CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Autistic Self Care and Community Support Zine

So I finally got around to writing the official call for submissions for the autistic self care zine! My testing-the-waters post got a lot of interest, so here it is!

This zine is a compilation zine by and for autistic people on autistic self care and intra-community support.

As an autistic person who occasionally struggles with executive function and “autistic inertia,” sometimes the typical self care advice just doesn’t work for me. I’ve found that getting other people to guide me or tell me to do something is helpful, and I’d be willing to return the favor, so this is an important subject to me. I’d like to explore the ways that autistic community can make the results of working together greater than the sum of our individual efforts.

Also, I’ve noticed that most self care advice tends to be directed at allistic people, and I can’t find much tailored specifically to autistic people. Sometimes the things I think would be helpful, like requesting support for supposedly “easy” tasks, are seen as awkward, taboo, or immature, often leading to me avoiding asking them of allistic people. I think all of these things deserve more dialogue to bring them into the open and provide useful advice to fellow autistics.

Possible Submission Topics:

  • Building support networks in autistic community
  • Dealing with depression and anxiety as an autistic person
  • Autistic inertia and self care
  • Addressing barriers to self care
  • Making self care manageable
  • Sensory self care
  • How we can help each other care for ourselves
  • And anything else you can think of!

Guidelines:

  • You must be autistic (on the autism spectrum) to submit. Self-diagnosed people are welcome. If I’m low on submissions, I may accept pieces from people with similar issues to those faced by autistics, such as allistic people with ADHD or SPD.
  • You must be over the age of 13 to submit.
  • Keep things SFW (safe for work, no explicit content)
  • Try to keep submissions a reasonable length (probably under 10 pages)
  • This should go without saying, but refrain from including sexist, racist, heterosexist, cissexist, ableist, or otherwise bigoted material in your submissions.
  • Please don’t use functioning labels in your pieces. Also, avoid talking about Autism Speaks.
  • You can include an “about the author” section with links to blogs, etsy shops, etc.
  • You may submit multiple pieces.
  • Submissions will be edited lightly for spelling and grammar. If I think something else should be changed, I’ll contact the author
  • No poetry, please.
  • Art submissions are okay if they include text.

Important Stuff:

By submitting, you are giving me permission to include your work in this zine. The zine will have a free pdf version released online (including a version that will work with screenreaders) and maybe a print version to be sold online. Authors retain copyright to their submissions.

Tentative Submission Deadline: May 31st, 2015

To Submit: Email me your submission at metaparadox11 (at) gmail (dot) com

If you want, you can also submit through Tumblr (I’m here at oliviaszines and paradoxnow, my personal blog.) Feel free to ask me questions.

In case you’re curious, I’m a 22 year old autistic (diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome) girl who is still fairly new to the autistic community (it took a long time to find someone who would take me seriously enough to diagnose me) and the world of zines (which are now my strongest special interest.) If you have any advice from either side, I’d love to hear it!

- Olivia

I have always wondered what it would be like to be neurotypical

I have always wondered what it would be like to be neurotypical. Not having anxiety depression caused by not being able to fit into the so called normal world. Being able to get into a relationship with girl with all the challenges that come with not being able to read people, and understand subtext. Being  able to leap before looking into the world, like hitchhiking across Europe with out any fear or obtain work in the same way. It sometimes feel like I am stuck in a fish bawl.

There’s a difference between TV Autistics and autistic characters on television. TV Autistics—Bones, House, Sheldon, Sherlock—are caricatures, and, not coincidentally, all fan-diagnosed. They are socially awkward/anti-social/socially maladapted, eccentric geniuses free of any serious adaptive functioning limitations, motor issues, sensory sensitivities, or language differences, able to manage independently in all major areas of daily living, with a bonus side of savant skills and the empathic range of a rock. They’re awesome, but they’re a stock character, and they manage to simultaneously hint at the autistic experience without actually meaning it.
10 Things To Do To Regain Spoons and Ward Off A Meltdown
  1. Take a nap. It doesn’t even have to be along one a half an hour can help me regain a spoon or two.
  2. Play with stim toys. Usually I either play with tangles, knit, or chew on my elephant from stimtastic. 
  3. Snuggle under blankets with a stuff animal. This usually help’s me feel calmer about 90% of the time. I love pressure.
  4. Take a walk. Exercising especially walking is super therapeutic for me,but again I live in a quiet neighborhood, so this might not work for everyone. 
  5. Pet and snuggle with my cats. What more is there to say animals are healing creatures.
  6. Read a book for pleasure. I have to make sure it’s not something I am reading for school otherwise it’s not as relaxing, for I am analyzing it instead of just enjoying it.
  7. Watch a favorite movie and knit.
  8. Draw or color in a coloring book
  9. Play with Kinetic Sand or putty.
  10. Take a hot bath.

Anyone else on the spectrum find that when they were kids, they communicated better with adults than kids their own age? I’ve always talked more fluently with people much older than me then people my own age growing up, and even now.