Thursday, September 3, 2015

Disgusted

Roughly 3 months ago, I got pulled out of a mandatory internship. 

I was on internship with this company that will not be stated, so let's call it company M. My job at company M was mainly as a composer and arranger for kids songs. 

I had been offered this internship a full semester before interviews even began, and I turned them down because even though it was one of the maybe 2% of the companies that hires composers, it was children's music. It wasn't for me. So I turned them down.

Towards the end of that semester, my lecturer brought up the company again, this time offering the opportunity to the rest of my classmates who were hoping to chance a good internship placement.

As that was roughly 5 months since I had turned down the offer, I had been given the chance to think about it again. In fact, the boss of company M had even asked for me again. 

Apparently, what had happened was that my lecturers felt that this would be a great opportunity for me. It was a composing job, it was a small company, and even BETTER still, the boss had told them that he COMPLETELY understood my situation and was prepared to take me in.

I decided to give it a go. I prepared two arrangements of kids songs and I went down for an interview. And just an hour after the interview, I got the news that they accepted me. I was happy. It was a wonderful feeling to think that you're being accepted by people who will understand you and can care for your needs.

The first month went alright. Then things started happening. My bosses son fell ill and landed in the hospital. My bosses were not in the office for about 2 weeks, only popping in occasionally just to make sure the place hadn't burned down. And then they had a business trip.

Many people like me rely on interaction to feel at ease and do our jobs. It was especially tough for me during that time as when they weren't there, I completely lost all memory of their presence. When they started coming into the office regularly again, they were as good as complete strangers.

I started getting stressed. I frequently called up my lecturers to talk, and they in turn gave my boss calls to let them know how I was doing.

Then, it went downhill quick. My boss invited me for a coffee to talk about how things were going. Being the honest person I am, I told him that I didn't exactly know what I was doing but I hoped that I was headed in the right direction anyway. I also told him my strategy of slowing down my output as previously, I had been churning out songs but at a poor quality. I needed to slow down to put out work that is good. He asked me a few questions, all around the topic of whether I was happy in the company. To which I replied that I was fine. Then he asked if I wanted to continue in the internship. So I gave an honest answer and told him that I'm doing the best I can now, and it's not exactly like I had a choice because all students have to complete an internship to graduate. And then he asked me a few more questions but I replied them with silence as I didn't know what was going on. It felt like he had something against me.

Later in the afternoon on that day itself, I met with my counsellor during my lunch break and filled her in. We spoke for a while before I headed back up to the office. Truthfully, I was in stress. But I was still holding on and trying my best. After all, I just got a feedback that my work was improving!

Coincidentally, right after i went back to the office, my lecturer told me that he would be coming down at roughly 3pm that afternoon and would like to speak to me. Instinctively, I knew it was about the chat that I had with my boss in the morning. 

So I went down to the cafe he was at and he was with my counsellor who actually made her way back to be with us. My lecturer was confused because my boss had complained that I was being very uncooperative and disobedient towards him, and those two words were words that all my lecturers would never ever pair with me as even if I appeared uncooperative, I would be still trying my best.

He further added that the chat that I had with my boss in the morning was the "before firing" chat.

So no wonder why it felt like he had something against me.

I was quick to fill in my lecturer that anything I might have done wrong was unintentional and that if my boss had a problem with me, he should take it up with ME so that we could work through it together like professionals do. I also told my lecturer that I too was confused at I was improving at work. I had also reduced the number of meltdowns I had from once a week to once a month.


He told me that it was fine, but if I was going to say no to doing anything to use that bomb ONCE.

He decided to leave it at that as it seemed that we didn't see much of a big situation here apart from the unhappiness of my boss, but he did tell me to continue trying hard.

The next week went by rather fine, and then suddenly, my boss called me into his office and announced that he wanted me to participate in a few videos because there was a shortage of manpower.

I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it. At that moment I knew that that would be the end of it. I decided to drop the bomb.

