You Don’t Know Me

So, autistic parent who thinks that just because I don’t act EXACTLY like your child, I’m not autistic enough? You don’t know me! Person who thinks I am a dismiss-worthy weirdo? You don’t know me!

You don’t know how intense, loud and colorful I experience the world. You don’t even know how your own child experiences the world. It could be more intense, or maybe it could be less intense. Or, and this is more likely, it may be a combination of both – more intense in some areas, or less intense in other areas.

 You don’t know how much I struggle to come up with the right word. You don’t know how I witness almost every conversation (or interview, in some cases) can go down in flames because I say the wrong word. You don’t know. You don’t know the nights I spent awake agonizing and finally coming up with the right words to say, long after the opportunity to say them is gone.

 You don’t know how I have no emotional memory. You don’t know the hours I spend in private because I am crying over my own pain, or the pain of someone else. You don’t know that I am currently wishing people would just evacuate the Big Island of Hawaii because it seems to be exploding to me.

 Are you psychic? Can you read my mind? Of course not. Maybe if you could, you would be more understanding and accepting of my differences.

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Your Family is Dysfunctional? Mine Too!

So, the tabloid TV people are ragging on Meghan Markle’s family for being somewhat dysfunctional. It only seems fair to point out that the various lines of the British Royal Family have been dysfunctional since 1066, and earlier if I could ever get the records. Even Prince Harry’s own immediate family has been dysfunctional. I won’t get into it. You can Google that yourself.

I would also like to point out that family dysfunction is actually quite common in this day and age. What is the right marriage? What is the right family? Just about everybody enters adulthood somewhat messed up. I won’t get into that either, but just remember that.

Oh, and one more thing: I opened your closet, you judgmental being, you, and a few skeletons fell out. You might want to clean that up.

What I Want From Benedict Cumberbatch

So, I’ve noticed that you guys have read a lot of Benedict Cumberbatch on the release of Avengers: Infinity War. And, I must admit, it’s a rare negative light on the star. I’m afraid for him now, for a few reasons.

I’m afraid people think I don’t like him. Nothing could be further from the truth. He’s one of my favorite actors. The reason what he said several years ago hurt so much is because he is one of my favorite actors. I’ve learned, the hard way, not to let a stranger too close to the bone in that instance. In going back and reviewing what I wrote about him, it’s hard to imagine positives without being reminded of them.

I’m afraid people will forget the work he does for charity. He often auctions personal possessions for various charities. For Infinity War, for example, he auctioned off a meeting for tea for an African organization. He often auctions off personal works for organzations as well. I’d just like him to look for something that brings light to Autism Acceptance.

So, what do I want from Benedict Cumberbatch? I want him to turn a little of that charity work towards an organization that practices Autism Acceptance. I want him to see autistic people as people. Many other people refuse to see the autistic as a human being. Maybe I just want him to recognize that ableism can be drilled into you by the media and society so hard, it becomes a part of you. It happened to me, it can happen to him. I guess what I really want is for him to listen, learn, and accept. Is that too much?

April Wrap-Up: It’s A Little Better

So, another Autism Awareness Month has come and gone. Is everyone OK? I hope so. Although most of the autism Awareness emphasis was toward the beginning, people might want to reminisce toward the types of progress the autistic community has made. I’ve made lists of the Pros and Cons toward this progress. For the first time, there have been definite Pros.

 The Pros:

1. There has been a definite shift toward what autistic people want and need.

2. Autistic voices are finally gaining some sort of traction toward being heard.

3. There has been a rise in finding and diagnosing autism, particularly in communities of color.

4. More female portrayals of autism are coming around in the media.

5. At least in my local grocery store, there has been a shift toward acceptance and social inclusion.

 The Cons:

1. Autism Speaks still wants to “DESTROY AUTISM!!!” as if autism is some sort of social cancer. (It’s not; prejudice is, though.)

2. The portrayals of autism in the media are still generally white and male. This stereotype still rules and harms autistic people everywhere, even denying them diagnosis in females. I have yet to see an autistic woman who is like me on TV.

3. Sheldon Cooper, who does not have an official diagnosis, is the gatekeeper of autism in many neurotypical minds.

4. There has been only one major portrayal of autistic persons of color: Billy the Blue Power Ranger in the Power Rangers Movie of 2017.

