Autistic Insights.

Image caption/text:

“”So many people insist on person-first language, but consider that for a minute. What’s wrong with saying “autistic person” rather than “person with autism”? Nothing. In my experience, most people who prefer person-first over identity-first language really have no right to dictate what language autistic people should or should not use to describe themselves. People have said to me “You’re a person first, not your autism”, or I hear it in my Psychology lectures all the time. But the fact is, I am autistic. That is an essential part of my identity. And if or when people challenge that, I feel like they’re telling me that being autistic is wrong or something to be ashamed of. I resent that. I choose to not listen to them. I’m done with hiding who I am. I am finally in a place where I can say that I’m proud to be autistic, and I want other autistic people to feel the same way”.

Aside  —  Posted: May 11, 2017 in Aspergers


Hey, guys, I don’t know what happened before. I think it was a glitch with my computer so I’m posting this one again. Sorry about that.

Hey, bloggers! Here’s my thoughts about the Vaccines Cause Autism” debate. Pretty simple. Straight-forward. Of course I have more thoughts on this topic, but thought I would keep it to what I talk about here for now. This video is captioned both on YouTube and over at https://www.facebook.com/AutisticInsights. I’m sorry I am not posting here as much as I used to. I’m trying to write everyday, manage and post on my Facebook page then put something up here, it’s all getting a bit difficult to keep track of but I will do my best. For now this space is more full than over at Facebook, but I am creating a lot of work over there so if it’s not here, it’s there ( if that makes sense ).  Thanks for all the support.

Transcript:

Hey, how’s it going…how are you all today? Um, so yep, I am at home in my room because…well, I’m not working today and…so, basically on the days that I’m not working and since we’re still on holiday for uni, pretty much I just stay home unless, uh, one of my mates’ invites me over to their house but we don’t really do anything at his house either. Anyway, anyway, back on track. So, I want to talk about something that my Mum says, uh…frequently. Well, not frequently but just every time we’d which was years…not, well, which was years ago but still too late. So, um, so there’s that theory that vaccinations ( or vaccines ) cause Autism which of course I think is ridiculous, and I am not for that argument at all. But my mother, surprisingly or disappoint…ly. Well, this is just disappointing. My mother believes that whole thing about how vaccinations cause autism and so…because me, my brother and sister we were all vaccinated when we were kids, and so she often says things like, um, you know it’s because I got my vaccinations that I turned out autistic, or she just…she’s just like “You know I shouldn’t-I should never have got any of you vaccinated when you were kids”, and my mother is not one of those parents who wishes that I was not autistic, she never says that. Um, I think for the most part she is proud of the person that I am, but, um…she just thinks that…um, I should not…she just thinks that maybe if I had not been vaccinated things would’ve turned out different for me. And what I always kind of think, um, with this is I honestly don’t understand why she brings it up, or why it’s an issue, or why it is even something that we even talk about regardless of whether, um, the fact that I was vaccinated actually did cause me to be autistic, even if I believed that I still don’t see the point of the entire conversation because at the end of the day I’m still autistic and there is nothing that is going to change that now. Like, it’s just the way it is now, and so I really don’t understand why there is so much talk about vaccinations and about the relationship with autism because it doesn’t make a difference in the long run, like at the end of the day the person is still autistic, so, you-you can’t go back in time and change the fact that the person may have been vaccinated, and so…like I don’t know why people talk about it because it doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t make a difference, so it just really frustrates me when my mother kind of brings up the whole vaccination debate because as I said, it’s not going to change anything, I’m still autistic, um, after the fact. So, I don’t see the point in going on and on and on about something that is not going to change the end result, so, yeah. But that’s just me, that’s me you know. Like I’m not really interested in what has caused autism, or you know…well, I am, like I’m interested in reading research about autism in all areas, I am very interested in all of that but at the same time I don’t want a cure, or I don’t want to know about you know anything that could possibly strip a person’s identity away from them so in that way I’m not really interested in, um, how to combat autism, um, I think that’s just really sad. Um, you know like just accept people as they are. Um, in some cases…wait, no, that came out wrong. Uhh, I’m going off on a tangent. Yeah, I just…I don’t like the whole vaccination thing because I just think the entire thing is pointless so just let it go already! Okay, well, yeah, that’s…but that’s me, you know that’s just my personal thoughts. I’d love to hear what you guys think about vaccinations and autism, um, yeah, let me know. Could be, um, the start of a very interesting-interesting discussion. Um, bye. Um, I-I really want to make more videos coming up soon, this-this week about a lot of different topics so, yeah, talk to you guys then. Bye.

