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…

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Sharing: Autism didn’t ‘steal’ me

This is so perfect. I have to confess, I’m feeling pretty raw about this particular month. Stressful time at work, minimal downtime, the comparative recentness of my own diagnosis…whatever it is, I’m finding it far less easy than I’d anticipated to be the activist I wanted to be at this time. But this post sums up my feelings so well.

the silent wave

Like I mentioned in a recent post, April is probably going to expose my Activist Face.  Not every post will smack of activism.  But I reckon that a greater portion of them will than is typical for me.  I think it’s possible that my subconscious is railing against the backdrop of blue heaped upon our fields of vision for a month out of every year, and my instincts tell me to issue a haughty retort.

It makes me shudder, more than a little, when someone makes the remark that autism “stole” their child.  They blame vaccines.  Or environmental chemicals.  Or maybe the age of their partner or themselves when their child was conceived.  Or perhaps mom took too many over-the-counter pain relievers during pregnancy.  Or maybe it’s a mystery.

But they believe that someone or something took their child away, and with him/her, the accompanying hopes and dreams, and maybe…

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Sharing: The downside to being (autistic and) “bright”

This post resonates with me SO. MUCH.

I’ve often labelled myself as “stupid” because there have been times when there was a mismatch between my academic and intellectual ability, and my ability to “apply myself”.

Situations which puzzled me – why couldn’t I “just bloody well get on with it”?

And other situations where I was required to document “progress” towards something, which seemed pointless to me, as I’d got to the end point without having to practise or plan beforehand (I put together my entire GCSE Art portfolio, making “connections” between all the individual pieces, AFTER I’d actually produced all the artwork – listen, the art just came to me, alright?).

And situations when I come across as horribly bad-tempered and rude because I find interruptions and task-switching so damned difficult.

This post explains things so well.

the silent wave

“You’re so smart; why can’t you do this or that?”

“You could have gotten an A, if only you’d done your daily work/homework.”

“I know you’re capable.”

“You can do better.”

“You’re better than that.”

Uh, thanks?  But when people said these things, I still felt greasy and heavy inside.

Because those statements aren’t actually compliments at all.  The source-person of the comments might intend them to be, but they’re not.

That’s why I felt a little “off” about saying Thank You.  In fact, I just stared, making agonizingly uncomfortable eye contact, trying not to look “guilty” but failing, because I know that somewhere, somehow, despite my most concentrated efforts, I had screwed up.  So as the seconds slowed to a syrupy crawl, I would pull all of my internal willpower together to maintain my composure, the best I could muster being that uncontrollable sheepish guilty look, the only expression…

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