Posted by: E (The Third Glance) | April 23, 2012

To “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”: An #AutismPositivity2012 Flash Blog Event

A couple of weeks ago, someone somewhere googled “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”. The phrase popped up in a blogging dashboard and struck the blogger as being particularly sad. She wished she could have answered.

We don’t know who it was. We don’t know where he/she lives. We have no idea if he/she found what he/she was looking for in that search.

We do know that search directed that person to a blog. We do know the searcher clicked on it in an attempt to find what they needed. And we do know enough about the challenges of autism to know that person is likely not alone in that sentiment.

So, we got to thinking. What would we say to that person? What if it was a kid, desperately trying to make it through tough years of intolerance and ignorance? What if it were a person who might never stumble across the amazing voices speaking for autism acceptance? What if that person thought himself/herself all alone? What would we say about the present? What would we say about the future? What would we say about happiness? And hope?

Each of us in the autism community –- self-advocates, parent advocates, friends and family, teachers, health professionals—we would all have different messages for #IWishIDidn’tHaveAspergers. But likely we would all try to send the message that there is a brighter future and that friendship and support are out there.

We are asking every blogger in the autism community to write a message of positivity to #IWishIDidntHaveAspergers. So that next time that individual (or another) types that sad statement into Google, he or she will find what they need – support, wisdom, and messages of hope from those who understand.

And – for those of you who do not blog but wish to join in – please post your positivity message to http://autismpositivity.wordpress.com/ or send us an email at autismpositivity@gmail.com

Please join with us on the last day of Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month – April 30th – in a flash blog of autism positivity.

To participate:

  1. Publish your post on April 30th in the following title format: “[Your Blog] to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers: #AutismPositivity2012”.
  2. Share your post on Twitter and Facebook, using that hashtag.
  3. Add your link to the Autism Positivity website and grab the badge:
  4. Share/reblog this message to your blog, page, etc.

This Autism Positivity Flash Blog Event is the brainchild of Thinking About Perspectives, a group of bloggers committed to increasing autism awareness and acceptance via open and respectful dialogue. We are: 30 Days of Autism, Outrunning the Storm, The Third Glance, Aspie Kid, Flappiness Is, Quirky and Laughing, Life on the Spectrum, Fairy Tale Forgotten, The Aspie Side of Life, and Inner Aspie.

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To my readers, I have been heavily involved with this project since its beginning, and I hope you will follow along, visit the site, and maybe even leave some positive comments. Here’s to a strong end to Autism Awareness ACCEPTANCE month!

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Responses

  1. Love this idea…I will do my best to participate.

    • FANTASTIC! 🙂 Thanks so much! And if you can, please reblog and/or repost the original entry. The more people know about this, the better.

  2. Really.. why is it so hard to believe that not everyone is happy to have Aspergers?

    • It’s not at all hard to believe. However if it’s what life has handed you, then perhaps you need to hear that there are others like you out there who share your struggles, and who can give you hope and perseverence. A LOT of people with Asperger’s, especially women, have severe depression due to these feelings of lost-ness and alone-ness. This is to show people who wish they weren’t that different, that yes, it can be hard, but they are not alone.

    • Here is why it is hard to believe that not everyone is happy to have Aspergers. Because it means they don’t want to be the way they were born, just because the overall society doesn’t find it normal enough. It’s sad. It’s no different than someone saying “I wish I weren’t female” or “I wish I weren’t gay” or “I wish I weren’t black”. It is an indication that there is too much social intolerance and prejudice in our society. Autism and Asperger Syndrome are nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to be discouraged about. Autism spectrum disorders should not be considered disorders. But then again, homesexuality and even being female have both been considered mental illnesses in the past. Homosexuals were locked up and charged with crimes, and still are some places in the world, just because they are different. There is way too much fear of diversity in humanity and it is affecting people self-esteem and self-image. We need to stop treating people who are different like there is something wrong with them.

      • Thank you AspieKid, that is beautiful. 🙂 And far more eloquent than I could have said it. Thanks!

