Autistic Acceptance Month – Favorite Autism book

The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos.

Again – I have a strong aversion to using the term favorite.

I am going to list some of the books that helped me infinitely in understanding myself and what Autism actually is. I haven’t read every Autistic book yet – so it’s very hard for me to say if these are the best – they are the ones I have had a lot of value out of. The thing to realise is that Autism isn’t understood at all.

Science is still very wrong – Autistic people have existed for a long time – I found evidence of Autistic peoples existence in the 1st and 2nd Century AD. I will be writing about this particular issue with mental health in an upcoming book of my own – critically analyzing the current taxonomy and understanding of mental health.

Favorite books on understanding Autism

‘The Reason I Jump’ – Naoki Higashida

‘Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8’ – Naoki Higashida

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism:  Higashida, Naoki, Yoshida, KA, Mitchell, David: 9780812985153: Amazon.com:  Books
Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 by Naoki Higashida: 9780812987195 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Naoki Higashida as a thirteen year old severely disabled non-speaking Autistic child was able to work out a way to communicate using a letter chart (not the correct technical term). He wrote a series of questions and answers relating to what his experience of being Autistic was like. I read this book this year. For the first time in 37 years I understood how I was different. I had just recently been diagnosed as Autistic – but I didn’t know what that meant.

I would urge ALL people to read this – those who you think are severely intellectually challenged are rarely ever – the latest studies show those who do have severe intellectual disability are about 2% of the Autistic population.

This next part might be challenging to hear for some:

Those Autistic children who you think are intellectually disabled because they cannot talk – actually are not at all – they usually lack the means to communicate.

At least read the introductions to the books by David Mitchell (of Cloud Atlas fame) please. The introduction to ‘Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8’ has one of the most brutal and extremely important realisations to have as the parent of an Autistic child. He realises he has been lied to – he has been hurting his child because of science that is wrong. He’s distraught for doing it – it’s an honest admission of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.

He turns his sadness and guilt into anger to make change – targeting those who have been doing it – the charities and scientists who’ve been actively harming Autistic people for money and fame. Listen to how he talks about his child between the two introductions – he finally understands them and their relationship is thriving – he accepts them for their Autistic behaviour.

Favorite Autistic History Book

NeuroTribes - Wikipedia

Steve Silberman has done an incredible job of talking about how prevalent Autistic people actually are – our estimations about how many people are Autistic are probably off by a scale of magnitudes higher than current estimates.

Autistic treatment and the destruction of Autistic culture has grown out of developmental psychology which is all based on the eugenics science of the 20th century. White supremacist eugenics paved the way for the mistreatment of Autistic people.

This book covers some incredible Autistic people who were given an opportunity to shine, and to live amazing lives due to their support – and so many of them made vast contributions to the advancement of technology. The entire field of computing is filled with Autistic people – it’s one area where the trait of systemizing and the way the Autistic mind works is embraced – but keep in mind that this is only one category of Autistic people.

It also delves into the history and destructive nature of Applied Behavior Analysis in the treatment of Autistic people. Simply put ABA is conversion therapy for Autistic people – it causes trauma even if using positive reinforcement – DO NOT USE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY ON AUTISTIC PEOPLE – YOU WILL REMOVE AGENCY AND ALLOW ABUSE TO OCCUR BY DECEPTIVE NON-WELL MEANING PEOPLE. I ENDED UP NOT BEING ABLE TO FEEL PAIN WHEN I SHOULD THANKS TO THE DENIAL OF MY SENSORY NEEDS.

We are desperately trying to get people to STOP doing behaviour therapy – there’s a petition here to start an official inquiry into the abuse of Autistic people using this therapy in New Zealand (anyone can sign).

This should transform your view on Autistic people – this is one of the few books that Autistic people actually recommend about Autism written by an non-Autistic author.

Favorite Book for Parents

Sincerely, Your Autistic Child by AUTISTIC WOMEN AND NONBINARY N - Penguin  Books New Zealand

TW/CW // Trauma – I love this book. Autistic people should read it, with the following advice. This book also unfortunately for me was a key to my childhood memories – it included prompts that reminded me of specific situations that had occurred in my childhood that I had locked away. These are not false memories – which is based on some very bad science and gaslighting. These are things my mind had hidden from me to protect me – it’s been hard to process.

I wish my parents had read this. I wish I had the things this book suggested as a child. I wish every parent of an Autistic child could read this book. No matter how ‘High’ or ‘Low’ functioning you consider your child to be – which is again bad science.

