For autistic people, April is a parade of eugenicist nonsense endorsed by celebrities with huge platforms. We can’t be online at all and avoid it. So stressful to have society rally around the demise of your neurotype.

I’m working on a piece tentatively called “The Complex Sensory Experiences of Our Neurodivergent Family and the Interconnected Modalities of Stimminess and Sensory Hell”. It’s an incomplete rough draft at the moment. I’m sharing the bones as a Simplenote note that I’ll periodically update instead of waiting for what could be weeks to finish and publish it.

I updated “Principled, Pedantic, Non-compliant Canary” with a selection from “I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder: A Memoir”.

Imagine that you have a neurodevelopmental disability that gives you some challenges with social skills and possibly the occasional rigid adherence to things like truth and fairness. Chances are good that you’ve been explicitly and implicitly told that you are pedantic, rude, blunt and not considerate enough of others’ points of views for your whole life.

Source: I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder: A Memoir: Kurchak, Sarah: 9781771622462: Amazon.com: Books

“People who realise they’re autistic in adulthood often describe a process of ‘reframing’. Past events look different seen through an autism lens. Reconsidering the life I’d already lived was a step along my journey to becoming more autistic. #ActuallyAutistic #identity”

Yes! On reframing:

And if having these different viewpoints within my study was important, understanding the perspectives and experiences of autistic children and adults in particular was essential. Time and again I found that issues aired say, by teachers, would be completely reframed when the autistic adults discussed the same points.

Source: Wood, Rebecca. Inclusive Education for Autistic Children . Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Kindle Edition.

For me and many other LGBT individuals with autism, the internet has been a socialising goldmine, filling in the gap left by our inability to engage with other LGBT spaces. Online, tone of voice and nonverbal facial expressions are removed as factors from understanding conversational intent, with words alone explaining intent. Social media allows me to socialise with other LGBT people, regardless of their location, while controlling my sensory information. I can listen to my own music on loop, eat my texture-limited foods, in comfortable clothing, under a weighted blanket, in my own home while making a new friend who communicates by saying the words they mean directly.

Source: Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman

Related:

Bring the backchannel forward. Written communication is the great social equalizer.

Hannah Gadsby on social anxiety, social exhaustion, routine, masking, autism and gender norms, being perceived as angry, getting feedback, observing patterns, competition, autistic stereotypes, processing time, autistic appreciation of comedy, diagnosis and misdiagnosis, functioning labels, toxic masculinity, thinking in terms of neurobiology instead of gender, eugenics, patriarchal devices, storytelling, comedy and trauma, neurodivergence in comedy, cruelty in comedy, fitting in, shame, failure and success, and religion.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/you-made-it-weird-with-pete-holmes/id475878118?i=1000500184519

You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes : Hannah Gadsby

What is yourself? It’s a way of being in the world that doesn’t feel exhausting.

None of those jokes about women’s bodies give any room for women to experience their own body.

The high rate of anxiety disorders among people on the autism spectrum may be due in part to the issues that people with autism spectrum conditions have to contend with in being part of the ‘neurotypical’ world. On a daily basis, autistic people have to make sense of a world that is extremely hard to decipher, deal with sensory overload (and worry about potential sensory overload), and navigate an often hostile and incomprehensible social world. All of these experiences can contribute significantly to a person’s anxiety levels. In addition, the autistic traits of perfectionism, preference for structure/routine and repetitive behaviours can all add to the levels of anxiety.

In trying to make sense of the world, people with autism often want to imagine the outcomes of events or situations that involve them. This may start from the position of trying to make the world less stressful by creating a picture or map of the future so that change or new experiences don’t seem quite so daunting.

Source: Purkis, Yenn; Goodall, Emma; Nugent, Jane. The Guide to Good Mental Health on the Autism Spectrum (pp. 44-45). Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Or by creating lists. Lots of lists.

“Race does not exist outside of ability and ability does not exist outside of race” (Annamma et al., 2013, p. 6). This insight is powerfully confirmed by the experiences of the Black middle-class parents and their children in our research. LD categories, such as autism and dyslexia, are mostly treated in contemporary England as a property right for the benefit of White middle-class students—a property right to which our Black interviewees’ social class profile does not grant access. Even armed with the supposedly “scientific” warrant of a formal assessment (a certification meant to credentialize and medicalize the “condition”), Black middle-class parents’ claims were rejected. Within an educational competition where particular LD dis/ability labels can become a valuable asset, therefore, this asset is denied to the Black parents and their children. Their greater social class capital is rejected, their claims denied, and their motives questioned. In contrast, however, schools seem content to mobilize certain dis/ability labels, especially negative behavioral categories, in all too familiar ways against the parents and their children—a finding that relates to a further DisCrit tenet:

  1. DisCrit emphasizes the social constructions of race and ability and yet recognizes the material and psychological impacts of being labeled as raced or dis/abled, which sets one outside of the western cultural norms. (p. 11)

At the particular nexus of identities and locations (England in the early 21st century, wherein Black racial identity, middle-class social status, and a range of dis/ability labels collide) the outcomes follow a pattern that privileges White supremacy and the racial status quo. Although a dis/ability label might be a useful resource (providing additional resources or supports), it is generally denied by White power holders. Yet, dis/ability labels that serve to exclude, stigmatize, and control (emotional or behavioral disabilities) are applied without regard to national guidelines or formal procedures.

Source: DisCrit—Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory in Education (Disability, Culture, and Equity Series) (p. 50). Teachers College Press. Kindle Edition.