tales by the unexpected

My story, my tales, my life

Categorie: autism (pagina 1 van 4)

How does autism feel: recognizing sounds and other things

I don’t know if anybody can do this, or to my accuracy. I just had it with 12 Micrograms “Speed Freak”. at 6:24 you will hear faintly in the background a symphony of some kind. My brain got all twitchy as I recognized it. It’s the same when I recognize something in a movie, like an actor or something else. I have to research it. This is part ADHD and autism. My autism is the part that recognizes the things and my ADHD gives me the compulsion to research it then and there (and has to call out that I recognized it.

First my thought was that that familiar snippet was from Spiderman, but I youtubed it and it wasn’t so. Then I listened to it again and it was the theme from Ang Lee’s The hulk.

I have this a lot. I can watch movies, series, or listen to music (as in this case) and recognize something and I have to research it.

I get this tingly feeling and I have to talk about it. I get super-excited and I can’t help myself. The part of me that’s autistic, as I have said before is the part that does the recognizing. That is the part that accesses my library of useless facts and stores everything in  a (mostly) easy to access format. I can reference facts from all kinds of topics with ease, which makes it easy for me, to give you something interesting on almost any topic that I know of. The more I read, the more this capacity expands.

My adhd is the part that gives me the compulsion to research it and blurt it out. Sometimes I even have to pause the snippet and replay it so it is clear and that I am right. Mostly I just pause the movie, while I’m researching. It’s not boring to me ever, but might be irritating to the people watching with me. I haven’t gotten a bad reaction to this yet, although I might be annoying while going to the movies. Sometimes (because I have watched so many movie, and have read books about them, and it’s just an interest to me) I can predict movies. I can predict them to such an accuracy that they become boring to me, as I can literally tell you what is going to happen next, before it even happens.

Like in The fast and the furious 4, my friend and me, where in the cinema and I blurted out silently to him what would happen at the end of the movie. (That brian would seize to be a cop and follow Torretto). he said that I couldn’t know for sure. I said I did as it was clearly foreshadowed in his mannerisms and the way he did things and other clues. Also in previous movies he gave Toretto his carkeys and let him flea, and I watched the movie, of which the first the fast and the furious is almost a carbon copy: “Point Break”, the Keanu Reeves one, not the crappy remake. This made that my friend doesn’t want to go to the movies with me anymore (or the occassion hasn’t presented itself anymore).

book analysis: To Siri with love by Judith Newman

Where do I begin? Maybe first tell about the controversy. If you have lived under a rock, you might be unaware of the fact that autistics can be very vocal when needed, and boy, did we need to be vocal.

A mother of an autistic, also a writer for the New York Times, decided to write a book about her autistic son, Gus. Normally, I would be fine with that. Carly’s voice was also written by her dad and by Carly herself. The problem with this book is that she didn’t ask consent of her little boy. That’s problem number one. Problem number two is that the book is full, and I mean full of ableistic stuff, not only about Gus but also about other autistics. Darius Mccollum, the autistic that is fascinated by the trains and metros, is also publicly humiliated by this book.

I am going to list all the things that I found wrong with this book, so you know that I am not making this up. It took me several days, and a lot of venting sessions with my girlfriend (yes, Judith, I have a girlfriend. Autistics can love! A miracle!)

I will list them per chapter, so you know how much is wrong with this book. Also, I saw a lot of 5 star reviews of autism parents and grandparents… do they really not know how much is wrong with this book? Or don’t they wanna know? I really wonder.

There are clinical psychologists commenting on the book that the book is wonderfull… I think they really should reread the book…

Let’s begin the journey, shall we? (I will put in parentheses my commentary. so you know what I was thinking while I wrote it) disclaimer: I read the dutch version of this book. We, Belgians and dutchies, can speak english as if it’s our second language (although the occassional spelling mistake might happen), so I think that nothing will be lost in translation. If so, send me an first edition english copy and I will find the same problems in that one. (I have translated senteces again from Dutch to english, but would love the exact quotations from the book, so if someone could give me the English versions of these sentences, that would be awesome.

ps: I will probably have forgotten to put a few into this list, but as you can see, there are alot of things that makes this book ableistic enough to be banned forever.

My girlfriend informed me that this article might be spoilery! (so don’t read if you don’t have enough spoons or don’t like ableism).

