Neurodiversity Celebration Blogathon

As part of Neurodiversity Celebration we are staging a Blogathon - a chain of simple introductions or a straightforward accounts of neurodiverse experience from neurodivergent people and neurotypical allies. It could be a proper blog, or a short post, a video, a photo or even a song about your experience and thoughts.

What does Neurodiversity mean to you, how can we celebrate neurodivergence?Blogaton 59843.jpg1586345881426.png
 
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Margot

Administrator
What is Neurodiversity


The concept of Neurodiversity was first introduced by Judy Singer in her 1998 Honours Thesis, a pioneering study of Autism from a sociological rather than a medical perspective.

Neurodiversity think of autism and other neurological conditions as a difference, not a deficiency in itself, and of autistic as a minority people who are othered and disadvantaged by society die to the lack of understanding an acceptance.

Recognising of course that some people have multiple conditions or extensive support or healthcare needs, and that proper support that values and respects all autistic people and their families is much needed.


“Neurodiversity is, ultimately, a biological fact of the infinite variety of human neurocognition."

“Now, the same term ‘neurodiversity’ is also being used to represent a fast-growing sub-category of organisational diversity and inclusion that seeks to embrace and maximise the talents of people who think differently.”
(CIPD, Neurodiversity at work, 2018 )

“Neurodiversity may be every bit as crucial for the human race as biodiversity is for life in general. Who can say what form of wiring will be best at any given moment?”
(Attributed to Harvey Blume, The Atlantic, 1998]

Dr. Stephen Shore: This quote emphasizes that there is great diversity within the autism spectrum. While the commonalities of people on the autism spectrum include differences in communication, social interaction, sensory receptivity, and highly focused interests, it’s important to understand that the constellation of these characteristics blends together differently for each individual. This is why some on the spectrum are good at mathematics while other may be good in their arts, sports, or writing – just like the rest of humanity. Autism is an extension of the diversity found in the human gene pool.
https://ibcces.org/blog/2018/03/23/12748/



The best description of Neurodiversity so far:

“Humans have diversity in neurological conditions. While some, such as autism are considered disabilities, many argue that they are the result of normal variations in the human genome. The neurodiversity movement is an international civil rights movement that argues that autism shouldn’t be “cured” and that it is an authentic form of human diversity that should be protected.

By Joichi Ito. Director, MIT Media Lab; Coauthor (with Jeff Howe), Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future
 
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starmind

New member
Hello. I exchanged a few DMs with NDSA on twitter and was invited to share these observations here so more readers can access & get involved.

My own (favorite) definition of ASD (speaking strictly for myself and for own personal experience) is to call it a neurological condition of sensory disregulation, which it is. I favor this objective technical phrase precisely because it sounds descriptive and self-evident. It's a prompt for open-mindedness, possibly inviting more questions and dialogue. What does this condition involve, what kind of sensory disregulation do you experience, how does this manifest - notice it already creates an opening to talk about _your own_ personal experience (of this condition), no vague stereotypes and no tyrannical external definitions.

Anyone unfamiliar with autism (whose understanding of autism is limited to external, ableist social stereotypes) will not recognize this "neurological condition of sensory disregulation" as autism because, well, it sounds entirely different from anything they might've heard about it. They might react with, "wow you don't look/sound autistic." But what they really mean is: "wow your first-hand experience of actual autism doesn't look/sound like any stereotypes or caricatures I've absorbed about autism." It's a surprise of recognition that reality of autistic experience vastly differs from non-autistic imaginings of it. Moments like these are great opportunities to self-advocate and self-represent. Remember: to many people, you might be the only autistic individual they get to know closely/directly, which means you get to overwrite crude social stereotypes by becoming these people's new reference point on what real lived autism is like.

