“Missed Connection(s)”

Kelley is a twenty three year old writer who was born and raised in Hawaii, specifically on the island of Oahu. They currently live in Portland, Oregon, where they are studying to become a future librarian. Their hobbies include reading, writing, drawing, and trying not to bump into things as they walk.

They have written three essays that they are sharing with you, our readers. This is the first of three essays.

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My top 10 tips for neurodiverse students!

1: Set yourself alarms and reminders for yourself on your phone. e.g at 8am it’ll go off and say ‘you need to read X journal today’ or ‘essay due next tuesday’

2. Make a checklist of everything you need in order to study, e.g textbooks, pens etc. When you leave your house for uni, make sure you’ve ticked everything on your list so you haven’t forgotten anything.

3. Find somewhere quiet to work, if your house/flat is too noisy, head to the library or other study areas. Many universities and colleges have accessable rooms to students with learning differences and disabilities, make use of them!

4. Apply for DSA! It is such a huge help.

5. Listen to music. I find listening to classical music helps me study, and keeps me relaxed while i am reading/writing. It also helps me to block out distractions.

6. Take breaks! If you are getting stressed because you are losing your focus or there’s too much sensory stimuli around you, take a break and come back to it later.

7. Nourish your body. Remember to eat and drink!

8. E-mail your lecturers if you are stuck, trust me they like it when you ask them for help, don’t sit in silence. I am well respected in my college at Uni because I struggle, yet go to the lecturer when I need help, and they are always happy to point me in the right direction.

9. Forgive yourself, we all make mistakes.

10. Schedule ahead, sometimes tasks take us longer than someone neurotypical, allow yourself extra time to do things e.g reading, or getting to an appointment/meeting.

I hope this helps!

-Fran

Autistics have a tendency to either not explain enough (and use “unnecessarily” complicated words and concepts), or to over-explain every detail. This is because autistic people have difficulty intuitively and unconsciously inferring the mental states of the people they’re talking to.

The key words here are intuitively and unconsciously.

Cognitive empathy can be learned. If I sit down and think about it, I can easily predict that a 35-year-old college professor knows what an “internet forum” is, or that the little boy I babysit who loves mobile games already knows what “Candy Crush” is.

But that takes time. In the moment, during the rapid back and forth of conversation, that level of intentional reasoning is far more difficult.

An autistic will often either speak entirely from her own perspective, leaving essential terms undefined, or she will default to explaining everything, even the details and backstory that her audience already knows and understands.

Often, the former applies to children, or autistic adults who have not been frequently and/or overtly criticized for their complex speech patterns (usually, these people are men in scientific or academic fields). The latter category—pedantic over-explanation—most often applies to adults, and especially autistic women, because it is the result of a person becoming aware over time of this difficulty with conversational theory of mind. It’s a natural attempt to compensate.

Many autistic adults have grown up in a world where their overly complicated explanations are constantly pointed out and criticized. A world where their audiences routinely ask for explanation of points that the autistics themselves may see as “obvious.”

Over time, an autistic may learn that they cannot accurately predict what their audience does and does not know.

This is especially common in women, who are more heavily and openly critiqued on their social skills, and their use of conversational empathy. This life-long evidence of personal struggle with inferring an audience’s prior knowledge means that the autistic adult may now explain everything “just in case.”

I am especially guilty of this. If a person does not interrupt me to say “I know” during one of my unnecessary over-explanations (which, I’ve discovered, is the case for most polite neurotypicals) I will ramble on 10x longer than I need to, explaining every single inconsequential detail.

…I’m that deadly annoying combination of incessantly chatty and “just in case” clarification. How am I supposed to know whether a person has heard of Bill Gates, or knows what a bonobo is, or understands the difference between biology and microbiology?

If I don’t stop to explain, I inevitably say something that my audience doesn’t understand, and I lose their interest, or worse, seem rude. But when I over-explain, I come off as annoying and condescending!

I can’t infer which things my audience knows and doesn’t know. But I can’t always rely on a person to ask questions when they don’t know a word, or interrupt to stop me from over-explaining.

— 

The Little Professor is Compensating for Something: Theory of Mind and Pedantic Speech

this is important & part of what helped me realize i was autistic, so i’m sharing it for anyone else who can relate.

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[Image description:
First picture - A woman, seated, holding a messenger bag on her knees, says: “I can’t shower, I can’t eat, I can’t go out of my house…”. A non-pictured person replies: “But you’re here, aren’t you?”.
Second picture - The same woman, holding her left hand up, says: “Well yeah but… I came here because I needed your help!”. The non-pictured person replies: “It seems to me that you’re doing quite well!”.]

If you can’t ask for help, nobody’s gonna help you, but if you can, mental health professionals are gonna take it as a proof that you don’t need that much help after all!

What are we supposed to do to get the help we need then?