5. Most people still think autistic adults are not autistic enough to speak for autistic children.

6. The Autism Community is still fragmented, with parents of the autistic on one side and autistic people on the other.

7. ANDREW WAKEFIELD, JENNY MCCARTHY AND THE VACCINE BLAMERS!

8. The Most Important: People still think autism is a tragedy. Some people even have to wait until adulthood to get diagnosed because their parents do not want their children to be autistic. (Nobody gets a choice in the matter!)

 While the Cons List is almost twice as long, the fact that there are actually Pros is a plus. I previously referenced April as The Trauma Month, if you remember reading that back in March. If we get over our differences, band together and fight the prejudice against us, someday the Pros list will be longer. That, my friends, I am looking forward to.

How Millennials “Kill” Industries

EDIT: I erased the writings seeming to support Capitalism. I do not endorse one economic system over another. What I do support is more equal distribution of economic resources in order to support any current systems in operation today. 

No, millennials are not killing the sedan. Ford is. But I have a bone to pick with the whole “millennials are killing ____” stereotype, simple because it’s not millennials at the root of the problem. Millennials are supposedly killing most industries simply because they cannot afford to keep those industries alive.

What’s the easiest way to kill something? It’s not be able to keep it alive. What do industries require to stay alive and keep feeding the owners of the industry? Money. Let’s imagine, for a minute, money is water, and the chosen industry is a plant. The image is an easy one, simply because plants need water the same way industries need money. If you neglect to give a plant water, it will eventually die. If you do not give money to an industry, it will die. The problem lies in this: the American dollar does not stretch that far these days. Even with most wives working in some capacity so their families can eat, it is getting harder and harder to achieve that end. See, part of the problem lies in the total lack of livable wages, now that the American dollar does not stretch that far anymore. If millennials do not make enough money to eat, let alone buy a house or car, how do you expect them to keep an industry alive? Sell their internal organs?

Millennials kill industries by involuntary neglect. If these titans of industry want their money, they need to pay enough money to their workers in order to get them to give some of it back. Sure, people say prices will rise, but haven’t they risen beyond reason already?

Everybody Chill: The Rate is Better Diagnosis

Sorry, but I will not sugarcoat it. I don’t know how. By now, I’m sure you have heard that the new autism prevalence is 1 in 59, up from 1 in 68. And do you know what? I don’t think sugarcoating applies here. If we did not attach a stigma or hate to an autism diagnosis, as American society tends to do to the non-white-bread types, I would not have to warn you.

 Now, let’s get down to your real question: Why? What could be the cause of a higher prevalence than before in the United States? I just put a clue up above. It’s wider screening, especially among children of color. A recent article by the Associated Press cited closing gaps of diagnosis between Black (20% gap – 10% gap) and Hispanic (50% gap – 20% gap) children. It looks like we’re casting wider nets than ever to grab these children and propel them toward a new understanding.

 So, what are we supposed to do with this new information. Well, I’ve got a strange idea: Close your eyes, relax, and see this new rate for what it is: good news on better understanding your kids.

It’s Time to Rename Asperger’s Syndrome: How about Autism?

Hans Asperger. A supposed “hero” for the autistic white boys who lived in Nazi Germany….not so much. It has recently been revealed that he sent undesirable children to the execution programs, particularly if they were female, or of “mixed Jewish Blood,” which meant damnation in Nazi Germany. Now some people who identify with Asperger’s Syndrome are in shock and despair, wondering what to do or how to identify next?

I’ll be honest: I never really identified as “Asperger’s Syndrome,” because it did not fit the more-accurate childhood diagnosis I received, and my mother fought for endlessly. Sure, knowing you were different hurt at first, but I slowly realized that knowing your condition/impairment was a real advantage in getting along with the world. Now, back to the question at hand: what to do with Hans Asperger’s legacy? Now, this might seem radical to some, but why not avail yourself to current research and hitch your wagon to Leo Kanner’s horse? What is currently known as Asperger’s Syndrome and a form of autism are basically the same thing, are they not?

Quit trying to separate yourself or your child from the advantages given in being a member of the autistic tribe. Being autistic means that those supposedly strange requests are now reasonable accommodations. Being autistic means that you have a name, tribe and culture to identify with – that involves Ghostbusters. Being autistic means that said culture will love you endlessly and unconditionally, knowing you or your child are one of its own. Sure, your life seems harder because you have an identifiable difference, but isn’t it easier than hitching your wagon to a Nazi?