"You don't look autistic" is a phrase of surprise or disbelief, but it's not meant to invalidate: seize such moments to gently re-validate your own experience and readjust non-autistic perceptions of it. -"You mean, I don't look like the autistic stereotype, and you're absolutely right,"-you might say in reply. -"Real-life, first-hand experiences of autism are very variable and individual, like any other condition. The stereotype and symptoms you associate with autism come from external non-autistic imaginings which have historically been dismissive of actual autistic perspectives."
You might offer to share such perspectives, or to answer any future questions. If the other person is receptive and open, you might even mention the diagnostic criteria of autism (in DSM-V) has been changing dramatically over the past 40+ years and even this past decade alone, and is still very much in development. In other words, clinicians, psychologists, therapists, and neuroscientists still have not fully defined it, cannot fully define it, and very much recognize the limits of critical frameworks they are using. The only ones who get to define it - for themselves and for those around them - are the autistic individual themselves, simply in everyday experiences. Less systems-based approaches and more personal touches.


About the phrase "neurological condition of sensory disregulation" :

Presently I've "tested" it in limited settings thus far, only a handful of one-on-one exchanges with colleagues (who are already familiar with me/my work), and purely in practical contexts. Mentioning it briefly not to draw attention to it, but to provide a frame of reference on why, for instance, I can only stay a limited time at a crowded social event, why I might keep sunglasses on at said event if the lights are too bright, or why I might ask to dim the ceiling lights slightly during my presentations (as a small accommodation). Framing it as neurological is, I think, crucial as it points to neutrality of manifesting symptoms and gives others a reference point entirely free of any "baggage". In other words, I pick this neutral phrasing to "own" this condition and emphasize I'm the same exact individual as I've always been, as far as others are concerned. Thus, admitting sensory intolerance to some stimuli becomes no different than admitting lactose/gluten intolerance, etc. And just as dietary accommodations are becoming completely normalized in work/social settings, I believe the same can be done with sensory accommodations. Goal is to remove the social stigma by normalizing ASD simply as a way of being.

I've honestly resisted accepting my own condition for years because the predominant mode of discourse around it is still entirely rooted in pathology paradigm (even the wiki page, first place anyone ever looks), and to accept it is to accept that there's something "wrong" with oneself. The "disability" in autism is 100% socially-constructed. The pathological framing of autism as "social deficits" is not only "disabling" but honestly dehumanizing. (This is the biggest obstacle for disclosure - and biggest uninformed stereotype to overcome).

What NT pathologists/mental healthcare providers/psychologists still aren't catching on about, is that the so-called "social handicaps" of autistic individuals are entirely created by certain social hegemonic structures that don't/won't/can't accommodate human ways of being when said ways of being diverge from the narrow (and entirely socially constructed) status quo. (I'm writing an article about neurodiversity in premodern cultures - it is truly incredible to realize how much the Cartesian/Freudian pathology paradigm has hijacked contemporary discourse to such extent that many simply take this cultural Western phenomenon of NT normativity as a de facto given).

Just a small example, to illustrate and expose the Western "neurotypical social standard" as a mere construct:

Consider the case of Finland, renowned in pop-media as a nation of introverts. Traveling though, I found the Finnish cultural responses to noise/"loud" sensory stimuli to be radically different from elsewhere in the West, indeed. A fully packed airport cafe in Helsinki - crowded to capacity- was so quiet and peaceful it was as if the place was empty. People simply talked at low volumes sitting close to each other, no exuberant gesticulations, no animated body language, everyone was calm and quiet. The crowded place did not feel overstimulating at all. Same phenomenon was also noted at crowded coffee breaks of a Finnish conference I was attending: the room was full of people yet the low volume and lack of emotional exuberance made it a very peaceful setting.

I am regrettably not a neuroscientist or psychologist (my training is in philosophy and critical theory). In my own observations, the differences in dominating phenotypes/neurotypes (on cultural or geographic scale) appear to govern what is considered as "socially normative". What elsewhere in the West is called "neurotypical" (driven, high-energy individual prone to active socializing and network-management) would stand out as an anomaly in most of Scandinavia. It really brings attention to limitation and contingency of any "socio-normative" models. They are entirely cultural-historical constructions. Cultures where different cognitive structures were valued and represented would have a completely different definition of what to them is "neurotypical" or "neurodiverse".

