Look Me In The Eye!!!! And then watch me collapse in a huge wailing roaring sigh.

Social communication can be extremely sapping and destructive to the fragile fabric of body and mind. More so if your intrinsic functioning is so different from the social majority. When are you right or wrong? There are no clear rules and yet the one clear rule is that rules are flexi according to whomever it applies to at whichever moment it is being slapped on like sticky smelly cream. Continue reading


All of us well into middle age now, and many of us have known one another since primary (grade) school days. We had a grand-ish reunion party at Bing Bing Ice Cream Gallery in Tanjung Katong a week ago. Just 20-plus ladies, but not an easy feat to bring the lot together in one place at the same time – and just imagine the decibel levels when all begin to chatter? Yes, sensory overload for me, and I suffered a pounding headache afterwards, but it was just lovely seeing old friends again, so the pain was worth it. And the ice cream? Simply delicious! Thank you, BL, for letting us descend upon the ice cream shop. And apologies to the customers who were treated to full auditory assault by us over enthusiastic ladies. We’ve not met up in such numbers for a long time. Please come back again to Bing Bing when it is less chaotic, and do enjoy the ice cream, because they serve fabulous flavours for every palate!

(My personal favourites? Gula Melaka with Red Bean, Coconut, and MaoShanWang Durian!)

gaseous exudations


Respectful social communication 101: In this day and age of technological advancement, there are multiple ways to communicate. If a person (with or without disability) tells you their preferred mode of social communication, please respect it, that is, if you wish to communicate with the person. Insisting on your own way and disregarding that person’s repeated requests is nothing but utter contempt and disrespect. Simple.

Communication is a complex effort. However, respect can be a really simple thing.

Sadly, there are people who just cannot connect in a straight-forward way, with mutual regard, across respectful space. I’ve come across many such folk along my more than half a century of traversing the hazardous human social-scape.  Continue reading

bff or wtf?


Are you offended by my expressions and paradigms of love? Have you ever stopped to wonder if I may be hurt by yours too? What are the different paradigms for connectivity and forming interpersonal bonds? How do we each express attachment and intimacy? Do we ever ask ourselves these question when we interact with friends? How about friends we have known for decades? Continue reading

Embracing Autism

My contribution to Embracing Autism Month – enough (misdirected) ‘awareness’ and moving beyond mere ‘acceptance’… how about we begin to embrace autism?

Thank you, Martin Guinness of Guinness Entertainment, for making this video!

Rough Transcript (by me):

My name is Dawn-joy. I am autistic. I was diagnosed in my early forties – I am fifty now. Living and coping with life in general has been the hugest challenge for me. Being autistic is not in itself a huge challenge, but being autistic and coping with living in a social system, a spatially designed system, that is not innate and often not kind towards innate autistic function, has been the greatest challenge in my life. Continue reading




aimless buzzing around the campfire of neurotypical bonhomie

blib-blib-blibbety squeeeeee

baby girl, I want you to look at me

no, not at my lips, my eyes! you silly!

stop waving your hands, sit still and listen

I’m telling you all about how my new hair glistens

oh, and did I say I so love that dress you wear?

and guess what I found the perfect matching chair!

let’s go shopping together sometime, love

you have such impeccable taste

I’d like to buy a purse with bling-bling turtle doves

perhaps also some fresh duck liver paste?

yak yak yak yak… on and on…

trying to stay awake from night till dawn

cackling, crackling, sizzling, slop-slop-slide

nowhere to run to, help me, please, I need to hide!

I see your lips go up down sideways there and back

your perfume cutting through my diaphragm

I hear the crashing thunderous chitterchatchatchat

trying hard to eat my eggs and ham

more salt, more salt, somebody come save me!

holding my skull together by sheer force of will

lest my body combusts in pyrotechnic glory

all guts and gore in colourful spill

stop overreacting, you say say say

it cannot be that bad, honey, don’t you love me me me?

I do love you truly true, but I am tired of

aimless buzzing around the campfire of neurotypical bonhomie

the way you haunt my dreams

It’s Christmas time again.

I dislike festive seasons.

Heartbreaking loneliness… No, not me, but too many people are lonely and alone, and the starkness is brought home most cruelly during festivities such as Christmas.

Me? I balk at Christmas (etc) because of the excruciating sensory overload. I love my friends, but official festivities are extremely taxing on my hyper senses. I want to be alone with Lucy, not at party after party, not buried under a deluge of noise and human bodies. But… life is a duty, and I take my responsibility towards my non-autistic friends very seriously. Friends make life better. And never more so than now, friends are the people who help me along my journey. So, when friends want to gather, when friends honour me with their inclusion in what are happy occasions for them, then I quell my own aversion, brace my senses, and embrace the love. I find the little slivers of joy – the treasure trove of smiles and laughter – amidst the jaw clamping endurance of sensory pain. Continue reading



It is a damp, cold, spring morning. The pigeons are still bravely cooing despite the rain, and I find my mind contemplating the flotsam and jetsam bobbing, shuffling, jostling and heaving in the social seas. People with verbal diarrhoea. People who spew words willy nilly. People who speak the truth. People who cannot tell the difference between truth and lies. Gullible people who seem really smart. And savvy people in cleverly woven cloaks of false innocence. And, of course, the social measurements attached. Continue reading

Théâtre de l’Absurde

clearing!Ah, what a stage life is, and what a grand operatic theatre of absurdity! Today was one such day where I am reminded of the bizarre nature of my own social experiences. I finally worked up the courage to rid myself of an increasingly difficult connection, just as the sunshine began to spread its glow across the cold wintery sky.

The autistic person is often very painfully slow at navigating neurotypical social minefields. Well, some of us may be more adept than others – but I most definitely am one of the slower ones to grasp the craziness of social fluidity. Continue reading


Help and support hanging on the door knob. No need for social interchange if unable to cope with it. This is a blessedness indeed.

I remember a few incidents when I was pursuing my M.Phil in music composition in Hong Kong. I was very unwell – an autoimmune response to what was most probably sensory and emotional overload and meltdown – high fever, excruciating mouth ulcers, crippling arthritis. A few friends came to the rescue. Continue reading