Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Okay, I get it. But can we also...

 oneautisticperson, Okay, I get it. But can we also..., Tumblr

This day, the 1st November 2023 will be the last Autistics Speaking Day. This day started back in 2010 as a day for Autistic people to flood the internet with our messages and thoughts. While I have been very busy with my work, I thought I would contribute one last entry.

Okay, I get it.

Planning meals with me around is hard. I am so restricted in what I am able to eat and it is an annoyance. Good chance I can’t eat anything at that restaurant, I won’t eat anything from take-away shop etc. Guess what? It is an annoyance for me to. One of my workplaces has a work lunch coming up and I have to weigh up whether it is worth going. It is at a restaurant I have never been to and doesn’t seem to be located near places I know I can eat at so I can’t just get there early and grab something to eat somewhere else first. I would love not to have this problem. To not have to bring emergency food when I leave for a trip, to not have to eat beforehand when I go to most social gatherings.

But can we also…

Talk about the fact that when my best friend and I made pizza at her house for the first time, I nearly cried because I am rarely included in meals to that extent?

Mention the comfort that familiar foods bring me? If I am having a bad day, I know exactly what I need. It is not just eating the food but also the familiar smells.

Discuss that the same reason that makes food difficult for me brings me so much joy in other ways? My tolerance and enjoyment of show rides for example. Removing one would likely remove the other so I will take the good with the bad.

Okay, I get it.

I see you rolling your eyes when I try to talk about something that interests me. Show rides, neurodiversity, autism, Ned Kelly etc. You have heard me discuss this before and it is boring.

But can we also…

Mention that I have had to listen to you talk about basketball or other things a lot as well?

Discuss how great I feel when I find someone to discuss show rides, neurodiversity etc. with? Online groups in particular have been great with this.

Okay, I get it.

You find my tendency to withdraw rude. I spend too much time alone or with my cats.

But can we also…

Discuss that the noise is too much for me at times? Why must the tv, radio or Spotify always be on in the background? What is wrong with silence?

Discuss that my withdrawal also helps me socialise. It is a balance. I just don’t have the energy to socialise all the time. Withdrawing for a time means I get some recharge time and can socialise more afterwards.

Mention that being alone can be fun as well as beneficial?

Okay, I get.

You feel the need to tell me your perspective all the time.

But can we also…

Discuss my perspective. Discuss my strengths as well as my limitations. Discuss what makes me happy.

There has been attention on moving away from discussing deficits and instead discussing interests and strengths when working with autistic people. This needs to go beyond professionals and be common for families, friends and the wider community.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Open discussion is encouraged, but posts judged to be bullying or using inappropriate languages may be deleted. Please exercise good judgment when commenting. Comments will be moderated.