These are among the biggest points of emphases framing my research (history of mentalities/history of ideas). There is so much yet to be done in raising acceptance of neurodiversity, but making uninformed folks aware that this is precisely only this - valid human diversity, valid diversity in human experience - is already a great step to overturn pathology-models.

Neurodiversity in disability discourse can do what queer theory has done for gender discourse: collapse the binary either-or (normal/abnormal) and reclaim and celebrate individual ways of being as part of the vast diversity and plurality of human experience, freeing it from any label impositions and giving people freedom to simply be themselves and accepted as they are. Validation and affirmation. This was long, so will end the post here - glad to share perspective. Very gratifying to see more grassroots self-advocacy groups emerging around the world!

Feel free to engage with more questions or talking points, either here or @ me there. My twitter handle is the Old Norse translation of my current username here: stjarnahugr.
 
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AspieringHuman

New member
Thank you NDSA for your encouragement, and for giving us a platform to speak our minds and share our experiences!




Super Freak
School Terrie.jpg
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.​
Middle school was a grueling three years. The first year was the hardest. I learned if I could just stay quiet, and mind my own business that I could pass as normal and go mostly undetected by my peers. Barring my knock off Bass shoes, my thrift store jeans, and my frizzy brunette hair, I fit in well enough to not get picked on as much as some of the other kids. It also helped that my older brother was known for beating kids up if they so much looked at him the wrong way. No one wanted to face him, so they left me alone.

Alone. I felt alone. I had a few friends but they were slowly moving away. Either physically to another state or another group of friends. Sixth grade was the worst. I observed all the other kids socializing and having fun, but I ended up sitting alone at lunch and keeping my head down to go unnoticed.

It was just to much pressure for me to even walk down the hall. There were tons of people, a cacophony of kids and teachers talking back and forth to one another, not to mention the loud voice in my head asking me why this was so difficult and why I was so weird. I couldn’t wait to get to class. At least in class, the pressure to fit in was off of me because the teacher was now the center of attention.

The First Day I realized the thrift store was for cool people…

I use to dread going clothes shopping because that meant we were going to the Alabama Thrift Store. I remember wanting mom to park close to the door in case a person from school drove by and saw me going into the store. What would they think? Would this give them fuel for their covert bullying of me at school? Just some poor girl who wears someone else’s old clothes! Writing this just brings back the ugly stares of some of the most beautiful girls in my class. Their stares were unbearable at times.

The next year something happened. One day I was walking down the hall and I noticed a group of kids I had never noticed before. I was mesmerized by them. One of the girls had bright pink in her hair another guy had green, and they all had on black leather jackets some with spikes. I was intrigued and automatically fell in love. If these older kids could stand out from the rest of the herd and survive, so could I. I was so tired of trying to fit in by having the right brand of jeans and shoes. My mom could barely afford food, much less clothes from the mall. I always ended up getting the cheap, used knock offs that made me feel inferior to my peers, it was time for a change.

We pulled up to the thrift store and I thought “fuck those assholes, I’m doing my own thing now.” For the first time, the thrift store was my oyster. It was the early nineties, and there was an ocean of vintage jeans, shirts, dresses, and shoes for me to construct my style. I was in costume heaven. I bought genuine bell-bottoms, button-up vintage blouses, old soccer jersey’s, bright blue velvet pants, and my favorite, a pair of high heel tennis shoes. No longer would I be constrained to ugly brown suede shoes and tapered jeans that “had” to be tight rolled. That was for the preppies and the yuppies, and they could have it. I was not trying to fit into that cookie mold, only to be rejected, any longer. A new me was being born!

The next week I constructed my first original outfit and was nervous and proud. I had no idea what this would mean for me when I walked down the crowded hallway at school. My heart pounded with anticipation. I strutted in with confidence wanting someone to say something to me. I got tons of recognition from many of my school teachers, blank stares from the rich popular kids and smirks from others. One of the popular guys from the football team called out “Super Freak”, and I felt my confidence rise. I took this as a badge of honor. I thought, “Hey I like that”!

