Because of JackSepticEye, I cried today

I have a 15 year old brother with Autism, and today, it was just me and him in the car as we were driving to work. Then this happened:

Bro: Ma? (That’s his nickname for me)
Me: Huh?
Bro: therealjacksepticeye made me feel good today.
Me: And how’s that?
Bro: He said people like me aren’t bad people and that people shouldn’t use my illness as an insult.
Me:…
Bro: It’s just nice to know that people care. Jack made me feel special today. He made me feel like that there are people love me for who I am.
Me: *teary eyed* Yeah…I think he makes us all feel special…

Now to some of you, this conversation may seem like it’s not that big of a deal, but you have to understand that one of my brother’s symptoms is not showing much feeling, if at all. He never says how he feels. He also doesn’t understand social cues. It was amazing to see that he understood that Sean cared and that he showed that he had felt something. It was like a milestone for him. He’s also been bullied his whole life for how he acts around people and in public. Not many people want to friends with him because they don’t want to take time to understand his illness. He gets stared at every time he goes into a store or restaurant because he’s loud and sometimes likes to walk in circles. Him saying he feels special and loved made me so happy because he almost never says that. He always says how no one will ever like him and that he’s “Forever Alone”. Sean has a way of making everyone seem like they belong and that they matter. Thank you, Sean, for making my brother feel like he belongs and that he feels like he can turn to you when things aren’t going his way. He even calls you his friend and says one day he wants to spend the day with you. :) Thank you, Sean, for everything you do. You’re our hero.

anonymous asked:

What would you say are the good things about being autistic?

Ooh a personal question! 

I think… I like the neurological benefits of autism, such as my unique way of understanding the world through my senses. My synesthesia, my perfect pitch, and being a tetrachromat. All of those things are somewhat unusual and I think they help make me unique.  

I also like some aspects of autism, such as thinking about things in out of the box ways, coming up with creative solutions. And I love my affinity for patterns! And I love how much I can just love something, whether it’s my favorite stuffed animal or a crumpled piece of paper.

–Elliott :-)

While an evaluation still has to be done, my 6 year old has an official working diagnosis of ASD. This will help us get additional resources to help him in school and, possibly, some assistance from the government.

So if anyone here has experience with ASD, either personally or as a parent, and would like to point me toward some resources, blogs to follow, etc, it would be appreciated. Preferably not Autism Speaks because they’re terrible. Some of you have, in private, been a big help already but I just want to put it out there again. I find Tumblr can be safe place for neurodivergent individuals (see? I’m learning the lingo already) so I imagine there’s a fair bit of expertise here. 

Drop me a note in my inbox, thanks!

What people think of when you say ‘the autism spectrum’:

What the spectrum actually looks like:

The black and white dots represent a random autistic person’s particular combination of abilities on any given day. Everything is really convoluted and blurred because all of those major groups I put on there kind of bleed into one another at times. And none of these points are necessarily negative.

Point is, the spectrum is not a line on which a person is born onto and remains at a certain position. It is a complex group of abilities and issues which change for every autistic person, every day, multiple times per day, depending on the situation they’re in. There is no such thing as ‘mild autism’ or ‘high-functioning’ autism, and those labels are actually inherently ableist.

(Also please note that all instances of ‘normal/correct/incorrect’ are to be taken with a grain of salt as what neurotypicals consider to be ‘normal’ is often a very narrow amount of what they consider to be ‘acceptable’ interactions or behaviours)

I just want to remind all the Autistic people out there that you matter so fucking much, you are not a burden, you are not a waste of space, you are not a fault in the human race

You deserve to be here, you deserve to be respected and loved and listened to, you deserve more

Never let anyone tell you the world would be better off without you, never let anyone tell you that your mind is at fault for what they do to you, never let anyone tell you that the future of the human race doesn;t include you

all my love

Possible Traits of Aspergers in Females

This by no means a comprehensive list, it is simply a reference point, not a diagnostic tool. If you identify with a majority of this list and wish to receive a diagnosis, consult a medical professional, preferably a specialist in autism spectrum disorders who has had experience diagnosing women.

