tales by the unexpected

My story, my tales, my life

Categorie: autism (pagina 2 van 7)

school as an autistic: kindergarten

It might seem strange to some, that I can remember a moment that happened almost 28 years ago so clearly. The last time I tried to write about my childhood, it came all rambling (pre-rilatin), so this is a new attempt at writing about my schooling.

I have two elder sisters and one of them went to the school in my town. I wanted to go with her. I was bored at home. I wanted to learn. I wanted to be with her. I already started to ask myself questions like the letter “U” and wondered what it was. I clearly remember me saying it over and over questioning what it was and how it could be used. I remember lying on my parents bed, next to my sleeping mom and making the sound over and over again in a questioning manner. I wanted to learn.

I once asked my mom, while she was on the toilet, if I could go with my sister to school. I really, really wanted to learn. My mom told me, that if I could go potty, I could go to school. I know that I had a blue bear potty.

Mine was light blue though. Same shape. I ran over to it, sat down and went potty, and after that day, only had a few more accidents. I was clean and could go to school.

I remember the smell and how it looked, although the school itself is completely changed and the kindergarten teachers I had have been retired since, I still remember my first 3 years.

I remember miss Mia, and the chocolate milk she gave me. The overwhelm of the lunch hall. The tupperware bowl (orange or cyan, depending on the day). I remember the bread with chocolate pasta between them, or jelly made from pears.

I remember the bullying. Most of the people I was with in that class, I was still with in elementary school (which stops here at 12). I remember the bullying. I remember being constantly sick. I couldn’t go swimming with the rest because I was constantly having troubles with my lungs (and my mom smoking like a chimney around me didn’t help me either).

Kindergarten was a mess, but I remember one girl. I remember her clearly, as I have seen her only a few more times, but she was my lightbeacon in kindergarten. I have never expressed this sentiment to her, and probably ever will.

I know that I had a good time with teachers and only a few moments really stand out to me. Only a few people I really remember, that I can conciously recall, most people, if I meet them in the streets, I will recognize them as being in kindergarten with me. I have a very good visual memory of it.

I remember that I was bullied a lot, even in kindergarten. My parents were poor and most of the kids in my school were middle-class or just plain rich.

I don’t remember meltdown. I do remember going mute sometimes. I hardly spoke. I was much on my own. I loved the story time and still remember the story our teacher used to read to us. I still remember a classtrip involving flowers and candy and a story about gnomes. I can still see the visuals.

I remember that during a school-recital, I was dressed as a monkey and we all got a banana. We weren’t allowed to eat it, but I did. I remember that I didn’t want to give the monkey tail back. I really liked that tail. I really liked being a monkey. But I wasn’t allowed to keep it. Not all was bad during this time, but a lot was. My elementary school was worse though, but more on this in a later article.

 

How it feels: Love

This article is written because in a book was stated that a mother doubted that an autistic could actually love, or be able to fee love, or be able to be a father of a child (which is an act of love, for me).

First to make this work, we have to find a definition of love to work with. I will take a look at philosophical concepts for this.

In Philosophy, they distinguish love as 3 concepts: Eros, Philia and Agape.

Eros is the desire. This is were the english work erotic comes from. It means a passionate, intense desire for something. When seeing the word Eros and that erotic is derived from it, most will make the natural leap that it is most often used for sexual desire. The desire to just be with someone and to miss them when they are gone, to me, also falls under Eros. Eros, the god, is where cupid is derived from. When Eros shot his arrow, you felt an intense desire for the person you, and you fell completely in love. You couldn’t be away from that person. This intense desire is Eros.

Next is Philia. With Philia, you will make the natural leap to all words ending with philia. Most of them have a negative connotation, but philia in itself isn’t negative. Philia means a fondness and appreciation for the other. This is the phase of a loving relationship where you like to be in eachothers presence, where you just like eachother. Where you like to be in eachothers company. Philia is a friendship. Friendship can be something short, like a business friendship that only lasts as long as the deal is on, or something that takes up your whole life.