I had acted in videos for school projects before, but this was different. It wasn't school. I just couldn't do it. I told my lecturers that, and they relayed that information to my boss. The next day, he wasn't in. He called me up at the office and again pestered me to be in the videos. I bit my tongue and very nicely and politely apologised and told him that I couldn't do it. Then he began talking again about it. I was fed up. Frustrated. I was angry. My anxiety immediately shot up and I blanked out shouting through the phone "NO! I CAN'T DO IT!" Before I slammed the phone down and blindly ran out of the office and broke down.

I admit, that was probably not the best way to react, but I couldn't control myself. It was too much for me to handle. I called all my lecturers and told them that I wanted to be pulled out. I would go through the rest of the day but I demanded to be pulled out. 

My boss came into the office later that day, and my classmate, who was on intern with me, and I went to pass our logbooks to him for signing. 

Towards the end of the day, roughly 4:45pm at that time, he called us in to his office and handed us our logbooks again. My classmate's was fine. Apparently mine was not detailed enough. This I didn't understand because I specifically wrote whatever my lecturer told me to write. But I decided to drop the matter for that time.

Then he wanted to talk to me about what happened over the phone earlier that day, and I started hyperventilating, trying not to cry. And believe it or not, he actually tried to force me not to cry. 

We talked it out, and he said to think about it again over the weekend and then come back on Tuesday to work (that Monday was a public holiday).

I was in such stress over the weekend, my mental state quickly deteriorated. I became depressed, suicidal, and I started hallucinating. My physical state deteriorated too. I came down with a horrible cold that actually prevented me from returning to work on Tuesday. 

When I went to the office on Wednesday, I waited for my boss to come in. I knew I needed to talk to him. 

I started the conversation by apologising to him for slamming the phone on him the other day, although making sure to mention that it was not intentional and that I was only apologising because I understand that it was wrong.

Then I mentioned the situation at hand. I couldn't participate in the video. Straight away, he started nagging. He insisted that he could not treat me specially as that would not be fair to the other employees, to which I quickly corrected him, telling him that I do not expect to be treated differently in any way, but I want my needs to be met and they clearly aren't. I kept him quiet about that by saying "you may treat everyone in the office the same now, but imagine if you had an office full of people like me, surely you won't be treating all of them the way you treat your employees now!"

Then he started defending himself saying that he has a special needs sister and she does just fine with him. That put me off completely and, while I had to hide a growl, I politely told him that I would appreciate it if he didn't compare me and his sister. To which he blatantly replied, "I'm not comparing."

I was disgusted by then, and to make it worse he kept talking, mentioning that he's not going to listen to my lecturers on whatever they say because he believes he can help me. Even more disgusted. He may have had a life experience with a loved one with special needs, but he has had only 2 months of knowing me, while my lecturers had 2 years! 

I let him know that I was at the end of my rope. I had a limit and I had already pushed myself to twice that limit. I needed to slow down, and yet, he replied, "don't you want to go further?"

Could he have been more disgusting?

We eventually came to a compromise, I would shoot the video instead.

But I was done. Seeing his true colours, I don't think I would want to risk further psychological abuse. I told my lecturers again that I wanted out. I needed out. 

And out I got. But that was not the end. I heard later from my lecturers that my boss had told them that for 4 times, I disappeared from the office for half a day. The truth is that I never left for more than an hour. He also told them that I kept using Asperger's as an excuse to not do tasks. The truth is that the video incident was the only time I pulled out the Autism card. That card is sacred. I try not to use it.

Furthermore, for the next month or so, the hallucinations continued. I kept hearing voices. It made me even more fearful of the dark than I already am. I started showering with music on. It came to a point when I was scared that I was turning schizophrenic. 

