pokemon blu

  • Hero: So you’re telling me that I can go out, into unknown dungeons that I know almost nothing about, slay Pokemon there, beat the crap out of Pokemon that are ten times bigger than me, bring along Pokemon that I’ve only just talked to into dungeons to explore with me, bring along schoolkids with me into dungeons, get myself stuck in monster houses, and potentially get myself killed?
  • Nuzleaf: Yep

Autism Awareness Month is April, and that time sort of sucks for a lot of autistic people because Autism $peaks is terrible. So instead, I’ve decided to celebrate autism, and what better way to do that than with headcanons? Every day of this month – assuming I have the time – I’m going to draw one autistic headcanon!

For day 30, I think I’ll tell you a story.

Growing up, I was “the weird kid”. I was bullied in primary school, but didn’t realise it for a long time. I talked to myself. I was scared of hand driers and toilets. I was totally unable to sit still. I burst into tears in a school singing lesson because “we’re singing a sad song”. I was too loud, all the time. I was utterly obsessed with Pokemon. I chewed blu-tak like it was chewing gum. I had breakdowns at school. I read so fast, reading speed calculators always accused me of cheating.

I never knew why. I just thought I was weird, and left it at that. But that thought - I am different - haunted me. It chewed at my self-esteem, at my sense of identity. It was there, no matter what I was doing. I couldn’t make myself be like everyone else, and I had no idea why.

…I like to write, and I’m writing a novel series. I decided, one day, to make a character autistic. Why not? Autistic people need more representation, and it seemed like a fun challenge to write someone like that.

But the more research I did, the more I realised I wasn’t looking just at that character any more. I was looking into a mirror. So much of what I read resonated to my core. 

Bullied without realising? Can’t read people. Scared of hand driers? The sound is startling and overwhelming. Unable to sit still? Stimming. Bursting into uncontrollable tears over a sad song? Hyperempathy. Too loud? No judgement of social norms. Pokemon? Special interest. Chewing blu-tak? A really weird stim. Breakdowns? Meltdowns. Reading fast? Hyperlexia.

I realised, eventually, that this was not a coincidence. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Autism wasn’t the only thing I recognised in myself, either - I was pretty sure I had ADHD, and I went to a mental health specialist about it. 

And lo and behold, I have now been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

I was my own autistic headcanon. I saw so much of myself in this diagnosis, that eventually I realised that it described me perfectly. And now I see those parts of myself in every piece of media I consume. Everything I thought was wrong about me, I can now accept, and see in others. I have an answer for why I am the way I am.

I am different. I am autistic. There is nothing wrong with that. I am who I am, and even if the world doesn’t accept that, I’m sure as hell going to try.

This has been a really fun challenge to do! I hope everyone’s enjoyed seeing this as much as I’ve enjoyed drawing them.