All Autistic people have been trying to do their entire lives is communicate honestly to the people around them, but we’ve so often been told that the things we think or say are wrong, or that we are making excuses.

We end up losing ourselves.

There are so many heartfelt stories, so many different tales of trauma, so much sadness and internalized ableism each of the writers have had to overcome, and are still dealing with.

It’s a mirror of my experience at times, I was born AMAB – but I am non-binary bixsexual person – I do not identify as a man. I was a sensitive empathetic person growing up in a man’s world, my best friends have always been women or those with feminine traits. At nearly all times in my life I was utterly savaged for it if I showed it OR I would blend in by doing things that made me hate myself because they grated against my internal morality and need for honesty.

It was 34 years until a single authority figure in my life actually listened to me – even though I was undiagnosed.

There are key themes across their writing.

Believe your Autistic child. Love your Autistic child. Fight for the rights of your Autistic Child. Be patient. Be kind. Assume competence always. Help us communicate the right way.

NEVER MOURN YOUR ALIVE CHILD BECAUSE EVEN IF THEY ARE TOO YOUNG TO UNDERSTAND AT THE TIME – THEY WILL REMEMBER AND FIGURE IT OUT AND THEY WILL WISH THEY WERE DEAD TOO. ABLEISM MAKES YOU DO THIS. NOT AUTISM.

We usually hear things you think are in hushed tones.

I read this book with tears streaming down my face the entire time, because my life might not have been utterly impossible for 37 years. I never knew I was Autistic. I never knew why horrible things kept happening to me as a child or as an adult. I sometimes didn’t know they were horrible things until I was older. I did bad things because I thought it was important to have at least some ‘friends’, or due to not being educated properly. The people I made ‘friends’ with were bad people who hurt others and were hurting me. I never had boundaries. I was a perfect target for abuse – and people took advantage of that until I was 34.

I didn’t know myself because I didn’t know I was Autistic, but after reading their stories, I realise even with my complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of living in a world that’s hated me for reasons I couldn’t work out – I was at times one of the luckier ones.

Children need to know they are Autistic – but you need to know what being Autistic actually means – there’s a range of voices here all with differing levels of support needs at different times – Autism is rarely a fixed thing – it’s “severity” ebbs and flows generally due to the amount of external stress in our life times.

Parents need to be the first step in making sure we have the tools we need to thrive – and those tools are often not the ones you are thinking of – they are the ones WE as Autistic people need.

Please read this book parents. PLEASE. Reread it. Take notes. Turn to it on hard days where your child is struggling more.

If you think Autism is hard for you – this gives you a glimpse of what it’s actually like for us – don’t make our lives more difficult than they need to be – the rest of society will already be making it hard enough for us as it is.

Please stop charities from raising money to eradicate and brainwash us.

Further Reading

Not An Autism Mom has an incredible list of books that have been verified by Actually Autistic people here: Autism Books

Daily blog challenge

I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:

Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:

Autistic Acceptance Month – Symbols!

The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos.

Obviously I love the rainbow infinity neurodiversity symbol – the image I have used is going to be my first tattoo.

The gold infinity symbol for Autism

Going Gold For Autism Acceptance | Autistic UK CIC
Gold Infinity Symbol

There are also some other symbols that I use to describe my neurodivergence – the experience of being both an ADHD and Autistic person – also some have personal meaning to me.

From my own heritage:

Yggdrasil – the world tree.

File:Yggdrasil.jpg

Interconnectivity of the universe

The natural order of things

Destiny

Prophecies

A pathway to other worlds or the afterlife as the Yggdrasil is believed to connect all the different realms in Norse mythology, including its afterlives such as Valhalla and Hel.

YggDrasil Symbol Meaning

The Web of Wyrd, the matrix of fate:

web of wyrd symbol

Interconnection: The symbol represents the interconnectedness of all things

Destiny and Fate: As the fibers of the thread are woven together, they interconnect and become the thread of our lives.

Completion: The number 9 represents completion, and the Web of Wyrd has 9 lines.

A Network of Time: If you look at the image of the Web of Wyrd it is seen to be made up of all the runes. This reflect the idea of the intricate weaving of time, as past, present and future become interconnected. These stages aren’t separate but part of a whole and anything is possible whether in the past, present or future. We can look back in hindsight and regret the things in the past and have those affect our current lives which will influence our future.

Web of wyrd Symbol Meaning

From other cultures:

Yin and yang symbol

Yin and yang symbol

Yin and Yang is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

Wikipedia – Yin and Yang

My Belief System – Pantheism

Pantheism is the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing, immanent God. All forms of reality may then be considered either modes of that Being, or identical with it.