I met one of my lecturers about a week after the incident. Apparently, another reason why I was pulled out was because I mentioned that I was suicidal. And my boss did not want to take responsibility for anything that may happen. Of course! Put me in this horrific state of mind and then get rid of me to escape responsibility. I don't think I've ever known such a disgusting and dishonest person in my life!

I have to repeat the internship semester, meaning that I would not graduate with my classmates but instead the batch after us. And before I go for the next internship, I would have to go through therapy to better prepare me for the next internship.

That in itself was really stupid to me. Yes, therapy might have helped, but if it was the boss who had a problem, why "fix" me? I gave my lecturers a scenario of "if you are a very good chef, but you open your restaurant in a run down alley, no one will come to your restaurant". So surely even if I go through therapy, something must be done to prepare the bosses too!

I was and still am very angry about all this.

And it all started with him assuring my lecturers that he completely understood my situation and was prepared to help me.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Silenced

It's not uncommon to hear about people in the Autism community not having their voices heard these days. I just thought that I should share an experience I had fairly recently.

I (used to) play in my ensemble's string quartet for events like our school's open house. My journey as a member in this quartet was a very shaky one, and it was horrible.

It started with my (ex) favourite senior asking if I could play viola for (let's call it) "event X". By training, I am a violinist. I can play viola, but I was in no way, of any standard to perform on the viola. Furthermore, I had not touched the viola for a few months. I told her that I was fine as long as we were playing pieces that I could manage.

As the time passed and the 4 of us who made up the quartet discussed what pieces we will perform, she out right ignored my request for manageable pieces to perform and chose pieces that I knew, even in the 2 months we had to practice, I will not be able to play. I still had to consider that I was still having school, and had to practice my violin, piano, and study my conducting materials besides practicing the viola for this performance. I used my voice, and told her that I will not be able to do it. We had an argument, that lead to me saying that I really hated her in this kind of situation. 

She told me I was ungrateful for everything she had done to help me. I have to admit, what I said was hurtful, but it was the truth. I told her that she was not listening to me and that I cannot play these pieces. She told me to try. 

I can try, but it would be a waste of time to try, and then realise later that I cannot do it. We only had 2 months, it was not a long time. Surely there was no way she could put me out there when I could not perform, and there wouldn't be enough time to make a switch of pieces if we had to. She further told me that she "was fed up at having to give in to me".

Mind you?

I have to make this very clear to everyone.

There is a BIG difference between changing to suit my NEEDS, and giving in to my WANTS.

I was voicing out, as Artistic Director of our group, the best solution to our problems. But she refused to listen.

She ended up changing me to play second violin and got another senior to play viola, a solution that was temporary. 

The second performance went smoothly. It was our school's open house, and our conductor had recently gave us new pieces to practice. 

I was again asked to perform on the viola, and I agreed, again requesting that we only perform pieces I could manage. With the new pieces, this performance worked out quite well.

And now we come to (let's call it) "Event G".

Before every performance, we have something called a preview, where each group that is performing during the event Had to showcase what they were going to perform and we were given feedback.

I have gone through about 2 previews before this, so I knew what to expect from these previews.

But the preview for "Event G" was different. I had an exam right before the preview that I didn't do well for. I had done so badly, I walked out after 15 minutes because I didn't know the answers to any of the questions. This left me feeling very upset and anxious. 

When I got to the room where the preview was being held, I saw that the quartet was going to be previewed first. When I'm in class and my group has to present first, I usually ask to be shifted to the second because I always need to see at least one group present first. But I had unwittingly forgotten that "small" detail.

While waiting to be previewed, my anxiety levels shot up. I tried telling my friend who was playing second violin that I was anxious and needed help, but he was clueless. My other senior who played first violin was at the other end of the room and I couldn't call her for help. Then I just looked at my (ex) favourite senior in panic, but I was turned away by her saying "don't give me that face".

For the sake of the quartet, I did something that even my counsellor told me that I should never do again. I held it in. I tolerated the rising anxiety levels and the constant blanking out. I ignored my freezing cold palms and feet. These are sure signs of an impending meltdown. 

