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    Autism Spectrum Visibility/Chat Thread
    • Hey, everyone! So I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome as a child, and I've always seen it as being part of who I am. It's conferred me with both great challenges and wonderful gifts, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

      I happen to know, primarily from my time peeping at the "About Me" sections of your profiles lol, that at least some of you are also on The Spectrum, and I'd love to hear about your experiences being "different" and trying to live in a world that—let's face it—isn't really oriented to give us an easy time of things lol.

      Please keep posts in this thread civil and respectful. Don't make fun of each other's fixations and idiosyncrasies if and when they come up. People who aren't on the autism spectrum are certainly welcome to join in on the conversation and even ask questions, so long as they are respectful.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by EzloSpirit ().

    • I was also diagnosed with Asperger's as a child. There's a possibility it may have been a misdiagnosis since a lot of my "Asperger's" traits have faded with age, but I'd have to see a professional to confirm that which I am far too lazy to do lol.

      Regardless, I have always tried to not be defined by my diagnosis. There's nothing wrong with being on the spectrum, of course, but I've always disliked having it colour peoples' perceptions of me (which sadly does happen), hence I tend to keep it on the dl. But, for better or worse, it's made me who I am today.

      Dunno if I'm really making any sense haha
    • My brother has autism! For newcomers to understand, it’s easiest to describe him as having the mind of a 4-8 year old in the body of a full grown man. There’s more to it than that, but we find it’s best to keep it simple at the start for people that have never been exposed to it. He lives in a group home for adults that has staff 24/7. It gives him his own life and a sense of independence, while also easing the burden on our parents.

      I consider myself fortunate to have grown up with an older brother like that! Because autism was always present in my life right from when I was born, it’s not something I see as a bad thing. He’s his own normal, just as anyone else on this planet is. It still amazes me how many people will say, “I’m sorry,” when I tell them my big brother is autistic. Like, he’s not dying, ya know? He’s got a life, ya know? Like, if I told someone my hair is brown, don’t you think it’d be a weird reaction to say, “I’m sorry.” My hair’s brown, my brother’s autistic, they’re just facts of life, not something to feel pity for.

      One day I’d really love to get a tattoo encompassing a few of his (and mine) favourite things. A collage sort of deal with ninja turtles, Batman, power rangers, and muppets. With popcorn pieces and movie reels thrown in all over the place. But, we’ll see if it ever happens! I’m not sure I want to get another tattoo. I only have the one, but I’m pretty content with the just the one.
      -avatar created by RealmWings~
      Come check out the new book club! The Do Over Book Club
    • I probably have mentioned it in the past or few times, but I'm on the spectrum as well! I was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was younger. Autism awareness/acceptance month is a pretty good time to bring all of this up lol, so I'm just going to tell everything I can think of. We can't do anything to better the world if we don't understand the problems that we each face, or make them visible for the whole world to see. Screw being quiet about stuff while we slowly suffer.

      I've had communicative difficulties, as well as other common traits like a desire/interest in patterns and routine (disrupting that routine is a good way to make me upset, or at least give my mental health a good blow of confusion lol), special interests, as well as some developmental things as well. I've always been kind of ahead and tend to overanalyze stuff, often working at a higher level than some of my peers, though obviously at the expense of some other stuff like social skills, and being able to identify and respond to social cues.

      If someone tells me to be honest, or says something with the expectation that I'll refute it, I won't be afraid to be honest and express my opinion on the subject, not to mention the other things that happen, like me having difficulty holding conversations or not being able to relate to my peers. Like I've had some sensory stuff relating to certain foods or items. Like I used to hate most vegetables, cheerios, and anything else that my brain did not agree with. Like scratching seatbelts, ugh, that still gives me goosebumps.

      Another big thing I've struggled with, though it can have its upsides sometimes is impulse control. If I'm curious about something, then it'll eat away at me until I do it to see what will happen lol. Or stimming is another thing I do under some circumstances, like if there's something that's overwhelming my senses and I just need to do something to hold on.