  • Tends to analyze everything constantly
  • Often straightforward and practical in nature.
  • Often gets lost in own thoughts and zones out (may display a blank stare)
  • May appear naive or innocent (despite not being so)
  • Prone to honesty, has difficulty lying
  • May struggle to understand manipulation, disloyalty, vindictive behavior and retaliation.
  • May be gullible and easily taken advantage of, misled, or conned.
  • May have feelings of confusion and isolation in relation to others
  • Escapism frequently used to relax or avoid overwhelming situations.
  • Often holds fixations, obsessions, and extreme interest in specific topics.
  • Finds comfort in escaping through imagination, fantasy, and daydreaming.
  • Often has slower reaction times due to need for mental processing.
  • May have had imaginary friends as a child.
  • Frequently imitates (takes social cues from) people on television or in movies.
  • May obsessively collect, organize, count, categorize, or rearrange objects.
  • Often highly adapted to social imitation.
  • May find math and numbers easier to deal with due to logic and lack of objective answers.
  • May struggle to relax or rest due to many racing thoughts.
  • Often has comorbid conditions, such as OCD, anxiety, ADD or ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.
  • Often has sensory processing disorder (sight, sound, texture, smells, taste)
  • May have dyspraxia (Poor muscle tone, lack of coordination and depth perception)
  • May have dyslexia
  • May have an eating disorder or food obsessions
  • May have been misdiagnosed or diagnosed with other mental illness or possibly labeled a hypochondriac.
  • Tends to drop small objects
  • May frequently engage in “stimming” (self-stimulation) i.e., flicks fingernails, flaps hands, drums fingers, rubs hands/fingers, tucks hands under or between legs, clenches fists, twirls hair, taps foot/shakes leg, sways side to side, spins in circles, bouncing up and down, rocking, etc.
  • May use various noises to express herself rather than using words.
  • May have a tendency to over-share with friends and sometimes strangers
  • May have little impulse control when speaking
  • May accidently dominate conversation at times.
  • Often relates discussion back to self (sharing as a means of reaching out)
  • May be incorrectly seen as narcissistic
  • Often sounds eager or over-zealous at times.
  • May feels as if she is attempting to communicate “correctly.”
  • Often struggles with and is confused by the unwritten social rules of accurate eye contact, tone of voice, proximity of body, stance, and posture in conversation.
  • Eye contact often takes extreme focus, which may lead an individual’s eye contact to be darting and insufficient, or over-the-top staring/glaring.
  • May have difficulty regulating voice volume to different situations. Is frequently observed as being either too loud or too quiet.
  • Conversation, specifically small talk, can be exhausting.
  • May have trouble focusing on/engaging in conversation that is not centered on one’s primary interests.
  • May observe and question the actions and behaviors of self and others continually.
  • May have difficulty with back-and-forth conversation
  • Trained self in social interactions through readings and studying of other people.
  • Visualizes and practices how she will act around others and before entering various social situations.
  • Difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others.
  • Has a continuous dialogue in mind that tells her what to say and how to act when in a social situations.
  • Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, or different from others.
  • As a child, it may have been hard to know when it was her turn to talk, may still be true as an adult.
  • Often finds the norms of conversation confusing.
  • Tend to say what they mean. Are often brutally honest, coming off as rude when they do not mean to be.
  • May feel misunderstood and tend to over-explain/ramble in an attempt to compensate for possible miscommunication.
  • Feels extreme relief when she doesn’t have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, answer calls, or leave the house.
  • Feelings of dread about upcoming events and appointments on the calendar.
  • Knowing she has to leave the house causes anxiety from the moment she wakes up.
  • The steps involved in leaving the house are overwhelming and exhausting to think about.
  • Must prepare herself mentally for outings, excursions, meetings, and appointments.
  • Question next steps and movements continually.
  • Often needs a large amount of down time or alone time.
  • May feel extremely self-conscious and uncomfortable in public locker rooms, bathrooms, or dressing rooms.
  • Tends to dislike being in crowded areas.
  • Difficulty sleeping due to sensitivity to environment
  • May be highly intuitive to others’ feelings, although may not appear to react to them ‘correctly’ in social situations
  • May take criticism and judgement very personally
  • May frequently adapt her viewpoints or actions based on others’ opinions
  • Dislikes words and events that hurt animals and people.
  • May have had a desire to collect or rescue animals, usually in childhood.
  • Often holds great compassion for suffering.
  • May try to help, offer unsolicited advice, or formalize plans of action.
  • Imitates others without realizing.
  • May exhibit codependent behaviors.
  • May frequently reject or question social norms.
  • Chameleon-like in social situations. Often switches preferences and behaviours based on environment and other people.
  • May outwardly appear to have little investment in hygiene, clothes, or appearance, often prefers fast and easy methods of style.
  • Clothing style is likely more focused on comfort and practicality, especially in the case of sensory issues.
  • May possess a youthful appearance and/or voice.
  • May have trouble recognizing what she looks like and/or has slight prosopagnosia (difficulty recognizing or remembering faces).
  • The emotions of oneself and others may seem confusing, illogical, and unpredictable.
  • Expects that by acting a certain way certain results can be achieved, but realizes in dealing with emotions, those results don’t always manifest.
  • Often speaks frankly and literally.
  • Certain kinds of humor, such as sarcasm and metaphors, may be difficult to understand.
  • Can be confused when others ostracize, shun, belittle, trick, and betray.
  • Often has trouble identifying feelings in others unless they are extreme.
  • Trouble with the emotions of hate and dislike.
  • May have feelings of pity for someone who has persecuted/hurt her.
  • Situations and conversations sometimes perceived as black or white.
  • The middle spectrum of outcomes, events, and emotions is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood. (All or nothing mentality).
  • May notices patterns frequently.
  • May be fascinated by words or song lyrics.
  • Tends to best remember/learn things in visual pictures (visual thinkers).
  • May have a remarkable memory for certain details, i.e., may find it surprisingly easy to remembers exact details about someone’s life.
  • Executive function is often a challenge
  • Learning to ride a bike or drive a car may be rather difficult.
  • Anything that requires a reasonable amount of steps, dexterity, or know-how can rouse a sense of panic.
  • The thought of repairing, fixing, or locating something can cause anxiety.
  • May have a hard time finding certain objects in the house, but remembers with exact clarity where other objects are.
  • May frequently second-guess oneself and ask a lot of questions before engaging a task or situation