For the sake of the quartet, I did all that. Every Autistic person would know how hard it is to do that, but I know that to receive constructive feedback, the quartet had to be heard as a whole.

I managed to play all the pieces with the quartet despite the blanking out. I was getting even more stressed by the fact that I could not hear the first violin, and the tempo kept changing. As a conducting student, I found this very distressing. I may not have the best rhythm, but this was something else.

When the person in charge started to give his feedback, I could tolerate it no longer. I knew that I was already in my non verbal state, and my vision was quickly getting blurred. I knew I had to get out of there before I melted down.

So I did.

I got up from my seat and forced a "I'm getting out" from my voice, clumsily packed my viola, and rushed out of the room, and to the library where my friend was waiting for me to be done with the preview.

While slowly recovering in the peace of the library, I typed a message to apologise to the quartet for my abrupt leave.

But only to be told that I made the quartet look bad, and that not everyone there knows I have Asperger's. I want to tell this to you. My senior had a reputation for being a good leader until this point. Her replying me like that made me start to doubt her leadership as she did not seem to care about my wellbeing, and only seemed to care about the group's image.

Anyone with autism, or caring for someone with autism knows that when we are in that blanking out stage, and wanders off, that we could be doing anything from finding a safe place, to absentmindedly crossing the road without looking and getting killed. It's extreme, and it's one of the reasons why I was told never to hold it in like that again.

I followed up her reply by telling her that I really only had 2 options:

1) Meltdown front and centre during the preview and waste everyone's time trying to get me to a safe place and to calm down

Or

2) Leave as soon as I could

I chose the latter because I felt it would be rude of me to meltdown knowing that I could control it.

And I was faced with the most horrible reply anyone could imagine. Please note that this was coming from a senior who I really admired and looked up to.

"Im gonna treat you like an adult without autism in this matter. 

You decide for yourself your actions. 

1) continue being in this quartet. 

2) continue being this way and probably shit will continue to happen."

I felt this was extremely unfair to me. And I told her that it was like she was implying that Autism is a CHOICE, to which she replied, again in her own words,

"It's like telling me autism is an excuse. That's what people see. DO THEY F***ING KNOW YOU HAVE AUTISM? Do you think a meltdown is the full reason because of autism?
Think about it. I said my piece."

There wasn't much discussion after that besides me explaining again for the umpteenth time that a meltdown is something that I cannot control, and that Autism is not a choice. 

A couple of days later, she finally spoke up.

She replaced me with another senior.

This left me not angry, and certainly not furious. But INCREDIBLY (and I MEAN INCREDIBLY)...

disappointed...

She was the senior I trusted from the start of the journey in the ensemble. She helped me to settle in to the group. She helped me to resolve conflicts by teaching me to TALK IT OUT, to TRY, and many other ways. But she did not do any of those when faced with this situation. I was disappointed because she did not even lift a finger to show me that those methods of resolving conflict can work. Maybe they aren't that useful anymore?

I had a few conflicts with my senior before those mentioned, and I would always consult my 2 best friends when they happened. And what they always told me was the same. That I should doubt her leadership, that she isn't as good as I thought, that she was WRONG.

Yet I ALWAYS defended my senior's leadership and actions. I was blinded by my own trust towards her. I started to think that maybe I shouldn't have trusted her so much in the beginning.

Maybe I shouldn't have trusted her at all.

I do miss the little things she used to do for me, like chatting with me, switching on her iPhone torchlight when walking to the bus interchange after practice at nights, joking with me. She was like the mentor I wanted.

But I realise now that I have always been disregarding my needs to suit her wants, and then when it comes to dealing with my needs, she completely blows me off.

It's like she never cared.

I cannot begin to express my disappointment. I went through almost a month of depression after that. I was suddenly unmotivated to do my work and study, I was suddenly angry all the time, I was suddenly clingy to my favourite facilitators, I was suddenly unhappy.