Introduction

  • person first language is preferred by autistics? and I politically correct?
  • How she recognizes autistics by 3 defining traits: 1. We have trouble with theory of mind (as you clearly demonstrate in the book, you actually don’t know why Gus does the things he does, so we could argue that you also have trouble with theory of mind (and there is a theory that refutes Theory of mind altogether in the book: “the passionate mind” by Wendy Lawson”), 2. Autistics apparantly like repetition and details (I don’t know about you, but put on the same movie in a time span of two years and I will not watch it with you, as I can still see it in my minds eye to clearly. 3. We are apparantly all nuts. (and this is only on page 18 (we aren’t even on a real chapter yet… this is just the fucking introducton)
  • She recognizes mothers of other autistics by their appearance (apparantly we are such a burden that the beauty of our mothers starts to go backwards. Yup, apparantly we are a burden… (still the introduction… How can anybody with an autistic in his life like this book?)

Chapter 1

  •  Just to clarify, there is such a thing like the halo-effect. Clearly I noticed this already in chapter one, but this is a theme through the whole book: Henry good, Gus bad.
  •  An autism diagnose is something terrible (apparantly in this chapter. Yes, she calls it that.)
  • Gus will never have a first job, or know a loving person that will truly love him. (I have read the complete book and even Gus proves her wrong by having several girlfriends in the book.)
  • Autistics are like Aliens in the men in black, they are there, but you don’t see them. (Notice that in the introduction she stated that she could identify autistics, now she apparantly can’t. Apparantly we are not humans, but aliens. We feel alienated, but that doesn’t mean we are aliens.)
  • She noticed that kids (probably autistics) were bullied at her school. She didn’t join (likely she did, but she’s painting a pretty picture of herself (or tries to) but she didn’t do anything against it either, which to me, is the same as being the bully.

Chapter 2

  • Off the bat she starts with all kinds of crackpot theories of what might have caused Gus’ Autism. (Also the refrigerator mother is mentioned here again, in a “woe me” self-pity kind of way)
  • At the end of this chapter she sees her son and his personhood as 2 different things. “When I look at Gus the person, instead of Gus the psychological …, then I am calmed” (translation from dutch to english by me)

Chapter 3

  • When Gus likes routines, it’s weird. When she likes routines, it’s not weird at all, and it’s because she can’t help it. (I don’t think she knows that changing our routines is actually quite scare (and also awesomely explained the the book “the passionate mind”)

Chapter 4

  • Apparantly there is a difference between being a fan and being an autistic fan of something. (Ableist much?)
  • Gus is a talented musician, but this is big in comparison with all the things he can’t do? She can only name a few things he is good at, I can name 3 (thanks to her writing in the book, but she names a lot more deficits. Does she even love her child?)
  • First contradiction: Gus doesn’t know what love is, but they are going to a concert with Gus’ sweetheart.
  • Repetitive music is good for autistics (Like we can’t enjoy anything else than Laurie Berkner or sesame street music) (I love all kinds of music. Metal, trance, classical,… everything.
  • Gus can’t recognize different emotions. Maybe the boy has alexithymia? (context: Gus did something wrong and she asks him to look at her face. First: this is abusive and manipulative. and autistics don’t like to look at faces, and especially if negative emotions are in play. You are done with the emotion as fast as it’s passed. We can remember that moment for months maybe even years. But not looking at someone’s face doesn’t mean we don’t know we did something wrong)
  • Square root of Pi? (context: the boy wouldn’t know how to take the square root of pi (as in, he can’t do maths) but in my knowledge, Pi is an infinite number, I goodled it( as I was to curious and try first for yourself. Here’s a solution.)
  • Because Gus repeats things on youtube or Netflix (as in watching the same 5 second clip) he is irritating.
  • He can play music by ear, but she doesn’t she him perform, because he gets emotional. He has to learn theory of mind, to learn that you can do things to please other people, instead of only playing for himself. She wants to make him a dancing monkey, that only does things to please others, instead of enjoying it himself. (Just for reference, here’s an Jodi DiPiazza, autistic girl playing piano, just like Gus could do, also Here’s an example of an autistic, named Derek Paravicini, that plays wonderful piano. (did I mention he is blind?))

