Autistic Bilingualism

So relatable 🙂

Autism and expectations

I’m bilingual

My first language is English. It’s what my parents spoke at home, my first words and thoughts were English. I learnt Welsh when I went to Ysgol Feithryn (nursery). I would have been about two. It carried on into a first-language Welsh primary school, and then a secondary school where English was not permitted even in the playground (making it the ironically rebellious act). I did my GCSEs in Welsh. I learned French and German and a smattering of Japanese through the medium of Welsh.

I remember a teacher once saying to me (and time passed means it will be a clumsy paraphrase), “It must be so hard for all you second-language-Welsh pupils, you have to translate everything in your head. You see a table, you thing ‘table’ and then look for the Welsh word, ‘bwrdd’ and then you can say it.”

I looked blankly at her. I…

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Theory of mind(reading) — the silent wave

Realizing that you’re autistic when you’re an adult means you get to do a lot of searching. This takes multiple forms – soul-searching, Google-searching, memory-searching, and often, people-searching (the journey of finding others just like you). In my internet searching, I tripped over a staggering number of tidbits that clicked my entire world into place. […]

via Theory of mind(reading) — the silent wave

Square pegs – a touch of the ‘normals’. #autism

GREAT post by Sonia Boue! 😀

The other side

STU_1978DPP_001Photo by Stu Allsop – at RE:collections exhibition 2016 with my installation. 

And lo, it came to pass that one day in the later decades of my life I experienced a touch of the ‘normals’.

But please don’t worry – I am quite okay. In fact I’m more than okay. I’m frankly energised in ways I don’t yet fully comprehend.

And again – don’t worry – I haven’t been ‘cured’ of my autism or gone all typical overnight. I am still emphatically me, only I’m suddenly a me with a growing sense that there are others quite like me, rather than me being a somewhat ropey version of you (you – for the purposes of this post being the non-autistic reader).

You see this typicality runs very deep in our culture. It seems to me there’s always a best and correct way of doing things – indeed our whole learning…

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Waves

Autism and expectations

Waves

Did you ever let the whole world in

With a thought?

Were you ever told that one wave on the beach

Was the important one

And though you tried to catch it

It was drowned in the crashes and splashes

All around?

Autism isn’t separate and distant,

It’s a connection to everything;

The birdsong, the engine, the beams and the crackles.

You try to contain our love to just people.

You try to chain it, restrict it, explain it.

You live on a one-wave beach,

Neat and tidy, with carefully placed seashells.

I live in a tempest.

The sea roars, the wind whips, the sun shines rainbows through the vapour-mist.

There is no order,

Each sense demands no border.

There is passion

And fascination

And procrastination

Caught in the curve of a rolling wave.

Nothing is neat and tidy

Everything is movement.

I learned to drown out and focus.

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Autism Poetry

A lovely poem 🙂

Autism and expectations

I always struggle to write poetry specifically about autism. How do you write about a process? You end up bogged down in the behaviours that result from it, instead of the thing you were trying to focus on.


These are last night’s headscribbles. I hope you enjoy them.



When I try to write

About the autistic

My brain slips.

Because it isn’t in the eye

Or the ear;

It’s the bit between there and here.

The interlocking process,

The wandering thoughts,

It’s the aggravation at derailment,

It’s the creased brow,

It’s the losing the thread in the billions of threads

But finding yours in seconds,

It’s the cleanness of honesty,

And the curled lip at deception,

It’s the spoon that dips in and scoops out the words,

It’s the taste of wood sorrel,

It’s following a bumble bee,

It’s putting all the pieces together in an instant

But not knowing…

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Depathologizing Asperger’s / autism ~ Out-voicing the autism ‘experts’

the silent wave

Ever since the advent of the internet and the proliferation of websites of information on just about any topic imaginable, it seems as though Everyone’s An Expert.

This seems to apply especially to the Asperger’s/autism spectrum.

These self-proclaimed “experts” generally fall into one (or more) of four camps:

  • The majority of (hint: not all) scientific researchers and medical/mental health professionals who study or work with people on the autism spectrum, and/or
  • The subset of (hint: not all) parents, caregivers, and educators of autistic people (the specific warrior/martyr-like subset being referred to from here on as the Autism Moms/Dads/Parents(TM) as described here (link to “The ‘BS’ Fairy’ blog; Rated R for language)
  • The subset of (hint: not all) advocacy organizations whose “advocacy” is mostly unproductive and undesired by Asperger’s/autistic people ourselves
  • The media outlets (be they internet portals of “inspiration p*rn”, Hollywood movies, headline news, etc) reporting on stories involving Asperger’s/autistic…

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April and Accuracy

Eclectic Autistic

I think one reason April (at least in its guise as Autism Awareness Month) is so stressful and aggravating for autistic people is the sheer amount of mis-/disinformation bandied about: since many of us like things to be correct, we feel the need to correct it. This often leads to friction, because, well, people don’t like to be corrected, even politely. Beyond that, I think there is often a mismatch in the intent of communication when it occurs between autistics and allistics.

I realize I’m generalizing here, but this is a fairly common trait; I think it’s one reason why autistic people are often said to “take things literally.” (But we could just as easily call it an allistic failure to say what they mean and/or mean what they say.) When someone says something, autistics tend to see it as an informational statement, and evaluate it as such. But for…

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