I'm still trying to recover, but the disappointment will never leave me.

Because I was silenced by a person who I trusted.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Crappy Holidays

I figured that while it's the holiday season, I might as well do a post on my take on holidays.

Straight up, I HATE THE HOLIDAYS.

I prefer school. Sure, school is tedious and it can get tiring and I sometimes long for a break, but to me, the weekends are enough. School provides me with a sense of structure, routine, and even somewhere safe.

After 19 years on earth, I've come to associate holidays with crowds, loud people singing, noise, unpredictability, and chaos. Notice there's not a hint of festive cheer in the list.

Even semester breaks that aren't breaks for festive periods means that I am generally more sensitive to everything. 

Some may start to wonder, that since I am aware of my emotions, can't I do something about it?

I can't. I can't do anything since if something happens, it's usually out of the blue, spur of the moment kind of thing. The kind of thing that doesn't give you time to think, like my brother asking if I could save my practicing viola to after he wakes up - sent me into a temper tantrum. Notice how I admit it's a tantrum. Because I was fully in control of it, but let it happen because I was very sensitive and couldn't think of a better solution.

Being sensitive is not something I can control. At least not at the moment. I'm sure I'll get better at controlling my emotions as I get older, but for now, sensitivity isn't something I can control. 

On the last day of school, I whined and protested at the thought of having to go home and greet the start of the holidays. My only consolation was that my facilitator invited a group of us to his house to see his cats. (Look out for more on this particular teacher in one of my next posts)

The pressure I usually feel in my ears when I'm in stress is there all the time now, but I'm pretty sure it'll go away once school starts again. 

Worst thing is, I've lost a lot of my functioning abilities. My motor planning skills have been considerably lowered, such that I surprise myself with thoughts like "why am I finding it so hard to open this container today?!"

But a huge part that was lost that affected me most is my piano playing. I still have to practice piano because I am taking an exam next year, but when I sat at the piano and started playing, I felt the shock and horror that I couldn't feel the tips of my fingers hammer at the keys. My teacher is always going at me to play with active fingers, and has been training me to do so forever. I wasn't perfect at it, but my playing during the holidays had become so unintentionally sloppy, it scared me. 

I had spent hours on the second page of one of the pieces, as it was really tough. Yet, all the hard work went down the drain as I didn't transition well into the holidays and the stress of it all took a toll on me and caused me to lose some of my piano playing ability.

I wasn't aware of what was happening at first, and it was all so frustrating because I felt I worked so hard and I couldn't understand why my fingers were suddenly not listening to me, it's truly terrifying. 

Does anyone have tips on how I could transition into holiday routine smoothly next time?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sensory Integration Disorder: My experience

This post is a follow up from one of my previous posts, Sensory integration: An illustration for awareness.

I decided to write about how I experience it.

Before finding out about Sensory Integration, I never thought that what I experience on a daily basis, what I thought was normal, really isn't. I thought that everyone experienced the environment in the same way as I did.

Recently, I became more aware of how I experience my environment. Usually, I wouldn't notice SI at work, so whenever I went out recently, I tried to pay attention, and the results were actually quite startling.

A couple of days ago, after school, my friend and I decided to go to a nearby mall for lunch at McDonalds. We had ended class early that day and we had to be back for practice in the evening, so a nearby mall was perfect. We left the school, where everything was "normal", and walked towards the mall. When we reached the road, I still could not sense SI at work because I was used to it.

However, by the time we reached the McDonald's restaurant, it had gotten so bad that I almost couldn't hear my friend speaking, and I almost couldn't see where I was going. Everything was a blur. We decided to take the inside seating, and the moment I entered the place, I felt this tremendous drop of pressure on my ear, and suddenly, I just felt so much better.

