I love how people will shun an unracist word or phrase [niggardly] but continue to use a racist word or phrase. Today’s example:
So, I have spent a significant amount of time on this post and finally decided just to break it up into multiple parts. “Into the rabbit hole” will be a series on sensory perception from the inside out and comparatively between overstimulated and understimulated.
If someone had asked me what it was like to have sensory perception issues a few years ago I would not have been able to put it into words that would have made sense. Even after reading Temple Grandin’s book all I was able to say was that EVERYTHING was TOO MUCH. That is not quantifiable and mostly the response was ‘just ignore it.’
Could you ignore it when:
– your clothing feels like sandpaper tearing off your skin,
– the fluorescent lighting is flickering right in the middle of your brain like fireworks,
– the sounds of the people around you just moving about resonates like the crash of the surf constantly smacking your eardrums,
– the texture of the fabric on the chair of the person next to you is catching their clothing and making a sound that causes your teeth to itch and your skin to crawl,
– the person’s gentle tap to your shoulder hurts like they shoved a red-hot poker into you,
– the uneven edge of the nail you just broke [or chewed off] catches on everything which hurts your ears but you’re not sure why,
and all of these things [and more] you have to deal with happen at the same time, constantly, every second of every day but you still have to smile and shake the hand of the person greeting you [though it feels as they just placed a deadWETfish into your palm] and keep thoughts and conversations going like a “normal” person while not flinching or making a rude face, or screaming at them to back away and STOP TOUCHING ME!!!
I think it has probably been proven that if someone is placed in a soundproof room [where all they can hear are the sounds of their own breath and blood] they will quickly lose their shit. So live in that box while carrying on all the activities of a usual day for 3 months. Then I’ll visit you at the nut house and where you can tell me just to ignore it… Provided you can muster any response besides rocking and drooling on yourself.
For Alice the struggle is different yet similar. There are times when sounds [like our own voices or the media we are enjoying – music, TV, etc.] sound louder or softer than others perceive the same sound, or the light is brighter/dimmer, the smell is a pleasant whiff/horrible smog… but for Alice it is a constant struggle for enough sensory input: She sits at the buffet and starves [while I try to not vomit the excess onto the person next to me… enjoy your next crowded buffet.]
As a toddler, she would stuff her mouth; past the point of full and to the point of gagging; just so she could feel something on her tounge and between her cheeks. We used special oral sticks with differently-textured ends to rub inside her mouth to give her that sensory nourishment she craved and desperately needed.
Sometimes I have to intentionally overload one of my senses [usually hearing by playing my music and singing along] just so I can focus on whatever needs my attention. I loved driving my car and turning the sound up to the point that it filled the small two-seater with the vibrations of the bass and the beat and the mellow resonance of the singing voice. That was my squeeze machine and everything was okay once I made it to the car. Once I could no longer drive I had to find other ways to push the release button. On more than one occasion this involved JD picking me up and driving me around with the music loud in his car. Alice also needs extra stimuli to function but for her it isn’t an overload of one sense to blot out the others but instead she has to meet one need [usually touch] so she can concentrate on anything other than the incessant need for sensory input.
or psychedelic drugs. As she rounded out her third-grade year, my niece [is she still my niece if her uncle and I are divorced?] began having marked problems at school. She was suffering meltdowns, anxiety, stress, and a decline in her academics.
JD mentioned it in passing so I got involved.
Background: Alice had been diagnosed with sensory processing issues as a toddler but where I am always overstimulated [and shut down] she is understimulated [and explodes]. When JD and I were married, we had Alice twice a week. I knew I had sensory processing issues and was helping with Alice but I had no idea about autism at that point.
It was interesting to see the differences between Alice and me because it also allowed me to see more about how the sensory issues affected me. An autistic in a sea of NT’s may not always realize they are different, but start pointing out some differences in specific areas and I started to catch on quick. Plus with Alice being 3/4 [the “Learning to express yourself” age] I was able to help her communicate her sensory needs while I learned more about how both of us experienced the world. [More about this in a later post.]