Free photo: Nautilus - Nature, Seep, Shell - Free Download - Jooinn

My Moral Philosophy – Stoicism

Memento Mori – “Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. … The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” – Seneca

The acceptance of death as inevitable and to make each day count.

Premeditatio Malorum – “What is quite unlooked for is more crushing in its effect, and unexpectedness adds to the weight of a disaster. This is a reason for ensuring that nothing ever takes us by surprise. We should project our thoughts ahead of us at every turn and have in mind every possible eventuality instead of only the usual course of events…

Rehearse them in your mind: exile, torture, war, shipwreck. All the terms of our human lot should be before our eyes.” – Seneca

To expect bad things always – so that one may not be unprepared.

Amor Fati – “Frightened of change? But what can exist without it? What’s closer to nature’s heart? Can you take a hot bath and leave the firewood as it was? Eat food without transforming it? Can any vital process take place without something being changed?

Can’t you see? It’s just the same with you—and just as vital to nature.” – Marcus Aurelius

The acceptance of ones fate.

The Inner Citadel – “Remember that when it withdraws into itself and finds contentment there, the mind is invulnerable. It does nothing against its will, even if its resistance is irrational. And if its judgment is deliberate and grounded in logic . . . ? The mind without passions is a fortress. No place is more secure. Once we take refuge there we are safe forever. Not to see this is ignorance. To see it and not seek safety means misery.” – Marcus Aurelius

That we can make our mind a fortress – I am still building mine but the walls are forming.

The Cardinal Virtues – Summum Bonum (To Achieve the Highest Possible Life):

Wisdom – This could perhaps be best summed up as the ability to see things as they are, rather than looking for what we want them to be.

Justice – This virtue specifically deals with how a Stoic treats others in everyday life, and how we contribute to society as a whole. It encompasses all the moral decisions we make in regards to our networks of influence and communities.

The principles that Stoics regard to be important in these contexts are kindness, understanding, fairness, and generosity. We must provide support to those who need it, and not take from the community without giving back.

Courage – Courage was viewed as opposing cowardice – it doesn’t mean that you are immune to fear, anxiety, or desire, but rather that you act in spite of these things.

Temperance – The best way to think of Temperance is to think of the modern day usage in the word moderation. It deals with our ability to self-regulate, and to choose long term over short term satisfaction.


The Stoics believed that no one could ever truly encompass all of these things, but that we should never stop trying to become the wise sage. This is how I life my life.

Daily blog challenge

I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:

Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:

Autistic Acceptance Month – Political Issue

The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos.

Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those whom you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one: people [men] learn as they teach.

Seneca

White Supremacy Brainwashing in New Zealand

I will never stop writing on this issue, or working to understand it how it seems to shapeshift and change to uphold itself. Every day I benefit from it, even though that is not what I want. I want equity, but I still am not immune from the culture I grew up in, and I will always be tainted by my upbringing and education – although my life was hard, it was never made hard by my ethnic heritage. I am about as white as you can get.

I will talk about this from a pākehā (non-Māori) perspective. I have done a lot of reading. I am bound to get things wrong, or to miss something – that’s ok also – no white person can ever truly understand or empathise because we simply have no frame of reference. I will always spend my time so that I can know more.

White Supremacy (Colonialism) is a Form of Brainwashing

When we learn about Māoritanga (Māori culture), we begin to understand how much we tried to deny and brainwash Māori people and ourselves as pākehā out of understanding and encouraging knowledge of this amazing culture. One that feels more coherent to me personally than the culture I was raised in – one where every person is worthwhile.

I want to talk about how brainwashing works, and how you can see it everyday in the way we continue to stop equity measures, and how we need to accept that we’ve been brainwashed in order to begin actually deprogramming ourselves out of being a member of the cult of colonialism.

A definition of brainwashing

Brainwashing, also called Coercive Persuasion, systematic effort to persuade nonbelievers to accept a certain allegiance, command, or doctrine. A colloquial term, it is more generally applied to any technique designed to manipulate human thought or action against the desire, will, or knowledge of the individual. By controlling the physical and social environment, an attempt is made to destroy loyalties to any unfavourable groups or individuals, to demonstrate to the individual that his attitudes and patterns of thinking are incorrect and must be changed, and to develop loyalty and unquestioning obedience to the ruling party.