The pressure must have taken time to build up on the way to the mall, if not, I would have noticed it right away. This shocked me, because I have experienced this all my life, but this is the first time I was looking at the situation as "not normal", but as Sensory Integration. It fascinated me that others do not experience daily life like this.

I will try writing more experiences as I feel that experiences would help others understand what I go through on a daily basis.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Routine - Never let your guard down

It has been a while since my last incident in school, and I was feeling rather positive about keeping up the record.

However, I had a moderate meltdown today. I had no idea it was coming on, I had felt fine before that, but further analysis of the trigger made me realise that my facilitators let their guard down.

Today, we were told in class that we had to compose ambient music for the school's restaurant and spa. So, in order to maximise our potential in composing, my facilitator explained that we were going to go down to the restaurant and spa to take a look around to get a feeling of the space to help us in getting ideas in composing.

Strike one.

If there were any breaks in routine, I would always have to be told at least a day before hand, not an hour before hand. I didn't have the time to think through what would be happening and how I was going to handle a new environment, even if it was just for 10-15 minutes of exposure. That's a long time!

About 10 minutes before we left to go see the training restaurant, my facilitator decided that it was a good time to leave and re-park his car as he was late to class today and had to park somewhere inconvenient. So another facilitator came over and brought us down to the restaurant.

Strike 2

I was familiar with this facilitator, but the fact that he was breaking my routine even more than it already had, was major trigger number 2. My facilitator should not have left us, even for that short period of time, let alone with an "unfamiliar" presence.

While walking to the restaurant, I felt fine. In fact, I was looking forward to seeing the restaurant for the first time. It was at the other end of the school, so we spent about 5-8 minutes walking there.

Strike 3

The lengthy walk allowed my anxiety to rapidly build up, even if I didn't know it. We were just a minute away when I suddenly realised I couldn't do it and went into a panic and blanked out crying.

I do not know how long my meltdown lasted, but I'm estimating it was about 10-20 minutes.

My facilitators know very well that should there be any major breaks in routine, I should be informed in advance to allow me to prepare for it. Going out of the classroom is a major break in routine for me, and it really makes me unsettled.

Having another facilitator in the room is also a big issue for me. When I was in secondary school and the principal visited and observed my class, I walked out and stayed out the whole lesson. Even if she was a familiar face, she was an unfamiliar presence to have during lesson time. And that was with my usual teacher in the classroom. The difference between that time and today was my usual facilitator leaving to move his car and leaving the other facilitator to walk us to the restaurant. It was a big trigger right there.

My facilitators should never have let their guard down. I may have been doing well, but doing well came with a lot of work and preparedness. And my facilitators did not let their guard down until today.

You should never let your guard down around Autism because it would more likely than not lead to a meltdown. We have been holding it up for so long, and a small trigger would bring a meltdown fast.

I hope that this post will let people know just how slight the routine change needs to be to send me into a panic. I have written before about how slight the change could be to give me anxiety attacks (Routine - The slightest change)

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment below if you want to, feedback is greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What "Advocacy" means to me

3 and a half years after my diagnosis, I still consider myself new to the wonderful world of Aspergers Syndrome. But I'm even newer still to the world of advocacy.

TheFreeDictionary.com defines advocacy as "The act of pleading or arguing in favour of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy; active support."

And I've only begun to do so when I discovered the autism community on twitter.

Before I was diagnosed, with all the frustration still in me, I was always misunderstood. Whatever I did seemed to be wrong, and no matter what, I couldn't find the words to explain myself or describe how I felt. This always led to conflicts and fights that never ended well for me. And, as it always does, I just got more and more frustrated as the time went by.

After my diagnosis, when I went on twitter, I got curious as to how many people were there who are like me and are on twitter. I wanted to communicate with people like me, so that I could understand myself better. I discovered the autism community on twitter and lets just say that my life has never been better since then.

Along with the twitter community came Autism Blogs. Many of my friends are Autism bloggers and through reading their blogs, I found a sense of comfort and belonging that I have never felt before. These people know what it's like. I am not alone.