      • Wow, really? You are comparing a neurological disorder to being a woman or gay? Being a woman or being gay does not cause impairments, having autism does. There are real impairments that come with autism that aren’t caused by neurotypicals, they are caused by the autism. Sensory sensitivities aren’t caused by society or neurotypicals. Problems with basic communication, sensory overload, nonverbal communication are caused by the autism. With being a woman or being gay, acceptance is the only thing that usually is a barrier to access. With autism, most times some accommodations are needed, sometimes a lot. Acting like autism is fun and great doesn’t eliminate those problems. Perhaps the person who posted that google inquiry would have rather had some advice and solutions to their problems. Perhaps they would like to eliminate some of their symptoms. That’s nothing to do with prejudice or discrimination, that is because autism is a serious disorder and for many people it causes suffering.

      • Yes, we are. If you actually read the content of my blog, you would realize that I DO have a neurological disorder. That my brain frequently experiences sensory overload that sends me tailspinning. That I often fail profusely at conversing and basic social skills. But I don’t hate myself for it. Do I wish it was easier? Absolutely, but I honestly wouldn’t sacrifice myself to make everything different. Do I wish other people, like you, had a little more compassion when I go into sensory overload? ABSOLUTELY. Do I wish that I had known I was Autistic AND known that others are also Autistic and succeeding in their lives 5 years back when I was struggling so much? YES. And that’s what this is about. Not everything about Autism is positive. But it’s the hand we’ve been dealt. Sure, some of our impairments are caused by “Autism”. But a LOT of our impairments, the ones we perceive, like “I’ll never be good enough” and “I’m an utter failure”, those are caused by NT’s, specifically NT’s who think that all people with Autism are not really human, because their minds work differently. Those people, with the loudest voices, influence how we see and feel the world.

        And just to address the “being a woman” bit, claiming it “doesn’t cause impairments” nor “require accommodations”… every month, when my period, my body turns into a demon. My whole abdomen, back, and legs cramp up, and I can’t walk. Often I’m incredibly nauseous, and I have passed out. THAT is real impairment, and it’s caused by my being a woman. It is an impairment that is WORSE than my sensory overloads in terms of being able to function. I usually need 1-2 days to recover, compared to hours for sensory overload. Does this require accommodation? YES. Do I get that accommodation? Rarely. Why? Because “I have my period and cramps so bad I can’t function.” isn’t an excuse that “man” will allow. And to top it off, the major cure for this, the accommodation, is birth control (which I can’t take for other reasons). And you know what? They’re trying to take that away too, because it’s “inappropriate” for women to have control over their own bodies… Thus telling us, effectively that we are sub-human, because we can’t enjoy the same rights as men when it comes to controlling our bodies and actions. Whenever I am unable to control my body without excessive amounts of (inaccessible) medications, I am being told by society that I am a failure. That I don’t deserve to function, and that I’m not valued. See the connections? Now I use myself here, in a very specific example. There are many other examples that can be drawn. So yes, I think the comparison is quite valid. For me, being a (biological) woman is quite often a disorder that causes extreme amounts of suffering. Does this mean I wish to stop being a woman? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I am happy with who I am, and I am proud to be an Autistic woman. I do, however, wish that there was some understanding and compassion when I say “I can’t, my body won’t let me because I’m in too much pain from my period”… the same way I wish that there was that same understanding and compassion when I go into sensory overload from a loud sound or texture I can’t deal with.

        And above all, and this is WHY we are doing this, it is a wonderful thing to know that despite these shortcomings and sufferings, I am NOT alone, others have gone before me, and still others are going along beside me. There are people I can turn to for help when I get confused. There are resources out there to make things easier for me, and above all, I am a WHOLE HUMAN BEING. My mind works differently than most people’s minds, but despite that, I am a person, with thoughts and feelings, and it’s OK to be the person I am.

      • Menstrual pain is not an inherent part of being a woman, just like prostate problems are not an inherent part of being a man. If your cramps were cured, you would still be a woman. If your autistic impairments were cured, you would no longer be impaired and therefore no longer qualify for a diagnosis. Furthermore, a large part of the autism community is very happy with restrictions on a woman’s right to control her body. To many, the birth of more autistic babies is worth forcing a woman to give birth against her will. I’ve heard autistic men who say that they should be entitled to sex. So no, NTs aren’t alone in thinking women are sub-human.

