With Us

Lucy in Sonata 2015

Lucy Like-a-Charm in Clement Space – Sonata in Z, 2015

“For us without us” or “Nothing about us without us”? More and more, I am meeting non-autistic allies who are standing alongside our advocacy and lending strength and dynamism to our cause. Here in Singapore, there has been an ‘awakening’ of sorts too, but we have a long way to go before we can achieve deep rooted progress at the very most fundamental levels. We are a very ‘progressive’ city – judging by what’s visible to the eye, at least. We do know how to do things well, if we want to. And we’ve done so many things extremely well. For one, I am immensely proud of our airport. There’s no need for me to sing the praises here – you can look it up anywhere and everywhere. I’m also pleased and relieved that people don’t have to fear being gunned down randomly on the street or in school. We’re by and large a pretty safe city to live in, and I’ve lived in a few rather pleasant cities too, but none with the kind of placid security that Singapore has. I am also really encouraged by the many positive changes that have taken place in the disability sector – the higher levels of awareness and desire to learn better ways – even within the short span of the last two years that I’ve been back. We are a robust little nation, and this is proof that we can do things quickly if we decide we wish to.

OK, so, here, today, I am talking about Autistic equity and autonomy. Continue reading

Autistic Thriving @TEDx Pickering

 

“Autistic Thriving” – Dawn-joy Leong & Lucy Like-a-Charm. (Captions available on Youtube – please turn on cc option.)

Apologies for not posting this earlier.

“Just what you being made ‘aware’ of? And where are the Actually Autistic voices in this grand cacophony of opinions and interpretations?”

hello?

artwork-oil-self-portrait-1

Self Portrait circa 2007 by Dawn-joy Leong

It’s Autistics Speaking Day. I didn’t know there even was such a thing, until I saw my Facebook feed flooded with it, by various Autism advocacy groups and pages that I’ve subscribed to.

Righto. So. Speaking of speaking. I posted this long ramble the other day, about my struggle with a certain person regarding respecting my preferred mode of communication, “gaseous exudations.” While it does seem on the surface as if nothing but an angry rant, and perhaps some of you NT folk may be even slightly (or more than slightly? who knows?) offended by the blunt-speak, it’s actually a very serious issue, and a deeply painful yet far too common feature of Autistic life. Continue reading

all about me without me

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silent sonnet

A music symposium about music and disability, but no musician with disability represented. No voice of our own.

A prestigious art-work about disabilities, for people with disabilities, but not a single artist with disability in sight. All very ‘high-quality’ mind you, as if to say that disabled artists do not and cannot produce works of similar ‘high quality’ to serve our own community? No voice of our own. Continue reading

climbing mountains

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Nosh has been blah-boring lately. But I am sharing the visuals anyway, because this blog is about sensory adventures after all.

Immediately after Lucy was out of danger, I suffered an intense autoimmune flare. For two days, I was battling pain from inflammation everywhere, and unexplained nausea. Lucy kept me going, she was the reason I had to get out of bed and take slow walks, of course, and that made me take in some sunshine and fresh air. She kept my mental processes in check, no sinking into the abyss of despair, because I need to be well for her. At the back of my mind, whenever I feel the tugging downwards of depressive thought, there is this solid rock: “What would happen to Lucy if something bad happened to me?” I cannot, of my own volition, allow her to face such a desperate situation.

The conversation is fresh on my mind, and it makes me smile. It has also spawned other trajectories that I shall explore in my writing and research-practice.

“Lucy is spoiled because you do everything she wants,” said her vet to me.

“Yes, true, but she does everything I want her to do, and there is no conflict, so I consider it fair exchange!” was my reply.

We both laughed, and the vet did concede that I had a winning formula. Continue reading

Self and Other – a better way?

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