Present: After discussing the situation with JD’s sister I made some recommendations for adjustments at school. When those helped I was welcomed to become more involved. Armed with my new knowledge of autism I realized Alice qualified as autistic under DSM5 [but not DSM-IV]. At this point, JD’s sister was not very happy with me but after she had some time to process [and talk with a JD who has much more understanding and care for who I am] she came to accept my opinion as a starting point. It helps that the school counselor saw several of the same things I noticed.
So all my studying and research work served a purpose, JD and I have mended several bridges, and Alice now comes to my home once a week. Her transition back to school this year was a pleasant one. As much as I do not want kids, I enjoy having Alice back in my life. Rocky still is not sure about her but it is funny to watch him sneak up on her then run off once she acknowledges him.
Relatively recently, due to my anxiety and distress, I was placed on medication. That sounds more terrible than it really is but I can admit to it. I am also putting this forward mostly because I do not believe that people who suggest medication really understand that there is not magic in that bottle nor do I believe that children placed on medication possess the opportunity [and/or vocabulary/range of expression] to provide input regarding how they respond/perceive their prescription.
One of the medications I was placed on was for attention deficit [ADD, ADHD] and as I am an adult, I had some say in the matter and thus was able to pick a variety [ie: Ritalin, Adderall, non-stimulant] and have some voice as to effective dosing. As it has been quite some time since I was last medicated it was interesting to note the differences between this time and last. [Also, the fact that I exhibit a pronounced sensitivity to medications, an ASD perk; I got to watch my medical doctor near-wet herself while the psychiatrist gradually ramped up my dose.]
I have come to the conclusion that medication really is not a ‘cure-all’ as I still have days/times where I’m scattered, distractible, or hyper-focused except now IT IS HARDER TO SELF-MANAGE! Biggeldy-puck, how frustrating! lol! I have times when it is difficult to concentrate on a flow of related ideas but because the medication helps to concentrate focus, I get too focused on the distractions. Then there are days where I focus so intently on one small faucet of a larger project that I spend all day completing nothing [literally Saturday I spent 8 hours on a spreadsheet for a worthless detail of a larger whole]. The medication makes it harder for me to self-manage on days like those because I am being chemically stimulated to focus.
Not that it is all bad. The medication mostly helps me to concentrate on what I need to be doing so I do not perseverate on one thing, have anxiety because I am not focusing, then shut down and accomplish nothing. Plus it kept me from testing out classic anxiety medications which I was not looking forward to.
When I was initially placed on medication it was done in lieu of testing/diagnosis. I was placed on a dosage which “appeared to do the trick” so nothing further was done. What actually happened was I was placed on a variety which I did not respond appropriately to and instead the medication just made me feel so nauseous and sick that I was incapable of anything beyond sitting miserably at my desk. I was then prescribed a second [and unfortunately worse] medication intended to counter-act the nausea but instead tasted so awful that it boosted the nausea to vomiting. After 4 years, my body finally adjusted so that I only felt ill instead of nauseous. I can now attest [from the vantage point of a variety/dose that works] that the problem was that particular variety not working as it was intended.
Also, medication is not a replacement for knowing how to self-manage.
I notice many NT’s around me seem to see the world as one either accepts fault or one is accusing others of fault. I see a similar idea expressed as “winning” means one person/side is happy/victorious while the other has clearly lost/been defeated.
At my ExWork it got to the point that; no matter how petty; nothing could reflect that I a) actually had ADA Rights, b) was/had been accomodated, or c) effectively completed any work-task. This got rather ridiculous at several points, but it all came down to denying/bypassing/ignoring that I may have a) potentially been even slightly correct is the assertion of my rights or b) received any adjustment resulting from subsequent “battles” over employee/ADA/etc. rights/regulations/priveledges.
