Yes, yes, yes…okay, okay. Alright. I boil washed another jumper! It’s becoming a thing – a metaphorical thing.
This post is about access and exclusion.
It’s about a stripy jumper made out of scratchy wool that doesn’t fit. Like that awful Xmas gift (that keeps on itching) – you really don’t want it but you have to say thank you.
And if you say thank you very much for all your kindness but…(insert any variant on a polite – er…it doesn’t quite fit me) be prepared for trouble and even abuse.
This matters because we’re not really talking Christmas gifts where there is less at stake in keeping schtum. Access is about basic equality, and yet ‘social tangle alert!’ It seems we must be grateful and find ways of asserting ourselves which do not upset anybody – unless you fancy a nice slap down that is.
Yes. It is ‘socially’ problematic…
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People often ask about stimming. It is something that “normal people” have trouble understanding.
Most people stim. Have you ever clicked a pen while thinking, swished your tongue around in the roof of your mouth, strummed your fingers tapped your toes. Some stims are less noticeable and are considered “socially acceptable” and “normal”.
I stim more than “normal people” but less than some Autistics. Growing up undiagnosed forced me to learn to hide what was not socially acceptable. Thinks like rocking and making funny sounds, though soothing and helpful, will get you funny looks. These things I love are not typically welcome in the workplace.
Alone I am left to stim freely, I like to jump, rock, and bounce about, sometimes doing things that would make people question my sanity – but it feels good, oh so good. Releasing so much tension, taking a break, shake it off, reset.
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Recently, a lovely commenter and friend (whose identity I won’t mention here, unless given specific permission to do so) notified me of an article published in Psychology Today, by a certain “Dr” Christopher Badcock, that made the bold claim that “autistics” are “undomesticated humans”. Although I had seen the article when it first appeared and mentally spouted off a hot, snarky retort back then, vowing to write a post about it at some point, time intervened, and the post had gone unwritten.
My amazing friend deserves the all the credit for this post (thank you!!), because they rekindled the fire not only by providing a link to the article, but also encouraging me to write a rebuttal.
And so it is.
Note to Psychology World: we need to get one thing straight, right now: people “with” Asperger’s/autism are not – and I repeat: not – “undomesticated humans”.
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(Work in progress on the theme of resilience, © Sonia Bouè 2017)
This week has been rocky. I want to talk about anxiety.
Anxieties collide sometimes don’t they? Stuff can accumulate and escalate. World events, a health glitch, a seriously upset neurotypical (NT) friend.
(For the sake of clarity. I should stress here that my friend was not upset with me but rather shared their distress with me).
For an autistic person this can rapidly begin to feel ‘disproportionately’ dark.
What I mean is that for autistics the confluence of events within a short time frame is often what proves disorientating, and I’m trying to analyse the cause. I think that probably some of our anxieties are related to what I think of as imperfect information in the moment. I find this a useful phrase when applied to autistic styles of perception in a neurologically biased world. It’s the difference…
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Last year I was sent this wonderful Ted Talk to listen to. I wasn’t sure of its relevance at first, but it soon became clear.
Here it is, well worth a watch:Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen
It got me thinking about so many of my problems, and they are all based in connections. They are all based between me and others.
The Ted Talk is about being an NGO in Africa, not about Autism or disability, but the comparisons are stark.
The way that our Western eyes viewed Africa as either Patronising or Paternalistic… that’s how people view disabilities too.
The way those who want to help wander around trying to come up with solutions, without asking the communities they are trying to help… that’s how people have traditionally approached helping people with Autism.
Over and over again what Ernesto says strikes a chord…
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