        Please don’t make the assumption that I do not have compassion for someone in sensory overload. For the person with autism in my life, I do everything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen. It isn’t out of prejudice that I want to have more solutions, it is because I see what autism, in and of it self, does to someone I love and I don’t want to see them suffer.

      • VoldieMan, you are right and you are very wrong. You are right when you say being a woman or being gay does not cause impairments. You are wrong when you say that autism does cause impairments. Is there a “right way” to communicate. Some of the best writers and musicians and artists, and to be very clear, some of the best communicators in history, were indeed autistic. And sensory awareness is not an impairment. Just because neurotypicals are born partially deaf, partially blind and mostly unaware of many of their own senses does not mean autistics have impairments. Quite the opposite. The neurotypical’s inability to perceive what is around him/her is an impairment that I am glad I was not born with. Autistic sensory issues are NOT hallucinations. They are experiences of real sensory input that neurotypicals have an impaired ability to perceive. You are very wrong when you imply that autism is a serious disorder. Are you just jealous because you don’t have it? It is a gift, and the only problems associated with autism are lack of acceptance and misinformation like what you have been gullible enough to believe and the exact same information you are spreading around in your comments. Perhaps you are not nearly as tolerant to those who are different as you think you are.

      • Jealous? Yeah.. jealous, that’s it, you got me. Autistics don’t have impairments. Having your senses so sensitive that ordinary sounds like a bird or a thunderclap cause you physical pain (I guess the volume of those is the fault of neurotypicals) is great! Not being able to communicate with the rest of the species is great! You say all people with autism are hypersensitive, you therefore ignore all people with autism who are hypo-sensitive. Yes, having autism isn’t all bad, but to say that it is some wonderful thing that makes you above neurotypical people is ridiculous – we aren’t better or worse, we just are. Just like neurotypicals need solutions to their problems so do people with autism.

        Also diagnosing dead people – very responsible. It is hard enough to diagnose a living person, to diagnose someone long dead with no psychological record is what most professionals would deem irresponsible. You can say that autism isn’t a horrible thing without the need to have dead people prop you up.

      • Keep in mind that the purpose of this blog post is to try to eliminate people’s hatred toward autism. I don’t think any of us will ever eliminate your hatred, but we will try to spread our message to those who are willing to listen. Blaming people’s problems on the neurological structure of their brains is no different than blaming the color of their skin.

        And yes, I do believe that autism is a wonderful thing. I never put myself above any neurotypicals. I just don’t want neurotypicals saying they are above autistics. It’s a bad message to spread around. It is the societal institutionalized bullying of an entire class of people. Being bullied and ostracized makes people google things like “I wish I didn’t have Aspergers”, when in fact they should be proud to have Aspergers, the same way “black pride” and “gay pride” became slogans for movements of other ostracized groups of people.

        As for diagnosing dead people. Some of the most well-known and well-respected autism researchers in the world have speculated and written about people who lived hundreds of years ago and were almost certainly autistic. If you don’t like to admit that, then write to Uta Frith and Tony Attwood and tell them they are irresponsible for diagnosing dead people. See what they say. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_figures_sometimes_considered_autistic

      • I don’t hate autistic people. It’s very nice of you to project your own prejudices on me, but really I don’t. And you do put autistics above neurotypicals – just by the fact that you consider me a hateful evil person just because I’m not autistic and I don’t agree with you. No, I will not agree that autism is just like skin colour and gender. It isn’t. It causes discrete problems in and of itself. But according to you, autistics are the superiors of the species so anything I say, unless it’s in lockstep to your opinion is automatically wrong because I’ve been born with a defective non-autistic brain.

        And any psychologist is unprofessional if they attempt to diagnose someone with out a psychological record and relying on anecdotal stories. Just because they are famous does not make them right. Autism is difficult enough to diagnose in living people, going back and slapping the label on a bunch of dead people is unprofessional and about as ethical and purposeful as Mormons baptising the dead.

