Can Protecting Vulnerable Road Users Make Other Modes of Transportation Safer?

everyone is

Just about every mode of transportation requires being a vulnerable road user such as a pedestrian who are considered the most vulnerable.

That means protecting vulnerable road users should indirectly make us safer when we bus or drive to work.

Public transit may be one of the safest modes of transportation but that’s only true when we’re inside the vehicle. When taking the bus, there tends to be a significant amount of walking which means there are driveways and intersections to cross. Some may bike part of the way then take public transit. I’ve had close call from turning vehicles when walking home from bus stops. While walking, we don’t have the protection from crumple zones. That’s why I now scan for turning vehicles.

Having safety features in a car might prevent a crash or make one safer. On our trip to work, we still have to be a vulnerable road user. It’s also possible to drive part of the way and cycle the rest of the way. The dangers include having to wait for traffic to clear before opening the door or entering the vehicle from the driver’s side, traffic in parking lots, and crossing streets if you’re parked on a different block from your destination.

This shows that not being a vulnerable road user isn’t an option for poor weather unless you’re not travelling. The advice don’t walk to your destination is possible only in theory almost all the time.

The question is how safe would the modes of transportation be if we take their weakest links into account? If we cycle on bike routes, can it actually be safer than walking to and from bus stops or train stations? Cycling is good exercise and often has similar trip times compared to taking the bus.

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Significant Challenges in a High Functioning Autistic Adult

Here’s a list of some of the significant autism related challenges in a high functioning autistic adult:

Hopefully, if we know our challenges, it can lead to better support.

LSCT Warmup on Nov 24, 2017

This warmup was done shortly after my FTP was updated.

lsct

Here’s the results compared to my last one’s:

  • HR from the last minute of the first interval: 117 vs 130
  • HR from the last minute of the second interval: 140 vs 154
  • HR from the last two minutes of the third interval: 161 vs 179
  • HR after 90 seconds of rest: 101 vs 112
  • Recovery HR after 2 minutes: 64 vs 70

Notice that a lower cadence was used which may partially explain the lower HR’s. A fan was also used.

Subtle Signs that Autistic People may need Support

I felt that when I needed support, my symptoms were too subtle that the need was easily overlooked.

I have the impression that people thought that my struggles were only minor starting early adulthood. I’ve been told that I don’t look autistic when I mentioned about the issue.

Underestimating autism doesn’t seem uncommon. Autism advocacy articles mentioned about people who are diagnosed late in life, how autism is commonly missed in females, and the possibility that children who “outgrew” their autism may need support.

I’ve been hired before and I felt that shortly after that, people seem to think that I’m out of the woods. What we should be aware of is that autistic people often need support to be successful in their jobs.

They often need different approaches than non-autistic people do. Statistically speaking, being employed is the norm rather than exception for non-autistic people. It shouldn’t be too surprising that two of my classmates in college didn’t find job interviews difficult. For autistic people and many people with other disabilities, it’s often the reverse.

Here are the subtle signs that autistic people may need support:

  • Lack of productivity
  • Lack of progress
  • Decreasing performance
  • Lack of connections
  • Zoning out
  • Not engaged at school or work
  • Difficulties focusing
  • Struggling with job interviews
  • Trouble keeping jobs
  • Apparent loss of previously learned skills
  • Difficulties multi-tasking
  • Changes in symptoms or abilities in overly stimulating environments
  • Forgetfulness
  • Below average performance
  • Appearing uninterested
  • Other autism symptoms getting worse

I had to do my own research to find out some of the support that I need. I learned that my condition may actually be too subtle to even trained people or maybe I don’t know how to ask for help.

It took me so long to discover that sensory overload was significant and not something that you can really get used to. Recently, I’ve been getting more support. Before that, I tend to avoid discussing about autism. Thankfully, I was recommended employment services earlier this year.

Other support that I need may include: written and clear instructions, specific questions to confirm understanding, less relying on hinting, quiet work areas, less switch tasking, no need to act as perfectly non-autistic as possible, paying more attention to internal indicators such as freshness levels, and less distractions.

Not every autistic person experiences autism the same way that they don’t always have the same symptoms. If their symptoms are milder, is it likely that it’s partly attributed to the support that they’re already getting? People suspected that Temple Grandin’s support may have helped her to succeed in her career.

It’s important to address our weakest links and root causes rather than treating only the symptoms. For example, no matter how talented you are, it’s harder to learn your favorite subject in a language that you don’t understand. Instead of changing the field thinking that it’s not the person’s gift, why not have it learned differently?

Second FTP Test on TrainerRoad

I have finished Sweet Spots Base I and my second 8 minute FTP test on TrainerRoad. Here’s the data from Strava and TrainerRoad.

Strava data

strava data

TrainerRoad data

TR data

According to the tests, my FTP increased from 182W to 203W or 11% in six weeks. It’s possible that some of the improvement was caused by using a fan which decreased my HR significantly.

For the second interval, I increased the gearing and noticed that my wattage was higher even though my HR stayed the same. Notice that the cadence was lower. I may have to improve my pacing . If the workouts are still too easy, I might raise the intensity by 3 or 4 percent.

I’m now on Sweet Spot Base II. Compared to the first part, it has more threshold, VO2 max, and anaerobic intervals.

Asperger’s: The Fountain of Youth

An Aspie's view on Christianity, Aspergers, Bullying, and everything inbetween

During the time that I have spent talking with other people on the spectrum, I have realized that most, if not all, of us on the spectrum tend to either feel or act much younger than our actual age. One of my friends recently suggested that I discuss this further, so I decided to dedicate my latest entry to this topic.

My entire life I have always felt younger than the rest of my peers, and I was told many times growing up that I acted younger than I truly was, as well as that I seemed to be younger emotionally as well. This didn’t become incredibly apparent until I hit my teenage years. As a child I didn’t think much of it, and neither did those around me, but it became a much larger problem when I was a teenager and in upper middle school/high school.

As a teenager…

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Is it Difficult for Autistic People to Describe their Challenges?

Here’s a list of the some reasons why it may be difficult for autistic people to describe their challenges especially during conversations.

  • Not knowing when interrupting is allowed in conversations.
  • Sensory overload.
  • The person’s autism wasn’t very obvious.
  • Lack of awareness of the performance of others which can let us know whether we’re doing reasonably well. If not, we’ll know when to speak up.
  • Difficulties reading social cues which can provide performance feedback so that we know when to ask for support.
  • Language or other communication difficulties.
  • Lack of awareness of difficulties. How do we clearly know our difficulties if autistic people can’t experience what it’s like not to have autism and vice versa? Which difficulties are considered normal?
  • Difficulties describing or expressing emotions which may cause the difficulties to be overlooked.
  • Pressure to answer without enough time.
  • Difficulties understanding what the person was asking for? When the question how’s your day is asked at work or school, sometimes it’s an opportunity ask for support.
  • Uncertainty about how much and what information should be given when sharing challenges.
  • Difficulties multi-tasking. Conversations can have multiple topics and our challenges that we know of might be in the back of our minds when we’re concentrating on other areas or we’re busy.
  • Concerns that getting support may require too much resources although the long term cost of getting support may be lower.
  • Pressure to look non-autistic or avoid disclosing their autism.

I felt that I may have sounded vague because some people may have thought that my challenges sounded minor or were normal. I think it can be important to be clear when describing our challenges in order to get the right support. Writing an article about the issue may be preferable than describing them in conversations.

Is it difficult for autistic people to describe their challenges? What do you think?