Expectation vs. Reality: Valentine’s Day 2017 –

Via Daily Prompt: Expectation

Let’s get one thing straight: Often, reality does not meet expectation, let alone surpass it. I was expecting to be attached to somebody romantically this Valentine’s Day, but I’m not, for example. To me, though, expectation is no big deal. I can deal with a single Valentine’s Day. I have been for years. There is a no-worry plan to deal with Valentine’s Day, or as some singles like to call it, Singles Awareness Day.

1) Drop expectations – What do you have to worry about if you don’t have anyone to expect anything from? You’re totally free from it. I mean, sure, your friends or family may have something to celebrate or expect, but you, don’t worry about it. There is nothing to tether you to expectation.

2) Surround yourself with things and people you love – I’ve done it already this morning: I’ve got my new Doctor Strange Funko mug. I’ve already got my chocolate, my coffee, my favorite pajamas, and my later plans to go out to lunch with my mother, whom I love dearly. Love is the theme of the day; surround yourself with people and things for it.

3) Don’t get bitter – Why get bitter? Maybe you don’t have what they call a “soul mate.” Besides, the “soulmate” theory came from a belief that the human soul was divided into two genders, male and female. I’m not going to get into it, but I believe 1+1=2. You are a whole, complete person by yourself. Besides, would you really want to be in a relationship where the person abuses you because you don’t want to be alone? You know there’s various caveats to that, and that’s one of them. Besides, just because your life hasn’t worked out right doesn’t mean others haven’t either.

4) Celebrate others’ relationships – There are plenty of people to whom Valentine’s Day has a more special significance. For example, my own parents were married on Valentine’s Day. Find someone who has this kind of significance – like a birthday, perhaps? People were born today, too. But I digress. Sometimes you have to absorb another’s positive energy, sometimes you don’t. Don’t worry about it.

I hope I may have been helpful with some suggestions in dealing with this day, if you are having trouble.

ADDENDUM (8:15 p.m.):

My experiment actually worked. We went out to a pretty good place to eat, and I realized this: I could eat onion. (Onion curls, but I digress.) I survived this day just fine.

 

What Does Autism Look Like Anyway? 

When I reveal that I am autistic, or my mother does, we often get this response: “But you don’t look autistic!” Yes, I do. I got my formal diagnosis from the UCLA Medical Center as a child. Do you think I would lie to you? Why don’t you believe me? What does autism look like to you?

According to popular media, autism is usually depicted by a white cisgender male, and usually a child. They are often portrayed as some sort of savant as well. That is an extremely narrow and stereotypical view of autism, and it is not helpful when you reveal it to people to spread understanding among them.

Is it because I am a woman? I can assure you, autistic women exist. They often go into adulthood without their formal diagnosis, often waiting until their fifties to get this diagnosis, often when researching their own children’s or grandchildren’s diagnosis. Just because we are a smaller group does not mean we are nonexistent. That is just ridiculous to think.

Is it because I am an adult? Usually autism is given a child’s face. Also, that person is in meltdown or other extreme distress. We are not always having meltdowns. Meltdowns are usually caused by a trigger. It could be a sight, sound, smell, taste or touch. If you need something to compare the trigger to, look not further than an addiction. Or PTSD. Or various other dynamics which involve avoiding triggers to stay sane.

(The following does not apply to me, but this is often a reason people do not “look autistic.”)

Is it because of my race? There may be more formal diagnosis among white people, but there is also an existence around every known society. I recently saw an episode of Chicago Med with an autistic doctor played by somebody who was black. (Yes, I do say “black.” It’s perfectly OK to see what race a person is. What is not OK is to assign a lesser or greater value to that race.) I applaud Chicago Med for that casting choice. It gives a sort of face to an entire race of autistic people not represented in media. Not to mention that most races are given say, one token representation, and it certainly is usually not with neurodiversity. You usually have to be white for that.

Is it because of my gender identity? Is it my sexual orientation? I could go on and on about how a narrow stereotype locks many people out of perceptions of autism, or various other conditions for that matter.

(Back to what applies to me again…)

Open your minds, people. Autism is not equipped with a specific physical “look” or “act” to be obvious. A specific facial expression or profile does not exist in the autistic spectrum.

When one specific trait, such as autism, is used to describe a group of people, try not to be surprised when the traits not used to describe them vary widely. It would have to call on other traits to be mentioned in common to get a grasp of the people you are describing. Don’t put people into boxes. They don’t fit.