I see this when “talks” with JD [or others] oscillate between placing blame/fault/negative connotation/etc. on me or accusing me of lumping it upon them…
Seriously, I do not care if you want to re-write the rules of “winning” but, outside of a few well-defined arenas, “winning” happens when all sides are satisfied. WWII was not “won” until nobody [including the Germans] was living under oppression. One may “win” a hearing or “win” by subjecting another person/group to subpar conditions under their power/authority based solely upon the certainty that no one will do anything about it, but the bully has not actually won anything. Also, the fact that grown people stoop to this posturing/attitude/behavior is just pathetic. What did that person get? Um, the humiliation and subjugation of another human being because that person is too stuborn/spiteful/self-important/prideful/arrogant/lacking-in-real-world-knowledge-or-intelligence to think clearly, make effective/good decisions, and/or treat people with respect/dignity.
Congratulations on being small and ignorant? Hallmark does not make a card for that, how about a “Get Well Soon” instead.
Going back to a one-on-one argument, I do not understand why blame always/usually/often has to be placed on a particular person. Yes, we ended up in this crappy situation and we are arguing and we have BOTH said/done things which were spiteful/immature/wrong/rude/hurtful/regretted but can we stop stacking blame like casino chips and actually just solve the [biggeldy-puck]ing problem? We are miles away from it and too busy tip-toe-ing through the minefield of hurt and/or chucking warheads related to things which have nothing to do with the fact that this whole argument started due to a simple misunderstanding and has ended up being a multi-media event of every way one or both of us is a crappy person in the eyes of the other.
A disagreement is “won” when both sides are satisfied with the outcome and feel they have been treated fairly.
And as a contradiction to this [as many people see these ideas as conflicting] I am firmly in support of competition, sports, recognizing talent or a job well done, and the inevitable truth that some people do X better than others, some people appear insignificant in terms of abilities, and some people are inept at physical or mental challenges. However, there is a healthier way to expose our youngsters to this – make teams of the kids who want to play ball but are not natural-born talents, encourage kids to try out for what they like, support the kid who wants to do X but needs extra support to be a productive teammate – without removing any reward. Score teams, let there be a winner and a loser, but remember to mentor them on being good winners AND good losers, do not let bullying be an acceptable behavior, teach them to be respectful of themselves so they can be respectful of others…
There is dignity in every area, we all have strengths and weaknesses, we all have talents even if they are sometimes hard to identify, we all can contribute, but we may not all bring home the gold or be the hero or get the fame; this does not mean our lives lack purpose/meaning.
So I have been doing a lot of thinking and drafting and frustrated [metaphorical] tossing of paper into the bin. I keep coming back to this one idea: The individual gets blamed for the sins of the [insert any larger entity here].
I have examples! Bare with me, this will not be easy. lol I will attempt not to rant.
A legal policy [tax/regulation/whatever] is meant to help/address X, the business/corporation/other governed group reacts by placing a negative consequence onto customers/employees/group of others/etc. and the VOTER gets the blame.
An employee is denied their rights/human dignity, and during the employee’s attempts to have their rights honored, the employer penalizes other employees [removal of rights/priveledges, increased caseloads while trying to remove victim from employment, other alterations in the attitude/conditions of the workplace] and it is the victim who suffers the score and scrutiny of the office – often involving harassing conditions, hostile work environment, and out-right abuse but it is the VICTIM who gets the blame.
Child/Adult X is different and requires an alternate experience interacting with their world but is within a larger entity [school, business, care facility, etc.] that does not respect [or choose to even recognize an established difference] but it is the Child/Parent of Child / Adult/Caregiver who is ostricised and/or abused for the incompetance of the people in power/charge/etc.
I find this so frustrating because people complain about injustices yet appear blind to the injustices they commit. I had to listen to a coworker [who created a hostile work environment for me] lament about her uncle being harassed at work for his medical problem. Honestly, no idea how I kept my mouth shut. She even adjusted how she addressed a coworker who is still there and was having a conflict with management over a medical issue but I was still unworthy of even the professionalism of civil, basic office interactions during the time I was still there.
