This article is gold. It describes my own struggle succinctly without fanciful embellishment.
Here, in this video, Sonia gives an excellent summary of what I am facing right now. Thank you. This is why I keep reiterating the need for support and concrete help, though the neurotypical world tends not to understand the import of need, because they see only the autist’s ability to function pretty remarkably in the normative realm, and hence the juxtaposed disabilities are not discernible to the normative way of perceiving and analysing information.
This thing. It has been making its rounds on Facebook. (I haven’t bothered to check Pinterest yet. I don’t think I have the energy to look for it actively.)
I am not deliberately wanting to be contrary about normative social humour (despite my reputation for being so). I ‘get’ the joke and generalised implication. However, the creator of this thing and the 95% of humanity on social media who support the message have not given an iota – not even a split second – of thought to the paradigm of ‘Other’ or even acknowledging the existence of this silent, ‘invisible’ ‘Other’ in this sweeping pronouncement. Who are these ‘Other’ people?
Me. Autistic people. People with neurocultural sensory-cognitive-proprioceptive differences. Continue reading →
Yesterday, I made a few comments on the Today Show’s Facebook page in response to this terrible news report by 9 News. Well, actually, it was in response to a friend’s prompting, because I usually avoid such contemptible media hype these days. It is just too distressing for me to pay much attention to. I had seen the trailer for the programme earlier on, but remember shoving that slithery visual-aural ribbon of drivel out of my mental sphere.
“19-year-old Jake was diagnosed with severe autism as a child but recovered to lead a normal life after years of experimental therapy. #Today9”
This is yet another example of a tragically all too prevalent phenomenon: utter ignorance and sickening condescension in poorly researched popular media programmes, especially when they are featuring people who are different from their perception of ‘normalcy.’ Continue reading →
The video above features Ralph Savarese speaking about his research in the area of Neurocosmopolitanism – Autism, Empathy and the Trope of Personification. As I read this excellent article on the ASAN website today, my mind meandered back to this video and its content. The ASAN article is an excellent response to the study mentioned, about ‘normalising’ of autism (Fein, D., Barton, M., Eigsti, I.-M., Kelley, E., Naigles, L., Schultz, R.T….Tyson, K. (213). Optimal outcome in individuals with a history of autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 195-205).
As someone who would most definitely fall into the category of “recovered” and “optimal outcome” according to the Cure-Brigade, studies such as these deeply disturb me at the most fundamental level of my sentient existence. Continue reading →
“My Body Does Not Obey My Mind,” a presentation by Emma Zurcher-Long and Ariane Zurcher. To me, Emma’s Hope Book is not only about one young autistic person’s journey, but resonates a universal Hope, a world of possibilities, making reality from dreams, and dreams from reality. Emma has revealed beautiful vignettes of poignant truths that ring as powerful bells in my own autistic struggle for gentle harmony between Self and Other, while Ariane’s dedication, love and empathic support of Emma has inspired me to give myself the same kind of nurture that I need in order to ‘become.’
A truly beautiful presentation, if you are able to view this with mind wide open, eyes receptive to colours, form and patterns that you may have never seen before, and heart quietly willing to dream inside a different paradigm.
It rained again in the wee hours of the morning, and we were greeted with a steady drizzle when we stepped out for our pre-dawn stroll. Lucy was good, she did not fuss, trotting valiantly in her lovely K9 Voyager Greyhound-specific raincoat. It was well worth the expense. She loves the new beef liver treats, of course, so that helped a lot! It is end of semester examinations period here. Living on campus now, I am right in the midst of the flurry. Students hunched over laptops, notepads and books form visual blobs speckling the scenescapes – library tables, cafes, open spaces and study rooms. The smell of rancid perspiration, unwashed hair and clothes has completely engulfed the library, taking over the scent of aging books. Olfactory signs of life stirring begin earlier, and I am greeted by bacon sizzling in the early morning, bread toasting, jams being spread, even as Lucy and I make our rounds before 6am. I have had to complain twice about unbearable noise just outside my unit, emanating from the study rooms a few feet from my door. Gathered in groups with academic paraphernalia, then spending the night in raucous revelry, replete with potato crisps, soft drinks and assorted takeaways (yes I can smell it from inside my unit, the aromas waft in through the ventilation spaces in the door!), the students wage war on my fraught senses, just as I am trying to retire into the land of nod. How do they manage to ‘study’ at all? I have no idea, but that is a very alien social setting to the autistic mind. Continue reading →
Is the neurotypical-ableist majority unwilling to render the support necessary to those of us with disabilities because they feel that we will ‘hold them back’ in the surge ahead for survival of the fittest, or is it merely a simple fear that were we accorded equal opportunities to function upon our abilities, on a meritocratic system based on what we can do rather than what we cannot, that we, the people with ‘disabilities,’ would become a serious threat to the ableist majority?
So where did that thought worm come from? I really don’t know, but it could’ve been inspired by my monumental struggle with corporeality recently, and hot, spicy Kimchi Noodles. Continue reading →
Lucy and I enjoyed a long walk this morning. No bright sunshine, cloudy skies today, but it was warm. I noticed that at some points in our adventure, the baby girl’s gait departed from her usual. She paused twice, not her ‘stubborn Greyhound’ freeze, but holding up a paw to me, and indication that she wanted my attention. I am terrible at dog-language, seeing how much better she understands my language, I am most ashamed. Hapless, I just check her paws for splinters, tiny stones, cuts etc, and feel her body all over to make sure there are no superficial injuries or a muscle cramp. After this silly feeble human attempt to communicate my concern, she usually consents to move along.
While paying attention to Lucy’s corporeal nuances, I began to muse again on proprioceptive beauty. Continue reading →