Thursday, June 18, 2015

From Lizzie to Autistic Kids

At school people told me I was weird, my behaviour wasn’t normal, and I was told I needed to try and be normal to get on in life, I needed to be normal to have friends, to be happy, to have a relationship.
But this wasn’t true.

People were telling me this because they didn’t understand how I could possibly be happy being me, and that is really sad because it showed they didn’t know how to be happy being themselves either.

The idea of being like ‘normal’ people is not one that has ever appealed to me.
Why would I trade up getting so interested in fascinating things that I lose all sense of time: I learn so much more about the things that interest me than most people ever do.
Why would I chose to stop feeling the joy I feel in tiny things that I love: in repeating words that sound and feel wonderful to say, or watching lights dancing on the river. Because these things are so beautiful and cool and awesome and so many people just do not notice! Why on earth would I want to stop noticing these things?

So much of my autism is about me enjoying being me and while at school people kept telling me I couldn’t live my life without ‘fitting in’ they were so wrong. When I left school, I went in search of other people who liked being themselves and didn’t mind other people being eccentric and happy. I found these people and while it took a while to find them, they were so very worth the wait. 
Now have life long friends, I have autistic friends and eccentric friends and we understand how much fun it is to sit and watch interesting vehicles together or to talk about trains for hours, or ferrets or to just sit in silence drawing or watching TV. We know it’s ok to say: ‘you’re talking a bit loud again’ when we end up accidentally shouting at each other when we get excited, or to say 'this is sarcasm' to make sure the other person knows and isn't confused. We know it’s ok to rock, to stim and to laugh at the autistic traits we share that are honestly really amusing to see in other people, because we thought we were the only ones who did these things.

And despite my school friends telling me that a ‘normal' relationship is the correct one to have, a normal relationship didn’t make me happy, so now I have a lovely crazy eccentric relationship where we can go several weeks without seeing each other and it's ok
A relationship where I can say: I don’t want to ever live in the same room as you because I find your mess stressful: and that’s just fine.
Where I can say: I’m having an alone day today, and it's absolutely fine.
And when we are together we watch films over and over and we talk for hours and hours about geeky things we both enjoy and we discuss wearing clothes that make us feel happy. Where we talk about what things we find useful when coping with stress. Where my partner knows to remind me to go for a walk when I start to get upset because I want my social skills to be on form that day and they just aren't, and where my partner knows they can cry and get a hug from me because they said one thing wrong that day and now they can't stop obsessing over it.
 And my partner's not even autistic, they just know that it's ok to be themselves and it's ok to say they find some ‘normal' things difficult.

The best decision I ever made was to stop trying to be good at appearing ‘normal' and to just get on at being good at being myself.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

It’s Okay to Be Autistic, by Candi B.

To all the children and adults out there who are told they are broken, diseased, tragedies, and burdens because they are autistic, I want you to know you are perfect the way you are. I want you to know that it’s okay to be autistic.

It’s okay to flap your hands when you are happy, upset, overwhelmed or excited.

It’s okay to spend the majority of your day engaged in special interests.

It’s okay to not look people in the eyes.

It’s okay to use an AAC device instead of speaking through your mouth.

It’s okay to meltdown sometimes when things get tough.

It’s okay to communicate by scripting.

It’s okay that you only want to be friends with other autistics.

It’s okay to not be the best at socializing.

It’s okay if you spend more time online interacting than interacting in person.

It’s okay to not want to be society’s definition of “normal”

It’s okay to be YOU, and it’s okay to be Autistic.


Friday, July 11, 2014

From Roy To You

Know this. My body is my enemy.
I need support for everything I do.
But my brain is just fine.
 We are much more intelligent than you might ever think.

Help yourself to typing so you might have open doors to a new life.
People think I don't know much, but really I know just so much more than they might guess.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

From Twist to Autistic Kids

I am autistic. For a while, I worked in Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services. I naively believed I could make a difference from the inside. It has taken me nearly 7 months to heal from the toxicity of those organizations and be ready to take on the systemic abuses once more. These are the words I never got to tell my clients.

Tiff. You are fantastic. I want to play angry birds with you all day. You light up every space you enter. I'm sorry I couldn't talk your mom out of doing Autism Speaks walks for you, not vaccinating you, and keeping you on the restrictive GFCF diet that was making you sick. I'm sorry that the organization wanted to teach you not to stim. I want so badly to fight for you. Every time I drive past the farm near your house, I think of bringing your mom proof, even though I know she wouldn't hear it. You are a ray of sunshine. I miss your squeals.

LJ, they told me that you were possibly a case of childhood onset schizophrenia, but you are autistic like me, and like your brother. I am sorry the Behavioral Specialist picked you up when you were touch defensive. I know how bad that can hurt. You are special. Please don't listen to the mean words your mom calls you. You are so smart. I love your language, and I'm so glad you taught it to me.

Larry, I'm sorry I scared you. I wish you could show me your Lego collection. I would love to play with you. Someday, they won't be able to take things away from you when you don't do what they say. Please hold on to that. I admire you for your stubbornness and resolve. I wish I was more like you when I was a kid.

Nick, kiddo. I wanna build bridges and play ponies with you again. You remind me so much of myself. You never needed me. I was there to tell your mom that you would be just fine. Because you will be. Starting school this fall might be rough at first, but you've got a great big sister to protect you. I'm sure she will.

To all of the kids I worked with, and to the kids I never got the opportunity to meet: I will keep working for you. I want the system to treat you fairly and to teach you how to cope, rather than teaching you how to be easily coped with. I'm sorry I couldn't do that from the inside. I can't promise it will get better soon, but I can promise that there are people fighting for you.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

From Brooke to herself

Hi Brooke,

I love being in with you. I am in with you. Love you.

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From Roy to Mu.

Mu, I am your brother. Know that you are hoping for better understanding.  Get people believing in our intelligence. We live in our little dear world but people can't see us. I might have been you but now I can type and tell you there is hope.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

From H. (The Artist) To All Autistic People

The image is called "Autistic Sun." That is what it stands for. Do not trust the puzzle piece. Do not live with fear. Just be yourself. Autistic people can make the world their own.