The Infinity Rose for Autism Acceptance

TW: Autism Speaks, “cure” talk 

InfinityRose4.png

In case you have not noticed, I have changed my appearance for April. The changes come to support the Autism Acceptance Movement, which is currently counter to the Autism Awareness Movement. (The Autism Awareness movement has been hijacked by the group Autism Speaks.)

As you are well aware, Autism Speaks is mostly dedicated to “curing” the world of Autism. What you may not know is that Autism Speaks is a combined group, one of its major ones being Cure Autism Now and the National Association for Autism Research, also a group dedicated to “curing” the “disease” of autism. That, however, is not a view held by the autistic community.

According to the majority of the autistic community, autism is a neuro type – a different operating system of the brain. It is wired into the DNA of the individual. You cannot cure it or work against your neuro type; you can only work with your neurotype. The individual is only disabled because their neurotype is not accommodated – their neurotype is not worked with. Now if the neuro type is worked with, the individual will thrive. However, most people will not work with autism – they will only search for a “cure.”

Most autism parents search for a “cure” in vain because they cannot accept that their child will be different, and may not fit into society. They are simply afraid of what will happen to their child because they are different. Some of them even hate their child for being different. “I love my child but hate his/her autism” is evidence of this point.

Now, a little bit about the changes. As you can see, I have chosen the Red Infinity Rose for my personal symbol for April – for Autism Acceptance. The Rose is my favorite flower. In flower language, the red rose symbolizes passion, love, courage and power. The Infinity Symbol is recognized as the symbol for the Autistic Community. I put these together in love and hope, hope for the acceptance and empowerment of the autistic mind to its full potential.

The Future of The Relationships of Robert DeNiro and Jenny McCarthy’s Children and Their Autism

I see a very bleak future for the relationships of Robert DeNiro and his child with autism. I also see the same bleak future for Jenny McCarthy and her son with autism as well. You see, they both have given credence to the “discussion” that vaccines cause the Big Bad Autism. The vaccines are not the problem. I am not going to talk about the vaccines. I am done talking about vaccines. What In want to talk about is these celebrities’ wholesale rejection of their children’s fundamental autism – they reject their children the way they are. And that has made the difference.

Autism is a neurotype which makes the brain function differently from the typical mind. It’s in our DNA. It makes us see and experience the world differently. Because of this, it is recognized as a disability, though it makes a very wide definition of disability. The thing is, autism is feared more than death from polio. You must really hate your child, Mr. DeNiro, if you think it was better to have them dead from a preventable illness than to have them alive and autistic.

Let me tell you your future with your child: Your child will learn of this film, “Vaxxed,” and will learn how hateful you are of this fundamental block of themselves. They will think, “If autism is bad, and I am autistic, that means I am bad.” They will turn against themselves. Or, the child will learn how hateful you are of this block of themselves, and turn against YOU. I have seen both of these experiences.

Both of these experiences are in your future, Mr. DeNiro and Ms. McCarthy, unless you come around to Autism Acceptance.

Autism Acceptance is a mindset where you accept the person as they are, warts and all, and love them that way. It sounds simple, but that’s often too hard for the average autism parent.

It’s like saying, “I love my child but hate their autism.” Autism may debilitate a person, but does it make them any less loveable, does it?

Am I Going to Age Alone?

*TRIGGER WARNING: This is a reaction blog tied to the early death study from Sweden. Its source is linked to below.

Source: Large Swedish Study Ties Autism to Early Death

Only in the past 24 hours have the results of a large Swedish study been reported by major news sources. I am just as flabbergasted as many others to learn that it will only take until July 17, 2017 (less than two years away) for me to outlive many of my autistic peers. In case you are wondering, yes, that is my birthday. My 40th birthday, to be exact. It is a frightening statistic, to learn that when a learning disability is paired with autism, the average age of death is 39. Yes, 39. I turn 39 this year. I also have ADHD, which scares me too. (Does this mean I will outlive most of my peers?) If there was no concurring learning disability, the average age of death was 58, still very short from the average death age in the 70s. It scares me that I could soon be alone in this world, because I am aging faster and faster with time…and people like me are dying young. It’s not likely that I will die this year or the next by my own doing, since I am working to improve my overall health, mental and physical. Trouble is, I am allegedly going to be a rare case. You can read the article yourself…

I don’t know why it took so long to sound the alarm on early deaths and autism. Yes, there is a proven link. The study was published on December 11, 2015. Today is March 18, 2016. Four months is a really long time to wait to sound an alarm. Well, I guess we need to remind everyone that Autistic Lives Matter? Do we need to stage protests to get our message across? Nothing seems to work otherwise, and now we are dying young.