Britannica – Brainwashing

The techniques of brainwashing

I’ll expand on this further but I’ll just dive into how brainwashing is achieved:

The techniques of brainwashing typically involve isolation from former associates and sources of information; an exacting regimen requiring absolute obedience and humility; strong social pressures and rewards for cooperation; physical and psychological punishments for non-cooperation ranging from social ostracism and criticism, deprivation of food, sleep, and social contacts, to bondage and torture; and continual reinforcement.

Britannica – Brainwashing

The application of brainwashing in New Zealand

As soon as European settlers arrived in Aotearoa (New Zealand). We have slowly but surely moved to brainwash everyone who lives here, Māori and pākehā alike. White people wrote the textbooks we teach – white people still overwhelmingly listen to white views on Māori issues – or favour those Māori who seem to align to our views – the “good” Māori – the ones who coddle us to make us feel secure rather than facing the true nature of our violence.

We’ve actively deceived Māori people every step of the way. We’ve denied Māori speaking te reo Māori. We have stolen land. We still truly deny to honor our commitments to Ti Tiriti o Waitangi – the agreement the Crown made with Māori people to allow them to retain sovereignty. Using our laws to dictate their own, even when we’ve tried to correct this – we’ve used pākehā interpretations and spoken over Māori people constantly.

Māori are expected to speak English – there are schools that teach using te reo, but they are considered fringe schools. There is no expectation of pākehā to return this favour – although steps are being suggested to correct this. Yet we are supposed to be equal partners according to Ti Tiriti o Waitangi.

I am not going to deny I’ve been explicitly racist in the past about Māori people. I grew up immersed in a culture that thought it was acceptable to denigrate Māori people and other ethnicities – adults in my life were some of my worst role models. I went to schools where I had racism explicitly explained to me by teachers.

It was 26 years before I got to hear the other side of colonisation – I am lucky in that I can challenge bias more readily as an Autistic person. When I learned about te ao Māori from a Māori person for the first time ever in my education – which is a common occurrence – I felt anger, sadness, and shame for how I had been made to perceive Māori. There are plans now to address this in the education system, which are already being met with resistance.

I looked back at my life and realised that I’ve seen racism in hospitals, at the WINZ office, in casual conversation – and I still see it today. I haven’t always called it out either because I am reliant on the support systems where it’s occurring – but I should because Māori people don’t have a choice. We live in a racist culture – and there is research to prove this. Every day we are actively racist to Māori people (and anyone who is not white). It’s not a secret either.

I know white people discuss it privately – I’ve been privy to these conversations my whole life. I don’t stand for it anymore, and I have less “friends” for it, but I don’t need friends who don’t accept reality or even try to perceive it – I can only hope to educate those who wish to truly learn, I won’t stop trying for the others, but maybe consensus of opinion will change their minds.

If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in their [his] self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.

Marcus Aurelius

I got stuck feeling shame for a long time – that doesn’t actually help. White guilt is almost worse as it centres us as victims and is just white fragility over even acknowledging the problem. We need to do more – we need to actively fight and educate other people to realise how badly we’ve ALL been deceived and how through this denial we’ve come to accept an unearned benefit of false superiority – even if we never wanted that.

The New Zealand Herald – one of our leading newspapers – still frequently posts racist views, almost all media does. The NZ Herald is unique in that it was explicitly setup to be a racist organisation and the roots of that organisation have never changed. To deny we are a racist nation is to take part in an act of collective brainwashing about objective reality.

Every time we try and get a slight initiative to correct for equity, it’s either denied, or met with a sea of negative ill-informed (generally old white man) racism – from a person who’s never taken a single second in their life to even try to consider the alternative view – these people are wilfully ignorant – and yet they are still given a platform – because whiteness upholds itself.

I still have racist family members… maybe they will read this. Maybe they will try and see that they’ve been brainwashed too. I’ve spent a lot of time kowtowing to their ignorance. But now I know I am Autistic, I truly don’t care what they think, and I’ve started raising these issues with them – I am learning how to communicate in way that disarms their false sense of rejection sensitivity through just even being called white.

Together we can reject the shame, and take the accountability – fight to give land back, abolish the police, prisons, Oranga Tamariki (which is responsible for a genocide of Māori children), start fighting for equity, to make reparations for intergenerational theft – give our resources to helping Māori people and actually become the pillar of justice that “New Zealand” tries to present itself as from the outside in the international community.

We can actually move toward having the privilege of being called Aotearoa – because we will have made it the place Māori and pākehā alike deserve to have – one that is a true partnership, where we celebrate and encourage our differences. One that allows for true peace because without this justice, there can never be peace.