Agape is the concept of loving all equally. A sort of universal love, like  a love for humanity and that you would never harm another human.

I think with these 3 concept we can begin to see if autistics can love. Autistics can feel passionate and desire for something, be it a subject or a person. I will use myself as an example. When I am in a relationship I don’t think about myself. I always try to take the other person into account. For example: when I buy something for myself, I will always try to buy something for my partner as well, even when it’s with coupons that I got for a special occassion, like a birthday. I will always take my partner into account.

I also show love in small things, like doing to dishes or bringing her coffee. Just telling her I love you, or putting extra effort into cooking and dressing up the dinner table, with candle lights. Forgiving when a person has made a mistake is also an act of love. My partner and I are both humans that make mistakes, some graver than others, but if you are a good couple and you truly love eachother than you forgive (up to a certain extent).

I like being with my partner, otherwise I wouldn’t be in a relationship. I couldn’t be in the same room or be in the same village with a person I don’t like or love. I have a period of at least a year when a relationship ends to put the memories and the emotions at the back of my mind and still then. When my partner told me that my ex was pregnant, that threw me into a shutdown. Although she has been abusive towards me, something inside me still loved her. It is weird to admit this, but yes, I feel something for my exes still, not for the abusive one, but for the other two, yes. I am not afraid to admit this. Loving a person and wishing them well doesn’t end because one person doesn’t want to be anymore. I would still do a lot for my exes if they asked, but as another kind of love. More like friendship.

I will try to treat all humans kind and in the same manner. I will not harm them, unless they have harmed me, but I am not flawless. I will make mistakes.

But as you can see, if you take all these things into consideration, autistics can love. Maybe even more so than neurotypicals, as I have still to meet the first neurotypical that couldn’t get a new relationship in a year because he was still not over his last relationship.

Autism parent warrior cult

 

You have an autistic kid. You never heard of autism before, and wouldn’t know what to do. So fear strikes you. Fear is a good motivator to make bad decisions. You start to Google. Google gives you lot’s of answers. You start reading other parents blogs about autistics. You start to read about ABA, chellation. You see the videos by Autism Speaks and dread having an autistic kid.

He looks so alien. He doesn’t behave like other kids. He doesn’t point to things he wants. He doesn’t talk. Is he even thinking? You start to wonder many things. Maybe it’s your fault. You feel guilty. You want to help your kid. Give it all the chances it can have. You start to google more.

You join facebook groups. You talk with other parents whom also have a damaged kid like yours. You become hooked. You post pictures of your kid because he has done something dumb. He has done something atypical. You start trying therapies. Maybe speech therapie will help. Maybe putting him on a certain diet or trying certain supplements might help.

You read more into chellation and hear that that might help little Timmy get rid of autism. You start to doubt the vaccines they gave Little Timmy. What was in them. You start to research vaccines and look more into those. You discover that maybe certain vaccines your “doctor” injected into Little Timmy were harmful. So you start to distrust your “doctor”.

More and more you become a member of the anti-autistic-cult. More and more you go down, you see autism as the devil’s work, as something to be beaten, as something to be conquered. Your autistic isn’t your kid anymore, more and more he becomes a projects. A project to be cured.

In this series, I will dive into the mindset that these autism warrior parents might have (as I will never know for certain), but if they may talk about autistics as if they know what is in our head, then we may do it too. I have read books about con-men and how victims of those become more and more ensnared into their world, and eventually fall victim and lose a lot of money.

A lot of psychology is into play with these cons, and only money and maybe your reputation is lost. In this case, the case is much greater, and I hope that I do the autistic community a service by delving into their psychology, so more and more is known and maybe even researched. Also, this will give parents a way to communicate to other parents why their logic is bad, or at fault.

I will try to post them in the most logical order, as they should be presented to someone. so they will see how their thinking has been influenced. How they have been duped. They might reject what I have written here, but it will undoubtly plant a seed and maybe lead to a revelation later.