Chapter 5

  • In this chapter she starts of describing Darius Mccollumn’ train abossession. She compares him to Frank Abagnale, whom was a fraud and now works for the FBI. (So she compares someone whom can’t help being obsessed and really wants to work as a train conductor or bus driver, with somebody who did everything for his own gain?)
  • Gus likes stimming with trains. He likes to make the sound. She constantly asks him to get rid of his trains, to gift them to a younger child. (She also tried to get rid of his teddy bears, with whom he sleeps every night, but of which she can’t remember the order of how they go on his bed, His dad can, and several of his aids could too, but not his mom).
  • Apparantly all autistics can’t travel by bus (She talks about Darius a few sentences ago… I know a lot of autistics that travel by bus daily!)
  • There is a very, very personal fact revealed about Darius that is shared by someone whom was with him on a psychiatric ward. (It’s not her place to share it and the person whom posted it to her on facebook should be prosecuted in my opinion as in patient confidentiality).

Chapter 6

  • She compares her manipulative embarrassing her kids to get her own way, with developing his own opinion by Henry and the being fascinated by something and wanting to talk about it from Gus.
  • Her opinion: Halloween is the best time of year for parents with autistics because then nobody looks up if you act weird in public.
  • She shares intimate details about Gus’ toilet behaviour, how low his pants are at times, and how he walks naked to the shower when there is company. (Great mother for sharing these details. (see, Judith, we can do sarcasm).
  • Embarrassed is someting autistics don’t know, because being embarrassed is a social emotion, and autistics can’t do social. (the countless embarrassing moments I have in my own life, that I know are embarrassing, don’t count apparantly. Maybe I’m not really autistic. My diagnose is a lie!)
  • She follows Henry’s tip that she should let Gus pick up the phone when there are telemarketers as they would get bored of him pretty quickly, instead of teaching Gus how to have a conversation on the phone. (She follows abusive tips of her teenage son, which she probably knows or should know are bad. Her kid doesn’t know the distinction yet, but she enforces that her autistic son is a thing to be abused).
  • Telemarketers call her house less often because there must be “that-kid-is-crazy”-list
  • She went to a concert of “music for autism” but what autistics thought of the concert doesn’t matter. What the parents thought of it matters more.
  • Echolalia is repeating sentences ad verbatim without getting what it means… (yup, autistics are mindless robots).
  • At the concert she also notices a boy that repeats “I’m sorry” to his parents over and over. She wants to hug the boy and the parents (plus), (she doesn’t notice that this might be a sign that the boy is emotionally abused, why would he apologize so much?)

Chapter 7

  • She wants that gus lived in normalland
  • She plans a vacation, without consulting her boys (or at least not Gus) and then she doens’t get that Gus doesn’t like to go out, cries because he is out of his normal enviroment and doesn’t want to do anything.
  • She wants to make worldcitizens of her boys, something they don’t want (something she wasn’t either) and then starts to cry when they don’t want that (Does she ever talk with her boys in a meaningful way about what they want or where they want to be?)
  • Henry has good memories about being home, but she likes to take the spotlight yet again and talks about that she must be an abusive mother because he likes the sound of the heater.
  • Her husband (in his eighties) has medical issues. He doesn’t travel with them, for apparant reasons, but she tells it to her girlfriends that he doesn’t want to go with them. (So her girlfriends think she is the ideal wife, while her husband is a prick for not wanting to go with her, that would be my conclusion if she told it to me like that).
  • Her husband is afraid that she might lose Gus  on the trip, with reason, as she had to give his description to an officer from his 3rd up to his 10th because this mother of an autistic child, didn’t pay attention enough, as she knew that he was prone to running away. Great mother, she should get the nobel price of mothership.
  • Also: She doesn’t take the blame for Gus’ running. It’s what half of autistics are prone to do and cites examples of statistics, and also drags a death of autistic into it, just to make her point that it’s apparantly not her fault.
  • She hopes that Gus is gay (because gay people adore their mother. )
  • She does 2 seperate trips with her boys. With Henry she goes to Paris, and of which she is super-positive. With Gus she goes to Disneyland and she is negative.
  • She really, really hopes that he ever will become “normal”

