"This study, called for by autistic people and led by an autistic researcher, is the first to explore ‘autistic inertia,’ a widespread and often debilitating difficulty acting on intentions. [It] is unique in considering difficulty initiating tasks of any type in real life settings, and by gathering qualitative data directly from autistic people."

“No Way Out Except From External Intervention”: First-Hand Accounts of Autistic Inertia

@muninn this is an important and interesting study and introduces a useful umbrella term that includes #executiveDysfunction amongst others 😮

Just skimmed, and need to digest.
But, thanks for posting this. Very interesting, and possibly illuminating 👍


Study on autistic inertia unable to be completed due to autistic inertia of lead researcher.

@muninn huh, i thought this was executive disfunction. are they different? do i have both?

Executive dysfunction is screwery in the frontal lobe, which covers an awful lot of things and therefore can cause totally different difficulties for different people.

A couple of executive functions are "initiation and inhibition*", as i understand it, autistic inertia is a dysfunction of both.

(*inhibition = ending current actions, not to be confused with impulse control, which is *choosing* to *not* initiate an action in the first place.)

@snailerotica @muninn
Sorry, *if* inertia is an executive dysfunction thing, then it's likely a dysfunction there.

They also mention that it might also be a movement difference like catatonia is; i don't know much about the neurology of that but mel baggs hirself pointed out the similarities between inertia and catatonia. It's entirely possibly they've both got executive function and motor aspects to them, maybe they get venn-diagramme-y.... idk. Interesting, tho!!

@certifiedperson Yaknow, I never really read the DSM entry on catatonia until this thread. I had some big misconceptions about what it looks like. I definitely do that sometimes--definitely subclinical, but several of the points. For me those are definitely related to inertia.

/ @snailerotica @muninn

Yeah, we used to have a few subclinical catatonia traits too! We almost never experience them anymore - since we moved out of mum's house (with multiple others around, and being in a room at the hallway T-juncture so people frequently walked past.)

I remember mel saying hir catatonia improved when hir adrenal insufficiency was really severe; as that was treated the catatonia got worse again. So cortisol / stress seems to be a factor.
@snailerotica @muninn

@certifiedperson I associate mine mostly with exhaustion, but stress is certainly linked. Mine also seemed to improve (but not disappear) when I started medicating my ADHD.

/ @snailerotica @muninn

@paideuomai @certifiedperson @snailerotica I'm curious what anybody's experience of subclinical catatonic symptoms was like if they would like to share

@muninn okay replying from forever ago, but re subclinical catatonia:

Like I was just going into the kitchen for a drink. I got to the kitchen, forgot what I was there for, and just totally froze, both physically and mentally. Legs in a walking posture (with both safely on the ground), looking off into space with my fingers on my forehead as if thinking, but zero conscious activity happening.

/ @certifiedperson @snailerotica

@muninn There was music on my headphones but I wasn't really aware of it, and there was no other changing sensory input for me to really pay attention to. I was effectively frozen. It was probably <1min and >30sec, but I wasn't really in the world for that time.

/ @certifiedperson @snailerotica

@muninn My wife is in the house but asleep. If she had been awake and found me and made noises at me then I _might_ have been able to frustratedly waggle my other hand a little (<1in) and put fingers down into a "just a second" shape while I got back to humaning. It would have taken several seconds to reorient myself, and it probably would have been more distressing than it is when I just get back there on my own.

/ @certifiedperson @snailerotica

@muninn I almost certainly wouldn't have processed her sounds as words, though if I heard them then I'd probably recognize her voice and likely the tone as well. If an Actual Emergency had happened, I probably would have jumped to react/survival mode over the next second or two, but it would be _incredibly_ stressful and I'd probably have an instant meltdown from the shock as soon as I was even remotely safe.


/ @certifiedperson @snailerotica

autism, intertia / subclinical catatonia 1 

@paideuomai @muninn Oh huh yeah, so, it's been A While but from memory, it's a little like zoning out, but physically instead of mentally? I usually had it while sitting, the body just relaxes (it's a little gradual, over the course of 10 seconds maybe?) but not to the extent of being floppy*, and I'm unable to move it but also I stop /caring/ about moving it? Like the motor (but not sensory) neurons got temporarily disconnected.

autism, intertia / subclinical catatonia 2 

@paideuomai @muninn I didn't realise until reading that research and someone was quoted describing this, but also the emotions get calm and accepting of my current state? Like "okay, I'm just... here now. Just frozen for a bit :)" It's genuinely fine.

There might be a little bit of feeling of mild annoyance because there was something I know I intended to do and I can't now, but it's off to the side and unimportant. (...this could be a plural thing.)

autism, intertia / subclinical catatonia 3 

@paideuomai @muninn Someone knocking on my door is enough to jolt me out of that. It happened once in a dance class before it started, I was sitting off to the side, but the moment class actually started was enough of a prompt to get me up.

If I'm itchy or discomfort, I think it takes a moment longer to move to itch or ease. Sometimes that prompts me out, sometimes I reconnect to my arm just enough to scratch it and then go back to how I was.

autism, intertia / subclinical catatonia 4 

@paideuomai @muninn (I understand for more severe catatonia, someone would need much more specific prompts for much more specific activities / actions, and would not necessarily be able to respond to discomfort / pain.)

autism, intertia / subclinical catatonia 5 

@paideuomai @muninn And it's a different sort of Frozen than overload-stuck. I recall one time in the lounge with my loud sister and my mum, and i just hit this particular point where I didn't have the ability to leave on my own, even though I needed to, because sister's talking was taking up too much of my processing, and that was uncomfortable and tense and my brain is going "ahhh i should leave I know how to leave just stand up and walk out"

autism, intertia / subclinical catatonia 6/6 

@muninn *I suspect I would demonstrate "waxy flexibility" or something similar (maybe slowly go back to my original position) but I don't know for sure, as people nearby always jolts me out.

Oh and i'm really bad at time but I think it usually lasts ~2min for me?

And prompted by @paideuomai 's last toot, I have *no idea* what my language processing is like then, if I would be able to understand words as words or not.

autism, intertia / subclinical catatonia 6/6 : CW cops 

@certifiedperson @muninn @paideuomai I've had catatonia full blown I don't know about subclinical. Probably the worst I've ever had it was when I had an encounter with the cops when my verbals speech had had it and it really shook me and I ended up in an ambulance and got stuck in a stim with a stim toy over and over again and was otherwise frozen and not responding to my surroundings and I had waxy flexibility.

autism, intertia / subclinical catatonia 6/6 : CW cops 

@certifiedperson @muninn @paideuomai I did change movements like I eventually stopped stimming with that particular toy and maybe engaged in some other stims but was mostly stuck in different positions for several hours.

@certifiedperson @snailerotica one interesting tidbit I saw recently in other bleeding-edge research: ADHD executive dysfunction may be qualitatively different than ASD executive dysfunction.

there are about eleventy million caveats with this statement, but IIRC the hypothesis was that ASD tends to be associated with intact inhibitory control, and ADHD is the opposite.

of course there will inevitably be people with biological underpinnings of both, plus learned experience to muddy that all up.

@snailerotica @muninn the article includes executive dysfunction — it’s saying that that there are possibly several different causes for inertia and executive dysfunction is just one of them.

@muninn I was not prepared for this to be as relatable as it was.

@varve I thought I *was* prepared, and it still gave me goosebumps more than once

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