      • VoldieMan, do you write a blog? I would like to check it out if you do. It is interesting that you come onto a blog post that is labeled “autism positivity” to spread your message of negativity. How many other blogs do you troll around? Your original comment very obviously implied that people should be ashamed of having Asperger Syndrome, especially considering the blog post you chose to comment on in that way.

        I invite you to read my blog at http://aspiekid.net. It’s all about the experience of having autism, not all that nonsense they say about autism on TV and in the news. Feel free to leave me a long comment there.

      • No I don’t. And the reason is, that I read quite a bit of autism blogs due to someone in my life having it and have noticed what I would consider to be a bit of a forced positivism about the blogosphere that I don’t see in real life. My point, that not everyone is happy having autism, is not a unique one. Perhaps I’m just exhausted and worn out by my own experiences that it is hard for me to see the positive when I see and experience the negative aspects of it. I’m trying really hard to understand but it’s hard at times.

      • VoldieMan – I do understand that. I read a lot of Autism blogs (and other special needs blogs) just to gain a varied perspective. I have said over and over that no, not EVERYTHING about Autism is positive. But then again, not EVERYTHING about being neurotypical is positive too. But it’s important that the positives be recognized sometimes, not just the negatives. When someone says the word “Autism”, they think of a non-verbal child smearing poop and screaming. Maybe so. But what child does that for every second of every day? Does this child never feel joy? Never seem content? Never work on something on their own? Does this child never grow up to be an Autistic Adult? Yes, sometimes things seem helpless. But the point is not to overshadow the hard stuff. It’s to make the hard stuff share the spotlight with the good stuff.

        Not everyone is happy about having Autism. But you know what? Life can be a heck of a lot better if you know someone else is going through what you are going through. Autism shouldn’t be a life sentence to depression… they’re two different mental conditions. Often comorbid, due to society’s rejection and dehumanization of Autistic individuals. That’s what positivity is meant to counter. I am not a walking tragedy. Sure, I have a lot of difficulties, and I acknowledge and embrace them. Then I use the skills I DO have to help alleviate them. But those difficulties never would be alleviated if I didn’t focus on the things I can do. Does that make sense?

      • Thank you E, that does make sense.

      • I’m glad I finally managed to make some sense. Sometimes it takes several tries. Thanks for sticking it out. 🙂

    • VoldieMan: You are using a disease model for your discussion of autism. You are talking about diagnosing, curing, and disorders. The other folks commenting are using a disability and identity model for autism. Hence, you are separating the autism from identity as a disease to be cured, while they are generally viewing it as a disability that is part of their identity. Given the state of science these days, the disability/identity model is more scientifically accurate. Further, a comparison to, say, being gay or being deaf would be appropriate, since those are both identity issues that many view as something they would like to “cure,” while those who hold those identities view that as an attack on their identities, their being, and their communities. I believe that most autistic folks view autism as a challenging part of their lives, and, indeed, I think the commenters have acknowledged that, but, since it is part of their identities, they would like some positive messages out there for other autistic folks looking for information who are feeling discouraged. I believe that these sorts of messages are important, as they build community and social support for autistic folks. That kind of support is important, just as the practical information about accommodations you advocate instead is important. It is not an either/or situation.

      • What I don’t understand about the autism community is what exactly is wrong with addressing some of the challenges that are associated with autism? It’s like if there was something out there that would make people to be able to cope with their sensory challenges or their communication problems that’s seen as a bad thing. What exactly is wrong with curing disabilities? If I were in an accident and was unable to walk or see or hear, you act like I would be wrong in wanting the doctors to treat me. I understand that there are good and bad things about autism but to say that the only bad thing about autism is that neurotypical people exist isn’t the solution. Also, being gay isn’t an impairment. The barriers gay people face is only from discrimination. Like I said, if it causes someone physical pain to hear a baby cry or a bird chirp, that is an impairment that has nothing to do with society or evil neurotypicals.

