dedication

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This blog is dedicated to:

My canine angel, Lucy Like-a-Charm.

My baby sister Althea, her wonderful hubby Robin, and her two furry boys Biscuit & Tiny.

My loyal friends YS and Rick.

Without you, there would be no adventure, no narrative, no amazing tales to tell.

Lost in the discussion of “lost diagnosis”

Sharp and to the point. From Chavisory.
I’ve often been referred to as an “optimal outcome” case. Many “NT-acting” autists are. This is, to me, not a compliment at all – it merely reveals the dominating rigid NT-biased frameworks that autistics have had to labour under. We need a better way forward than this.

Chavisory's Notebook

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” wrote William Faulkner, and I couldn’t help being reminded of that line as I read the recent article “Compulsions, anxiety replace autism in some children,” from Spectrum magazine.

An estimated 9 percent of children with autism achieve a so-called ‘optimal outcome.’ But nearly all of these children years later develop related conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, the new study suggests.

“The majority of the group with a past history of autism are vulnerable to developing other psychiatric disorders,” says lead investigator Nahit Motavalli Mukaddes, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Istanbul Institute of Child Psychiatry in Turkey.

So let’s get something straight right off the bat.

There is—so far as has ever been revealed—no such thing as a “past history of autism.”

If children who lose a diagnosis are socially compensating to…

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paradox

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Little Petruschka… Flipping and flopping between blessed clemency and blasted captivity… Pros and cons of proximity… Pandering to the overarching artifice of the collective… Losing autonomy… Gaining ease of living… Teetering between screaming to break free and relief at the measure of rest afforded by prison walls…

Dancing on bed of nails ablaze, celebratory fireworks lighting up the night sky obscuring seething agony of feet… hands flailing in air, mimicking gestures of cheer… If you do not conform, you will be lonely, says Other… but perhaps Petruschka wants to be alone? … Whose loneliness do Other and Self own?

 

panacea

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sweet balm…

Sensory overload. What is it really like? Difficult to pin down, common to most autistics, yet different in each individual and varying from one circumstance to another. No, it’s not just “all in the imagination” and no, we are not deliberately playing some dramatic role for whatever purported attention-seeking accusation.

Right. So, here. Today’s episode.

Heat. Humidity. Crowds. Smells. Noise. Lights. Over-exposure.

11.45am – 1pm. Just a wee bit over an hour.

Nausea. Vertigo. Uhoh… think I am going to throw up – search frantically for a plastic bag. OK, this is going to be awkward, standing at the bus stop. Should I give up and go sit down somewhere? Bus is arriving in 2 minutes. Determination and stubborn grit – just get home, Bunny!

I did it!

Safe, tucked into bed with my panacea for all woes – Canine Angel and warm vanilla hound.

Ah, so lucky to have my Lucy Like-a-Charm!

Clemency.

hangover

It is a ‘hangover’ sort of day, and I spent much of it crashed out in my bedroom with Lucy, inside a whirly heaviness. I received very sad news this morning: a dear friend, Jack, passed away on Christmas Eve. He was a beautiful entity – generous, gracious and the perfect gentleman. Jack was Lucy’s first friend after she came into my life. Lucy is a minx, but Jack was the perfect gentleman. He shared his bed, his toys and his home with Lucy, who would hijack his space every time she visited. Jack was very well loved by his dads Nick and Monty, and everyone who had the honour of knowing Jack. I paid tribute to Jack via two Facebook posts, and mark his presence here in this blog post. It is my way of etching his memory even deeper into my Space of Mind… I am processing, churning… re-locating grief and loss, re-shelving memories… re-aligning myself with beauty…

But why ‘hangover’? Why ‘crash’? Continue reading

rice

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Chirashi Jyo

Rice. A staple for most Asians. A fine art in Japan.

Here in Singapore, this texture-sensitive, Autistic Bunny tasted the best Japanese rice outside of Japan yesterday at Ichiban Boshi @ Vivocity (well, technically, I’ve only ever been to Kansai airport on an overnight stay due to flight delays and the buffet at the hotel there was pretty sad, but I am guessing that there must be much better rice elsewhere in Japan, non?). Continue reading

Lucy’s Grand Adventure

This piece, about our adventure across the skies, traveling home to Singapore from Sydney, was first published in the Greyhound Equality Society website. I am republishing it here with some minor edits (mainly typos and grammatical errors).

