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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back to Being

Christmas fatigue. OK, I have to admit that I absolutely love the food – and festivities always means food, food, and more glorious sensorially titillating food! But… The grand effort of ‘performing-the-neurotypical’ and pushing physical limitations to the hilt across too many consecutive days have finally got the better of me.  Continue reading

clement shutdown

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Shutdown. What is non-verbal modality like, actually? It is different for everyone. There is no one-description-fits-all scenario. Even in the same person, verbal shutdown can present in myriad ways, with eclectic triggers. That is the difficulty in the study of the mind.

For me, non-verbality may not always indicate an inability to speak, but rather more a reluctance to formulate in the mind and then expel with physical force, what is socially-acceptable, grammatical, prosaic babble. I am still verbalising in my mind, with word stims, truncated sentences, symbolic visual images. I am still able to communicate on the superficial level, but not with much intellectual depth (though this doesn’t seem to bother most people much, and I am the only one suffering from this temporary ‘handicap’). Other times, non-verbal mode means total shutdown of speech and verbal semantic thought. During these times, I prefer to be on my own. Well, actually most times I prefer to be on my own, but there are times I actually do enjoy some interaction with people I like. 🙂 But in total shutdown modality, the isolation becomes an absolute necessity. There are other scenarios, but I am too tired now to elaborate further. Continue reading

strategy

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I need some pick-me-up therapy. What’s your strategy for self-comforting, how do you cheer yourself up after a stress filled, overloaded day? Continue reading

too much

Too much lamb! Help! I bought a huge pack on a whim, probably because I was hungry when I went shopping, and lamb was on special offer! Then I lived to regret it. Sort of. It’s almost gone now. All 8 pieces of it. But there was a stage, when I was digging into my third piece, that I thought I’d give up and tip it into the bin. I usually love lamb, but this episode threatened to cure me of it. Not quite. I survived! 😀

carb fix

Social fatigue day. And that is putting it mildly. After yesterday’s ridiculous fiasco with a social-brained friend, my sensory and mental systems have all but crashed. Unfortunately, I have trained myself too well to remain ‘switched’ on, with detrimental results to self, such that I am unable to completely effect any retreat or what some fellow autists call a ‘complete meltdown’. So here I am, still connected, and extremely stressed.

My body, of course, is quick to respond with inflammation in the transmandibular joint. Lucky me. All an Aspie needs to do is to make a quantitative and empirical observation out loud, and social hell breaks loose with otherwise very pleasant and nice but social-brained folk suddenly taking up the thread on a completely different end (which I didn’t even know existed until then) and deciding I needed some kind of counseling or ‘help’ with my purportedly hurt emotions! No amount of explaining will convince the social-brain that there can exist a very different way of cognition and a completely different emotional-cognitive functioning system from their own. Sigh. No wonder so many autistic people give up and choose (whether consciously or subconsciously out of self preservation) to withdraw. I am beginning to think that would be the wiser course of action in the future. Keep them at arms length, don’t let them know how you think – just publish your intellectual musings in ‘safe’ environments like academic journals instead. All that transpired was, despite all her emotional effusion to declare otherwise, that this friend proved me right yet again, with her doll-house dramatics, that the social-brained world has made far less quantitative effort to understand the autistic world than the other way around.

Run out of bread. The cheap $1 loaf. It will cost me over $3 in return bus fare just to go get one. I am not in need of anything else, yet. Will wait until I can justify that expense before making the trip.

Meanwhile, I shall attempt my own home made carb fix. I’ll try to rustle up some weird variation of bread. And cook a huge batch of pasta to compensate. Lucy likes rice and pasta too.

But right now, I am feeling nostalgic for a taste of home. Chai Tao Kway: a popular, terribly unhealthy, but ever so cheap carb fix – radish and rice cake friend in light soy sauce or sweet dark soy sauce, with or without egg. I like it with sweet dark sauce. Here’s the super cook rustling up some of the delicious carb laden fare at one of my favourite food stalls. Only AU$1.50 per serving!

deformed

Writing two different articles for separate publications, but with the same deadline. I tried an experiment – simultaneous combustion. Nope, it didn’t work. Ended up developing a stabbing migraine headache! The horrible backache from the strain of moving my art material into the studio yesterday didn’t help, of course. Then there was the nightmare trip into some dodgier part of town after the big move, where I had to get onto one bus then get off in town, walk a distance and get on to another bus, endure a forty minute journey into a less genteel neighbourhood, walk another distance through factory spaces, to an art gallery. The exhibition was worth the effort, an exhibition by one of my supervisors. Very lovely and thoughtful work with vinyl, and inspiring too. However, the journey back home was the one last straw on the proverbial overladen camel’s back. The bus was crowded, I had to sit next to two chattering young women, going on and on about boyfriends blahblahblah in ungrammatical vernacular English, and a nasal Australian drawl that denotes a certain class of people. OK so I am not really a snob, but the auditory sensation was like nails on a blackboard for me. And I was forced to listen, because I couldn’t shut it out, and they spoke really loudly. Then there was the old couple on my right, across the aisle, who had a bagful of shopping that smelled like last week’s preserved fish. Or was it them? I couldn’t be sure. I tried to hold my breath, but realised it won’t do, not for a forty minute journey anyway. Noxious fumes soon overtook me and I was enshrouded in nausea and choking misery. I made it to the exchange point without fainting, sheer providence or marvelous self control? Both, I think. I remember feeling ever so thankful to get on to my Paddington bus, which was empty-ish, and from there it was a pleasant ride home.

Woke up with a horrible aching back and heavy feeling of lethargy. Too much negative sensation. So, I needed some positive sensation, didn’t I? Well, I thought I’d have another go at the lemon icing, over my Hello Kitty biscuits this time.

The result? Messy. Deformed Kitty. Not pretty. But it tasted good! Ate the last lot in one sitting.