When Do We Get to Be Autistic?

Not easy feeling brave enough to speak.

Erin Human

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Image is a yellow/blue watercolored background with the text: I have been congratulated for “overcoming autism” : a well meaning gesture that means nothing at all. For a time I thought this was applause for having the ability to pass, but I have learned that it’s code for “we expect you to act normal now and anything that you can’t do we will consider a personal failing.” – eisforerin.com

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I’m seeing a new therapist and I’ve told her how much I like to write; last week I told her that I haven’t blogged in a while because I haven’t had the time, but this morning I told her that I’ve realized I am not writing because I don’t know what to say.

She told me that it’s important to keep doing this so that I have a voice.

So I’m going to try to say some things.

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Screaming under water!

What happens when you scream underwater?

Screaming underwater is what I do when trying to surface in a new reality.

I try to find the appropriate pathways but they are not necessarily the same as those I intuitively follow…………so inside my mind I scream.

I feel that I’m drowning and no one knows… just now at this moment the words of a song come to my mind… I never understood what these words meant…. Drowning not waving.   Now I “get it”.

It is the position we feel inside when we try to communicate and our efforts aren’t seen . Is this why some autistic children cease to speak or never speak? What is unseen, unspoken and unheard is the exhausting efforts autistics make to adapt, fit in and accomodate non-autistics only to be judged as being inflexible, un cooperative and much more…. how can we turn the light on and reveal our undercurrents, our whirlpools and our building waves that carry not only us but others too to undiscovered shores?

The difficulty is finding the correct pathways, not alluding to mental pathways but cultural pathways… people have different emphases on things and some people’s minds race ahead of where they are at to where they want to go and drop off a cliff. Other people slip and slide around those pathways and then find the track has been ripped out from under their feet just as they were beginning to get that grip.

Does the latter happen when parents speak and assume their children understand not only the words but also the grammar, syntax and significance of what is being communicated without tuning in to the child, the novice in  acquiring  language a ” common” language? Does the child miss the chance to commence walking on that path to wait for another opportunity… but what if  as he/she goes to plant a foot on that path as it disappears and is replaced by something else?

It  requires much patience  on behalf of parent/teacher and also student/child  etc  to progress to this common ground.   Perseverance! and a sense of authentic presence.

Not a half hearted attempt of flinging a few words and hoping they will land somewhere. The teacher becomes the student of the pupil in an attempt to know where interests lie, to get to know that person is a commitment when that person is autistic.

This blog is part of my tuition, the part where I’ll be learning to use ” tags’, but it is more than that it offers me a conscious insight as to what my mind is doing and also where my mind was racing ahead or slipping sideways . It is helping me to clarify intricacies of learning language as it were  ” from scratch” as Tech lingo is so different from my native or other acquired languages I’ve mastered and in doing my hope is get closer to knowing my Godson… who does not speak in words.

Jumping into the unknown ill-equipped is a gamble I have to take. Will I make it or remain screaming  under   water?

Accepting Personal Responsibility as an Autistic.

What means have I to Advocate for Autism awareness and acceptance ?

Isolated in many ways from other people and moreover from other autistics I decided to learn to blog. Not an easy endeavour for me .

It is early days and I’ve much to learn before I am able to communicate my ideas and feelings adequately. In some way I feel that I’ve slid sideways into another version of infancy … learning the rudiments  and symbols of terminology… all so foreign to me and I need to take it slowly and reinforce each step many times through repetition before I can actually use this mode of communicating effectively.

Whilst many may relate to all this terminology, for me it is as foreign as if I were trying to learn to write in a different language  having to master a different alphabet.

Autistically allegorical ! Yes!  This process is and will afford me the opportunity to consciously observe my mind working  at learning to communicate. Hopefully it will help me understand not only my autism but also how other autistics may experience  difficulties in communicating and give an insight as to how to overcome them.

Late DX older Autistics struggling with Social Media 2 connect.

As an older late DX autistic I have trouble connecting with the online autistic community. Came to this site by chance. Am still figuring out myself since my diagnosis. Am sure I’ve made many mistakes trying to connect .

After decades of being excluded it is easy to take offence when my friendly overture is ignored at a Workshop,I take it as a conscious rejection instead of a by product of the other’s autism.  Results in a wariness to approach younger autistic adults. It can feel that there is a big invisible sign saying ” no autistics over x years welcome”.

It is difficult to deal with  decades of exclusion by NTs  followed by perceived exclusion by those who espouse Inclusion. Is there a support avenue for older autistics whose birth year plight hasn’t provided a DX by middle age nor equipped them to be included via social media etc?