What will it take for the neurotypical to care?

Lady Ambrosia and the Damaged Ones

(SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead unless you have watched The Blacklist: Lady Ambrosia, or have no intention to avoid its spoilers.)

Now, on to what has poked my mind tonight. A certain episode of “The Blacklist” has gotten into my head, in a very good way. The episode was titled “Lady Ambrosia,” and was a nod to the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. However, this was no fairy tale. This was a woman who “turned children with disabilities into butterflies” by throwing them down a well. You can guess what really happens. She has a nonverbal autistic son, and a husband who follows her every whim. What I would like to focus on is the final scene between Raymond Reddington, the main character and an antihero, and Lady Ambrosia herself. Reddington aka Red discusses her past, of having a neurotypical child who drowned in an accident involving him and the autistic son. Her rationalizing just makes me sick. She says she “saves” the “damaged ones” from a world that hates and pities them (her words, not mine). Her son reacts by saying he’s “ugly,” (again, I do not agree), and Red tells he is entitled to whatever he needs, including a mother’s love. I’ll end the spoilers here, but the fate of Lady Ambrosia can be read above.

Listen up, neurotypical parents. Lady Ambrosia exists in every person who records a meltdown and puts it on YouTube, or some other public video site. (Do you like David Hasselhoff’s drunk burger on the floor video? It’s the same to me.) Lady Ambrosia exists in every person who “saves” their child by murdering him. Lady Ambrosia exists in every person who insists on institutionalizing and criminalizing autism by denying them help and accommodations until they land in jail. Lady Ambrosia exists in every person who thinks those with disabilities are lesser human beings. What I am saying is, if you pity or hate us, you are Lady Ambrosia.

You may think I am being too hard on autism caregivers…but the point is, if you’re having trouble, and need help, do not hesitate to get any. Keep calling out for help, but most importantly, hang in there. Keep pushing, keep praying, but most importantly, keep living. You do not know how close you are to aid. For instance, one woman who killed her autistic child and herself was one day away from her mother’s help arriving in the mail. If you stop and end it all, you are playing God and taking a life. You become Lady Ambrosia.

Ableism in Action: Negativity Breeds Negativity

A recent post on Autism Wars brought something to my attention: the common link between digital exhibitions of the worst of autism and the outright murder of the autistic child in the future of those posts. A quick summary of the cases presented:

 

Issy Stapleton: Her mother blogged The Status Woe, which obviously sounds negative, and whose murder I have posted about previously.

 

Alex Spourdalakis: A video of a naked restraint on a bed session raised funds, then he was stabbed to death by his mother and godmother.

 

London McCabe: Similar style of blogging and fundraising used, then thrown off a bridge.

 

This article touched on a pattern of exhibitionism and agony that seems to focus on the parents’ agony, not their child’s agony. What it fails to mention, however, is that systemic ableism in society encourages this kind of dwelling on negativity and personal agony due to the apparent agony that society seems to, for lack of a better term, get off on this type of agony and parental pain of the deserving angel parent, not the less-than-human child with the disorder. Do you see how this type of valuation harms not only the child but the parent? I believe society focuses on negativity when it comes to autism, and encourages autism parents to do the same.

 

Are you aware that negativity breeds negativity? Focusing on meltdowns and all the things the child takes away from you takes your mind off the positive contributions that person may or does contribute to your life. It’s as if these agony-focused parents are wanting everybody to agonize with them. It’s like the old saying: Misery loves company. Or should I say, misery loves to spread and contaminate? Of course, it makes no sense to love misery unless it’s accepted, right? So the now-miserable parent does something drastic to try and “stop” (they think) the misery. But of course, now they have a dead child and a potential prison term. Oh, and they have society saying “You were right to murder your child. It was life unworthy of life.” (Those last four words were a term the Nazis used to describe the Jews, by the way.) Dr. Phil, I am talking to you. You justified Issy Stapleton’s attempted murder by giving her an audience for her negativity, and made an attempted murder right in society’s mind. How insane is that?

 

I am just saying that putting your child in a negative, undeserving, unwarranted light will make you want to eventually murder them, whether you actually hate them or consider it euthanasia (mercy killing), or “sending [them] to heaven.”

 

Yes, autism can be a crippling disease with little or no recovery – but only if you let it. What a parent needs to understand is that every life is precious, no matter what level of contribution to society. There is something you can learn from every facet of society-even ones you consider to be doing or being wrong. ‘

 

Just so you know, my mother would never have put any of my childhood meltdowns on a global video website, or even blogged about them. You do not do that to your children.