I look at a world full of people who lie by omission with every simple yes-or-no answer, who bend their description/recollection of events to satisfy their adgenda, and who manipulate with wording and am absolutely flabbergasted at the fact that I [a paladin if ever there was one, I ask the cashier at the restraunt if I may take a toothpick/mint] am labeled a liar/manipulator by people who fail to know/understand/care-enough-to-be-bothered-with-the-fact that I work differently. I do not perceive, describe, interact or engage with the world using the same filter as the majority of people out there.
If you take the time to give any biggeldy-pucks at all and actually get to know me, you would understand.
But that is the other thing: Once the larger group has written a person off, there is no social benefit to showing understanding/acceptance so [individuals within the larger group] just stop showing it.
Sheeple, this is how the holocost happened. This is where genecide starts. Did you not actually understand the lessons behind the history classes you were subjected to or did your history teacher(s) fail to point out the “behind-the-scenes” of the horrors of histoy? Do you still think Columbus sailed to the United States, shook hands, and began a symbiotic and beneficial relationship with the Native Americans?
You spend your life being alienated away from your family… always told that nothing you do is good enough, how you are the problem, how you makeup stuff and the fact that the family relationship is broken is all your fault so fix it…
How can my mother alienate me from my father’s side of the family? Why does no one stand up for me and everybody judge me based on the shit other people say?
I really do not need this right now. I have been studying and working hard to get accepted into this program and I am trying to manage steps forward in my career and life paths while filing a lawsuit against my workplace because it is my only option but I also have to deal with the fact that I have no family support. I am judged constantly and no one cares about how I feel or what has happened to me.
I feel like everybody always expected something else from me… always wanted me to be something else and could never see who I was. I look into the autistic community and most of what you see is parents/family/others who want something else for their autistic children and are unable to appreciate what they have. I realize that not all autistics are like me – I realize that some are unable to express themselves verbally or cope with the stimuli that must be faced in even the smoothest of days; but I also know that I cannot always do those things. I have days where I would rather just not talk because whatever I say always makes it worse; when I know I cannot safely cope with driving but do not always have the option to avoid it; there are days that I do not want to do anything and there are days where I want to scratch the skin off my body and rip the hair out of my head and beat myself against the wall because the physical pain would be some mixture of what I deserve and how I know I am still alive.
I wish I did not empathize. I wish I did not worry about how people saw me or how they felt or what would make them happy or help them.
I know that the thing that happened probably was nothing, but I cannot help but see one little thing and freak out. I am trying to get ahead, I am trying to move on, I am trying to pursue something I may be better at; but I feel that the people who should support me are just ignoring me. The “community support” that people rely on for furtherance of careers and projects and themselves is severely lacking.
I am shouting down a hall void of life, air, warmth, matter.
I speak coherently but it surely must be a different language.
I feel like I exist in this world but I am not a part of it. I am trapped to watch but never understand. I will leave no lasting impression other than being the weird person who never fit in, could do no right, or only proffered lies and tricks. The people who harassed, bullied, threatened, belittled, and dehumanized me will move ahead, be supported, promoted, and successful because that is how the world works.
I will never be recognized for what I am, what I do, what I am capable of; I will always be deficient, lacking, broken, sub-standard. The outside will always want to change who I am, I will never be good enough. I envy the ones who do not understand this fact. I envy the ones whose ignorance signifies a small amount of bliss. I envy those whose mental capabilities are lower as their intelligence will never intimidate and they may have the peace that comes with being oblivious to the workings of the world around them or their standing in the eyes of others.
In actuality, my pain changes nothing as no one listens. Everyone wants a name for the scary monster under the bed. Everyone wants a word to blame, something that can be targeted, aimed at, eventually destroyed. It does not ever matter if the thought process is illogical or wrong or if they are missing something beautiful and unique. It is the reason our super heroes become villains, why we hate, dismiss, discriminate against that which we do not understand.
It is why even the seemingly simple idea of equality founded our nation but also divides it repeatedly over the decades.