Super Freak is right! This new identity freed me from the confines of the neuro-normative idea of who I was “supposed” to be, what I was “suppose” to look like, how I was “suppose” to respond. My peers had already made it quite clear to me that I was not normal so why try. If you can’t fit in, be grateful! It’s an empowering gift just waiting to be revealed!

I continued to create my path and style. It was one of my favorite things to do. I would go to the thrift store regularly to see what I could find. Someone else’s trash was now my treasure trove. A few years later the big box stores in the mall started selling bell bottoms and flared jeans, and all the rich popular kids were wearing them. It was then that they validated my style and even wanted to now be a part of my crowd.

It’s funny how this Super Freak helped transform a whole student body by expressing herself and doing her own thing. You be you, no matter what anyone else thinks. It may take years, but the unique seeds you plant will eventually bear fruit! And even if they don’t you will have the gift of self-love and empowerment! That, in my opinion, is priceless.

“To shine your brightest light is to be who you truly are.”
Roy T. Bennett

Written by @AspieringHuman @auteuredreality/wordpress
I am a neurodivergent autistic adult, on a mission to educate neurotypicals about my alter-reality, and how neuronormativity is exhausting and crippling at times.
 
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Desertphile

New member
1/3

WHY THE DESERT CHOSE ME

“I feel I stand in a desert with my hands outstretched, and you are raining down upon me.” -- Patricia Highsmith

I was thirteen years old when my mother’s new spouse hauled me and my family away to Indian Springs Auxiliary Air Force Base in Nevada to be daily beaten, humiliated, demeaned, defiled, brutalized, and sexually molested by strange men. Nobody had to tell me why most of the women in town wore more bruises than clean clothing, and had terrified, wounded eyes. Subservient, low-hierarchy males abuse anyone and everyone they consider lower than they are. The worse offenders either went to the one and only bar in the center of town every night to drink, or to the Mormon Church every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights to be praised by their community for being ideal husbands and fathers. If you ever visit Indian Springs, Nevada, be sure to pack something to kill yourself with.

The town of Indian Springs had only one positive trait: walk in any direction for 30 minutes or so, and one will be completely alone in the desert. After another 30 minutes one leaves the trash behind, and the noise of the highway, and the automobile stink. The desert is pure and clean and uncluttered, out there in the creosote and rabbit brush. If one is lucky, there’s nobody else around for miles--- and that is more precious than gold.

I spent my free time exploring the desert around Indian Springs with my brother, looking for old mines, seeking out sources of water, and enjoying the lack of people. The only fond memories I have of my youth are of being in the desert, far from monstrous, brutish, odious humanity.

Life in Indian Springs in year 1974 was just as suicide-inducing as it is now, and my brother and I found that any adventure was worth pursuing. Running naked across the field during a football match (”streaking”) was popular at the time, and all us kids who had nothing to hide did it. We also had the yearly Air Show, when the Indian Springs Thunderbirds performed low-altitude stunts up to the day they all followed their leader into the ground at 400 miles per hour with hardly a flinch at all: an event hailed as “a beautiful act of obedience to leadership” by the Air Force captain who told me about the heroic and manly slaughter.

One evening, the day before an air show, the lone woman at Cactus Springs asked my brother and me to shoot a raccoon that had been harassing her hens: the pay would be $5, which was a huge sum at the time. Her daughter attended the same school we did, and even with the girl’s “duck when you kiss her” over-bite she was still prettier than most Indian Springs girls, so of course my brother and I agreed. Late that night we walked west four miles, his Sears & Roebuck bolt-action .22 caliber rim-fire over his shoulder, and lay down to sleep in ambush a few dozen yards from the woman’s hen house. The raccoon showed up at early dawn, and my brother sent a bullet through the raccoon’s left eye. We packed the dead raccoon in a pillow case and trudged back to Indian Springs.

Back in town, the cafe on the highway was open for breakfast. The cafe was quickly filling with tourists from Las Vegas there to attend the air show, but my sibling and I got a table near the door. The pillow case with the raccoon was shoved under the table; we asked for pancakes; my brother took apart the rifle and started to clean it on the dining table like any civilized savage would. A fat, ancient, bald tourist sitting at the table nearest us loudly objected, apparently yelling at the cook, “There’s a child with a gun in here!” He sounded outraged, not alarmed.