Aside  —  Posted: January 18, 2017 in Aspergers


Hey, guys! Hope you’re all doing well, living life and all that. I thought it was about time that I come back to this space so in this video I’m kind of just talking about a pet peeve, so to speak. I’m sorry I don’t post here as much as I used to. I’m caught between working, juggling this space, my Facebook page over at https://www.facebook.com/AutisticInsights, ( btw this same video is uploaded there with captions ) and writing new material every day. It’s all kind of difficult to keep track of but I will do my best. For now my blog right here has more content than Facebook but I’m working on creating more work for Facebook so if there is nothing new here for a while, it’s all over there. Thank you for your support. Also, I’m posting this quickly now before I have to leave, but I’ll write up a transcript tonight and add it. Let me know some of your own pet peeves, if you’re willing. Cheers!

 

Aside  —  Posted: January 18, 2017 in Aspergers


Hey, bloggers! Happy New Year. I hope you all had a great Christmas and NY celebrations. Well, this is me getting back into blogging! I’m starting up again. I’m really excited about this year. I’m hopeful about writing better and more often, in fact I’m aiming to create something new to publish here at WordPress at least once a week. So what I have for this week is a video that I actually filmed last month, at the start of December ( well, around that time ). Hope it gives you something to think about. The video has subtitles which I edited myself, but if you would like a transcript let me know in a comment & I’ll be happy to write one up. It’s just 1:05 in the morning right now and I’m only posting this up quickly before I want to call it a night, but I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be able to type up the transcript sometime when the sun is up.

Alright, thanks!

Aside  —  Posted: January 4, 2017 in Aspergers


Hey, guys! So when I can or when I have ideas I’ll be back on here. Still won’t be much until around February next year maybe, but this kind of came into my head when I could not sleep at all yet again, so I made this. Um, it’s actually from a few weeks ago. Let me know if this happens to you too! ( unless you’re already seeing someone or married ). Thanks.

Part 1 Transcript :

Hi, guys. So, um, I was just thinking, uh, recently, uh by the way it’s like 1AM in the morning and yes, I should not be making a video now but I can’t help it because I cannot-I cannot sleep, I’ve been trying since like 9PM tonight and I’m just lying in bed and I just-I can’t sleep so I’m going to make a video. Anyway, so Christmas is coming up and, um, typically what that means for my family and I is that the family that we have, who are travelling over from New Zealand, uh, right now. I’m not sure if they’re here yet but they will be for Christmas, is my Uncle, my Aunty or my uncle’s fiancé, um, another of my aunties’-my mum’s sister, and a few of my cousins and yeah, so, so it will be like a family get together, um, which you know is great, that’s usually…you know usually Christmas is the time when a lot of people, um, make it a family event or spend time with their family which is great, great. Um, something that always bugs me though, really annoys me actually, like I laugh it off at the time but it does actually bother me because it is bought up every year. Um, my family get here and you know we’re just laughing, talking, then someone in my family will kind of just turn to me and be like “So, Leesh, uh yeah, Leesh, have you got a boyfriend yet?” Without fail every year and I’m just like “No”, and you know there’s so much that I could actually say more than “No”, but usually because it’s my uncle or aunty I have to show…I’m expected to be respectful and not a smartarse so I just say “No” because it’s the truth; um, because it’s very well-known in my family and also it’s just, um, my siblings, all but one of them are all younger than me, um, my sister has been dating since she was fifteen so has my brother, my brother’s been with the same girl since he was fifteen, my, uh, fifteen-year-old sister now has been with like two guys in the last-in this year alone, and my older sister is living with her boyfriend, and I’m twenty-four now and I will say this because it’s not something that I’m embarrassed of or it’s not something that I’m ashamed about, or ashamed of so that is…yeah I’m twenty-four and I can say, um, I-I never once dated in high school and I never dated after high school up until now, so, um, so….the reality is I have never actually been in a committed relationship and I’ve just never had any relationships of an intimate or romantic kind although there was one-there was one time when I was nineteen I was at a Halloween party, um, and I was drunk and some guy for some reason he was just hanging around me all night  ( I don’t think this even counts, it was more like a “hook-up” which are usually meaningless? ) and now, looking back on it now I realize he just wanted me to sleep with him but um, you know we kind of fooled around a bit, uh by that I mean we just kind of you know, made out a bit but that was the first time like for me ever, and I’ve never done anything with a guy since then. But um, so yeah, I don’t have-my family know that I have not dated like ever and, um, that has not changed now.