Tumblr / Twitter / Patreon

An Open Letter To Neurotypicals

(A piece I wrote for my school’s first ever poetry slam night)

Dear neurotypicals,

I mean all you “normal people”,

All you who don’t twitch when you see a cup just *this much* too far to the right,

Who don’t have to work yourself up to telling a joke only to find the conversation has moved on without you,

Those of you who don’t worry if you’re making the right facial expressions,

Who don’t worry that your smile is too small, your face not showing enough joy when your friends tell you some good news.

Dear Neurotypicals,

Those of you who don’t shake at the thought of asking that guy at the counter at McDonald’s for some barbeque sauce,

You who don’t struggle to focus even when you want to,

And I don’t mean “this class is soooo boring, I can’t even focus”,

No, I mean focusing so hard on staying focussed that you don’t even hear the words being said.

Dear Neurotypicals,

Who can get through a day without being emotionally drained,

Who don’t get home and lock themselves away because the day was too overwhelming,

Who don’t have to keep track of how much mental energy they can use, cause I don’t know how but ya’ll don’t run out of it,

Who don’t have to worry about remembering to take your medication just to function “normally”,

Who don’t flinch at the sound of a slur, all too commonly used to sound “cool”.

Dear Neurotypicals,

Anyone who can make eye contact like it’s nothing, who can go a day without putting the same six things in your pockets and panicking when you can’t find one.

Who don’t cry at the thought of someone touching your neck,

And no, because there’s always, always that one person that wants to try it,

I’m not joking. Don’t touch my neck. Ever.

I mean, unless you want me crying on the floor.

Dear Neurotypicals,

You are not “depressed” because you broke up with your girlfriend,

You are not “OCD” for having a tidy room at home,

You didn’t “have an autistic moment” because you had a “weird smile”?

Autistic people don’t have “weird smiles”? We have smiles.

Dear Neurotypicals,

You are not “Bipolar” because you have mood swings,

You are not “ADD” for getting distracted once when you’re talking,

Getting nervous over a test is not the same thing as having anxiety, because when you’re just nervous about a test you don’t cry and hyperventilate for three hours.

Dear Neurotypicals,

Stop telling us to “just be happy” and “don’t be anxious”

If someone walks up to me while I’m having an anxiety attack and goes “calm down”,

I’m not gonna be like “thank goodness you told me to calm down, now I’m cured”

Dear Neurotypicals,

My breakdown is not about how inconvenient it is for you,

The ways I keep myself focused aren’t a danger to society,

My inability to talk in a “socially appropriate way” isn’t your problem,

My self worth is not determined by how neurotypical, I mean how “normal”, I appear.

Dear Neurotypicals,

My mental illness, my neurotype is not a tragedy,

Mental illness isn’t “cool” or “cute”, it just is,

My brain is not something to be joked about,

It’s my brain.

My tapping foot,

My steady rocking,

My “weird smile”,

My lack of eye contact,

My way of speaking,

My habits,

My routines,

My happily flapping hands,

My fingers oh so carefully pulling my hair out one, two, three at a time,

and the information I keep from you is none of your concern.

Because it’s my life.

And I don’t have to explain it to you.

