Clumping Attention Resource.
(PDF) An Interest Based Account (Monotropism theory) explanation of anxiety in Autism & a Demand Avoidance Phenomenon discussion.
- Where the flow of attention resource is halted due to sticking together.
- Can form blockages to prevent attention resource bringing certain information into person’s awareness.
- (McDonnell & Milton 2014).
In the context of OCD, a monotropic person’s thoughts and sensory experiences may be felt more intensely, creating more difficulty in other areas of life. Executive functioning tasks, communication, sensory and emotional regulation may all be more difficult to manage as there is less capacity outside the monotropic channel.
This may result in thoughts getting ‘stuck’ in a monotropic channel and looping without moving forwards, without flowing. McDonnell and Milton ‘Going with the flow: reconsidering ‘repetitive behaviour’ through the concept of ‘flow states’. (2014) describe this as ‘clumping’ and is ‘Where the flow of attention resource is halted due to sticking together, and they can form blockages to prevent attention resource bringing certain information into person’s awareness.’ This was also explained in Woods (2019) ‘An Updated Interest Based Account (Monotropism theory) & a Demand Avoidance Phenomenon discussion.’ presentation available here.
If thoughts are stuck, or frozen, it is likely to impact the sensory system too and could lead to autistic inertia. This is when autistic people feel stuck/frozen and unable to start or end tasks or thought processes. If you also experience OCD, you may not only be feeling stuck in your monotropic channel but also stuck in endless loops of obsessive-compulsive thoughts within that frozen channel.Monotropism, Autism & OCD
All my life I’ve been cycling through periods of activity and functioning followed by what I call ‘The Big Brain Freeze’. Not knowing I was autistic I had always put my lumpy energy down to me getting over-excited and over-doing it then burning out (adrenal fatigue) and then needing a long time to rest.Recognising the root of many of my problems: Monotropic mindset + autism – YouTube