“POLICE BODY CAMERA: Arizona officer detains teen with autism”

You wanna know WHY we bombard you with information about our stimming, our sensory issues, our reactions to overloading stimulation?

THIS. This is why we spam you with OUR needs, and we use the terms like stimming, auras, EDS, shutdowns, meltdowns.

This could easily be any one of us, even if it’s not something innocent like stimming but a shutdown or meltdown, people NEED to know what the hell the terms mean. I shudder to imagine my friend’s son if he happens to be somewhere and encounter someone who DOESN’T know him. And he’s of legal adult age. An unknown officer won’t know he’s Autistic, and will react as if he’s an uncooperative adult male.

The MINUTE this boy said he was stimming, the officer should have known it’s perfectly acceptable for an autistic person to do, and backed the hell down. There was zero need to scare this kid half to death. Connor was capable enough in that moment to articulate what he was doing, but what if he couldn’t speak? What if fear paralyzed him?

Basic fucking education would not be misplaced here, at least the rudimentary terms of the condition.

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Ch-ch-cha-changes

*sigh* so we knew middle school would bring its own challenges, just by sheer number of new things to adjust to, and today one of them came about.

Kiddo got really frustrated when doing an experiment with a team. Now mind you, HER team had no problems. No, this was a girl who happened to be in the team working next to theirs.

They were doing something with gummy worms, and the girl wanted kiddo’s team’s gummy. Several of them told her no including kiddo, but the girl was having none of it. She even tried to pull the friend card “but you’re my friend!”

Kiddo tried at one point to involve the teacher but that dear lady kinda dismissed it, because she chalked it up to just a kid being a kid and told kiddo to ignore her.

Well, when this girl tried to actually reach over and grab the gummy from them even after being told she couldn’t have it, my minion lost it.

She didn’t get violent towards any of her classmates, but she scratched herself and bit all up and down her arm.

The teacher noticed her looking upset so she asked what was wrong, and kiddo told her, in her adorably blunt way, what happened, and even fessed up to the self harm.

The counselor was notified, but because she was working off campus most of the morning, I’m just hearing about it now.

I hate change.

Autism Is Not the Problem | The Mighty

https://themighty.com/2016/07/autism-is-not-the-problem/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Autism_Page

All. Damn. Day.

It isn’t about finding a “cure.” Autistic people are not “flawed,” and they are not “broken.” It is about acceptance and embracing the fact that many people in our world just don’t do things according to the timetable society has set out for them.

What is Autistic burnout? From Autism Women’s Network

What is Autistic Burnout?
a guide from Autism Women’s Network

 

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Signs:
• Lack of motivation (hard to care about goals when everyday life is overwhelming)
• Loss of executive functioning abilities (decision-making, organization, etc.)
• Difficulty with self-care
• Easier to reach overload or meltdown
• Loss of speech, selective mutism
• Lethargy, exhaustion
• Illness, digestive issues
• Memory loss
• Inability to maintain masks or use social skills
• Overall seeming “more autistic” or stereotypical
• May have period of high energy before collapse

Causes:
• Passing as neurotypical / suppressing autistic traits
• Doing ‘too much’, too much stress
• Aging: needing more downtime, having less energy
• Changes, good or bad (relationships, jobs, living arrangements, belongings, environment, routines…)
• Sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, dehydration
• Illness
• Sensory or emotional overload

Strategies:
• Time
• Scheduling breaks, managing spoons
• Leave of absence
• Stimming, sensory diet
• Exercise
• Massage
• Reminders and supports
• Routines
• Better environment/job/etc.
• Boundaries, saying ‘no’
• Dropping the mask/façade
• Solitude
• Absolute quiet
• Creative projects, passions, special interests
• Paying attention to reactions and your body