✖✖✖

☺. Co u ciebie?
😍.Jesteś teraz zakochana/y?
😘.Kiedy ostatni raz ktoś cię pocałował? 😳. Wstydzisz się czegoś?
😒. Co cię irytuje?
😔.Przez co jesteś najczęściej smutny/a
😭.Kiedy ostatni raz płakałeś/aś?
😷.Często chorujesz?
😎.Co cie zadowala, uszczesliwia, poprawia humor?
😇.Jesteś grzeczny/a? XD
👶.Chciałabyś/bys mieć kiedyś dzieci? Jak tak to ile?
👨👩.Imiona twoich rodziców
👴👵. Imiona twoich dziadków
🎅.Lubisz święta Bożego Narodzenia?
🙊.Co by cie teraz zaskoczyło?
💀.Boisz się śmierci?
👽.Wierzysz w życie poza ziemskie?
💩. Najgorsze co w życiu poczulas/es?
💨.Lubisz wiatr?
👀. Co najbardziej podoba Ci się w swoim wyglądzie?
👊. Biłeś/as się kiedyś?
💪. Ćwiczyć coś?
👫. Jesteś teraz w związku? Jak tak to ile?
👭. Myślisz że dzieci którymi rodzicami będą osoby tej samej płci, będą zadowolone że swojego życia?
💏.Co myślisz o całowanie się na pierwszym spotkaniu?
💅.Malujesz paznokcie?
👟.Masz swoje ulubione buty? XD
👕. Ulubiony kolor ubrań?
👙. Często chodzisz na basen?
👓. Nosisz okulary?
💔. Zostałaś/es kiedyś zraniona/y?
💌.Dostałaś/eś kiedyś list w której ktoś napisał że cię kocha ?
💬.Ostatnie zdanie które napisałeś?
💭.O czym często myślisz?
🎓.Dobrze się uczysz?
🎆. Co robiłeś/aś w sylwestra?
🎃. Obchodzisz hallowen?
👻. Wierzysz w duchy?
🎄. Lubisz ubierać choinkę?
🎁. Jaki prezent ostatnio dostałaś/es?
🎈. Lubisz balony? XD
🎥. 5 ulubionych filmów
📷. Lubisz robić zdjęcia?
📼. Ostatni film na którym byłaś/eś w kinie?
💿. Przechowujesz coś na płytach DVD?
📱. Jaki masz telefon?
⏳.Ile czasu potrzebujesz na obudzenie się?
⏰. O której wstajesz?
⌚. Często zdarza Ci się patrzec na godziny 11:11,12:12,13:13 itd?
🔑.Gdzie chowasz klucze do domu?
🛁. Wanna vs prysznic?
🚪. Ile masz drzwi w swoim domu?XD
🔫.Myślałaś/eś kiedyś o samobójstwie? 🔪. Potrafiłbys kogoś zabić?
💊.Bierzesz jakieś leki?
💉.Boisz się zastrzyków?
💳.Masz kartę kredytową?
💸.Wolał bys byc bogatym i nie mieć nic czy biednym i mieć wiele np.rodzinę i miłość?
📝. Lubisz pisać opowiadanie?
📆.Masz ulubione daty?
📏.Jakiego przedmiotu w sql nienawidzisz?
📚.Lubisz czytać książki?
🔬. Lubisz biologię?
🎧. Czego słuchasz?
🎶.5 ulubionych wykonawców
🎵. Piosenka na teraz?
👾. Czym lubiles/aś bawić się w dzieciństwie?
🎲.Lubisz gry planszowe?
🏀. Ulubiony sport?
⚽. Oglądasz mecze?
🏆.Mass jakieś dyplomy,medale itp?
🎣. Łowiles kiedyś rybki?
☕. Pijesz kawę?
🍵. Jak często pijesz herbatę?
🍺. Często pijesz?
🍝. Lubisz spaghetti?
🍕. Ulubiona pizza?
🍔. Hamburger vs kebab
🍟. Frytki z maka czy z innego fastfooda?
🍚. Jjesz ryż?
🍪. Ulubione ciastka?
🍫. Potrafiłbys zjeść 5 czekolad w jeden dzień?
🍦. Ulubione lody?
🍌. Lubisz banany?
🐶. Masz jakieś zwierzątko?
🐸. Potrafiłbys przebić żabę patykiem? xd
🐗. Boisz się dzikich zwierząt?
🐍. Dotknął byś węża?
🐟. Ulubiona ryba?
🐏. Jak nazwalbys/alabys baranka? XD🌷. Ulubione kwiaty?
🍀.Wierzysz że 4liste koniczyny przynoszą szczęście?
🌵. Masz w pokoju kaktusy?
🌞. Lato vs zima?
🌠. Widziałeś/as spadające gwiazdy?
☔. Lubisz deszcz?
🌈. Wiesz ile kolorów ma tęcza?
🏥. Byłeś w szpitalu dłużej niż tydzień?
⛺. Lubisz spać w namiocie?
🗼. Byłeś w jakimś kraju za granicą?
🗽. Gdzie chciałbyś pojechać?
🌃. Podoba Ci się miasto nocą?
🕚. O której chodzisz spać?
⭐⭐⭐. Ulubiony cytat?

Wybaczcie że niektóre pytania są bezsennsowne ale no XD
Łapcie - eutanazj-a

I’ve seen a few comments bandied back and forth about how we don’t need awareness, we need acceptance, so I made this. I do think that people need to be aware before they can start to be accepting, but I’d rather people came at us from a point of view of trying to understand our differences rather than just being aware of them - a more involved point of view than that of a zoo visitor goggling in through the glass.

gofundme.com
Click here to support Megan's Autism Diagnosis
Hi, my name is Megan, i'm 18 and trying to raise money to get my autism diagnosed. Growing up, I was misdiagnosed over and over, with a number of mental health disorders among many other things. Throughout all of these diagnosis' I was aware that none of these seemed to sit right with what I wa...

okay so i was kinda hoping i wouldn’t have to do this, but i’m desperate now. Without my autism diagnosed I will have to drop out of university after I complete my first year. 

I would be eternally appreciative if you could donate anything at all, nothing is too little. 

Please drop me a message if you have any questions, and thank you for your time!

Reblog if:

You’re on the Autism spectrum.

(I am a 22 year old woman and have recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Needless to say despite the relief of finally having an answer, I’m having a difficult time, a part of me feels more out of place and alone than ever)