My brother’s eyes locked with mine. A “silent understanding” passed between us, then my brother slowly pivoted the chair he was sitting in until he was facing the irate man. I drew in a breath slowly, held it a bit, and exhaled: I felt a tiny stab of pity for the tourist, as I know how much like a force of nature my brother can be when he turns into Cletus The Hillbilly. When my brother turns the full might of his wit against a victim, it is often spectacular and always frightening.

“Why, sheeer there iz!” my brother said. “How elzz could ah shoo’ this ‘er varm-mit?” My brother used one booted foot to shove the pillow case with the dead raccoon in it out from under the table.

Slowly, making no sudden moves, I started to reassemble the rifle because I might need it soon.

“Iz a’ gunna make ah hat owtah ‘em,” my brother said, reaching down and opening the pillow case. He rummaged around and pulled the dead raccoon out of the sack by the tail and one leg.

The tourist turned purple, and there was a great disturbance among his eating companions.

“Ack! Eark! Ork!” strangled the tourist, turning the most amazing shade of violet. He managed to find enough breath to yell, “You can’t bring that thing in here!”

“Why not? They dun let yerself in ‘er, ain’t they?” my brother said. My brother set the dead raccoon down at his feet, reached for the pillow case, and said “Wud hew like tuh see muh dead rat’ler? He gots nine rat’ls on ‘iz tail.” My brother put one arm into the empty pillow case, and everyone who was not his brother flinched in horror and dread.

The annoying tourist leaped to his feet and wailed, “We’re leaving!” The people with him stood up also and as a herd they stomped out the door. My brother put the raccoon back in the sack just as the waitress came out of the kitchen with the food the tourists had ordered.

“Where’d the people go?” she asked.

“Went looking for a diner that doesn’t serve raccoon, I overheard,” I told her. She looked puzzled.
 

Desertphile

New member
2/3

When my brother and I were twenty-one years old we went exploring the Valjean Valley, looking for a place called Rabbit Holes Spring in the East Mojave Desert. The route in to the valley is along the T&T railroad right of way.

We drove into Valjean Valley on the railroad right of way (the rails and ties were long gone, “high graded” as building materials for other tasks), in my pickup early one morning, and we walked the final three miles or so to the spring. There is no surface water there, but if one is willing to dig five or six feet into the sand and gravel one will reach water. There was nothing of interest to see, and the morning was very warm, but the hike beat anything else we could think of to do.

When we hiked back to our vehicle at about 10:00 AM, we had just put our back packs and other gear into the pickup when we heard what sounded like a train coming at us from the west. We looked westward and saw a tall, wide curtain of dirt blotting out the sky. It looked like a biblical apocalypse sent by an angry god was thundering down upon us. We got into the pickup, rolled up the windows, and braced ourselves.

A mighty blast of furnace-hot wind struck the pickup, along with an astounding amount of dirt, sand, brush, leaves, items of clothing, rusty tin cans, plastic bags, a trash can lid, pieces of barbed wire--- anything and everything in the desert that was not nailed down came our way at high speed. The heat inside of the pickup became unbearable, so we climbed out on the leeward side and hunkered down with our backs against the wheels, hands cupped in front of our faces to help keep the dirt out of our eyes and sinuses. Visibility plunged from miles to mere feet, when we could open our eyes at all.

The desert eventually ran out of trash to throw at us, so it settled down to just dirt and the occasional creosote plant. It kept coming and coming and coming, and the stinging dirt itself felt so hot it was like being sprayed with droplets of oil from a deep fryer.

Every few minutes one of us would ask the other if he was still alive. The dust got into our eyes, and our ears, and between our teeth, and in every conceivable nook and cranny and orifice. The wind got even hotter as the day dragged tediously into the afternoon. Our sinuses dried out until they were in agony; our mouths dried out, and our tongues felt like dry sticks in our mouths.

The entire day passed in a pandemonium of dirt-filled hot wind. The sun, which was an ugly burnt orange color, set behind the hills to the west, and still the dust storm hammered us relentlessly.

