5 Dangerous Myths About High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

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

So going off of my last post, I finally decided to post my reactions to some of the most common myths about those with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism in general. I’m appalled by how widely believed these myths are, and I’m hoping to shed some light on the truth, coming from the perspective of an Aspie/Autistic woman. 🙂

Myth #1: Those with autism or Asperger’s react the same way to all sensory input, including tastes, textures, sounds, etc.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked with people who believe this myth. Quite a few people have heard that those on the autism spectrum have some sensory processing issues, but they wrongly assume that this means that ALL sensory input causes us issues. The truth is that it depends on each individual person. Most people on the spectrum don’t have an issue with all input, but rather specific…

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Commutes as Recovery Rides. How Fast Can You go? (Strava Data Included)

If you bike to work at an easy pace, would you be too slow?

Here are the screenshots from Strava. The rides were done on Vancouver’s bike routes. A heart rate monitor was used to make sure that I stayed in the right zone. A larger cassette was installed so that hills were easier to climb.


Heather St (Southbound)

heather st sb.png

  • Max HR: 121
  • Avg HR: 106
  • Avg power (estimated): 103W
  • Avg speed: 15.1 km/h

Kitsilano to UBC

kits to ubc.png

  • Max HR: 131
  • Avg HR: 116
  • Avg power (estimated): 178W
  • Avg speed: 17.4 km/h

Off Broadway (Westbound)

off broadway wb.png

  • Max HR: 108
  • Avg HR: 91
  • Avg power (estimated): 102W
  • Avg speed: 15.5 km/h

Ontario St (Northbound)

ontario st nb.png

  • Max HR: 117
  • Avg HR: 108
  • Avg power (estimated): 190W
  • Avg speed: 14.2 km/h

Your speed should decrease more noticeably when climbing, when accelerating, or when carrying heavier loads.

Your speed shouldn’t decrease as noticeably on the flats or when carrying lighter loads.

Possible Overtraining while doing Interval Training 3 Times a Week

I suspect that I’ve overtrained while doing base training on TrainerRoad. Now I’m putting my training on hold.

That means you may have to wait for a while before seeing more fitness test results from my blog. If I really overtrained and I recovered from it, my performance should actually increase!

I started sweet spot base training last October. It has intervals using the zones sweet spot, threshold, and VO2 max. Near the end of the three months, I felt less fresh after each workout than in the earlier part of training.

I also had other symptoms such as increased frequency of colds, increased awareness of heart beats, reduced sleep quality and quantity, and those that are confused with improvements.

If you suspect overtraining, you should pay more attention to how you’re exercising. Even trips that aren’t considered to be workouts count such as walking to work. Do you push too hard uphill or accelerating from a stop?

It may not seem like it’s possible to overtrain so easily especially while base training. It’s likely that before using TrainerRoad, I had some degree of overtraining before from pushing too hard on most of my rides. I coasted a lot too which means there wasn’t enough endurance training in the first place.

My guess is that if base fitness is required for interval training, I wasn’t fit enough for them. In part 2 of sweet spot base and the FTP tests, threshold and VO2 max intervals were done.

Dr. Maffetone has an article about overtraining. According to its comments, activities should be limited to very light intensity. That means the MAF HR may still be too high. It can take months to recover!

My guess is that active recovery counts which means zone 1 can be used. If your FTP is 200W, then your maximum power is 110W which means 25 km/h on the flat assuming that you don’t stop!


If your bike rides are truly recovery rides, they will be so easy that you won’t feel like you’ve exercised. Replacing your bike gears to decrease its gear ratio make hill climbing easier. The largest cassette on MEC so far is 11-46. Dismounting is another option. A heart rate monitor can remind you to stay in the recovery zone.


I’ve also supplemented with magnesium. It’s good for sleep and stress reduction which are important for recovering from overtraining. Stress depletes magnesium and heavy exercise is a source of stress which means it can create a vicious cycle. Hopefully it will speed up recovery.