Chapter 8

  • Gus is to small for his age and doesn’t make a problem about it. She does. Ever her co-worker gets the absurdity of the situation and jokes that she maybe can get his nose fixed as well, as he has her old nose.
  • John (her husband) shares a fact about a superlice and uses the word mutant. she hijacks the conversation and says “speaking about mutants… what about our son” (talking about Gus. I know I have talked about mutants here on my blog, but it’s the same as talking about nigger (here not meant in a racist way just to prove a point) as a black person yourself.)
  • She thinks that Gus will ever be able to think for himself. She constantly treats him as an oblivious little child. (devil effect (oppossite of halo effect) in this case)
  • The next part is the often debated part about forced sterilisation of the boy. The part that sparked the controversy. here’s the image. The part in the book is longer and more disturbing. I will never know why a loving mother would think this of her own child.
  • This whole paragraph about sterilisation and such ends with the words “for me”. It would bring a lot of calm to her thinking that her son can’t reproduce (as her logic is that autistics can’t be dads. Want me to give you a dozen examples of autistic dads?)
  • She knows that this idea is bad, as she talks about Hitler (whom got his idea from Henry Ford), and other eugenicists.
  • Hypocritical: She talks about that if the procedure would be reversible, she would be the first in line to do it for Gus, but at the beginning of the chapter she literally says that what everybody does with their body is their choice, but apparantly that same curtusy isn’t granted to you when you are autistic.

Chapter 9

  • She talks about taking her children in bed with her to bond more. She talks about research that 40 to 60 percent would take their dog in bed with them and then says this glorious sentence: “If my beloved golden retriever, monty, doesn’t have a chance. What chance does Gus have?” (Does she literally state that she loves her dog more than her own autistic kid?)
  • She has the “rule of three” Gus can only hug her 3 times in public places (because he likes to hug a lot, his sign of showing affection, but she doesn’t grant him that)

Chapter 10

Chapter 10 is what landed her this book deal. This is the chapter that previously in another form was published in the new york times. This is to me the least offensive chapter in the book, as I have only one note on it.

  • Gus friendship with Siri started because she was bored of answering and talking with her autistic boy. (Great parent. Reads to me like she really deserves an award for “most emotionally abusive parent of a disabled child”-award. Here’s an example of how it should be. )

Chapter 11

  • context: in this chapter Gus has a job as doorman in the apartment-building they live in. Henry has several crooked jobs and ways to get money.
  • With Henry she is always delighted in what he does, with Gus she is always negative. He really likes his “job” as doorman, but because mom doesn’t like it, it’s not good.
  • Autistics are only good to do repetitive tasks (and we like them a lot to, apparantly). We don’t need to do things for a higher purpose (like we autistic advocates do). This is not possible in the image Judith has about us autistics. We don’t need job satisfaction. Also: we are nitwits that don’t want to get higher education or don’t want to work, because there are jobs for us somewhere. (She doesn’t take in account that we get bullied a lot more or are refused a job when we even mention the fact that we are autistic).
  • She doesn’t think Gus can get a real paying job.
  • In this chapter she quotes an insulting quote (in my opinion) from John Elder Robison and she loves it.
  • After 14 years she is surprised that Gus can pour himself a glass of milk. (How low does she think of her child? Also how little effort does she take to teach him things?)
  • Gus has a real paying job sitting on cats. He likes it, but is taken advantage of. She knows it is wrong but doesn’t say anything. His brother wants to have a word with the abusing party, but is stopped by his mother. So, she just lets the abuse slip (even writes it of that Henry must think that he has the only right in abusing his brother like this. She also gives an example in how Henry came up for his brother in Mcdonald’s before, but his mother couldn’t… why not?)
  • She ends the chapter with a Starbucks CEO that hired an autistic on the job because there was no one better than him in creating the perfect milk foam layer. (See, there are people that see the merrit in our autistic quirks)

Chapter 12

  • She cares about Gus (but belittles him a few sentences later). She is scared for Gus future. She has a recurring dream about Gus living alone and meals are delivered and he can’t open the package and stares at it as if he was a dog staring at his empty bowl. (As if he can’t learn how to cook when he is older)
  • They use the language from Gus’ report cards to make fun of eachother. (Does she think that Gus doesn’t notice? What message does this give Henry about his brother?)
  • She invades her autistic sons privacy to chat with his friends… without any reason for doing so.
  • She makes fun of Gus way of communicating in text chats, while not taking the time to learn him an appropriate way, of getting him a book to do so (he can read, so why doesn’t she take that opportunity?)
  • She doesn’t like the way Gus has friends (he has friends!!!), but she doesn’t care to explain what friendship means or what real friends are, while she thinks Henry’s way of friends are wonderful.
  • She doesn’t like criticism (as if we autistics didn’t notice already, we were silenced in her twitter feed), but she doesn’t like the caretaker that likes John more than her, and whom blames her for not taking care of her children (I think I already gave enough examples in how her taking care of her kids could be improved).
  • She seemingly cares about her son, but even zipping his jacket has he learned from a caretaker (whom was so enthousiastic she even filmed it).
  • She sees somebody for 25 years in the same building (thinks the guy lives with his sister) but apparantly he is married and even he cares more about Gus than she does (as he calls him his friend, after they waved to eachother a few times)