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Lucy’s Grand Adventure.

– Dawn-joy Leong.

Lucy Like-a-Charm has graced my life for four years now. Lucy is my assistance dog. An assistance dog is one that performs specific tasks to address a disability. For me, Lucy primarily helps to mitigate the effects of autistic hypersensory anxiety, by warning me in advance about potential triggers, thus preventing serious sensory overload and meltdown. As an assistance dog, Lucy has connected me to the wonderful mindDog Australia family. As a rescued former racing Greyhound, we are part of the Greyhound Equality Society, advocating for Greyhound welfare. Yet, Lucy is much more than all these, she is also my research assistant, advisor and creative muse, inspiring unique trajectories to explore and ponder, and my Canine Angel, a beautiful reminder of the preciousness of parallel embodiment. Continue reading

yellow flame

It’s Christmas again, and a brand New Year peeps at us from just around the corner. Instead of jacaranda, our morning walks are now across pathways strewn with yellow flame.

Last Christmas was a season of horror. Lucy lost part of her beautiful tail in an act of sickening callousness. A travesty, a defilement of my Lucy’s purity, heralding cosmic wailings that nobody may ever be able to hear, but myself and a very few whose ears are tuned to the whispers of realms beyond human-centricity. ‘Twas a season of wading through fetid pools overflowing with flotsam and jetsam of social plastic, brittle fondnesses, meaningless verbage (verbal garbage), locked inside the iron-fisted grip of grandiose benevolence. Continue reading

tropical winter solstice

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A tropical winter solstice? Yes. Strange as it may seem, some traditions carry on despite marked changes in geographical situation.

The Chinese celebrate winter solstice around the world, with tong yuen (Cantonese) / tang yuan (putonghua) 湯圓 – chewy little round glutinous rice dumplings with sweet sesame or red bean or peanut paste filling.

Our little family – my baby sister, her hubby, mum, and I – had ours with a South East Asian twist. Instead of the typical Chinese sweet ginger ‘soup’ in which the dumplings are usually served, Robin used ‘mata kuching‘ (a type of ‘longan’ from Borneo). Robin also made a ‘dry’ version, coated in ground peanut.

(The furry children had their own dog-friendly dessert, which was gobbled down in a few seconds, before I had the chance to photograph them.)

We spent the evening watching a DVD of a Hong Kong telly serial. Subdued and low key – but clement.

Happy Winter Solstice!

LaLaLouBelle begins!

Re-interpreting sensory wonder. More about LaLaLouBelle! ❤

LaLaLouBelle

At last. The PhD is done and dusted. No more evictions. No more sensory hell. No more executive function crashes.

We have arrived in Clement Space. A safe fermata that allows for another new beginning: a continuation of an old dream, a bygone place and time, carried into the here and now.

Since childhood, I’d always liked collecting objects that held special sensory and associative meaning. I loved shiny, colourful things, and the narratives behind them. Three decades ago, I began to collect beads from my travels around Europe, the UK, Thailand, India, China etc. After many years of carrying my collection around in nomadic mental and physical meandering, the time has come now to finally indulge in the sensorial wonder of re-interpreting these tiny treasures.

Each piece of handmade adornment is a unique item that speaks of history, contemplation and process, reverberating embodiments and sensory connections.

LaLaLouBelle Jewellery is…

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lalaloubelle

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I have launched my handmade adornment line at last. LaLaLouBelle. Named after Lucy, my muse and inspiration, LaLaLouBelle marks a long awaited re-ignition of a smouldering ember, a little ‘yearning’ of the sensory kinetic realm to ‘hand craft’ reinterpretations of fascination. Since childhood, I’ve loved little things that held associative wonderment. I collected bus tickets, buttons, jewellery discarded by mum, coloured paper, odd shaped rocks and pebbles, driftwood, shells etc. Thirty years ago, I began to collect beads and semi-precious stones wherever I travelled. I amassed quite a sizeable collection of bits and bobs gathered from parts of Europe, the UK, China, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and home in Singapore. Thanks to a very generous old friend, I have in my collection some precious pieces – vintage handcrafted glass beads from around Europe, Johnson & Matthey silver findings, wire, tubes and plates, semi-precious stones and rocks from the Natural History Museum in London – which formed the foundation for subsequent additions along the way. Continue reading