      • VoldieMan – none of us are saying that the challenges associated with Autism shouldn’t be addressed. What we are saying is that the challenges don’t define us. They are part of us, but there are other parts too. That’s the piece I think you’re missing. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change oneself. Everyone has things about themselves they would like to change. There’s a lot wrong with someone else dictating what those changes must be for you. If I suddenly lost my vision in an accident, and it was able to be restored, I would want the choice of whether to “fix” myself or not to be MINE, and not someone else’s. But also, most of us (and of course, not all of us) in the adult autistic self-advocacy group (autistic adults who are able to communicate through any medium), were born this way. It is what we know. It is how we live our lives. Ask people who are born Deaf and grow up signing if they want to hear. Not all of them will say “fix my hearing, I want to hear” – in fact, a good number of them would say “I m fine the way I am. I don’t want to hear. I do wish that people in the hearing world would take the time to communicate with me, and be patient while we figure it out together.” Is that such a bad thing? Would you force hearing on a Deaf person (whose mode of communication is RADICALLY different from your own), just because you think that being Deaf causes them great suffering, even if they didn’t want to have hearing?

        So you misunderstand me. I don’t advocate to leave Autistic people completely alone. I advocate giving them the tools necessary to function in this world that is not meant for them. Whatever those tools may be. And in many cases, empowering Autistic individuals to believe they have value as whole human beings is one of the most important, and simple things that can be done to help that person.

      • I agree with you. My only point is before some people can be empowered, they need to be given the tools and accommodations so they can function. Someone with extreme sensory sensitivies or extreme rigidity to change needs to have that addressed before anything else. And yes it should be up to the person, though sometimes people are too young or lack the functioning to be able to make decisions that’s why there needs to be an end to this chasm between people who advocate for autistic rights and families of people with autism.

      • VoldieMan, you keep talking about addressing the challenges of being autistic, but you seem to be against addressing those challenges. The biggest challenge about being autistic is the mainstream culture’s refusal to accept autistic people by telling them they need to be cured or “fixed” in some way. As long as people think autistic traits need to be “cured”, there will be no acceptance of autism or autistic individuals.

      • AspieKid, and you keep blaming everything associated with autism on society. Yes, most family members and loved ones of people with autism would love to “cure” or “fix” some of the symptoms that cause their loved one pain. I see this as an act of love, you see it as an act of hate. You want acceptance but you refuse that anyone without autism has a valid opinion on anything.

      • I blame Autistic people’s negative perceptions of themselves on society. I do not blame all of Autism on society. Autism is a neurological difference (and yes, it can be disabling).

        I would like to point you to a post I wrote a while ago about growing up: https://thethirdglance.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/growing-up-autistic-on-nature-nurture-and-abus/

        My parents were on the “fix” side of things. I agree, some things should be redirected. Absolutely. Some symptoms should be mediated. I also know my parents were coming from a place of love. But that’s not how it translated. You have to remember communication goes both ways – the person communicating, and person on the receiving end have to understand each other. Sometimes things done out of love don’t seem like they are done out of love to the person they are being done to.

        No I don’t like every part of what Autism does to me. But I also don’t hate everything either.

        And I don’t know where you came up with the idea that I refuse anyone without autism having a valid opinion. I could point you to easily 50+ individuals I have befriended in my (very short) blogging experience, who are not autistic, many of whom have differing opinions from me, which are equally valid. I am happy to listen, to think, to challenge myself and my opinions, RESPECTFULLY. I only ask that the ones I communicate with do the same.

      • Sorry, E, I was responding to AspieKid who automatically assumed a lot of things about me based on the fact that I identifed myself as non-autistic. I understand, some people go too far, some things I read about like chelation, and other, much weirder and more dangerous things is horrible. So is the attitude that parents had their kid somehow stolen from them. There’s also a lot of people who love the person with autism and want to see some of the things they suffer from disappear but not the person. Of course people make mistakes, but there isn’t a whole lot out there besides a lot of biomed woo and people insisting that autism causes no problems.

        And I don’t know if all negative attitudes come from society. When I was first introduced to autism through my own misdiagnosis by a very unprofessional doctor, I saw nothing but positivity. It wasn’t until I met some autistic people that I felt any negativity (and thankfully realised my misdiagnosis). Then again, there’s sometimes a perception that all autistic people are good, instead of neutral as all humans are.