We are facing a crisis

(Dated racial slurs will be used (not in a racist manner, but to prove a point.)

We will dive into this with a little bit of history. Remember the first intelligence test? Phrenology, it was called. Thanks to the measuring of the skull certain characteristics could be told about the owner of said skull. Negroes were said to be dumber, because of how their skull grew the way it did. White was supreme.

The IQ test came out. Alfred Binet developed it to measure who was better to serve as leaders in the army, and who was made into cannon-fodder. The test was taken in big rooms, and think again who was thought of as being better than the others? Not because they were better, but because they had better seating and the test was written in their primary language.

This IQ test is also used to divide us more, as of today as well. This is one of the reasons I am more into the multiple intelligence theory of Howard Gardner, as he doesn’t try to divide us. This is the reason why I hate functioning labels, as it divides us more.

I tell you about the IQ test because intelligence and perfection in general is something our society is obesses with. Everything has to be perfect, and everything that goes away from this norm is freakish. When you score high on an IQ test, you are seen as a genius and a freak. When you score low, you are feeble-minded and not fit to live on your own. Doesn’t matter if you perfectly cope or are happy with yourself. You are not fit for this society we live in.

The same with people that have it in their genes to develop more round figures than other people. They are shamed because they don’t fit this new model for society that tells us that every women and man has to be fit and perfect. This leads to an obession with fitness, sports and healthy food. Every year new diet fads turn up to feed our obession with perfection.

This has also worked in hand the beauty industry. Make-up, clothing, everything to make a body more perfect. Ever thought of what high heels do to your body and what it is used for? The same with red lips. What if you have a nose or ears that are bigger than the standard size? You can get them fixed. For a price of course.

This brings me to my point. The point I wanted to make since the beginning of this article. What if your imperfection is your different color of skin? They will still shun you and try to criminalize you and act racist towards you, just because you are different. What if you have a physical dissability? They will generally not accomodate you, but some places will at least try.

What about Blindness? What about Deafness? What about Down?

How do people generally act when they hear during prenatal screening that their child might develop the syndrome of Down? 90 to 95 percent will abort it. Down is being eugenicized. No matter how wonderful the person can be, or what he might achieve in his life. His life seizes to exist after a few weeks time, because a test said that it could’ve been someone with Down syndrome.

Now the same test is in production for autism and other “birth defects” as they call them. So the future fate of autism, thanks to the fear mongering of Autism speaks and other organisations, will stop the birth of many future autistics. Maybe the future inventor of AI or the future inventor of a cure for cancer will seize to exist after a few weeks in the womb because of the fear mongering of Autism Speaks. Autistics and researchers think this idea is ludicrous, but they are not listened to. The prenatal test is in development. The patent has been granted.

Already complete countries are Downs free thanks to the prenatal test. The same will happen with autism. The whole spectrum will die in the future.

I know I am an agender in a male body, so I can’t give birth. I will never feel that. I will never feel the joy of having a living being develop inside me. My opinion is that both partners should discuss the future of their child (as I don’t think the mother should be into this alone, as it is part of them too, although she carries it, it still is part of them two. Both should be able to discuss what happens with the future. The same as I think both should care equally for the child.)

I am an agender with a male body, but I will guide you through my opinion on abortion, as this is what the article deals about. Abortion and our sick perversion with perfection.

I think a woman should be able to abort. I will give you a few examples:

1. A 15 year old had sex with her boyfriend and now she is pregnant
2. A test was done and the child will be born autistic or with Down syndrome.
3. A woman was raped and now she is pregnant with the child of her rapist.

Only in one occassion, in my logical mind, would I allow abortion. And that is in the third case. The woman has been punished enough. She shouldn’t see the fruit of a crime commited against her for the rest of her life. Although there are women that still keep the child with the logic that the child shouldn’t be the victim of the crime and should live a happy life. It is their right to make the choice.

In the other 2 cases I don’t see a reason why a healthy baby should be aborted.