      That said, all of these things aren't necessarily bad, and I hate how autism has been denigrated and made out to be this terrible thing. Half the time I'm being told "Stop acting weird" and the other time I'm being told "You're not autistic" because I don't comply to the twisted stereotypes and ideas people have about autism, whether it's Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, or someone with a more severe developmental issue, or visible symptoms.

      Honestly, most of the problems I've faced were because people projected their misunderstandings and expectations on me, or were because of other people. Not because I have autism. Having to mask and stay on guard 99% of the time sucks and is exhausting. I had to deal with not knowing how to behave around others, not being told how I'm supposed to in a productive way, and as a result, I was bulled and manipulated repeatedly as I sought validation and friendship, which was fleeting. I was that one weird kid who people mocked, dared to do stuff in the promise of friendship and not being lonely, and I was repeatedly bullied and punished, even for things that other people pushed me into doing.

      It's like I can't be myself around 95% of other people. I had to deal with teachers and schools refusing to give me proper therapy or accommodate my needs that were necessary for me to succeed in school. Prepare for big rant, with what likely qualifies as child abuse, but I still feel kind of weird about it:

      Display Spoiler
      Not to mention I had issues for a long time afterwards thanks to a specific special education teacher who decided to punish me at that school by giving me arbitrarily long detentions, and punishing me for not focusing 100% on my school work, by logging every single minute I wasn't working. Even if I was blowing my nose, going to the bathroom, eating a snack in class, or trying to understand an assignment. It wasn't uncommon to be stuck in that tiny office with that spiteful hag for multiple hours a day (one time I was stuck in there until 8:30 pm, maybe a bit later), and I'd be given more time during the detentions as well. I resorted to faking sick and trying to force myself to vomit so I could go home. Which never happened until the time finished. There's very few things I still wouldn't wish upon that person.

      I know part of dealing with abuse stuff is learning to get past it, but the whole endeavor still makes me queasy and angry to think about, and I still carry a lot of underlying anger over it. There were times years afterward when I'd randomly wake up and cry because I just felt hurt about it, and the worst part is that that school manipulated my parents into thinking that what they were doing was right and would work. But it never worked. The school just tried to fucking beat the autism out of me and make me "normal". They were in the process of making a padded room to lock students inside during meltdowns before I left and was forced to move to another school, and thank goodness I did. At the next school I attended they were only incompetent.

      It sucks not because I'm autistic. But because people refuse to believe I'm autistic, despite being diagnosed. Because I was put through therapy and punished and bullied anytime I didn't act normal, and it's like I learned to hide and suppress part of who I am, and it's hard to come back from that. And because the educational services I was provided were subpar and didn't teach me anything.

      That said, I love being on the spectrum. I love being myself and I know I tend to find the positive side of things to work it to my advantage (after a several hour binge on the internet and at the library, I could probably give a decent lecture on most subjects lol). I'm really good with learning and studying and digging into things, and I tend to analyze and plan things out a lot. Autism is a part of me, and it always will be.

      Forgive me for letting this get waaay too long, but it's not often I get to talk about and process what I'm like, and the problems I've faced. But I feel it's important that more people try to be more transparent about their struggles and problems so they can help others, get help, or even just reduce the stigma on mental health problems and disability.

      You'll be hearing my name someday, whenever people talk about heroes - Takua!
    • It's really unclear if I'm on the spectrum. Technically, I'm bipolar. Medications help, but I can still be triggered. It's not impossible for people to be bipolar and autistic, but I've credited personality traits that I previously credited to autism as actually being symptoms of bipolar, like how I REALLY got super into certain things, like art and video games. I pin that now on manic obsessions, rather than autism, but like, autism and bipolar have similarities. I've always had crazy emotions, which you could link to both autism and bipolar. Every time I begin to wonder if I'm not bipolar, though, I'm reminded why I'm very much so.

      But this is a thread about autism. Definitely subbing to this.

      Growing up, people assumed I was autistic, which sucked, because it fed into the whole thing where people basically assumed I was mentally handicapped, so no one took me seriously until I proved my worth. That was ages ago, but it still hurt. It made getting diagnosed as bipolar as a bit of a relief, but it's still not impossible that I'm autistic. It's just harder to tell with women, I guess, and I've never been officially diagnosed. I'm certainly not doing a self diagnosis on myself when it comes to autism. I did with bipolar before getting officially diagnosed, but that's because I could barely sleep, and because I was literally shaking with mania most of the time. I'd call myself bipolar way before I'd call myself autistic, but that's just me.