About an hour after the sun had set, the wind suddenly and abruptly ceased blowing. It was like someone had thrown a switch, and the mighty fans of Hell had powered down. Our ears rang from the quiet. Our lips were cracked and split open, but the sores were so dry they didn’t bleed. Old defensive knife wounds on my desiccated hands and arms, that had healed years ago, had mysteriously reopened. The amount of filth that clung to our bodies and clothing could only be seen to be believed, and not adequately imagined.

My brother and I stared at each other in the dwindling twilight like survivors of an atomic bomb blast. How he managed to speak, I still have no idea, but my brother parted his withered and blistered lips and asked, “What! The! Fuck!?”

The block of ice in our Coleman ice chest had completely melted. We filled our water containers and drank the rest, though I had to use one hand to pry my mouth open wide enough to get water in there. When I drank, the hot water washed over the dry, dusty cracks in my mouth and tongue and it was agonizing but in a refreshing way.

Around 9:00 PM that evening, as we were laying on our filthy, gritty blankets and trying to sleep, we heard what sounded like a train coming at us from the east.

“No....” my brother said in the dark somewhere to my left. We could not see it coming, but we heard the howling wind coming back at us in the dark. My brother mentioned something about “But this only happens in the movies!” as we raced to hide behind the vehicle on its western side.

For much of that night the east wind threw back westward the trash and dirt and gravel and brush and shit that it had blown eastward during the day. Now and then the hot blasting wind would have an inexplicable gust of frigid air within it, and I would shiver with the cold for a few minutes, then the cruel hot wind would return.

The sun rose that morning blood red. Within a few minutes of its rising, the terrible wind fell silent and the airborne dirt settled to the desert floor. My brother and I once again shook the dirt off of us, as we struggled to stand.

I would have shed massive tears, but my body had no moisture left. I stammered at my brother phrases like, “I... I... I’ve suffered enough!” and, “Please! No more!” and, “Make it stop!” We had no more drinking water, and every breath brought agony to my chest. My brother agreed that maybe the vacation should end early. We had enjoyed the desert enough.

Then he got the bright idea of visiting Soda Spring, to bathe naked in the ecologically sensitive micro environment while the scientists and the college students watched us in disgust and horror. Which we did, maybe setting off the latest mass extinction event in the area.

The desert was good times, and comprised my fondest memories. That is why, when I felt the need to divorce myself from society for a few months, I chose the desert to spend it in. Or one could say the desert chose me, since even when it was being hostile to me, it never meant to be. The desert has always offered to me refuge when my people-wearied mind needs it.
 

Desertphile

New member
3/3

Many times I have feared the desert. When we were about 30 years old my brother called me on the telephone and told me he was driving into the wilderness to the northwest of Ibex Spring for one night. I was anxious when he did not return after three nights. I know my brother was as savvy as a coyote in the desert, and he could be dropped off anywhere in that area with just a belt knife, a tin cup, and decent boots and he is good for a week or three. But I was anxious to go look for him.

There was no sign of my brother at Ibex Spring, nor at Horse Thief Spring, Pachalka Spring, Kingston Spring, Coyote Hole, Tecopa, and a half dozen other seeps and springs I checked. In many places I had to park my pickup and walk to a seep to see if my brother was there, as my car cannot travel over soft sand.

After a weary three days of searching, six nights having past with my brother in the wilderness, I found his car about two miles from a seep in the area east of Bad Water, with the front right wheel hanging awkwardly by its broken axle. I walked to the seep and found that the brush around and in the seep was dead and worn down by wind, suggesting the seep had been dry for many years.

My brother was squatting over a large rock, with a small rock in his right hand, pounding what appeared to be a tiny chipmunk or kangaroo rat into paste. It was obvious that he planned on eating the entire thing eyebrows and all. With the tiny bones crushed, it would make a disgusting meal but perhaps better than no chipmunk at all. I walked up to my brother, vastly relieved to see him alive and apparently well, and when he saw me he said, “Oh, what in the world are you doing here?” I pretended surprise at finding him there also, as if I had just happened to be passing by. He went on smashing the chipmunk, trying to out-cool me with placid disinterest at his being stranded in the desolate wasteland with no food and no water. When I asked him if I could eat half of his raw chipmunk paste (brains, bones, eyes, toe nails), he looked at me with shock that I would ask, considering how hungry he must have been.