Chapter 13 (you can really start to notice that my spoons were gone for the day, as my commentary starts to get less and less from here on)

  • She talks as if autistics aren’t curious in other subjects except the subject of their fascination (Judith, I really dare you to find a subject I am not curious about).
  • Again she makes comments about sterilising her son
  • She keeps repeating that autistics are people that don’t get what happens in other people’s heads, as if we are some kind of idiots.
  • Again talking about vasectomy and her thinking that autistics can’t be dads.

Chapter 14

  • She talks about autistics in this chapter as if we are naïeve, stupid people that can’t philophize or don’t get the meaning of death
  • She ends the chapter that both Henry and Gus will be there on her deathbed (off course, it has to be about her), but that only Gus will hold her hand (1-0 for Gus)

Chapter 15

  • She compares 2 completely different things: why can Gus play piano but can’t button his shirt? (why does she need to share that he can’t button his shirt or undo his buttons (he will rip it open like the hulk). (I can’t pick up small screws or write very neatly because of my bad motor skills, but I can false riffle shuffle a deck or cards and perform magic effects which require a different kind of dexterity. Did I tell you already I’m autistic?)
  • She uses an article about cambridge students that disliked a Simon Baron-Cohen talk to give a not-my-child-rethoric (I think Autism mom bingo is now complete).

So these are the things that were ableistic in this book.

The house of books and HarperCollins, please stop publishing this book. As it is very, very ableistic and not liked by Actual Autistics.

Also, New York Times, if you are hiring, and you need someone whom can do better research than one of your writers. I’m open for offers.

Also Judith, take lessons by autistics in how to take care of your autistic boy. He needs your love. Or take at least a class in how to be a real mother.

So, you don’t like big pharma?

So, you don’t like big pharma?

I have read lot’s of comments made by anti-vaxxers and the things they believe and how moronic they really are.

I can offer a simple question to them. Do you own gold? Otherwise you keep supporting big banks, or do you trade everything? Do you grow your own food, free of pesticides and conserving products? Do you still keep your food sterilized? Otherwise you support big gmo’s that put dangerous chemicals and dangerous substances like to much salt and sugar that actually kill you in your food.

Do you drive a bike? Otherwise you support big oil, whom profit from killing the earth by using dangerous oils and gasses with which you propel your car, heat your home, power your appliances.

you catch my drift. You know how moronic you sound by condemning big pharma, but you keep using all the others as if only big pharma is evil. As if only big pharma kills. As if only big pharma brings out evil products.

As if autism wasn’t a thing before big pharma or the diagnose even exhisted. Gravity exhisted before Newton’s law. The big bang happened before the big bang theory was written. Evolution happened before Darwin wrote about it.

Some of you believe autistics are only a recent thing, that autistics didn’t exist before 20 years ago. I’m 30. My dad, whom was autistic as well, was 62 when he died. My grandmother was from 1908. The first autistics diagnosed by kanner are now in their 80’s or 90’s. Autism existed before this, millenia before our time now, probably.

so, you see, that your beliefs are not true and your logic is questionable. Try talking, and really listening to autistics. As to little neurotypical people really do. Really listening, not superficial. Try to step into our shoes, try to see how we became the people we are today.

Anthony Hopkins

I read a recent interview of Sir Anthony Hopkins and there was a fact stated that I didn’t know before.

Apparantly, Mr. Hopkins, the man that played Hannibal so marvelously, whom played my favourite Zorro, is autistic.

This brings the count to Hollywood actors whom I know are autistic to three (next to Daryll Hannah and Dan Akroyd).

 

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/event/article-4587980/Anthony-Hopkins-Hannibal-Lecter-Transformers.html

analogy: the coin

I love writing and thinking about analogies to explain difficult concepts into more easier to grasp things. In this case, you can actually grasp it.

Take a coin. I don’t matter what coin it is. Just take it. I have hear with me, also a coin. A coin with autism on one side, and a person on the other. Let’s say they minted a coin for autism awareness day.