I need a hot chocolate, my pj’s, and my rabbit. Followed by a week of sleep, stimming, and being able to throw out the bird randomly when I have to relive all the shitty event which have lead to my biggeldy-pucked existence.
So I have been away from social media for the past few weeks dealing with court and other personal matters. I have been searching information on discrimination law suits and reading about outcomes and other fact-based information. I have also been reading through the comments sections that are always found at the bottom of internet articles.
The internet is a wonderful place to share ideas, talk about what bothers us, and vent our frustrations. The internet is also a dark place filled with ignorant ideas and snippets that may look good or sound snazzy but which one would not dare to let fall from their lips around their “In Real Life” acquaintances. Or possibly a platform for us to listen to the outbursts from individuals who cause their own family and friends to shake their heads and offer apologetic looks when those outbursts have been expressed in their company.
I know that there are people out there who are greedy, misguided, ignorant, or looking for an “easy way out” and decide that claiming a disability and attempting a lawsuit is appropriate for them when their situation clearly dictates otherwise. I know that this causes unfavorable opinions upon anybody who claims a disability and files a complaint or lawsuit. I know that people say very ignorant things on the internet because that is why the internet exists. While I am reading those ignorant things, my anger is usually placed on the people who attempt to scam the system. My fear that this process will be fruitless has grown steadily larger and I wonder what I will do if my claims are not taken seriously. My goal is not to receive a large sum of money, but to be able to go back to work, be successful in my career field, and not exist in a hostile and demeaning environment.
At the same time I wonder how I would ever be able to go back now, after years of being made the fool and earning the contempt of my coworkers. Years of having managers who talk about me negatively with other employees, punish the employees who associate with me, and get other employees to lie about their experiences. I look at how many of these cases are lost or deemed ‘frivolous’ and wonder how many of them have been fighting a stacked deck? When you can take and employee who has previously messed up and given them a chance to redeem themselves by lying under oath or when you just do not have enough proof… It is not as though any of the individuals who threaten or harass you are going to admit to it and whose word gets heeded?
Then at the end of the day you have the average tax payer who sees these law suits as a cost they ultimately pay and the payout as their hard-earned money. I am not so naive that I do not understand that a business’s expenses are paid by its consumers nor do I believe that legal fees and settlement money grow on trees.
I think the most frustrating part of this whole ordeal is that I do not want to sue, I do not want to go to court, I did not, initially, want or need money from my company… I just wanted a simple, free, easy accommodation which was in line with the privileges afforded to my coworkers. I wanted my demerits removed from my file and I wanted a good reference if I decided to go to a different firm. That was never going to happen. Who would hire an employee who was fired with a number of demerits? How do I obtain employment on-par with my previous employment or in my career path? I have monthly bills and an education to pay for… I am a good worker, smart, friendly, and kind. However, I currently cannot get a job comparable to where I worked. I have lost wages from that company for suspensions and other unpaid leave. I have suffered and experienced pain from working there and dealing with the different things I bore while there.
I also have experienced lost wages since I cannot obtain comparable employment.
I get so frustrated because I have seen so many people who struggle under discrimination [or just under managers who are complete douche bags] but do not fight it either because they feel it is better not to [something I do not entirely disagree with] or because they tried and lost and are now even worse off.
It is hard to be where I am, it is hard to be suing an employer, but it is also hard to be that employee who suffers while everyone watches and makes their opinions. Everyone seems to think that since management is not changing anything or supporting the employee that means that the employee is in the wrong and a problem. It is easier to turn your back on one uncooperative employee than to try and understand or stand up for an individual who needs assistance. I understand that there are worthless people who attempt to take advantage of the system, but I also know that there are good people who are kept from getting ahead or succeeding because managers are people too. People are flawed and make mistakes.
When a company will not follow the law and chooses to degrade one individual till they are gone instead of spending far less time, effort, and money helping that one individual succeed, what in the world is that person supposed to do to put their life back together?