How do we get started?

Listen to Māori people, let them lead this initiative, and give them the power to do so. Accept that they are not trying to deceive or profit (although profit should be fine – there’s generations of theft to make up for), but to get back what is rightfully theirs, and to acknowledge that we as pākehā are still actively participating in the denial of rights. It doesn’t matter if you’ve settled here recently – you are still benefiting from a system that excludes Māori.

We can deprogram our brainwashing – we can fight back against the cult of white supremacist colonialism we’re currently a part of – it’s easier to do when more people are actively aware.

Here’s a great reading list to start understanding the beauty of te ao Māori, and the ways in which we’ve been deceived into thinking that we are somehow right in the way we are living now:

Read our words: An anti-racist reading list for New Zealanders

The other important way for me to truly learn was to read Māori fiction about their experiences of growing up – non-fiction writing about experiencing racism is not effective for me. Fiction can provide a look into a world I am more readily able to accept – because I seem to prime empathy and acceptance far more readily in this format.

Someday this phrase might be used correctly – and not just as tokenism:

He waka eke noa

We are all in this together

Daily blog challenge

I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:

Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:

Autistic Acceptance Month – Can’t Live Without…

The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos.

[THIS IS SIMPLY FOR APPRECIATION OF WHAT SHE DOES FOR ME – SHE IS ABLE TO LEAVE WHENEVER – MY OCD DISCLAIMER…]

My wife

My wife is the single greatest person on this planet. She’s been incredible to me since the day we met. We’ve had endless happy times together, watched shows, worked out how to live together for us. One break period in our course after we met she stayed with me and never left. We’ve been together eight years as of April 13th.

Each day she brings me joy, she is patient with me, she understands I never want to hurt her – although I sometimes have by saying something – she lets me know and I correct it. She understands that if she needs me to do something – she can ask. I like surprising her, she’s the one person in my life I feel has always loved me unconditionally.

We got married at the start of last year, when things were looking up for me, before my diagnosis. Then unfortunately a cannon of sadness, and an unravelling of previously denied trauma in my life started inside my head.

I wish I had known I was Autistic last year. Before I went through Autistic Burnout, then I could have had an explanation for her as to why I was out of control. I could have been able to tell her that this was the result of 36 years of trying to hide who I was from the rest of the world. I could have known what was happening.

I didn’t mask around my wife, and she thought nothing of it – because she loved me for who I am, for all my flaws, my Autistic traits, my imperfections. I’d figured out that sometimes people find me stand offish – so I made sure that she knows that I will let her know if I am upset with her.

Everyday I get to wake up and spend my life with the one person who believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. I did things in burnout that terrified her, that terrified me, that made me nearly destroy our marriage through my need to hurt myself constantly.

We’re happier now – for the first time in our eight year relationship – I am truly more stable. I am able to love and be here for her far more than I have ever been – even when I am not entirely here. I can explain things to her that I’ve never had answers for – why I am flat sometimes, why I sometimes seem blunt when I don’t mean to be, how I sometimes have issues choosing my words.

I can’t live without my wife – although I’d have to find a way without her if she wanted to leave because her happiness comes first. She makes me want to be the best version of myself, and that’s the person she fell in love with – the real me.

I will love her forever.

Daily blog challenge

I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:

Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:

Autistic Acceptance Month – Dispel a Myth

The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos.

Autistic people have theory of mind

The claim that autistic people lack a theory of mind—that they fail to understand that other people have a mind or that they themselves have a mind—pervades psychology. This article (a) reviews empirical evidence that fails to support the claim that autistic people are uniquely impaired, much less that all autistic people are universally impaired, on theory-of-mind tasks; (b) highlights original findings that have failed to replicate; (c) documents multiple instances in which the various theory-of-mind tasks fail to relate to each other and fail to account for autistic traits, social interaction, and empathy; (c) summarizes a large body of data, collected by researchers working outside the theory-of-mind rubric, that fails to support assertions made by researchers working inside the theory-of-mind rubric; and (d) concludes that the claim that autistic people lack a theory of mind is empirically questionable and societally harmful.

EMPIRICAL FAILURES OF THE CLAIM THAT AUTISTIC PEOPLE LACK A THEORY OF MIND

Applied Behaviour Analysis isn’t therapeutic, it is torture in all its forms…

Stop brainwashing kids you evil people.

