Autism Acceptance?

IMG_5762Lucy@AutismMeetUp

Autism MeetUp 2016, UNSW Art & Design

Community service announcement:

Dear organisations jumping on the Autism Bandwagon. You really need to do better than “everyone else” if you wish to win the trust and confidence of Actually Autistic people. That is IF you truly wish to be inclusive (as you so claim) and learn about intrinsic autistic modalities and paradigms, in order to properly support autistic people in respectful ways. This is the ‘homework’ you need to do BEFORE asking autistic people to do freebie work for your ’cause’. Show us that you are worthy of our efforts. Any other is at best mere tokenism, and at worst exploitation. Add to that, spreading harmful misinformation.

#actuallyautistic #autismacceptance #nothingaboutuswithoutus

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duet

Another brief interlude, just the two of us, baby-sister and me. Precious little clement spaces – our bubbles of Being Together. Free, unencumbered now, with no more jealous and possessive (other) siblings making bitchy snide remarks, we are children once again, shutting out the rest of the unkind world. I had a sudden desire for ramen, so we headed for the nearby mall, five minutes’ shuttle bus ride away. A hot steaming bowl each of slithery stuff soaked in thick miso-flavoured soup, and sides of tofu and maki. Our chatter, the rise and fall of voices, the intensities and dimensions, may all seem strange to the eavesdropping onlooker. But for us, this is just “our” way.  Space of Mind. Elemental empathy. Knowing. It is a very special co-existence within a common comfortable domain. And no, we do not need eye-contact to resonate and reverberate.

C’est si bon!

voicing the voice

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Off to face the world!

It began foggy, damp and cold. We lay in bed, unwilling to emerge from under our warm cocoon. Angel alarm has not been working for some time now. Is it her age? No matter, mumma’s turn to take over the waking up process.

All quiet, apart from the whirring of traffic and birdsong – absolute bliss. No anxious listening out for grating vocalisations and cling-clang-slam of doors etc, planning the morning dash to kitchen and bathroom to avoid having our morning peace cruelly interrupted. Or destroyed. Continue reading

gobbledy-goop

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goop

This is porridge. It is goop. You do not chew on goop. It is sluggish, it does not flow, it is not pretty, the sound it makes is murky. Goop does not sing in clear mellifluous tones. Goop just flops and blobs and generally obstructs refinement.

I have been living in a state of goop lately. Despite the unwelcome sensory atmosphere, or perhaps even spurred on by the discomfort and often sheer agony, I have been ruminating… and chewing… and gnawing… there has even been a goodly gnashing of teeth… over the colossal conundrum of EMPATHIC RESONANCE.

Let me try to put this mammoth in two simple, broad categories. Continue reading

hide inside

Too much to process. Assaulted on all sides at multiple dimensions. Sensory attacks from the environment. Confusing shenanigans from certain quarters that even my non-autistic, neurotypical friends shake their heads at. Discombobulation. Distress. Chaos. Disorganisation. Changes, one following another, tripping over in clumsy stretto. Fever. Smarting eyes. Ringing ears. Inflammation everywhere. Tired, tired, exhaustion. Continue reading

empathic resonance

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Can you hear me bouncing down the stairs? Crash, crush, squish, boom… First the sound of my skull hitting the wall, then my elbows cry against the merciless edges and the joints of each flailing connection pop and plop. Down, down, down, the body a gibbering ragdoll, wordless scream that sounds like a distorted cartoon jingle.

Can you hear it now, as I fit semantic symbols to my pain?

Or are you too engrossed with your navel bowlful of hisses, sighs, shrieks and squeaks? Continue reading

shelter

Today, after our visit to the vet (Lucy has been unwell and we spent the entire morning at the vet’s clinic), we walked along the familiar streets of our former neighbourhood. I strained my eyes to focus, through the pounding sensory headache that had wrapped itself tightly around me, and scanned the sides of the road for M’s little beat-up old van. Nowhere in sight. I felt downcast and disappointed. I wanted to walk further to search for him, but both Lucy and I were not in robust enough physical condition. So I took her home. When we entered the beautiful sensoryscape of our temporary home, I was hit by a wave of sadness. The contrast was overwhelming, that I had the privilege of living in such a wonderful home, while my friend M was out there, alone, and without.

Shelter. Safe accommodation. A roof over the head. A door to close. A space inside. We all need this. Continue reading