The whole situation is biggeldy-puck and so the answer is probably equally biggeldy-puck. Does not make it right, but maybe it levels it out just a bit. If someone is mad because they have to ‘foot the bill’ the target should not be the individual who is suing, but instead the company/manager who created the situation that resulted in a suit.
The human body cannot handle on-going stress well. Long-term, or chronic, stress can shrink part of your brain and make it harder to focus and remember things. It could also cause, or worsen, other health problems such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, and diabetes.
Autistic children who grow up in homes that cause stress/distress and autistic adults who have to deal with stressful family/work/peer situations often develop anxiety, depression, or physical health symptoms due to this stress. I realize that I am not a PhD, but I have first-hand experience in this and have also read articles and books that discuss this phenomenon.
Then there are articles like this one that point out how “low-functioning” [in this article, referring to actual abilities to function and not intelligence] autistic children can “bloom” in supportive households [yay!] but that statement then implies that they “wither” in unsupportive households [cry].
“Although autism is known to cause cognitive deficits in some children, it is also associated with certain enhanced intellectual abilities, and some affected children have extremely high IQs… The researchers found that 63% of the children did not have intellectual disabilities… and even among the severely low-functioning, about 10% may improve dramatically over time, with some growing out of their diagnosis by their teens.” [This paragraph has been ‘pieced’ together but does not alter the context.]
“About one-third of the study group were considered low- to low/medium-functioning in terms of communication and social skills, meaning that they may have trouble talking, interacting with others or socializing and making friends with peers.
“High-functioning kids with autism, meanwhile, can communicate effectively with others, maintain friendships and are willing to engage in social pursuits. While the highest-functioning children tended to show the most improvement over time in the California study, about 10% of those who started out in the low-functioning group also moved into the highest group by age 14.
“Briggs adds that another “very key” factor is that the mothers of the kids who bloomed tended to be more educated … Early intervention matters because the brain is remarkably vulnerable early in life, built to shape itself to the environment it initially faces. “The young brain is disproportionately receptive to input, whether positive or negative,” says Briggs. “That’s why young children can learn a second language easily and why early exposure to domestic violence and toxic stress are so incredibly damaging.” [emphasis added]”
Please also see this article which discusses the theory that some genes are like orchids – only with proper and meticulous care do they become beautiful.
If you have read ANY of my blog, you know that while I am open to learning more about current thoughts on ‘treatment,’ I do not endorse the idea that I am sick or need a ‘cure.’ that being said, I see a difference in ‘cure’ and ‘support’ but the point of this blog entry is regarding stress so please re-read the emphasized quote if you missed that point previously.
Part of the problem is caused when autistics who desire social interaction [or to ‘fit in’ even if only with a small/select group] yet do not have positive social experiences can develop anxiety. First-hand, I can assure you that it leads to several feelings. There are feelings of helplessness, confusion, and hurt. It is hard to go through life being rejected, mostly due to being misunderstood, and not known how to fix it. I may not have known when I was a child why, but I did know that I was unable to succeed at social interactions.
Going through life being misunderstood and rejected by family and peers is devastating. I was lucky that I was able to find a few friends to accept me, qualify for advanced classes, and mature quickly so I could escape. A big downside is that I did not have much of a childhood. I was talking with JD and he told me that he was sorry I did not have a childhood. I asked him what he meant and he just gave me that look that he gets sometimes [usually when he is thinking about our marriage] and said that if I had had a childhood, I would miss being a child. I could understand exactly what he meant even though I feel no longing to return to my childhood, I do feel that no child ever deserves the experiences I went through. Nor do any experience the more-severe abuse that some children suffer.
My childhood stress also resulted in frequent migraines. I was told that my ‘headaches’ could not possibly be migraines because if they were migraines, the pain would be so severe that I would not be able to function. Too bad that the autism also affected how I perceived pain but did not alter the nausea or the sensitivity to light or sound.