Part 2 Transcript:

And um, so yeah, considering everything I just said, um, like every year I always think that by some miracle my family will just let it go, or they won’t say anything but, um, they always do. Actually last-oh, man, this really annoyed me, um, last year my aunty she kind of, um, spoke to me privately and she told me “You know you should really start dating, Leesh” and she’s like “You should-you should start going out there and meeting guys and going out with…going out on dates”, um, she’s like “Yeah, you should start going out with just like a bunch of guys, just experiment”, that’s-that’s essentially what she said and, um, and she said “You know because girls your age, and in fact guys your age, just everyone your age, uh, everyone’s dating” and first of all I think that’s a huge generalization because there’s no way she could know that for sure, and second of all you know young people or people my age, there are so many things that I know people have-people my-around my age range have done that I have not done or that I have never even attempted or experienced at all and, um, like that doesn’t make me unique or anything, it just makes…it just means that I’ve made different choices to people my age and one of them happens to be dating, and yeah when my aunty said “everyone your age is dating” I’m thinking; but I don’t…like I don’t care, like I honestly…I think, um, when I actually choose to date or when I want to date it’s not going to be, um, due to any kind of peer pressure or social pressure, um, that I feel to do so. You know it’s not going to be because I see everyone else dating and I feel like I have to date just because everyone else is dating because I really don’t care what other people do, like cause I don’t see how that is relevant to me and my life, like I don’t see how that concerns me so, to me, I kind of think; well, it’s-you know it’s nice that people-other people my age are dating but I don’t see why that should immediately mean that I have to date, you know because I don’t care what other people are doing, and I don’t care what people think about the choices that I make in my personal life because it has nothing to do with them just as their lives have nothing to do with me, so…why would I choose to date because, um, I can see that so many-so many other people in my age-age range are dating. You know like good for them but I don’t really care, ( sorry, I realize I kind of just went round in circles or repeated the same thing like 3 times )  so…um, I just felt like that would’ve been-that would’ve been too complicated for my aunty to understand if I was to explain it to her that way.

Aside  —  Posted: November 28, 2016 in Aspergers


Hey, guys! Managed to write something today. Here it is. Also, I’ve just created a Facebook page if you want to check it out it’s called Autistic Insights, already I’ve put up a few things on there, including some stuff that is already here on my blog, but I’ll be posting more of my work and videos on that page weekly so there’s always going to be new content. I’ve only had it started up for a couple days but I’m slowly adding more to it.

There’s talk about acceptance and awareness, or “debate”, for want of a better word. Mainly the focus is on how these terms are not the same thing-which they’re not. But I don’t think that is what people are confused about, rather people seem confused about what exactly is the difference between acceptance and awareness. While I’m no authority on these terms, I think that apart from the dictionary definition there is no right or wrong. There is only the truth. It’s very simple. You can be aware or have a broad understanding of something, anything. Autism, social issues or social justice issues, disability rights or gay rights, but that is nothing more than having knowledge of those issues or having heard of that condition or that disability. Knowing about something is one thing, accepting it is an entirely different matter. Acceptance is a choice. It’s a personal choice. If you have heard of Autism but you notice someone who maybe has “unusual” responses to sensory stimuli (i.e. lights, sounds ) and your first thought is to write that person off as an “attention-seeker” before considering any other explanation than you are neither accepting or an ally. If, like so many people, you believe and thereby perpetuate the negative stereotype (it infuriates me people even think like this) that people with disabilities, particularly physical disabilities, do not or are not capable of having relationships of an intimate/romantic/sexual nature than again; that is not acceptance. Because it’s simply not true. Acceptance is a learning process. For so many people it does not come straight away. It’s about listening to other people and really hearing what they have to say. It’s about actually caring, educating yourself about the experiences of marginalized groups of people or people who are often perceived as “less than”.  It’s about empathy, but not necessarily sympathy. That is real and that is acceptance because it’s effort and it shows the person that regardless of their disability you will not underestimate them or make assumptions on their potential. Awareness has nothing to do with it.