  3. Reblogged, shared on FB and twitter and will be participating! As part of my reblogging process I unfollowed your blog… Ugh. Have now re-followed… 🙂

    • Yay thanks 🙂 And no worries, wordpress does weird things. This is going to be great! 🙂

  4. I am a high-functioning autistic who had already given birth to a severely autistic son before finding out that I had the condition. Will be doing my best to blog on 30th!

    • Fantastic! 🙂 Look forward to it.

      • I’ve spent the day writing what I’d like to post; now I just have to remember to do it 🙂

      • Yay! I’m super duper excited. You know you can set wordpress to publish at a particular time in the future? So if you don’t want to forget, you can put it into your wordpress drafts and schedule it to post on the 30th. 🙂

      • I’d actually forgotten all about that – I’ll see if I can get it to work, thank you!

        I’m also following you now; I’m a huge advocate for autism awareness and understanding.

  5. Reblogged this on rosewinelover.

  6. I am not Autistic but I have a nephew who has Aspergers , he is 30yrs, he is an amazing chap, he loves DR Who, his job, his gameboy, his mum and the rest of the family. Last Christmas he was knocked down by a car and by the time he arrived at the hospital his phone, his wallet and his Aspergers card had been stolen….why. The hospital rang my sister in law and told her, her son was in hospital with a seious head wound. When she arrived they told her he was brain damaged ..she went in to see him and found him his normal self worrying about work! No one , not one of the Drs or nurses had spotted his Aspergers. He had a seriously damaged ankle and the nursing
    staff managed to let him fall over twice. Sorry to ramble on I just thought I needed to say this.
    I also have an aquaintence who last year at the age of 60yrs was told she had Aspergers. She has had a very difficult life feel she could never express any feelings , she told me she felt she had no feelings. She told me she could not show any affection even to her husband or children. At work she was always being repremanded for being rude, I do not think she is rude just to the point , blunt even but not rude. II hope she finds your answers. Thank you for listening .

  7. I found this post because one of the commenters tweeted about the “internet troll leaving hateful and antagonistic comments” on this site…..After reading through the comments, I have to say that I see no trolling, and I think that the person that is being referred to is actually making some valid points. It definitely IS impossible to diagnose someone who is long dead with anything. And just because some aspies do not wish to be “cured” does not mean that all of them would give up the chance to be NT. Obviously there are aspies who “wish they didn’t have aspergers” as evidenced by the topic of this post. If you want to view it as a gift, go ahead it’s a free country, but there’s nothing wrong with providing resources to those aspies who think otherwise.

    • Dev – thanks for your comment. While I agree that there is no “troll”, there certainly was a lot of disagreement and unkind, perhaps even hateful comments being tossed around. The diagnosing dead people was not the point of this conversation, if that’s what you took away from it, then I’m sorry. The point was also not to say “You must love everything about being autistic”. The point is that too much, and too often, people with Autism are told they’re not as worthwhile as those without. They are surrounded by negativity, and convinced they’re worthless, and subhuman. This feeling is driven by society, which systematically devalues disabled people. While I personally do not want to get rid of my Autism, I am *always* looking for ways to function better in the world. I DO have a disability, but much of that disability is expressed due to how other people perceive me. As I said in a comment on a different blog, it’s not about erasing the struggles. It’s about acknowledging the struggles AND acknowledging the strengths, so that the strengths can be cultivated to help alleviate the struggles. EVERYONE has the right to feel like they are a valued human being. No one deserves to walk around feeling like they are the embodiment of tragedy and failure. Those things aren’t caused by “Autism”. They are caused by other people devaluing autistic people because of the fact that they are autistic. And that is a problem. Is there any issue with focusing on cultivating people’s strengths, while working to help the weaknesses? Shouting “YOU SUCK” senselessly at someone doesn’t help. Saying “You’re not so good at this. You’re good at this other thing. Let’s work to help use those skills you have to make this better” DOES help. But you can’t get to that step until you acknowledge some good things too.