Can you take the autism out of the coin? Can you take it off? No, it’s a feature of that coin. It was minted that way. The same way a Kennedy half-dollar is a Kennedy half-dollar because it has kennedy on one side and half dollar on the other. The kennedy part is a feature of that coin, otherwise it would be a different half dollar (not less, just different).

What would you need to do to take the autism of the coin? You will have to drastically reshape it. You will have to disfigure the coin to get the autism off. I know a way: you can remint it. You can destroy this coin and remint it as something else. You can also take a file and take the autism off that way.

How would you refer to that coin? They show you the coin? You work with the coin. Would you keep referring to it as the coin with autism? Or would you refer to it as the autism coin or autistic coin? Let’s say it’s a half-dollar with autism on one side and has the actual value of a half dollar. Would you ask if you could pay with it, thinking it was less, because it has autism on one side?

Put the coin with the autism side down. This is a theory of mind exercise, see if you can do it. Does the coin still have autism because you can’t see it? Do you see that not every coin has a little bit of autism? Every half dollar has the same value, yes. But not every half dollar has autism strapped to it’s back, does it? Not every coin is even minted the same year.

Every coin is valuable, like every person is valuable.

How does autism feel: Alexithymia

a previous entry in this series, about echolalia, you can find here

 

It is a bit ironic to start an article about alexithymia with the title: what does it feel like.

alexithymia in it’s most basic definition is a lack of being able to explain ones feelings and emotions. It doesn’t make us less empathic, as described in the Wikipedia article on alexithymia. It just makes us want to take care of it practically.

I am the kind of person you would go to, to find a solution to your problems as I think about everything rarionally. I as glad to read about stoicism as in that philosophy, not being able to feel emotions is not pathologized, but seen as a virtue.

It’s not that I don’t see you are distressed, it’s just that I don’t know how it feels, so I don’t know what to do in such a situation.

The same goes for my own feelings. I might act frustrated, but when you Comment on it… I might not know that I was doing so.

How do I know a certain emotion? When I know how it shows itself. I know I’m depressed when I have suicidal thoughts. I know I’m sad, when I am crying. I don’t know how I would describe happy.

I know how love manifests itself, but I don’t feel the physical feelings. To go more into this, I know that I have sexual feelings when something starts to bulge… not sooner.

The thing is that I don’t know if I had this all my life. I don’t think I remember any feelings. Ever.

Is alexithymia harmful? Not to other people. It is to my body, I display physical symptoms instead of emotional. So when something is brooding, I get reflux. When a period was stressful I get bowel problems.

Does it have an upside? Absolutely. I don’t feel emotions. Thanks to reading stoicism, I appreciate it more, as I have the ability to always think rationally. To in any situation instead of first reacting, I have to reflect, or I can go through where others might stop. Or I stop where others might go through, as when I feel a certain emotion, or when I notice certain traits of how I act under a certain emotion, I stop to reflect why this is happening and look for a cause, as most people just feel, and don’t reflect.

I believe in curing autism by Adam Michael

Shared with permission of the author

I Believe in ‘Curing’ Autism – By Adam Michael

I believe in ‘curing’ autism:
I believe in curing it through acceptance of Neurodiversity.
I believe in curing it by recognizing that there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ human brain.
I believe in curing it by stripping it of the stigma and the label ‘disorder.’
I believe in curing it by helping Neurotypicals and Autistics better understand each other and their needs.
I believe in curing it by teaching kids and adults both that it is okay to be different.
I believe in curing it by healing the damage caused to many by a health care system that oppresses and tries to change people away from being who they are.
I believe in curing it by helping society see our gifts and unique abilities.
Most of all, I believe in curing us of the conformity and disease narrative that harms all of our attempts to simply be valued as people in this crazy world.

But tell me you believe in curing us of our very natures?

That we are broken somehow because we work and think differently?
That we clearly don’t understand the ‘severity’ of our own situations?
That our concerns clearly aren’t valid, and that our anger is ‘typical Aspergers/Autistic behaviour?’
That we are clearly in need of being talked down to and cared for because we are incapable of this ourselves?
That you’d like to see pre-natal screening for the fabled ‘autism’ gene so that we could spare future generations the existence of people like us?
That you’d rather your child get smallpox, measles or any number of vaccine-preventable diseases rather than be born with autism?
That you’d rather rewire you child’s entire personality and way of being, and in so doing destroy and rebuild them, rather than live in a world where they have autism?

