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It doesn’t feel like Single-Sentence Saturday. November 29, 2008

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I’m not dead, really, I’m not — I’ve just had a really busy few weeks, so expect more posts in the future.

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It’s 10:18 PM. Do you know where your Single-Sentence Saturday is? November 22, 2008

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My biggest fear is that I’m doing things completely wrong and nobody’s telling me.

Single-sentence Saturday has been grinning all week. November 15, 2008

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Maybe I should post long, angsty posts more often; mine from last week seems to have worked.

A lesson in terminology. November 10, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in advocacy, language, medical, sensory integration dysfunction.
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When a neurotypical (not just non-autistic, but completely neurotypical) person has asthma, he or she is asthmatic.

When an autistic person has asthma, it’s a comorbidity.

When a neurotypical person complains of pain, it’s probably a symptom of a disease.

When an autistic person complains of pain, it’s a because he or she is autistic, and nothing more.

When a neurotypical person wants to be left alone, he or she wants to be left alone.

When an autistic person wants to be left alone, he or she is antisocial.

What’s wrong with this picture?

(Disclaimer: I know these don’t hold 100% true, but this is an exercise in how profoundly a single diagnosis can change society’s view of a person, so bear with me.)

Single-sentence Saturday, yay! November 8, 2008

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Today has been a surprising day, in all the good ways, but I think I’m gonna go pass out now.

Me zero, big bad world one. November 6, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in advocacy, outside looking in.
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(Warning: foul language ahead. Not a lot of it, but it’s there.)

I have had it up to here with being forced to hide a vital part of myself in hopes of finding employment. Especially since it doesn’t work.

I am sick of continually being told how much people would love to hire me, except I’m “just not a good fit.” (At least I’m in good company; that’s the excuse companies use on anyone when they don’t have a legitimate, non-illegal reason for not hiring anyone who’s visibly different.)

Perhaps more importantly, I’m at the point where I’m mostly sure it is just me; that I’m just not going to get hired for anything full-time or permanent, no matter what I do; that even if I keep trying, I may as well never actually hope to amount to anything; that I may as well go from job to job to minimum-wage job like so many autistic spectrum people before me have done. I may as well accept that my best option for health care is “don’t get sick.” (One perk: I hear the monthly premiums are low on that plan.)

And you know why I’m not planning to give in? Why I’m going to cry myself out and then pull myself right back up?

I’m doing it for you.

I don’t want to sound like a martyr by saying this, because that’s certainly not how I see myself. But if — WHEN — I get my career started, it’ll be that much easier for the next autistic person to apply for a job there. People will get to know me and realize that I am just as much a human being as they are, and with luck and hope, they will carry that knowledge on in life.

The Law of Unintended Consequences applies here as well, but in a good way. If things change for autistic people, the world will be easier for other non-neurotypicals. I live for the day when neurodiversity in all its forms (infinite neurodiversity in infinite neurocombinations? Nah…) is so commonplace that when somebody asks “So, what about that Alice person? Isn’t she weird?” and the standard reply is “No, she’s not weird. She’s just Alice.”

It’s just not fucking fair that any group of people anywhere has to prove its humanity at all. Ever. I’m going to say this once, and I’m going to say it clearly: FUCK. THAT. SHIT.

My writing this likely isn’t going to change anyone’s attitudes, aside from my own (I feel better already), but with hope, my existence will.

Single-sentence Saturday is looking for a distraction. November 1, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in cats, just for fun, outside looking in, single sentence saturday.
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Whoever designed the Halloween decorations that have silhouettes of cats with their tails up and their backs arched obviously didn’t speak Cat: that pose means they’re more scared of you than you are of them, but they don’t want to run.

Single-Sentence Saturday comes without warning or context. October 25, 2008

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Sometimes I wish I could read minds, but then I realize that it would just mean having one more sense to manage.

A chance encounter October 22, 2008

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I think I met another autistic person on the way home from work.

I had just pressed the button to cross the street when I saw him. He was about halfway across the smaller cross street when I noticed something funny: this man was walking like I do. He was paying attention to each step he took, as if he’d lose his legs and feet if he lost awareness of them. For a moment I thought he might be drunk — I’ve been accosted before by security types who think I’m drunk because of the way I walk — but discounted that fairly quickly. He was too centered, too aware. Most people, when drunk, try to act sober, and I never felt that from him.

I might leave it at that — “Oh, he could have been autistic, but he’d probably just had a bit much to drink” — if not for what happened next.

He made it to my corner. Neither of us tried to make eye contact, but we both acknowledged the other in our own ways. (I smiled. He nodded.)

He stopped. It wasn’t a very fluid motion — more along the lines of “oh crap, I almost forgot my keys” than a premeditated stop — and spoke.

What exactly did he say?

Not “H’lo there.”

Not “Cold out tonight, isn’t it?”.

Not any of the small talk one might expect from a stranger on the street at 10:30 PM.

What did he say to me?

“Nice red coat.”

And then he started walking again. Didn’t even give me a chance to say “thank you.” (That would have been — was, since I said it anyway — the correct response, right?)

That’s what made it for me. The first ping on my aut-dar I’ve had in a long time.

Of course, we didn’t do the secret handshake, so I’ll never know for sure if he’s truly on the spectrum or if I’m just making stuff up.

(There really ought to be a secret handshake. That would make life so much easier.)

Oh, is it Single-Sentence Saturday again? October 18, 2008

Posted by speakingaut in medical, sensory integration dysfunction, single sentence saturday.
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The thing with sensory integration dysfunction is that even when you’re really good at managing it, one “off” thing — in this case, “I wish I’d hurry up and get sick already if I’m coming down with something” — can mess you up for the week.