In secondary school, I was often praised for my writing, and I even had the ambition to be a writer. When I read all these blogs, that passion was revived and I started this blog with the aim of helping people to understand Aspergers through my eyes. 

I wanted to focus not only on the good, but also on the bad side of Aspergers. Lets face it. Even NeuroTypicals have their bad side, so we deserve to have our bad side just as much.

By writing about the "bad side" of Aspergers, I am allowing people to understand what goes on when things like meltdowns and sensory overload happens.

With understanding, comes acceptance. And this is what advocacy means to me. It is achieving acceptance that Aspergers is very much part of everyday life and there's nothing to fear about it.

It is a cycle, you see.

It begins with Advocacy, with us speaking up and writing. And then people who listen to us and read what we have to say process this information and understands what it is like. It is no longer alien to them. It is always hard to accept something you do not understand. Very much like how you won't eat a food you do not like because your taste doesn't understand it. 

The aim of advocacy at the end of the day is acceptance. And that's what it means to me.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sound-Touch Synesthesia

Recently, I have been seeing quite a number of articles online about the possible link between Autism and Synesthesia.

Reason being, as our brains are more active than NeuroTypicals, we sometimes form links between our various senses, bringing us into the wonderful world of Synesthesia.

The most common form of synesthesia that I have heard of is Sound-sight synesthesia. This means that the sense of hearing and sense of sight are crossed, giving the person affected the ability to "hear" colours or to "see" sounds.

Perhaps not as common, I have Sound-Touch synesthesia, and this lets me "feel" sounds. Possibly, it may be why I have been progressing so well in my music studies. 

The only threat synesthesia poses to me has shown itself recently. My school's string ensemble has started to practice 2 new pieces, but for this post, I will only be discussing one piece, Coldplay's famous Viva La Vida.

While I haven't heard the original version, I don't think it matters because we're playing it with string instruments, and texture-wise, it can be VERY different. (EDIT: I have since listened to the original version, discovering that it has string instruments playing spiccato.)

The steady plucking or strumming of an electric guitar, although not my preferred choice of sound, is my preferred choice of touch as compared to a string instrument's spiccato.

Spiccato is using the bow and going off the string, sort of like "bouncing" the bow, as the YouTube video will demonstrate.

http://youtu.be/fpObBNjs4ys

I usually have no problems with spiccato, but this rhythm and technique is pretty much constant throughout the whole song. 

Coming back to Sound-Touch synesthesia, here is an illustration of how spiccato passages make me feel.

Have you ever turned around a little too quick, resulting in that hellish pain that radiates from the back of your neck?

Have you ever had a shortage of breath?

Have you ever felt the muscles in your neck tighten so that you have difficulty breathing?

Have you ever run so much that you feel like throwing up?

If you answered "yes" to those 4 questions, now, imagine all of those feelings being activated AT ONCE.

That is how spiccato passages feel.

Imagine having to go through that AND sensory integration. It is painful, and it is downright frustrating. 

Do I have any control over this?

No.

Just like how you have no control over what you hear, taste, smell, see and feel, I do not have any more control over this than any of my other senses. Having sensory integration, it can be overwhelming. Autistics experience sensory things more than NeuroTypicals.

Can this be overcome?

Yes.

I am working to build my tolerance level. And while I know the pain won't go away, the more familiar I am with the feeling, the less I will react to it. But again, this takes time.

Synesthesia has been described as a "sixth sense". Like I have mentioned, autistics' senses are many times more sensitive than NeuroTypicals. Having to go through the already overwhelming stimulation of the usual 5 senses, those with synesthesia have to cope with stimulation from whatever form of synesthesia we have. For me, it's having to cope with the pain it inflicts on me.

The purpose of this post is to spread awareness of Sound-Touch Synesthesia. Please feel free to comment or ask questions. Feedback is very important to me!