Sources:
“Autistic Burnout – Are You Going Through Burnout?” Anonymously Autistic.
Endow, Judy. “Autistic Burnout and Aging.” Ollibean.
“Help! I seem to be getting more autistic!” Mel Baggs.
Kim, Cynthia. “Autistic Regression and Fluid Adaptation.” Musings of an Aspie.
Schaber, Amythest. “Ask an Autistic #3 – What is Autistic Burnout?”
Thanks to Lindsey Allen, AWN Nebraska, for compiling this guide ©Autism Women’s Network 2017

ABA Providers Making Fun of Autistic People – Autism Women’s Network

https://autismwomensnetwork.org/aba-providers-making-fun-autistic-people/

Children are NOT pets to be trained with clicks like dogs? Who knew!

The facepalm is strong with this one. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, YOU do not get to define my level of functionality by YOUR neurotypical standards.

YOU do not get to define my level of functionality by YOUR neurotypical standards.

YOU do not get to define my level of functionality by YOUR neurotypical standards.

YOU do not get to define my level of functionality by YOUR neurotypical standards.

YOU do not get to define my level of functionality by YOUR neurotypical standards.

YOU do not get to define my level of functionality by YOUR neurotypical standards.

Is it sinking in yet????

“I also saw another video showing how everyone should be using TAGteach, which stands for Teaching with Acoustic Guidance. Basically, it is clicking a device every time the person “behaves appropriately”. The neurotypical behaviorist defines what is “appropriate behavior”. It is like training dogs and it is dehumanizing. It can also trigger abuse survivors. It makes Autistics dependent on the validation of a non-autistic person for everything they do.”

Stop attacking us and start listening to us: Autistic adults

I don’t even know how to caption this, or preface it. So I will do what I always do, sit down, close my eyes, and start typing.

When you say you’re an “autism warrior mom” I wonder if you have Autism. I hope so because then I know you’ll understand first-hand what it means to fight our fight.

“But that doesn’t mean I can’t advocate for my child” you say. Well, and good. Duly noted. But you, as a neurotypical, can only go so far. You can take that battle only to the level of YOUR understanding, not ours.

I know several NT parents who wouldn’t even fit in this category so please understand this is not for them. No, this is for the “Autism Speaks” militants, the ones who get combative towards us adults with ASD. The ones who can speak, and get a job. The ones who are STILL. AUTISTIC. We somehow are seen as an offense, an affront to their sensibilities because they – for whatever reason – see our lives and our ability to speak as a threat.

I see it on all of these public pages. These women, and I say it that way because these are mostly women who do the most posting and commenting. I understand in a rational way that this is not all inclusive, but for the purpose of this post, it’s going to stand. Hopefully most of you are aware enough to differentiate and separate yourselves from it if it doesn’t fit you.

Stop downing us.

Stop belittling, demeaning, or trying to write us off because you think your precious boy has it harder because he can’t speak, or because he still wears training pants.

We’re the ones who KNOW what it’s like from inside that box. We understand more than you can even imagine, what motivates your child to scream, hit himself, or stim in any number of ways. We’re the ones who can speak and so we do. We speak to TELL you the reason your kid is biting himself is because his routine was changed too much, or unexpectedly.

We’re the ones who go to the schools for our own kids, and get into battle after battle after God awful battle, to get the principals, the counselors, the teachers, to LISTEN when we say “this needs to be modified, and here’s the reason why.”

We’re the ones who want the school system to change its modus operandi so that TEACHERS have more adaptability in their mainstream classrooms, so that if your little Jeffrey needs to have a quiet space all his own in the room for when he gets overloaded, he HAS it and not get punished for it.

When they crinkle paper because of the sensory need for the sound or feel, during a test or when they’re nearing their threshold, it’s not another note sent home about how he “just doesn’t pay attention”. Or how “she needs to learn how the world works.”

Because frankly, the way the world works, SUCKS.

