Hello and welcome to this first lesson of our training series on Considerations of an autistic mind. In this video, we’re gonna be exploring the fundamental emotional center of the autistic mind called the Amygdala.
It’s a small but powerful structure located in the brain. It’s at the uh base of the brain, right, right above the brain stem and it plays a key role in processing emotions.
So a lot of times with neurodiversity, autism and A DH D, you may notice that there’s a lot of high emotion. Well, the Amygdala is a key processing center for emotional regulation and is involved in this fight or flight response that you see all of the time, it helps us to quickly and instinctively respond to danger or stress.
But did you know that the size and the function of the Amygdala can vary from person to person. In fact, studies have shown that individuals with autism or A DH D may actually have abnormalities in the structure of the function of their Amygdala.
Um So it may not function the same way and the structure of it, how it’s built up is fundamentally different. For example, some research has found that the Amygdala may be larger in Children up till around age 12. But then it tends to shrink in size by adulthood, which alludes to some pretty interesting stuff. Right?
In contrast, the Amygdala normally continues to develop until around age 25 in neurotypical people. So now you’ve got this big emotional regulation divide. But it’s also worth noting that while the Amygdala plays an important role in emotional processing, it’s not the only thing.
There are several other areas of the brain that are affected in individuals with autism and A DH D as well, including those involved in social communication and interaction. This means that the emotional responses of individuals with autism or A DH D may be highly unregulated due to these neurological differences.
It can also be really challenging for individuals with autism to discern the emotions out of others, which is a primary strategy for managing anxiety and feeling out of place. So if I can’t determine what others are feeling, and if I can’t determine what I’m feeling and if my feelings are bigger feelings, because this emotional center is smaller, well, that can lead to a lot of psychological issues.
So imagine for a moment how overwhelming it might feel. If you were constantly experiencing the level of frustration that you feel in your most stressed out scenarios, this is what it can be like for in some individuals with autism and A DH D, these are people who develop unique ways of thinking and expressing themselves to cope with these strategies.
And honestly, those unique ways aren’t things that were taught. So we want to keep this in mind as we interact with these individuals, as we try to help these individuals, or maybe you are one of these people because if you don’t, then the expectation in the reality, we’re gonna be two completely different things.
Part 1 of this course focuses on the role of the amygdala in emotion regulation and how variations in the size and function of the amygdala can affect emotional regulation in individuals with autism. The amygdala is a small but powerful structure located in the brain that plays a key role in the processing of emotions. It is a key processing center for emotional regulation and is involved in the “fight or flight” response, helping us to quickly and instinctively respond to danger or stress. However, studies have shown that individuals with autism may have abnormalities in the structure or function of their amygdala. For example, some research has found that the amygdala may be larger in children with autism up until around age 12, but then tends to shrink in size by adulthood. In contrast, the amygdala normally continues to develop until around age 25 in neurotypical individuals. This means that the emotional responses of individuals with autism may be highly unregulated due to these neurological differences. It can also be challenging for individuals with autism to discern the emotions of others, which can be a primary strategy for managing anxiety and feeling “out of place.” The course will provide strategies and techniques to manage anxiety and out of placeness.