  8. My best friend is an Aspie (I’m an NT), and what you’re trying to do just makes me so happy. I’ll definitely be participating (even though I’m not all that familiar with the Autism community– Neal is the only person with an ASD that I really know but, well, I love the hell out of him so I’m hoping that counts =/). I’ll also be telling Neal and I’m sure he’ll support this and contribute. There was a time where he used to feel the same way (still does sometimes, when things get hard), but he’s become such a confident, independent person, even though he used to feel that he’d never be, so there is definitely hope to be found as long as one keeps trying and does their best.

    Neal, who I’ve been best friends with since I was 15 (that’s 9 years now), is wonderful. Yeah, sometimes it’s difficult– sometimes it gets real difficult– but even on the not-so-good days I never regret being a part of his life. He’s such an amazing guy and I love the heck out of him. Even though I sometimes tell him I’d trade his insufferable self for a chocolate bar (lol), I really wouldn’t trade him for the world.

    Ugh, now I’m probably going to piss him off by hugging the hell out of him when he gets home (we share a flat). Hee.

    Anyway, this really is a brilliant idea. Thanks for doing this!

    • Thanks so much for your amazing comment 🙂 I look forward to reading your post! 🙂 Neal is super duper lucky to have such an awesome person as his friend.

  9. I’ll be participating in this- I have my post written and ready to go- exciting!!
    It’s interesting to read the discussion on this post. My viewpoint is that being Autistic is hard, but that everyone is entitled to feel ok about themselves and have access to a supportive community. I really hope the flash blog does something to address that.

    • Hi Michelle, Great! I’m excited for your post! And yes, that’s exactly what the message we’re hoping gets sent is… yeah, it is hard, but you are a whole human being, valued, and accepted. And you are not alone. It’s a little like the “It Gets Better Project”

  10. I don’t blog, so I’m not sure how to do this (and sorry if this comes across a babbling but it’s unedited and straight from the heart)…I wish my beautiful baby girl didn’t have Aspergers….but if she didn’t she would not likely be the amazing, wonderfully talented, kind hearted lady she is today. I just wish we knew sooner so we could work through it…but then I wouldn’t have had the insight into her mind as I watched her Sophmore year of high school through now, the end of her senior year, learn to understand herself and the figure a way to be successful in the world around her. We knew she had challenges and was an under achiever but for too many years I didn’t understand why. She would blank out of the world under stress and I couldn’t get her to come back. Then she learned how to expand the recesses of her mind when she was stressed and gradually I watched her learn how to control her mind and not shut the world out. I wish that she would have been more loving as a child and “wanted” me around…but little did I know for too many years she wanted and needed me right there in the shadows so people didn’t look at her weird for “needing” her mom so much but there anticipating her needs and to calm her should she start to panic from too much stimulation. I wish I would have known that she needed a dark quiet room instead of telling her that was weird and adding to her stress. And now, I just wish more people understood. Especially the part she’s not dumb or confused, she actually sees it all so much more clearly that everyone around her and it’s frustrating to her at times that she can see the house on fire and no one else can. And maybe you don’t understand because her brain is working at 10x the level you are capable of on your best day while she’s half asleep. Thank you to all the people making more people aware and making it easier for people like my beautiful baby girl to live peacefully in this world.

    • Hi Shawna, thanks so much for your beautiful words. I am going to post this to the main site if that’s ok. 🙂
      ~E

      • Thank you! I wouldn’t know how! These websites are so important to mom’s and dad’s as they learn how to nourish Aspe children. What you do matters!

  11. If it’s me, I probably think that person has not come to terms with the diagnosis yet. Here’s one fact about the “recovery model” (from a mental health perspective). It’s not always a linear process. Also, there is no set timeline in terms of how long it should take for a person to get to each step. So, it’s not surprising that some people might have the diagnosis for ages but they still haven’t accept it yet.

    If I were to work with that person, I wouldn’t immediately disclose that I have AS. After all, this disclosure can help build a therapeutic relationship, but can also create a distance. Rather, I would use a technique called motivational interviewing. Hopefully, I can find some ways to contradict him/her by using his/her own words. Then, I will use this to hopefully get his/her attention to be an active participant for his/her recovery.


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