Research in ABA continues to neglect the structure the autistic brain, the overstimulation of the autistic brain, the trajectory of child development, or the complex nature of human psychology, as all of these factors were ignored in the response and are ignored in ABA practice itself. Providing a treatment that causes pain in exchange for no benefit, even if unknowingly, is tantamount to torture and violates the most basic requirement of any therapy, to do no harm.

Long-term ABA Therapy Is Abusive: A Response to Gorycki, Ruppel, and Zane

Daily blog challenge

I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:

Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:

Autistic Acceptance Month – One thing other people don’t understand

The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos.

TW / CW // Ableism, suicide ideation, abuse, trauma

Being Autistic should be awesome!

I don’t need a cure. I’m not a disease. I have challenges that make life hard. But the Autistic mind is truly beautiful. It sees the world in a unique way – my family has had Autistic traits as far back as I can find in history (938AD during the Viking invasion of England).

My family has fought in World Wars, campaigned for women’s rights, protested against segregation, protested against corsets. They have stood up to harmful and ignorant practices for generations. They have been inventors, navigators, politicians, naval engineers.

When you talk about curing Autism. You are talking about eradicating me. My family. Everything that I love about this world inside me would be erased.

There’s no such thing as ‘high functioning’ and ‘low functioning’ – it’s about your ability to communicate usually.

Some of my family has had “severe” impairment. Some has not.

I was a “severe” child who got good at figuring out when he could be “severe” at the right times. I wrote a Twitter thread on this:

Here’s the truth. Your Autistic child is having a ‘tantrum’ usually over pain you’ve taught them to ignore, emotional, physical, sensory – or they can’t communicate what is wrong. I bashed my head on walls because it acts as an interrupt for rumination, I meltdown due to noise.

I wanted to die because I was taught I didn’t belong. I overcorrected a lot. I swung between extremes trying to be the person they wanted. I AB tested till I was accepted. I did this constantly. I still do.

If your kid wants to not exist at a young age. That’s usually on the situation. If I took an IQ test as a child I would have been ‘intellectually disabled’. I have dysgraphia and dyscalculia. I didn’t score well on standard IQ tests. It was luck for me in many ways I survived.

Just. Love. Your. Child. Never assume they want to act out. I never knew why I did the things I did, but people always assumed I knew. I had no interoception. I didn’t know how to tell. I have OCD because I’ve been called atrocious, naughty, psycho, stupid, a troublemaker.

We need you to fight ableism, not your child. We don’t need to be trained out of our Autism, we need to be embraced and understood. The systems aren’t suitable for us. The science is wrong. The school system sucks.

I was both mature and immature. I was smart and ‘stupid’. I was ‘lazy’ and hardworking. I was passionate and uninterested.
I was, and I still am, a paradox.

I just have despair constantly. I can’t stop analysing everything in my life because I’m analytical by nature. I see things I know are wrong and I’m truly powerless to tell people how to help, because I don’t know. I can only discuss me. Assume competence always.

I’m going now cause I know I’ve reached my limit. This rant was partially a meltdown. I can’t see people hurting their kids or thinking it’s ok. I never wanted to be bad but I did bad things. There’s a special place in hell for parents who ECT their children.

I got so much of my childhood memories back and now I have cPTSD from remembering. I gaslight myself out of trauma, sometimes you train yourself to forget.

Originally tweeted by Rory – ADHD Autistic OCD (@roryreckons) on April 19, 2021.

Daily blog challenge

I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:

Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:

Autistic Acceptance Month – Communication

The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos.

I will use this particular day to boost nonspeaking Autistic peoples’ amazing video on their lives.

Read their books, some are listed in this video, they taught me more about my own Autism than I knew how to express.

Autistic people are always trying to communicate, in whatever way we know how, please listen.

Daily blog challenge

I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:

Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:

Autistic Acceptance Month – I hate it when…

The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos.

I hate it when… (all of these sentences start with this phrase)

I realise that my education was absolutely garbage for me and taught me awful concepts based on a white supremacist sexist cis standard.

Friends I have do things that are morally incorrect, but I don’t have the courage to talk because I’d rather not be alone.

People lie about their values and then worship structures instead.

My cat Nibbler licks me, even though I love him immensely it causes sensory hell.

I get defensive when called out on valid stuff I do wrong, and I hate that I am still deprogramming the response to accepting I am wrong.

I realise how much of my life has been made difficult by not knowing I was Autistic.

I see constant scientific articles talking about how to erase me or try and train me out of being me.

I have to deal with any system that has caused me trauma for the risk that it will retraumatise me, even though I rely on a number of them for support

I think about how many wasted years of my life I did doing things that I didn’t agree with that I knew were wrong because I wanted to fit in.