The first deals with concequences. 2 people had sex with consent. They CHOSE to do it without condom. They should bear the concequences of their choice. If you are adult enough to be having sex, you are adult enough to care for the child.

I don’t think I need to explain my standpoint on number 2. I think you get my standpoint. I know gene-modification is being researched too. I am also against that. We have evolved this way to be here. Nature has deemed us important enough to deliver a contribution to the human race. The same with Down syndrome. It wouldn’t have evolved this way and still be around, if it didn’t have a purpose.

The need for perfection is destroying the human race. Gene-modification will only make it worse. The rich will be able to afford this and will make kids that are smarter, adhere more to the beauty standard, are better at sports and will dominate life on earth. All the rest will be shunned. All the rest will be a pariah. We are going more and more to a society as described in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which next to 1984 (a society like that we live in now) is not a manual but a cautionary tale. Don’t emulate it. Learn from it.

Autism and Down’s have a reason to exist. We are people too.

How Autism Feels: gift giving

I used to not like gifts, as in suprises. I still don’t. I don’t know how to react if I get a suprise gift that I wasn’t expecting. I just don’t like surprises.

This is in any aspect of my life. I really hate surprises. Bus 5 minutes late, my bowels will start acting up and I will start calculating in case I have a bowel attack, or I will visualize the whole track to see where I can go to the toilet.

Back to gifts. I have had suprise gifts in the past and only recently started using a simple thing: I write a list of things I want. Plain and simple. I don’t think this is rude at all, as the gift-giver knows that he/she will know that I will get something which is useful to me and which I will be happy with. In this way they will know that I will truly be happy, and it saves me from having to react in a certain way, when I actually know that I have a different feeling. I can’t act in those situations.

There is still room for surprise, for example, when I ask for a dvd of a series (I will probably ask for season one) and if they have more seasons, you can buy me more.

I will most probably also write down the store where I saw it on my list, so I make it easier for you to pick it up, because I’m certain they have it. And if I ask for say: a soldering iron, you can still get me extra things, although you don’t have to, as I only put on my list the soldering iron alone, so there is still a little bit of suprise, but just enough that I can handle it.

I think it’s sad that so many unwanted presents end up on ebay. I would never sell them, as I don’t think it’s respectful towards the gift giver, but I will give it to someone whom can use it, when I find that person.

I love it that at my girlfriends parents house (where I now celebrate christmas every year) this is already tradition of writing lists of things you really want.

Not only your kid is autistic

It might surprise you, as a parent, but not only your kid is autistic.

This might be obvious, but a lot of parents use the rethoric “you ar not like my child”.

Obviously I am not like your child, but we do have similarities.

Your child is probably being bullied, like I was.

Your kid probably feels like the weird one out.

Your kid probably has little to no friends.

I think the same as your child. My brain operates in similar ways, so I understand your kid perfectly, and I know what he/she is going through.

Everything your write about your kid doesn’t affect only your kid. It might not affect your kid now, but it might affect him/her in the future. A future you can’t predict yet, but it will inevidable happen.

Also: don’t project your bad feelings about autism onto your kid. There is no cure. Stop looking for one. The only cure that there is for autism is deeply, deeply invasive: You will have to alter his/her brain or kill him/her.

Eugenics is not good. Talking about autism as if it is bad, is not good. You not only affect your kid with this, you affect a whole community of it. We are already disadvantaged enough. We are a vulnerable group.

Telling the world your kid was vaccine-damaged or that he/she got autism after having theyre vaccines is not only damaging to them, but to your whole community. It tells a narrative that has been going on for far to long, and frankly it must stop. It has been proven time and time again that vaccines do not cause autism.

Please, just love your kid. Your kid needs you. He/She is going to grow up in a marvelous person despite of being autistic. Come take a look into the autistic community and notice how wonderful we can be, how awesome and creative we are.

Mom, It’s me

Hey mom,

It’s me. I’ve been bullied again. They threw sandwiches at me. At least it was ham this time and not eggsalad. Principle had to come get me again. I nearly melted down. I kept my hands quiet thanks to the ABA training you got me when I was younger but it didn’t help my bowels. I had to go to the toilet but didn’t dare move.

