Not Rain Man Enough

Now, most women diagnosed autistic get their diagnosis after they reach adulthood…usually after they have an autistic child (read: SON) who gets the diagnosis first. ANd that bothers me. Why do they wait so long? Why all the stereotyping for the autistic person as white, male and undoubtedly eccentric? Maybe it’s perhaps they are not Rain Man enough? 

The movie Rain Man, for what it was at the time – 1988 – brought awareness to autism in its own way. But the trouble is, the actor being Dustin Hoffman, a white male, it made autism extremely hard to diagnose among women and persons of color. Maybe it’s because women and persons of color are not Rain Man enough. 

Now, the point I’m trying to make is, Raymond “Rain Man” Babbit presented a stock image of one autistic person. But the image that the movie Rain Man provides is too narrow; it is a stereotype. And we all know that reliance on stereotypes makes most people fall through the cracks of help. It creates a society in which there is no help, and autistic people end up homeless, in asylums, abused, raped, and even murdered without mercy. (I’m not kidding about the rape part: almost all autistic women are raped at some point in their life.) Society, as a whole, ends up anti-autistic. And all because people only see white males exhibit autistic behaviors.  

This is the message I want to convey: Do not let the face of Dustin Hoffman or Jim Parsons (for those who think Sheldon Cooper is autistic) be the limit to what you can see. There are autistic black people. There are autistic Hispanic people. There are autistic Asians. There are autistic Pacific Islanders. THERE ARE EVEN AUTISTIC WOMEN! Some of us are gay. Some of us are bisexual. Some of us are even transgender! Autism is not a cookie cutter condition. Do some more research, universities. Why did you not do further research on me, an autistic girl, throughout my life? How I coped in middle school? How I coped in high school? How I coped at community college? But no. You let your inner stereotypes and prejudices run your life. How is a vine or young tree supposed to grow upwards properly without guides to do that? But you don’t care.  

 As the saying goes, a mind is like a parachute. They both work best when open.  

Deviled Eggs: a Good Samefood

“Samefood? What’s a samefood?” That, my friend, was a question I had to look up myself for the answer. What I get is, that a samefood is a food eaten repeatedly for comfort. Sometimes, it is a need for taste or texture, sometimes a stim. Sometimes, it is even for a routine.

Now, I normally don’t eat deviled eggs in this fashion. This is a recent development. My mother sometimes eats hard boiled eggs. I decided to get fancy, and make deviled eggs. The recipe is simple: boil some eggs, scoop out the yolks, mix with mayonnaise, mustard and maybe sweet pickle relish, put mixture back in the whites, sprinkle with paprika, and enjoy. I only make and eat two whole eggs at a time, so these amounts are minimal. It’s actually so strange, my new samefood.

I wasn’t so fond of eggs in my childhood. As a matter of fact, I would only eat them scrambled for a long time. I could not stand the whites. They were wiggly and bland – two of the textures I hate the most. (Well, not “hate” – just have a aversion to.) I’ll admit it – I’m a spice lover. Anyway, Donnie Wahlberg thawed my aversion to whole eggs soon after that, and I’ve been okay. But now, deviled eggs have become a touchpoint of sanity. (I guess that’s the reason for being a samefood.) I don’t remember having many samefoods in my childhood – just aversions. I just asked my mother if I had any samefoods, and she said no. Perhaps this is a new development. I mean, people get new allergies every five years, maybe autistic people get new symptoms or methods of comfort. I feel that’s okay.

My Thoughts on “Trump is Unwell” and the Black American Experience (Yes, They’re Related)

Well, it’s been a while. The protests for racial equality are still going on. Coronavirus is still a threat, with what I believe a second wave gearing up in places that did not heed its lessons before.

I don’t speak up much about racism because I am still listening and processing to explain it to ears that will not listen.

You know what grinds my gears? The ableism presented in the “Trump is Unwell” argument. Now it’s presented in a new political attack ad from Donald Trump against Joe Biden.

I just saw an ad (at 9:50 a.m. on Tuesday June 23) that “Joe Biden is slipping.” It presented a few quotes out of context to present the case that Joe Biden in mentally unfit for office. And then, at the end….”I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message.”

Did you not think, ableists, that the tables of “Trump is Unwell” would not be turned against you? And guess who it hurts?

ME.

Ableism doesn’t hurt Teflon Donald. Ableism doesn’t hurt Joe Biden.

Ableism hurts ME.

Due to the autism I hold in my genes, I am the one hurt in all this ableist talk.

Look me in the eye and tell me you’re not discriminating against me.

********

I just realized something. This must be what the Black American Experience is like. I read somewhere that to be black and semi-conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage and fear. I admit I could never truly experience the real nuances of the discrimination against blacks in America, but realizing I am being discriminated against in the political campaign might bring me closer to it.

And that in itself might bring me more empathy towards black people.

I’m Boycotting TikTok. This is Why.

I’m not on TikTok. Normally, I would jump on this as a new app. I’ve even got a new phone for this occasion. But there is a big, giant thing in the way. 

The Autism Challenge.  

Remember that?  

Well, the gist is, people would mock the autistic by “acting like them.” Basically, doing the “universal hand gesture for mentally disabled.” This bugs me to no end. First, the big hand gesture. Normally, a person would have something like a stroke for that particular hand movement. Second, there is no evidence autistic people even do that hand gesture without the above mentioned stroke.  

And secondly, the app is suppressing the voices of disabled users. I would be a disabled user. Would they suppress my voice? Yes. 

TikTok suppressed disabled voices.  

I am being discriminated against by TikTok.  

And the people of TikTok like it. They like to discriminate against me. TikTok hates me.

Until TikTok apologizes to the Actually Autistic, I will not use its service. Until TikTok apologizes for the discrimination and hate it displays toward me, I will boycott it.  