I realise that every authoritative system I disagreed with I had valid reasons for doing so, but was taught to be submissive to these rather than challenging them

I can’t self advocate in real life and I get destroyed by cPTSD triggers.

I think that I am to blame for the bad things that happened to me that were clearly attributed to my neurodivergent differences.

I realise how long I never believed in myself.

I want to die – even though I know I shouldn’t and it’s bad to think this.

People assume that when passionate and talking about one of my special interests they assume I am unstable or angry with them.

I am told I am too emotional.

I know the mental health system is hurting people more than it’s helping in so many cases.

Doctors think they are the arbiters of knowledge even though they did a module on conditions people live with their entire lives and will discount their thoughts.

We criminalize substances, but have allowed me access to more harmful substances that are “medically” approved.

I can’t get out of a rumination cycle, even though I have so many times in the past.

I still doubt myself, but know that I always should.

People make false attributions to my motives when I make dysgraphia errors and then say it’s an convenient to blame them or that I have changed my argument.

I can’t make change or an argument in real life when I know I do have reasons and answers but my brain decides to hide information from me – even though I can do it if given time and less pressure.

Every time I go outside I have to mask – just to survive – and that this mask is now fused to me in ways I don’t know how to fix.

Simon Baron-Cohen is allowed to talk ever about Autistic people when he still hasn’t retracted his novel on Autistic people lacking empathy, or apologised, and think about how he was knighted for “services to people with autism”.

People support charities that want to exterminate me, and all other Autistics and people support them in droves.

I think about how much work is still to be done, and how tired I am all the time from having to struggle for 37 years in the dark about being Autistic, and how that’s shaped everything about me that I struggle with.

People defend Applied Behavioural Analysis because they think conversion therapy of Autistic people is acceptable practice.

I focus too much on the negative things in life – so I’ll end the blog here.

Daily blog challenge

I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:

Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:

Autistic Acceptance Month – Someday…

The artist for the above image is @Kayas_Kosmos.

Someday…

Someday we will be accepted.

Someday I’ll be able to stop fighting through PTSD hyper vigilance, I’ll be able to sleep. I’ll be able to stop self-advocating, because the world won’t need advocates, it will have acceptance.

Someday people will realise that the origins of psychiatry and psychology are white supremacist patriarchal eugenics and it’s still applied this way.

Someday they will stop trying to cure us.

Someday children will stop being exposed to torture to be not Autistic.

Someday researchers will realise the error of their ways in trying to find a solution none of us want.

Someday people will understand they are Autistic, what that means and the beauty of it.

Someday the medical profession will help those with mental health issues or neurodivergence rather than hurting them.

Someday we will stop incarcerating people, including those who are Autistic, especially those who are from ethnic minorities.

Someday all Autistics regardless of their intellectual abilities will have their needs met, and we’ll realise that measuring intelligence is a form of eugenics.

Someday there will be adequate care for those who are late diagnosed who have cPTSD from being misunderstood.

Someday we will realise the true harm of Adverse Childhood Events and their role in forming ‘personality’ disorders, especially among neurodivergent people.

Someday we will realise that Autistic people are the canaries in the coal mine for Planet Earth.

Someday they’ll will know we care more than they realise about everything.

Someday people will realise the gifts of Autistic people.

I can’t put this any better than Kieran Rose did on his blog about Autistic Masking:

“There is a quote from the 2013 movie Man of Steel which has always stuck with me and to which I apply to the Autistic community and the narrative around not only Autism, but the direction in which humanity needs to go:

You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. 

But in time, they will join you in the sun. 

In time you will help them accomplish wonders.

Jor El, Man of Steel, 2013

This is what the Autistic Community means to me and our culture in particular. 

Every part of it. Even those members whose thoughts and ideology I disagree with.

Perspectives that lack knowledge are often dangerously misinformed.

This paper exists because of the insight of two Autistic people, plus hundreds and thousands of others, plus the work of those who exist or existed in other equally as stigmatised and marginalised groups.

That is true knowledge.

If we keep pushing. If we keep forging ahead. If we can keep being true to our convictions. We can change things.

And one day they will join us in the sun.

(As long as I can keep wearing my sunglasses)”

Source: One Day They Will Join Us In The Sun

Daily blog challenge

I will be writing every day on being Autistic for April using this list of prompts:

Alt-Text Format with links to other blogs – Autistic Acceptance Month – 30 Days of Acceptance and appreciation:

My Personal Shutdown/Meltdown/Burnout Scale – “Why do I bang my head?”

