Sharing: Autscriptic: Mild Autism

I’ve been meaning to write something about “mild autism” for some while, but I’m seriously struggling for time, energy, and whatnot. I might address it in my own way eventually, but in the meantime I share Rhi’s wonderful post. This piece utterly NAILS all the issues I have with the term, and how I feel so much of the time.

Autism and Expectations

In 2016 I wrote a post that seemed to capture people’s imagination in a way that others didn’t. Autscriptic has since been shared far and wide.

It taught me that there is great power in sharing conversations between neurotypes: Laying bare the misunderstandings that tangle us up.

The first Autscriptic was about the trials of masking, this Autscriptic is about the times when I’ve had people quantify my autism based on how well I can smile. Once again it is not me recounting any one conversation, it’s a story based on many conversations I have had. Usually with people who know little about me and less about my autism diagnosis.

You must have a mild form

Mild?

Yes

Mild and soft and gentle as a summer rain?

I suppose

What does mild mean?

Well, you’re not very… flappy. You can talk, you can look at me. I just mean you…

View original post 1,205 more words

And now I draw in colour.

I’m a little sporadic with my blog posts at the moment. Things have been busy.

We’re approaching Christmas, it’s the end of a long and very difficult term at work, the kids are full-on, I’m tired, and whatnot. And the truth is, the past few months have been somewhat dark. That happens sometimes.

But something else has happened.

I’ve been drawing. More, and more, and more.

I love to write. But my occasional brain-body disconnect means that no matter how adept I am with words, I can’t always summon them to the fore. Images flow from my mind to my hand to the paper far more readily.

Since I wrote my lament at the loss of my one true passion, I’ve been reclaiming it. And the funny thing is, even as my days have sometimes been very dark so far this autumn and winter, my drawings have been vividly bright.

Why now? I’m not quite sure. But where once I drew in nothing by greyscale, I’m rejoicing and revelling in colour as I did when I was a small child. And where once I drew nothing but people, I’m now drawing landscapes, fantasy scenes, monsters, repeating shapes…and people. A stylised landscape: the foreground, trees, rocks and a crow in silhouette; behind, also silhouetted, a river and a town with smoking chimneys; behind, hills in reds, pinks, purples, and browns, and a cloudy sky

Perhaps it’s because, after so many years of confusion, self-scrutiny, and self-doubt, I finally understand something of who I am. I’m more comfortable with who I am. I like who I am. And even as I struggle with overwhelm, the weight of uncertainty, of change, and of responsibility, and with negotiating even some of the basics of adulting, I encounter the awe-inspired, imaginative child inside me somewhat more these days. I welcome that child.

Why do I choose the colours I use?

My favourite colour is green. I love the natural world.

And yet I’m hardly ever inclined to use it in my drawings. I’m drawn towards warm, fiery tones, or otherworldly palettes of turquoise, pink, and purple. I feel compulsively drawn to these hues. Perhaps it’s because they reflect something of how I see the world – the way so many colours other than green seem to shimmer and glow like fairy lights against the green background of nature.

Perhaps I’m simply drawn towards the fantastical. So often, I’m overwhelmed by too much of the mundane.

Whatever it is, it flows. Alien city scape, with orange sky, binary sun system, and tall skyscrapers in a range of colours. An elevated railway runs across the centre of the image, and spacecraft of varying sizes fly across the background.

The perfectionist in me often curses my still-developing, still-emerging technique. I have a way to go. And at the moment, my scale is small. An A5(ish) plain-paged Moleskine journal that fits in my bag; a collection of Stabilo fine liner pens.

I have a sense that I’m probably going to want to go bigger at some point.

But for now, I’m just enjoying it. I’m taking joy from it.

And when my days and nights are dark, that’s what matters.


[Featured image description: alien desert landscape in oranges and reds. A rough, stony, curving road runs through the middle of the image, along which three distant silhouetted figures (resembling an adult and two children) walk. In the background are cliffs, hills and volcanoes in purples, blues and browns. A binary sun system shines in a darkening sky. Strangely coloured desert plants dot the scene.]

All images ©️ A.R. Nibbs 2017.