That is not okay.

If this is your concept of a cure? Then this is where our problems will begin.
For I am Aspie, I am proud, and on behalf of all my fellow spectrum dwellers, hear us ROAR!

Source: http://differentlywire.blogspot.be/2017/10/i-believe-in-curing-autism-slam-poem.html

 

Normal?

This is something my sixteen year old self would have loved to read, as it is something I have been thinking about since then. Also, this will explain the basis for my self confidence.

I would never want to be normal. Normal is average. Normal is not something I look up to. All the people you meet day to day are normal.  One of the people I aspire to are extraordinary, like Da Vinci.

Normal is boring and even your brain knows it. That’s why when asked, people will always rate themselves higher than they are, known as rhe dunning-kruger effect.

So, even the brain of normal people doesn’t want to be labeled as normal… why would you aspire ro be normal then? This is why functioning labels are offensive. They compare autistics to normal, while Some of us, can do things most neurotypicals can only dream of. Like for example, me and movies… I have a terrific memory for them and after I watched it once, I can follow the movie without looking, just by listening to the sound. I see the movie in my mind’s eye.

so, why would you want to be normal? Here’s an anecdote about me. While I was still in school and one day after class ended, I was talking to my religion-teacher and he said ” I don’t know what it is, but you are not normal. Something is weird about you. I don’t know what.” He thought he might have offended me, so he apologized… he must have been freaked out when I thanked him with this sentence: ” Thanks, this means I’m not normal like most of them” pointing backwards to school, meaning most of then pupils of the school.

I was the odd one out… always.

also, how can people know for 100 percent certainty why you do something? If you lie down in a busy train terminal… why can they judge you? Maybe you are dead tired, or there is something else… Maybe you are part of a religion that asks you to pray on busy train terminals? So… nobody can judge you with 100 percent certainty… so why do you still have low confidence?

also, I think neurotypicals don’t like autistics, because we are not normal. We are the odd-ones out. We emphasize their averageness and they don’t like that. not even their brain can then deny their averageness.

An analogy to explain autism

Autism is a tough one to explain to people whom have never heard of it, or have never had to deal with it. Very, very difficult.

What if you could use a children’s bookseries, not related to autism at all, to explain a lot of autism? I have done some thinking and send it to an autism expert, whom thought it was a great idea (he’s a fan of harry potter as well), so here goes:

What if Harry Potter could be used to explain autism?

Wait! Don’t try to cast a spell on me yet. Let me explain.

Most autistics are diagnosed late. Childrens diagnoses are only a fraction of us, whom are diagnosed later in life. I was diagnosed when I was 29, for example, some are even diagnosed now in their sixties or seventies (some even older, although rare).

A diagnose for us feels like Hagrid coming through the door and telling you, you are a wizard. Asking you if you ever made some weird things happen all by itself, without you being able to explain it. This could be autistic traits by a psychologist, and tell you: you have autism. Suddenly, all the puzzle-pieces start to click. Suddenly everything starts to fall in place. Harry even likens Hogwarts as coming home, the wizarding world is his home. This is how the autistic world feels for us, having to have lived so many years in the neurotypical world, the autistic world for us feels like home. Being able to be “normal” in a different world, where all of your traits are not seen as something weird, but seen as something completely normal.

You also get the reaction of the parents (both his dead parents and his uncle and aunt, and nephew). For most of us, it’s a reason to celebrate (as it is a part of our identity that finally falls into place), so cake is something that is in place. Some (like me) even celebrate our diagnose like a second birthday. The reactions of his wizard-birth-parents would’ve been one of joy. They have a child. They don’t mind if it’s autistic or not. it’s their child. It would’ve been a reason for joy, and as you can see, by the flashbacks in the books: Harry was greatly loved by his family. His aunt and uncle… completely different story.

His aunt and uncle are what we call autism-parents. These are the parents that claim the label autism for themselves, to make them martyrs. Look at how difficult we have it, with you in our living room. Despising harry most of his life, because of them knowing he’s a wizard (autistic). They tried to make him more “normal” by cutting his hair. Dudley, not knowing any better, bullied him together with his friends. You can see how Petunia feels about being a wizard when she recalls the story of her sister and her parents joy over it, that she is a wizard (autistic). Look in the movies how movie-petunia recalls it. You can feel the hate in her voice. Dursleys sister, the one with the dogs (forgot her name), you can see as a quack. Someone trying to cure autism. Giving up some crazy theories, without actually knowing anything about autism. You get now why Harry Potter gets so enraged.