What It’s Like: Covid-19 Testing

My mother and I just got tested this morning. The county health department is doing them for free…and it’s….quite an experience.

The experience goes as this: my mother and I go to the health department, in our masks, and they direct our car around the building. We show them the IDs, they mark the car, and we get packets of information, with tissues and a mask. We go to the next station, where they do the main testing.

What they do is take a swab and stick it two or three inches into your nasal cavity. (I forgot we have such large nasal cavities!) It goes all the way to the back. (I didn’t know it could go that far!) They get a good sample, and put it into a small tube they have on them with the basic information. (I guess.) Apart from a little discomfort and a bit of mind blowing, it was okay. We’ll probably have the results on Tuesday, because it’s Memorial Day Weekend. As for the tissues, my nose was actually dry, but I do recognize noses are different. If you need a test and can get it, get it.

The big issue is, there’s a pandemic going on out there. I am honestly surprised I did so well at the test with my sensory issues. Isn’t it better to know? We have no plans, per my previous post, so if we have anything, we can isolate properly. And I’m saying “IF.”

Autism Acceptance Month Day 30: A Little Empathy for the Isolated

Well, there is not a lot to say now. This Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month has been dominated by Coronavirus. There was a little talk about autism at the beginning, but it’s been mostly about the pandemic. Granted, there were some puzzle pieces here and there, and the tone-deaf White House did the “Light it Up Blue” thing, among other places, but Covid-19 took out most of the ableism.

Isn’t it funny how it took a global pandemic to finally get the “able” bodied and minded to feel what isolated disabled people have been feeling all their lives? We have been isolated, lonely, dejected, and rejected. Why do you think we have chips on our shoulders?

An update about my family: no one has called or receive calls from my mother’s side of the family except one aunt. In my nuclear family, the only one to call or receive calls is my younger brother. On my father’s side, at least my last living aunt calls every once in a while. I give more credence to my aunt on my father’s side because she actually calls. Mark my words: if I ever get rich or successful, they will be the only ones I acknowledge as family or get a red cent of my money.

Autism Acceptance Month Day 29: The C-Word Incident

CONTENT WARNING: Swearing, Autism Speaks, Discrimination

A site runner for Autism Speaks just called an advocate speaking against them a c*nt. I was kind of expecting that from the site runners, considering who they’re working for. As far as I know, Autism Speaks (I believe not saying the name increases the name’s power) is a cure-focused group that focuses on the feelings of caretakers, preying on them even, instead of the autistic loved ones who are actually suffering from autism discrimination. You can web search any of the fellow autistic-run blogs or search engines for the source material for the above claims.

Autism Speaks has a long history of being cure-focused, discriminatory and dismissive towards autistic voices, even blocking them on the site message boards if they disagree with their agenda, and calling one of the advocacy voices a c*nt.

Now, there are apology letters from the other site runners, but I and many others feel this is too little, too late. We have long registered Autism Speaks as ignorant, dismissive and hateful. It was only this year they even decided to acknowledge the existence of autistic women (and other non-males) by adding colors to their blue puzzle piece logo. Many of us in the autistic community take offense to the puzzle piece logo, because as per Autism Speaks, a puzzle indicates that the person is “missing pieces.” That belief is saying something like “a vagina makes an incomplete person because it is not a penis.” We know better than that!

As this is admittedly a short an angry fire-off, there is little source claiming. What did you expect, an MLA paper?

Autism Acceptance Month Day 24: WHAT IN THE ACTUAL – ???!

TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide, Misuse of cleaning chemicals, MMS (?) 

Normally I stay out of the political fray until it’s time to vote. But this time, I can’t hold back. What is wrong with Donald Trump? Did he actually suggest injecting caustic chemicals into the human body? Seriously, introducing bleach into the body is a known form of suicide! I am flabbergasted that he was even mentioning these things being used in that fashion! 

The big problem is that there are people out there who will try ingesting and injecting themselves and their loved ones, especially their autistic loved ones, with these caustic chemicals in an attempt to cure them of coronavirus. There is even a known series of churches spouting chlorine and other bleach chemicals as cure-alls. Ever heard of Miracle Mineral Solution? As a member of the autistic community, I am standing with the makers of Lysol and people who have the sense God gave paste to understand it’s a danger, NOT A CURE, to put caustic chemicals in your body. I know I’m late to the party, but I was so stunned at this news I could not believe it. Sometimes it takes me a day to process information.  

Autism Acceptance Month Day 9-12: A Holy Saturday in Unique Circumstances

It’s not easy to type about things in quarantine when the “Q” key gets stuck. I mean, don’t you need that key to type “Quarantine”? Anyway, we simply stayed put and rested the past two days. Soon, since it’s technically Easter now, we’ll be observing the day with an online service and special foods. We’ll be having Eggs Benedict, then ham, baked beans and potato salad. I hope we’ll have a nice time.

Autism Acceptance Month Day 4: Chillin’ Like a Villain

To be honest, not much has really changed in our lives. We don’t even like going out these days. We are using this day to rest from yesterday, our monthly shopping day. Not much really happened. We rested, slept some, and I walked the dog twice, as I normally do. The big thing is, we’re resting and staying home, as we ought. But our day was not entirely without activity. I made face masks generally straightened up.

The CDC has recommended people wear masks outside, especially in high impact areas. I had grabbed a face mask a couple months ago from a stand at the doctor’s office, so I had one. It was during a flu season. I made two more today, so in case we need to go out, my mother and I. They were made from a dress whose hemline I hated…so I fixed the hemline also. I decided to wear one for a pic, and….it’s ugly.

Anyway, that was pretty much what I did.

Stay home, stay safe.