Aside  —  Posted: November 18, 2016 in Aspergers


Well, I managed to write something today. Well, a few days ago while I was at work, actually. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this but being near water helps me to think clearly and sometimes, if I’m lucky, pulls something new out of me in terms of writing.

I love winter. I love rain & storms, reminds me of home and my childhood. When it would rain, me, my brother & sisters, instead of watching the world turn cold & grey & wet from inside we would be outside in it. As kids we were very active, always playing, always “getting up to mischief” like most kids, right? And we didn’t like to be stuck inside. It was boring & we would always complain that there was nothing to do so when it would rain, we were outside. Our Mum was fine with it too. She  encouraged us, or she had no problem with us playing in the rain. She was not one of those parents who was quick to get her kids out of the cold, or one of those parents who would say things like “No, you’ll get sick!” when we would ask if we could play outside in the rain, and she never called us inside when she could see that it was going to rain. We used to live in a house with a steep driveway on one of those cul-de-sac streets where the street was wide at the top but then narrow & straight at the bottom. When it rained there were never any cars. We were literally the only people outside on wet days which means we had the entire street to use. Me, my brother & sisters, we would pull the skateboard out of the garage, set it down at the top of our driveway; about 3 of us could squeeze on if we sat with our legs pulled right up to our chests, knobbly knees up to our mouths, whoever was in front ( usually my brother ) would push off from the ground and the next thing I know he’s screaming in front of me, my sister is screaming in my ear behind me, and I’m sandwiched in the middle with my head down watching the chalk designs on our driveway change into black once we got on the road. It was a long way from the top of our driveway to the bottom of the street although it would go by so fast. When we got to the bottom we would all climb off, pick up the skateboard & run back up to the driveway and do it all over again. We liked to do other stuff in the rain too, but that was a favourite. Well, not so much for me. With the skateboard thing I was always, without fail, the one to sit in the middle. My Mum never had to tell my siblings to do it this way, they just knew. They knew that I had to be the one in the middle because to this day I have problems with motor control and coordination, and those parts in the brain that tell one’s body how to walk “properly” and gives one a sense of balance, I never had that growing up. I still don’t which is why I have a habit of walking with my arms out (but I try not to do this in public ).  Now I know it’s all part of a condition I have called “dyspraxia”.  If I sat at the front or the back of the skateboard I fell off.  All the time; even when I would grip the deck so hard that my knuckles turned white. I would still fall off. I bruise easily as well, very easily and very fast. I come up with bruises on parts of my body and I honestly have no idea how they get there.

But that was “my place”. In the middle. My siblings would box me in really tight. My sister would reach over me to put her hands on my brother’s shoulders in front, enclosing me in. My brother would kind of move back to squash me in enough so that I wouldn’t overbalance. I knew they were doing all of this to protect me because when they would ride down without me, they didn’t even hold onto the skateboard. They’d just throw their arms out and scream.

Over the years, as kids and now as adults, they continue to protect me in different ways. And…well, it never bothered me as much when I was a kid. But now it kind of does. I appreciate them and I love them for it, but I’m too old for them to be looking out for me. I know I’m autistic. I know I have horrible anxiety attacks that get so bad I forget to breathe. But…when you’re too old for your younger siblings to be looking out for you or still trying to, it gets embarrassing. It gets intrusive. They have never told me this, but I know they worry about me a lot. Because they’ve told my mum who has told me. They’ve said to her “I really worry about Leesh, Mum. She’s just…she’s not like us. She’s really intelligent but like, booksmart intelligent. Academically intelligent. She’s not street-smart, and she’s not smart when it comes to people. That’s why…I mean, she sees too much good in people even when they have more bad than good”, and my brother says things like “Leesh is…like, different, Mum. That makes me really worried”.  They never told me this. None of it. But I don’t want them to feel that way. They’re young, they’ve got their own lives to enjoy. I don’t want them worrying about me because I’m worried about what that will do to our relationship; I’m worried that eventually they will start to resent me. I’m worried that they will start to see me as more of a burden than a sister. And I’ve seen what that does to people.

Aside  —  Posted: November 13, 2016 in Aspergers