TW / CW // SUICIDE IDEATION, SELF HARM

I’m a ‘high-functioning’ Autistic person (just some more bad science). It’s better personally for me to say I’m high masking, high anxiety, high depression, high coke can pressure tolerance.

I’ve done this a lot in my life. I’ve hidden it from everyone. There are more subtle ways of doing this. I’ve been consistently trained not to think that my way of thinking is correct. I have high gaslighting low brain trust trauma response. I have cPTSD. I have low theory of my own mind because I’ve been taught not to trust it.

Now I finally am trusting it.

Meltdowns/Shutdown as sensory/trauma/order interruption/emotional overload as a coke can response

Meltdowns/Shutdowns for me personally are in response to these things. Often in combination. I’ve been taught I’m a burden my whole life to the point that I often am unstable in response to certain combinations of these things. I have a pressure limit.

I’ve been trying to think of it in terms of blow off valves. My responses to it are always these responses I’ll list below. Reaction depends on how much I am close to my limit and how bad the trauma association is to that thing.

LVL1 – Shutdown – Depression/Low Verbal Response – Frustration Tolerance Not Exceeded

This is probably my most common response. I’d say this happens about 75% of the time I’ve been building pressure over the course of a day – I am still under the limit of frustration tolerance. When I get home, I can safely release. Usually this just means I am super quiet, will hang out in my room, and be depressed. I don’t really want to do anything.

This isn’t that effective at recovery… I kind of gaslight myself about what made my day crappy. I just kinda tune out of my own brain, and the world around me, but not in a dissociative way. I just go flat.

LVL2 – Shutdown – Depression/Rumination/Silence – Temporary Catatonia(?) – Frustration Tolerance Mildly Exceeded

Here I’d say this happens about maybe 10% of the time. This is where I’ve had a particularly rough day. But I’ve only exceeded my pressure limit slightly.

This one sucks. This one can look like dissociation. I will often just stare vacantly at a wall or through someone while processing everything inside my head. I’ll be locked in on some negative thought cycle. This isn’t full blown dissociation – you can get my attention but it’s much harder. I’ll only phase back into the real world briefly, but I know I can escape from here.

LVL3 – Meltdown – Rage/Sadness – Writing Response – Moderate Frustration Tolerance Exceeded

This happens maybe 10% of the time now I know I can do it. This is an improvement on the 0%.

This occurs when I exceed my limit by a significant amount, but still have the spoons to maintain course. I can unleash my bottled up everything into text.

I’ll be in physical pain trying to control this, I’ll fall back into the shutdown response after. It’s really hard doing this, and it relies on having the capacity to actually believe that I can do this at the time.

LVL4 – Meltdown – Self-Harm Interrupt Response – Major Frustration Tolerance Exceeded

This one sucks. This one absolutely sucks. I’ll be in the void – my affectionate name for Autistic burnout zone.

I can only release in two ways here:

  1. Pain – I cause myself some physical pain usually cutting myself in non-obvious places. This gives me an anchor to my body, and gives me an external focus in my mind to feel something to get me out. I’ll fall back into catatonia state sometimes if I do this.
  2. Brain Interrupt aka Head-Bashing – I’ll do this if the mental anguish I can’t even channel. I’ll be extremely suicidal at this point. Usually the burden narrative has been triggered in my brain, and I want to die. The only way for me to stop this is a hard reset. I hit my head on something hard to dull and confuse my brain. I give myself concussion.

This sucks. But this is my life. If I don’t dump the mental anguish, I risk the worst effect ever.

LVL 5 – Cumulative Trauma/Burden/Depression/Anxiety/Sensory Overwhelm Response – Autistic Burnout

If I exceed my pressure tolerance by too much. I am trapped in Shutdown – Meltdown for an unknown period of time. I have blown a hole in my battery and charge is leaking out. The amount of time I spend here will dictate how long it takes me to get back. There’s no way of knowing what this will be. When I get back to ‘normality’ – I’ll have permanently lowered battery capacity. I will have leaked out too much.

This is hell on earth. This is the worst nightmare each day. On top of just being stuck between LVL 2-4. I’ll be in sensory overload the whole time. I’ll be shutting down the second I wake up.

It took me 36 years to get here. But I’ve noticed that I’m melting down more frequently now. Shutdowns are nearly constant.

I know every time I get a meltdown I get closer to the abyss.

He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.

Nietzsche