We have covered the diagnose now.

My favorite character in the book is Snape, and by linking the character to autism, I felt a renewed connection to him.

Snape for me isthe quintessential Autie, and how he lost his friendship with Lily ( by blurting out something inappropriate, was gifted in options up to the extend that he was better than the writer of the book he was meant to study, but he still stayed loyal to Lily Potter in such a way that he lied and cheated to the world’s most powerfull wizard. His wand is the only one I possess in my own Harry Potter collection (and I am actually a proud Slytherin because of him).

Female examples? Sure. Lily Poter is one. Oh, you want more details. Look no further than Hermoine. Hermoine has no female friends and look at her determination to make the world a better place for the house-elves. How she read the entire curriculum of Hogwarts before even setting foot on its grounds and how she can recall the information with great ease.

What got me thinking about the wizarding world and the autistic world is Ron’s father. He has a fascination for muggles, but doesn’t understand them. He works in a department dedicated to them, still doesn’t know the basic functionality of a rubber duck. Look at how he goes through the metro in the movies, it even looks like a person shutting down, because of sensory stimulation.

Lucius malfoy, father of draco malfoy, is the best example to explain aspie supremacy. Some aspies (I came to despise the word because of these) think they are better than other autistics up to a point that they think they are a different species altogether. Some of them don’t even want anything to do with neurotypicals and cling so hard to the label of aspieness that they will use it in almost very sentence.
Professor lupin could be a great example of a mentor to an autistic, even an autistic psychologist or a psychologist without autism as he is one of the best teachers for Harry, teaching him about facinf his fear.
His Godfather and his father can be used to explain comorbid diagnoses as they were able to shapeshift into animals.
The werewolves in the book can be seen as sexual predators (sadly this also includes lupin) but he gets a potion by snape.
One more: what about the magical creatures? These are all the other diagnoses that fall under neurodiversity and newt scamander collecting and advocating for them, makes him the perfect example of a neurodiversity-self-advocate.

Mother receives hurtful letter about her autistic son

The mother of a child with autism says she feels hurt by neighbours who sent her an anonymous letter complaining about the noise her son makes outside.

Jessica Green, of Berkeley, Gloucestershire was told to take action otherwise the neighbours threatened to report her family to social services.

Henry, three, has nonverbal autism and uses high pitched noises to express himself when he is in the garden.

The letter describes Henry as ‘it’, and the “screechy, screaming child”.

The sender also questions whether Henry is “neglected”.

“People can no longer sit out in the garden to enjoy the weather because all we hear is your child shrieking from across the street,” the letter continued.

It added that residents were “sick to death” of hearing him screaming “continuously” and stated that unless action was taken “a group of us will be talking to tenant services at Stroud Council and making a noise complaint against you”.

Mrs Green said the letter was “really hurtful” and she was “absolutely astonished” at the writer’s “ignorance”.

She has posted a response to the “vicious and blinkered letter” on Facebook which she hoped would “raise awareness and promote understanding and acceptance of people that are different to ourselves”.

‘Form of bullying’

She said: “The ‘it’ you are referring to is my three-year-old son Henry who has autism and is nonverbal.

“He uses high pitch noises to express himself and how he is feeling; be this happy, excited or sad.”

Mrs Green said the letter “shows a selfish, narrow minded and uneducated view” and “every person has a right to a voice and to be heard, and for Henry he has his own unique way of doing this”.

She added: “I have taken the letter as it was intended, as a form of bullying and of a threatening nature”.

Stroud District Council said it was offering support to the family, and Mrs Green confirmed she had filed a complaint with Gloucestershire Police.”

source

This article became international news, and of course a lot of ignorant, malinformed people had to comment on them. Also, on pages by newspaper in my country. I read some of them and really had to recover a few days. I was first going to do full translations, but decided against it. It would cost me to much energy, and to much to recover from this. I made screenshots for later reference.

I must say, that reading these comments was really disheartening. I knew there was still a lot of work, even people that provide services in job counceling know nothing about autism, or almost nothing. There is a real need to teach people about something like autism.

I’m planning a lot of things. Things have got to change. I’m not an aggressive person. Things have got to change. Action must be taken and one thing this comment section has done, is it it made a bonfire of the small flame that was already there.

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