The principle gave me a clean pair of underpants and escorted me to the nearest bathroom. This is when they called you mom.

Apparantly students at my school discovered your books, mom. Why did you want us dead in your first book? Why did your friends need to buy our crib and nappies? Why did you spent all that money to get pregnant and then left us with a nanny? Multiples of them. One even taught me to put my jacket on. She was so proud, but you dismissed it. You praised my brother more than me.

You even dedicated a book to me, mom. A book about me growing up as a teenager. I am now at university, learning engineering. i’m become one of the people you describe as being more pron to my condition, mom. Being more prone to have kids like me. They know at university, mom. They know that you forced me to not have kids. They know. They know my brother has kids and that you are proud of him.

They don’t know that I avoid contact with you. At all occassion. That I will probably never see you again, or hold your hand at your deathbed. They don’t know that you silenced so many like me, mother. That people like me fought your book. That people like me didn’t like your generalisations of people like me.

Did you really have to write about me not being able to think, mother? Did you really have to do that? I can think. I could’ve thought about the consequences of that book you have written, the future it would give me, before even writing one letter of it.

I would’ve never sold you out like this, mother. And this is why I will never talk to you anymore. This is why I and all other autistics avoid you like the plague. This is why, mother. You robbed me of my future. You condemned me to a life that isn’t for me, because you couldn’t see me do it the way you thought I could.

I’m going to graduate, mother. I am. Magna Cum Laude, even. Not because of my autism, but because of my effort. Because I was there, every class again. Not because of my early fascinations with trains, but because I worked harder than any student in my year.

I won’t see you with New years, mother. I won’t even see you when you die. I won’t hold your hand.

Goodby, mother.

Geoffrey.

One year later

My previous post was my 100th post, and now we are 1 year since I started this blog, so time for an overview of how the past year has been.

My blog has become an extention of me. It became that way, it wasn’t intended that way.

My intend was a fun blogging experience where I would write about my hobbies and nothing more, but it became more personal when I started chronicling my autism journey. When I started talking about how autism affected me.

My first big post, that was shared and read a lot was My letter to autism parents. It was a critique on an “awareness” page and it’s visitors (mostly autism moms) and I was fed up of always giving the same answers. This was also the page where I learned that autistics aren’t well greeted, not even by people that have one in their midsts.

Where I really start to see an impact, was with my Analogies, both my Harry Potter one and coin one, as these explain difficult concepts in really simple, easy to understand analogies and can be easily shared with youngsters or people that don’t understand autism very well.

I became more and more an activist. I wrote more and more about what made me autistic and accepted my adhd as a part of me and started taking medicine for it. This only happened fairly recently (a month ago), while I have my diagnose now since april 2017, so now 8 months.

My autism diagnose was as coming home. As being part of a community. I was an activist, fighting for being accepted and being recognized as such, and only a few days ago (I write this on the 11th of december), I was accepted by other activists as one of their own. My analysis about “To siri” started being shared more and more and now I feel really a part of the community.

I noticed that autistics communicate a lot through twitter and that there really is a following there, which is nice. The “for siri” book took a lot out of me, but I was glad that I could take one for the team and be recognized for the work I put in. I did it so more autistics knew how bad the book really was. Off course, not everything was recorded as I am only human and not a copy machine, but you get enough information, so you can make an informed discussion about the book, and don’t have to rely on just a few paragraphs.

This first year was an amazing journey into self-acceptance and knowing my path. I can only hope that 2018 will bring more of this and other good things.

the antics of Judith Newman

Apparantly owning up to her mistake and admitting she was wrong is to much to ask.

As I have said, I have tried to contact her and she blew me off the moment she knew I was autistic. Telling me she was to busy with it all. She was to busy with writing. Well, apparantly she was not.