      I have plenty of friends who have autism, as is the case when you have transgender friends. A lot of trans people are on the spectrum. It's kind of interesting.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Serenity ().

    • Aw Hell yeah, another visibility thread I can join in on! Aiya~ I was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was about 12. And that's about all I can think of to say, oops.

      Well, not really. In retrospect it doesn't surprise me. I mean I grew up watching particular children's programs that many an Autistic person has enjoyed, I've never exactly been good with making friends (and sometimes, I'm terrible at keeping them too); I've got impaired judgement and don't always realize if something I've said or done is perceived as wrong/horrible by a neurotpyical person, shy/introverted, not much of a small talker, difficulty with non-verbal cues, having specialty get the drill.
    • I don't usually talk about it much, but I was diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of 8. I guess it's something I've learned to deal with. I don't have all of the typical symptoms - I'm completely fine with crowds and physical contact for example. But I guess everyone is different. And some of the symptoms have faded over time - I used to struggle a lot with social interaction, but these days I generally find it not to be a problem. In certain situations though I can still be a bit awkward.

      Bullying was a problem at school, but with the exception of a few people it was just that people didn't understand why I was different. Once they understood, most of them left me alone, and some even made an effort to talk to me.
    • I was diagnosed with a light form of Asperger back in 2012. I've read some things about it, and I definitively share some of the similarities a lot of Aspies describe and were also mentioned here in this thread: Emotions being sometimes difficult to deal with, having to rationalize and "learn" human interaction (perceiving them logically and not primarily intuitive-emotionally), dedicated to training empathy, being absolutely terrible at smalltalk, being shy/an introvert in general, finding joy and comfort in routines and special interests (however, my routines change over the years and my "special interests" are more gaming and science in general). I by now see myself inbetween Aspies and non-Aspies - I can understand the reasoning of both sides and, quite frankly, it makes a lot of sense how people with Asperger perceive the world.
      I like Tony Attwood (a british psychologist now living in Australia, working with people having Asperger), and how he treats Asperger not as a problem to be overcome, but simply as a different way to look at the world. Have read a book from him about Asperger, very interesting.

      Oh and I hate it how "being autistic" is being used nowadays as a synonym for "being rude". This ignorance is so disrespectful towards autistic people!
      "A puppet that can no longer be used is mere garbage.
      This puppet's role has just ended..."
      - Majora

      My major theories:

      Counting the Population of Termina

      Counting the Population of Hyrule (OoT)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Romano-British Medli ().

    • My brother, though having the mental equivalent of a child, is extremely adept at getting an accurate reading on people almost as soon as he meets them.

      He also happens to be a little shit and uses said information to push your buttons or pull pranks. He once nearly gave out parents a heart attack by stripping down, covering himself in glue (you know the white school glue that dries clear?), letting it dry. So then it looked like his skin was peeling off when he stood up to say hi. Parents nearly called an ambulance and he was just dying with laughter.

      I don’t know why I was thinking of that, but I figured I’d share it anyway.
      -avatar created by RealmWings~
      Come check out the new book club! The Do Over Book Club
    • That's really cool Colu! That story is freaking hilarious lol.

      Sadly, to a lot of people the common consensus is someone with autism or another developmental disorder is either high or low functioning. But even people who'd be considered 'low functioning' can have really strong skills, abilities, and a good capacity to learn. From what I understand, some of it is more of a communicative issue as well as the other stuff. I know I picked up on some of that stuff when I volunteered in the special education department of my high school when I was a junior. Some of them can be really sweet or hilarious, especially when they're having fun or trying to be friends.

      You'll be hearing my name someday, whenever people talk about heroes - Takua!
    • Oh yeah, forgot to add I am terrible at reading sign language and heavily try to avoid it as much as I can in life! There were maybe 2 or 3 instances in the last 10, 15 years where I had encountered it, and it's awful! Like... how am I supposed to know what the other person is telling me when you take verbal language out of the equation?!? I'm a verbal person, goddamnit! It's only getting more complicated this way!