This list was compiled from various personal accounts and symptom lists. It is subjective and does not include every identifiable trait. Nor is it entirely medically accurate. Please do your own research into AS before self-diagnosing. 

When reblogging, feel free to add additional traits you believe to be common in AS females that will be useful for others to know.

  • Allistic people:High functioning Autistics are not allowed an opinion on Autism because they don't understand the ~true suffering~ of it
  • Allistic people:Low Functioning Autistics are also not allowed an opinion on Autism because they are confused and can't be trusted to know whats best for them
  • Allistic people:Oh man, so who should speak for Autistic people?
  • Allistic people:...
  • Allistic people:Omg.....its me.....I am the true voice for Autistic people. I will now devote my life to telling Autistic people to shut the hell up whilst I tell them how much I want to eradicate them
  • Allistic People:I am an angel, a brave warrior of justice, the true champion of the weak and voiceless

Hello Tumblr people. This is me. I have Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I am absolutely terrified to make this post, which is why it needs to be done. #NoShameDay is a very cool thing and I want to help end the stigma. 

While my disability isn’t physically visible and I am now able to pass as neurotypical, it still affects my life. I am aware of the ways I think and process things differently and I face unique challenges pretty much every day. Yet, only my absolute closest friends know.

I was diagnosed at 3 years old and have undergone tons of therapies to help me function. I am now 22 years old and about to graduate from one of the top 20 universities in the US and will continue on to get my master’s degree. I have an amazing group of friends and an active social life. Funny how when I was first diagnosed, the doctor told my mom to put me in an institution and I would “never be normal.”

I get so ticked off when neurotypicals say that people with autism can’t function in society or don’t have empathy or can’t be smart and if they are smart they are just savants in one thing. I function fine (some social anxiety, but loads of other people have that too), I am filled to the brim with empathy (all I want to do is help people), and screw you I’m brilliant. I just think differently than you do. Different isn’t bad, it’s just different.

ASD is a very misunderstood disorder. It is also very “trendy” to talk about, which really doesn’t help resolve the misunderstandings tbh. 

Like it’s recently been trendy to use autism as the big bad monster in the closet that can be caused by vaccines or eating wrong or whatever unscientific ableist nonsense they want to preach. As though autism is worse than death. It’s offensive. I have been living with ASD for 22 years and I am doing great. 

I welcome anyone who has any questions. Sometimes people with ASD have difficulty speaking for themselves; I am fortunate to have a voice, so I intend to use it.

Happy No Shame Day! I love all of you brave people out there who shared your stories. I also love y’all who are still working up to sharing what makes you unique. You are all beautiful souls. <3 

Autism isn’t something a person has, or a “shell” that a person is trapped inside. There’s no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person–and if it were possible, the person you’d have left would not be the same person you started with.
—  Jim Sinclair, Don’t Mourn For Us
How to provide pelvic exams for people on the autism spectrum

ASD, or autism spectrum disorder “is a neurological variation that occurs in about one percent of the population and is classified as a developmental disability.” (source)  While all autistic people have variations in personality and character traits just like all humans, this is an abbreviated list of some common characteristics typical of autism (click here for the full article):

  • Heightened sensitivity to sensory input (light, touch, noise, etc)
  • Non-standard ways of learning and approaching problem solving.
  • Deeply focused thinking and passionate interests in specific subjects
  • Atypical, sometimes repetitive, movement
  • Need for consistency, routine, and order.
  • Difficulties in understanding and expressing language as used in typical communication, both verbal and non-verbal.
  • Difficulties in understanding and expressing typical social interaction.

