, Sleep and Employment

A recent discussion on the Wrong Planet Work and finding a job discussion forum has focused on people making the adjustment from unemployed to full time employment and the effect it has on their sleep.

Most people on the Spectrum experience some form of sleep disorder. In my own case the sleep specialist I saw likened my leg movements to walking a few miles every night which not only made me physically tired but woke me up frequently with the movements. An RLS medication helped a lot.

While un/under-employed ASD folk are able to catch up on their sleep so it is no wonder that a full time job work impact that flexibility in rest. But the problem goes deeper. Full time employment means longs stretches of the day where the person has to remain vigilant against meltdowns, social faux pas and stimming that was not done before.

How to deal with this?

While unemployed it is a good idea to spend some time in public each day simply keeping up appearances. Think of it as working out in preparation for a game. Also, once you do start working schedule times to relax your guard in private. I used to book meetings in rooms alone simply for the purpose of going in and letting my social act slip. I would say the stim words, pace and even have silent meltdowns. After a while my energy levels built up and slowly the tiredness went away.

Certainly the breaks impacted my performance at work in the short run but they were certainly more acceptable than falling asleep at my desk or having an extreme moment in the workplace.

ASTEP building bridges for employment

Finding a job is difficult for many people, ASD or NT. Keeping the job is much harder for those on the Spectrum. It is good to see that so many places want to help Aspies & HFA folk retain their employment. One such company is ASTEP who earlier this year added Michael John Carley (founder and Director of GRASP) to their board of directors.

I encourage you to check out both places:


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Aspiritech spurs others

Recently while doing some research I found that Dr. Barbara Nichols in Tucson, AZ wants to create an Aspergers friendly company along the lines of Aspiritech.

Please check out Dr. Nichols request here and contact here if you want to help out. Companies like these are blessings as they engineer their environment and work to conform to the personality profile of those with Aspergers and HFA.

The company website

Job Sink

There is the site in case anyone was wondering

Initial Post

Today I launched my web page for Job Sink which I guess means I am now an official start-up small business.

I created Job Sink primarily to help those with Aspergers Syndrome and/or High Functioning Autism find and retain work. Even a cursory glance at Autism web sites shows how difficult it can be for ASD folk to find and retain meaningful work in an acceptable environment.

That said I am worried that this will have no response whatsoever. There are reasons small businesses fail so often not the least of which is that the owner suffers from bouts of agoraphobia or can melt down in times of stress.

Maybe one day I will look back on this with nostalgia.