      @Colu: That kind of sound skillfully terrifying, at least to me.
      "A puppet that can no longer be used is mere garbage.
      This puppet's role has just ended..."
      - Majora

      My major theories:

      Counting the Population of Termina

      Counting the Population of Hyrule (OoT)
    • My brother is partially deaf, so there is a little bit of sign language in the family. Mostly what is used is commands like, “sit down,” “no,” “eat,” “wait,” “personal space,” and “I love you.” And my mum also has little things to represent him and me. Mine might be just “sister” but I can’t remember.

      Because he has hearing aids though, most communication is through verbal practices. He also has this little Velcro sign board thing that he can use to communicate certain things he wants and/or for us to put a picture schedule of what’s happening in the next few instances (like work, computer time, where he’s visiting etc).

      I’m not sure what he’s up to these days, but I know he used to (and probably still does) work with therapy horses and do a recycling program in town. They’re a couple things he does so that he can earn a small amount of his own income. He also does a lot of social things like swimming and costumes parties.

      He’s going through another change in his life right now and he needs to go to a reassement facility to figure out what medications and care he needs. They’ve managed to tweak his medicine a bit to make him more calm and subdue violent tendencies, but there’s a little wait list for the actual facility right now.
      -avatar created by RealmWings~
      Come check out the new book club! The Do Over Book Club
    • I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when I was 11, after some rather extreme circumstances. I was being teased so much by the kids at school that I told my Mom I didn't want to live anymore. She freaked out (understandably), but immediately got me to see a child psychologist, and I got my diagnosis shortly afterwards. It was weird back in the 90s - they barely knew anything about Aspergers/Autism, and still thought girls didn't get it. My Mom was afraid of me being "labelled" as well so I didn't get much professional help after that. Went through university without so much as a counseling session, when I hear about other autistic people making the news for graduating high school.

      Things have gotten better for quite a few reasons. 1. By high school I no longer cared what my peers thought of me and had the confidence to pursue my interests despite what anyone thought. 2. My high school was a big, inner city school with over 2000 students, all with different interests so I wasn't sticking out as the "weird one" anymore. I even attracted wanted attention for once just by being myself. That leads to 3, I met a guy who appreciated me for me. We've been together since high school, and it really helps to have even one person in my life who I can genuinely count on. And 4, technology has made it possible to connect with people all over the world who share my interests, so I'm no longer a weird fish in a small pond.

      One thing that continuously frustrates me is that the world of work still ostracizes Autistic people. 80% of adults on the spectrum are either unemployed or under-employed. I fall into the latter category myself. Employers almost universally think that if you're on the spectrum, you're not capable of doing anything beyond minimum wage grunt work, no matter our education, and worse yet, we're supposed to be grateful to be even "allowed" to do that! I graduated in 2013, 6 years ago, and since then, I've only been able to get full time work for a grand total of 5 months and even that was barely above minimum. There's this misconception that if you're on the spectrum, you *must* be living at home with Mommy and Daddy. There's no way you can have bills of your own to pay, or, god-forbid, a family of your own. I've tried everything to try to get a better job, I even went to the extreme of going on a documentary tv series to do so, but as soon as the cameras were off, the company they hooked me up with treated me as badly as anyone else.

      I think that's the largest thing that has inspired the novel I want to write (I'm in the beginning stages). I imagined a world where Autistic people were the majority, and NTs (neurotypicals, or "regular" people) were the ones considered "disabled". I've finally come up with an idea for how to characterize my protagonist, whom I was having trouble with, after working on my Zelda fan fic. In "Zelda's Redemption", I characterized BotW Zelda as being on the spectrum herself, and I figured out that I can translate some of her character traits to Lana, my novel's main POV character. The way that Zelda really loved learning all she could about ancient tech, and her father's reaction to that, saying she was "wasting her time", even yelling at her for doing so, making her feel like garbage even though she was trying her best ... let's just say I can relate.

      BotW Zelda in her purple Hylian Gear, by my husband, D4rkSilver