Autistic people seem to be at a higher risk of magnesium deficiency for some reasons. Since it can’t be outgrown, it makes sense why adults are at a higher risk as well and why I should take it. Wearing a non-autistic mask does nothing to magnesium status even if you see that the person looks non-autistic 99% of the time.

Common MAF & Low Heart Rate Training Misconceptions: Rebutted!

Endurance Skating


As regular readers of my blog (yes, all 3 of you) know, I have trained primarily using MAF for the last 18 months. I have seen good progress and it has allowed me to build something that I never really had before – a robust aerobic base which directly translated into some breakthrough races last year, helping me avoid injuries, and made training a largely enjoyable rather than painful affair.


Yet, more and more it seems that this style of aerobic training (often mislabelled “cardio” – a catch-all term than I personally hate with a passion) gets criticized or overlooked in favour of high-intensity, more (supposedly) time-efficient fitness protocols such as Crossfit (aka the “dirty” side of Paleo), High Intensity Interval Training (HIITs), and “Minimalist” style training protocols.  For example, on a recent health & fitness podcast that I happen to actually like (and shall therefore remain nameless) they were interviewing…

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Third FTP Test on TrainerRoad

I finished my third FTP test on TrainerRoad near the end of Sweet Spot Base II.

MY FTP increased by about 3% from 203W to 209W.

Screenshot 2018-01-09 14.54.28.png

Screenshot 2018-01-09 14.54.35.png

The improvement seemed small possibly because I didn’t follow the plan as strictly. I tried a higher cadence which I wasn’t used to, raised the target power excessively for a few rides, and didn’t complete two workouts. I should experiment with active recovery the day after interval sessions.

The test felt harder than the last one maybe because I started out harder.

Once I’m done with base training, I plan to move on to short power build. If my outdoor rides are long, I plan on doing interval training once a week.


Possible Benefits of More Obvious Autistic Traits

Screenshot 2018-01-15 11.40.47

If an autistic person’s traits are more obvious, here are the possible benefits:

  • Clearer forms of communication are more likely used to communicate with the person, possibly reducing mistakes and missed opportunities. If I don’t know that a person is hard of hearing, I speak as I would normally until I’m aware of it.
  • More heads up which can lead to improved support needed for autistic boys, girls, men, and women.
  • The autism becomes less invisible.
  • Less canned responses from the autistic person. If a person had autistic facial expressions during childhood, the facial expressions should still look autistic during adulthood when they really express emotions. There’s more than one type of smile. From Google search and other social cues websites, you can find pictures of them but they may only be reliable for reading non-autistic people even if autistic people can fake them.
  • Increased expressiveness. Is it possible that the pressure to “pass” causes “flat affect”?
  • Improved emotional connections or two way communication since real emotions can be expressed. Encouragingly, according to an example from an autistic YouTuber’s comments, even though she didn’t express emotions normally, it’s still readable! That could mean it’s okay to look autistic.
  • Improved productivity as mental resources otherwise used for “passing” is freed up. In addition, because they no longer give up supports from the pressures of having to look non-autistic, they can reduce their hurdles even further! It may make the job more enjoyable because there’s less worry about having to look non-autistic every second in front of co-workers.
  • Mental energy sparing. Autistic people tend to find socializing tiring. If it’s simplified by not having to “pass”, could they be less tired?
  • Fewer misdiagnosis because of clearer symptoms and taking fewer medications reduces side effects which may mimic other conditions.
  • Fewer unnecessary medications used because of reduced misdiagnosis.
  • Sooner diagnosis.
  • Asking for support becomes easier since more heads up were given beforehand which makes the need for accommodations expected.
  • History is less likely to repeat itself. Being more visibly autistic can be a clearer reminder of the need for support, and free up mental resources further because there’s less need to consciously remind people of the challenges.
  • Improved employment rates because if the disability is clear enough that the right accommodations are given, the person is likelier to do the job well. Encouragingly, other people with disabilities can work in a variety of fields. I don’t see why autistic people can’t when given the right support. A subtle disability doesn’t mean it’s any less of a disability than one that’s more obvious.