“Gosh, Martha Steward, you ain’t really gonna eat that thing, are you?” I was horrified. It seemed to me that even a tiny bit of chipmunk goo is worse than none at all, no matter what the FOXFIRE books say.

“Damn right I am! It took me four ass-fucking days to snare this little son of a bitch!” He then licked the small rock in his hand, dropped it, and with his fingers scraped the revolting slime off the big rock and stuck his fingers in his mouth.

“Gosh!” I was fighting to not vomit. “Is it as good as Ma always used to make it?”

“Even better!” my brother insisted, looking a bit green in the face. But he ate the whole thing, which impressed the bloody shit out of me. He then told me to hand over all of my water.

“Water? What water? I was just now going to ask you for some water.”

The problem with joking about my brother almost dying of thirst, with my brother, is that he can hit people much harder than I can. The fist, when it promptly came my way, was covered with bits of tiny mammal paste and brother spit: for sure I did not want it against my face. I blocked it with my shoulder, unslung my back pack, and handed over my water.

I love the desert: it is mindlessly unforgiving; one day it will kill me, and that’s okay.
 
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nathilism

New member
Hi, I'm a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from East London. Music is a lifelong passion and special interest of mine. I mostly do covers but I am actively trying to create more original content this year. I've attached an mp3 to this post - an unreleased original track of mine, it's still a Work in Progress but you get an exclusive sneak peek! I think the lyrics once written will be about not knowing how you feel.

You can listen to me make some more noise here:

https://soundcloud.com/solsystemusic
& follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/solsystemusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/natalie_png
Instagram: http://instagr.am/solsystemusic


I am an undiagnosed but suspected 'aspie' (recently referred for assessment). I feel weird posting this information on the internet, but the goal is to eventually be completely open and unafraid of others opinions.


Thanks for reading 😊
 

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Margot

Administrator
Thank you Nathilism. Welcome to the forum.
Such an inspirational display of neurodivergent talent. A chapter from a book and an original song. What next?
 
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sstiel

New member
Autistic way of socialisation could help during this crisis​

Like a story from a dystopian novel, the coronavirus has exposed how fragile our world is. What we have taken for granted in daily life has ground to a halt as the Government hopes to reduce the number of people infected.

The Government has suggested social distancing; even down to how we greet loved ones. The strategy is arguably one that autistic people are used to. Once comfortable and at ease, we can be good social partners as a neurotypical person. However, we are reluctant to go to mass gatherings and we like to be free to keep a distance.

Lateral thinking as well as humour are going to be needed for the difficult months that lie ahead.
 
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Graham Mead

New member
I have sound to colour/shape synaesthesia. As a small child, in the late fifties-early sixties, I learnt not to mention that sounds had colours and shapes. I didn’t regard this in itself as being a problem. I enjoyed - and still do - the visual accompaniment to sounds, particularly music.


There was a precedent set that, on reflection, was perhaps unhealthy. I had learnt to keep any difference to others, to myself. A self imposed oath of omertà. As I began to notice other ways in which I was different, the silence had become routine. So routine, that it wasn’t until I reached the age of 61, that I had a breakdown, was submitted to a mental health hospital, and subsequently diagnosed. No-one’s fault, it was a different time, and autism wasn’t on anyone’s radar.


I wish I could project my synaesthesia from my mind onto a screen. It is beautiful. I am so fortunate, and appreciate it all the more now. I found out that it is called synaesthesia at around the age of 35. A newspaper article described the phenomenon. It was a eureka moment that made me dizzy with a mixture of relief, vindication and revelation.


A mixture of autistic repetition and sensory seeking means there a few pieces of music that have been constant companions for nearly 50 years. The abstract video my brain provides to these pieces still astonishes me with its elegance and splendour.
 
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