These stress impacts affect children and then continue to affect the adults they become. Even an autistic child who does not appear to interact with the people around them do observe their world, do have feelings about their world, and do create thoughts about their world and the people in it. If their world is stressful, that will impact them and affect how they are able to cope as they grow. [And if you do not believe me, I can link to a post like this one as often as necessary.] There are also examples of people/parents [commenters] who mean well but just do not express themselves in a logical [or necessarily helpful] way. This is not necessarily a flaw as it demonstrates their frustration after struggling so hard for so long. I am positive that they have had numerous difficulties advocating for their child to get services and I honestly understand their frustration and the fact that they may do or say things in ways that are not effective just because they feel that they have tried everything else [I understand this ALL TOO WELL!].
I am now an adult who has to deal with continued stress from my family and dealt with an enormous amount of stress at my former job. It is hard to tell which stress was worse; the family stress is on-going, but the job stress was so intense on so many levels for so many years… Some days I am glad that the daily stresses of working there are over even though it has affected my future employability.
What started as a very-specific anxiety which was solely contained to interactions with specific family members has grown into an anxiety which at times is crippling [fear, panic attacks, inability to cope] and without direct cause. I have also added depression, hostility toward others, and the shattering of my perception that the rules and laws actually protect the people who need it. But that I will save for a second post.
Stress References below the jump.
Parents Stress Too!
1. PsychCentral – http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/the-physical-effects-of-long-term-stress/all/1
2. WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-effects-of-stress
3. HelpGuide – http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm
4. ByeStress – http://www.byestress.com/byestress-articles/effects-of-stress-on-the-body.htm
I also read this but, due to a combination of typos and acronyms I cannot take seriously, I refuse to list it as a “reference.”
When I wrote this entry, I did not verify that the quote existed. One of my Twitter Birdies provided me with the link to find that horrible comment [and, of course, I found that there were other comments just as awesome].
This is specifically in response to Sarah though there are other comments on this article which are misguided. I found this comment on its own [and therefore without context] and I made me very angry. When I was directed to the location of the quote, I was still angered by what was here but I also wanted to address this audience with more consideration than I exhibited in my personal rant/response.
I think it is important to consider how the words that are placed on sites like this actually make those of us who are autistic feel. We have to work, play, cope, and exist in this world and the sensational language and responses [especially when they are negative] affect how we are perceived. I think that sometimes the authors of such comments intend to say something powerful and encouraging but never stopped to consider the words that actually came out.
Let us re-read this one comment:
‘Many children, mostly boys, in the US have autism. This has caused “collateral damage” to American children and means that this generation will have a shortage of people [without autism and able to do worthy work?] to do essential jobs that only NT’s can accomplish’ … Like being engineers and scientists?
Sorry to inconvenience the rest of you: I was too busy ‘giving my life away before the onslaught of autism [that I was too weak to fight] and now the rest of the country will parish’ because me, and all my autistic brethren, went and got all diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder??
Please consider that autism [including the broader spectrum] causes ‘side effects’ which also include interests in math and science, the ability to see pictures in our heads and evaluate structures, focus and perfectionism, logical problem-solving, and quick mental processing. These strengths can help us to be wildly successful. [Personally, I can complete complex calculus equations but cannot chose which mustard to buy at the store.] Please also consider that the DSM criteria for autism is being altered due to a better understanding of autism.
I hope you can read this response and just understand how insulting your comment is to Autistics. Especially since: “The majority (62%) of children the ADDM Network identified as having ASDs did not have intellectual disability. The largest increases during 2002 to 2008 were among children without intellectual disability (those having IQ scores higher than 70)” as of the 2008 published study. These studies are based solely on the populations of children who are 8 years old at the time of the study.
A majority of us have IQ in the above-average to superior range. A majority of us do not consider ourselves sick. A majority of us find a lack of understanding and acceptance by those who feel pity for us or believe that they need to empathize with our lives. No, not all of us [including myself] can speak [verbally] in an effective way, but that does not mean that we are less capable of felling or thinking or understanding. We know what you think of us, especially when we are young and you are the adults in our lives. And it does affect how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about you.