Evidence has surfaced that mademoiselle has been busy getting her book “verified purchase” only on Amazon, thanks to reaching out to someone she knows inside Amazon.

Also, a review by Ron Suskind, the writer of “Life, animated” about his own autistic son has written a review that praises the book (not surprisingly as he is mentioned in said book, so his review can’t be trustworthy to say the least).

Also: If you have written a review on Amazon or Goodreads or Barnes and Nobles, it could very well be that it is reported by now. Judith has recruited a task force from her followers to downvote and attack any negative review (even if it is full of details), they will say it was a coordinated attack to bring her book down. While her book is very gutwrenching and full of details any autistic doesn’t want to read about himself online, let alone is a book.

Also, apparantly (I have this from a good source)  one of her tactics is yelling that she has had a death threat (while this is not true).

 

How to survive the holidays as an autistic

The holidays are upon us and as an autistic I wanted to share my holiday tips with you people, so you can make it easier on your autistic loved ones.

1. No surprises

We love presents, so that’s not what I mean, but warn us in advance on what we can and cannot expect. Tell us what you are going to prepare (it doesn’t have to be in detail, but as long as we get the broad lines of it, it’s fine). Let us make a list so we know what to expect qua presents, so we don’t get surprised, as most of us hate surprises to which they didn’t get to prepare. It will still be a surprise what you got us from our list, but at least it’s something from our list. Also tell us who is coming to the holiday party, so we know who will be there and we are better prepared to be the best guests we can possibly be. Don’t ever give us surprise clothing, as most of us have sensory issues, which can make us freeze if we wear weird textured sweaters (no christmas sweaters!!!).

2. We will get overstimulated

It is a fact that eventhough we got to prepare because you made sure that we got as little surprise as possible, a lot of people in one room is overwhelming. It can easily become to much. Sound, light, smells,… all can become to much, so don’t be mad at us if we need time to retreat and don’t be angry when we take our tablet and are reading or doing other things to stim. We need this to be able to cope with the whole sensory barrage. I will get mute during some time on christmas, because I am so overstimulated. My girlfriend talks for me and answers questions directed at me.

3. Traveling

If you need to travel with your autistic loved one, look at tip one. We really need to prepare for this too.

4. No new things

Try to keep everything as familiar as possible. We, autistics, thrive on controllabilty and predictability. We don’t like changes, so inform us in time when something is going to change. This also ties in with tip number 1. We really, really don’t like surprises in any way. Some of us can cope with a little bit of change, but most can’t.

5. Seating

I am one of those autistics that likes to sit at the head of the table or the least amount of people on either side. I hate being touched while I’m eating and will easily get overwhelmed. Your kid or loved one might be having these issues as well. Make sure you ask what they like and where to sit, so they can become comfortable. I will mostly be the first to take my seat so I can get used to where everybody else is sitting.

6. Gifts

The same counts for when we want to buy gifts for you. Give us a list. I am one of those that likes to buy gifts that will be liked in the end. I don’t want my gift to end up on Ebay and like to know if something will be really liked. I have had instances where people told me they were happy with my gift, but I could see that they really didn’t like it. So give me a list in advance and I will see what I can do (also: Tip 1).

7. Your stress = our stress

We pick up on stress very easily and notice when things get tense. Our body reacts to it, and we will probably become overstimulated because of it. We like predictability and when you become stressed for whatever reason, we become stressed as well and might even internalize the mistake or fault, because we might think it’s our fault. Never blame your kid for anything during the holidays that is due to your stress or a reaction to your stress. Let them stim or leave the room to play with their tablet somewhere where it’s less noisy and where they can be alone for a while.

These are tips that I would like to share. I have read pages and pages of tips for autistic kids that I find ableistic at best. Like giving your kid poker chips so he can exchange them for 5 minutes of talking about their favourite gift. Let them talk, let them be happy. Direct their talk. Learn them about appropriateness, but not with poker chips. Giving them pokerchips as an exchange item is infantilizing and ableistic. There are more, but this is the one that stood out.

 

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