When a student needs to call mom because she knows that MOM can calm her down with just a few words if something happens in the classroom or at lunch. When he zones out during English or social studies and doesn’t finish his class work because he doesn’t understand the open-ended nature of the questions being asked, the teacher needs to know how to calmly explain – in detail – EXACTLY what is being asked of him. Without sending him into meltdown because the teacher didn’t explain it fully.

We’re the ones who drag teachers into meetings every two weeks for the same damn issue, because our kid is being bullied and it’s being IGNORED.

We want these schools and staff to go through decent training beyond their academic requirements, to learn how to be flexible on their students needs, ALL of their students. And to stop other kids from the ugly sniggering, making fun of us behind their backs, sometimes to their faces. To use these experiences as TEACHING moments, so ALL kids learn how to watch out for each other, to learn how everyone is a genius at something and just because they take longer or need to stim DOES NOT make them any less intelligent or capable of learning.

We want our states to get the funding they NEED to provide aides in the classroom for YOUR kid. The one you want a “cure” for, like he’s somehow a diseased menace. We want our states to stop cutting out those assistance services for ASD kids who become ASD adults.

We want our companies to stop blathering in about “inclusion and diversity” when they still allow for the EXclusion of anyone who doesn’t fit their ‘corporate’ mold. Their standard business model is flawed, and it needs to change. Companies need to allow for quiet work spaces, to allow for extra time if an ASD employee gets overloaded at work, without docking pay, or writing them up, termination, or plain out harassment. ADA accommodations don’t stop just short of Autism. And it needs to be understood by hiring managers, Human Resources personnel, and co-workers.

We want YOUR kid accepted in a mainstream classroom, right along side ours, and the neurotypical kids. Because until they are all integrated, there will continue to be a great divide of compassion and inclusion. You want an end to bullying? That’s how you achieve it.

WE fight this for YOUR children. For our children. We want your kid to be given every single chance he or she needs to grow up and HAVE a life worth living. To still get those services beyond age 18. Autism doesn’t just magically disappear once the legal majority is attained. Those services shouldn’t stop either.

So stop attacking us when we say that we don’t need a cure. We aren’t a ham.

Stop telling us that we don’t count because we can talk.

Stop telling us that we can’t possibly understand what YOU go through. We know what your KID goes through.

Start ASKING us, what can I do? What would help best? What should I look for? How should I respond when x, y, and z happens?

WE ARE the neurodivergent.

You’re welcome.

What changed when you were diagnosed?

Someone asked me that in an Autism group. Here’s my answer.

Hi. There’s an “AHA!” moment, and a huge mental sigh of relief. For me, at least, there was a sense of peace for the first time in my life, and also a bit of vindication. I had been poked and prodded, put on God only knows the number of psychotropics that never did ANY good. They just made me a fat zombie. I stopped allowing people to get away with calling me crazy or mental. I now had something tangible I could look at in my mind’s eye.

Because my Autism isn’t severe enough to warrant services, the diagnosis didn’t change much except to give me a starting point to research. I had a ground zero that I could begin to find and develop a coping plan for myself. It also explained why my daughter’s behavior seemed perfectly normal to me but abnormal to everyone else. I could explain things to her in a way that no one else seemed to be able to, because I had memories to draw on of what I would feel in her situation, and I knew the words to use that she’d understand.

I knew to play 20 questions with her because she couldn’t just tell me what happened or what was wrong. I knew how to look for the triggers if she got upset because of sensory overload. Hers and mind have some similarities but they aren’t mirrors. See things she can handle that I can’t, and vice versa. I’m sure some of her teachers thought I was completely around the corner when I explained the reasons for some of her reactions in school, but my suggestions always worked to eliminate her triggers. Or at least give her time to gradually acclimate.

It gave me permission to be more confident in BEING her mom, because I knew damn good and well that I wasn’t going to allow her to endure the same pain filled experience I had in school.

It gave me this sense and comfort to finally discover that I’m not the only one dealing with these same challenges. There’s a networking group I’m in and another lady there is also ASD. When we found out, we were both like “Hi Tribe!”