Read more about autism here & here.

Making accommodations for people with ASD:

  • Tropical fish tank in waiting room
  • Incandescent instead of florescent lighting
  • Low volume calming music
  • Attention to the temperature of both the waiting room & exam room
  • Lower ringer volume of office telephones
  • Weighted blankets available in waiting room & exam room
  • Pillows for the exam table
  • Offer tours of the clinic ahead of time
  • Close windows & cover them with blinds as the patient requests.
  • Offer a face/eye mask to pts having difficulty with visual stimulation

Taking a history:

  • Don’t assume that autistic folks don’t have sex or are asexual.  Many autistic people, all throughout the spectrum, have sex in varying ways and need and want your guidance to do it safely and comfortably.
  • Ask questions neutrally and specifically.  For some people questions like, “Are you sexually active?” are simply too vague and the patient will not be able to answer you.  Explain what you mean without being condescending and treating the patient like a child.  For example try, “Do you have sex?”  If that’s too vague, specify, “Do you have sex where someone puts their fingers or penis or sex toys inside of your vagina?  Do you use vibrators or stimulation on your clitoris by yourself or with a partner?”  Etc.
  • Don’t judge.  If the patient is having a hard time or not able to respond, ask what you can do to make it easier for them.  Be prepared to move slowly and explain things more than once.
  • Discuss with the patient ahead of time how they want to undertake the exam.  If they’d rather listen to music/focus on something else during the exam, let them do so and work quietly.  Agree on a code word or physical sensation ahead of time (such as tapping the knee) to let them know that you need their attention because you have a question or request.

Making the exam more comfortable:

  • If possible, schedule a longer time slot.
  • Establish a code word or non-verbal indicator for the pt to use at any point if they want to stop or take a break
  • Talk about sensory preferences before you start the exam.  For example, some people find the sensation of lubricant intolerable, while others find the sensation of not using it uncomfortable.  Discuss temperature and materials.   If you have access to more than one type of speculum, ask the pt if they’d prefer  metal or plastic.
  • Explain everything before you do it: “I will now be inserting an instrument called a speculum to open up the vagina.  This instrument is made of metal (or plastic), and you may feel the muscles in that area stretching.  This is being done so it will be easier for me to be able to see that your cervix, ovaries uterus & vagina are normal.  Now you will feel a slight twinge.  This should not hurt.  I am using a plastic brush to collect cells to test in the lab to make sure your cervix is healthy.”
  • Provide clear, written out instructions on how your pt can obtain their test results.  Explain ahead of time possible side effects of the test (“you might have some spotting or cramping after the exam, this is normal and healthy.  However, if the bleeding…..”).

Sources for the above material HERE and HERE.

Side note: if it seems like too much to completely re-do your clinic for the few autistic patients you see, consider that all patients will be soothed and appreciate an ASD-friendly atmosphere, whether or not they realize that’s what it is.

youtube

The forgotten history of autism.

Support autistic women
Support queer autistics
Support autistic POC
Support trans autistics
Support non-binary autistics
Support intersex autistics

Most autistic people we hear about in the public eye are white, cisgender, heterosexual males. Recognizing that I am one myself, we need to support all autistic people and not just the ones that make headlines. Intersectionality is the most important aspect of feminism and it also applies to the autism rights movement.

*Autistic coded character exists*

Autistic people: Wow this character reminds me so much of me? I really resonate them and we have so many similar traits gosh I’m gonna headcanon them as Autistic too!

Allistics: wtf? thats offensive and silly, that character is obviously not with autism and neither are you, just shut up

*New Autistic coded character comes along*

Allistic person: Ohmygoshhhhhh my little Autistic brother went to the cinema with me today and he identified so much with that character it was so sweet

The same damn allistics: wow!! how inspiring, this is truly progress, this is so great I’m so happy for you!!

Across a mere ten-year period — 1993-2003 — statistics from the U.S. Department of Education revealed a 657% increase in the nationwide rate of autism. Autism rates have not increased. That is a myth. Rather, broadening the definition of autism allowed more people to be diagnosed. And at the same time, families became more educated about what “autism” is, and became more open to having their children diagnosed. About 1 in 68 children will be born with autism spectrum disorder.