What if I’m wrong about the label though?

In the autistic community we believe in self-diagnosis. It’s a strange one, yes. And yes, I can feel you clutching your pearls about it. Please relax. Everything will be just fine!

Late diagnosis of autism in adults is complicated. Typically when it comes to females it is even more complicated. Currently very few psychologists are equipped to help so your options are pretty much figure it out for yourself or spend all of your money shopping for the right doctor.

The last time I checked the stats, 1 in 60 Americans was considered to be autistic. That’s a pretty high number, right? The thing is, though: Only 1 in 4 of those 1 in 60 is female. But we now know that autism is not an almost-exclusively male neurotype and that it affects males and females equally. Which means that the stats should rather be considered to be 1 in 40.

That’s a lot of folks flying under the radar. Most likely if your atipicalities are not externally obvious enough you’re going to spend a lot of time secretly asking yourself wtf is wrong with me while being oblivious to the fact that there’s a square hole for you to go and fit into over there. Please stop trying to squash yourself into this completely wrong place!  (more…)

Yes, the label matters!

Ever since I wrote my post on discovering my atypical nature I’ve been wondering how best to broach the follow up. I still don’t know what the answer is. Sometimes I tell myself oh just shush you’re being silly and why do you even have a blog anyway it’s so stupid, and then other times I remember that other people and their blogs basically saved me so actually Nadine just shush and get on with it.

Apparently a presumed commonality among those born of the millennial generation is that we don’t like labels. That sounds sort of “progressive” I suppose. But I find that to be weird as hell. And to be honest I don’t even think it’s particularly true of our generation either. I think we do like labels. And it’s because labels play a giant role in understanding not only ourselves, but each other.

Of course, “label” is a broad term. A negative label doled out by a toxic parental figure, for example, could cause irreversible damage. The labels given to us by our childhood bullies can follow us well into our adulthoods. These are not the labels of which I speak.

The label I’m speaking of today, specifically is this: Autistic. (more…)

Actually Atypical

In 2017 I discovered that autism looks very different in females to males. Not that I had a particular concept of how it looked in males. I had a smidge of experience with it. I noticed it in a few males close to me, and in a lot of characters in books and on TV. But I didn’t know it know it. You know?

Being atypical was always just that: Atypical.

Atypical is just different. Not less than. Not superior. Just different. Worthy of love and kindness. I barely considered any of it beyond that.

But then in about February of 2017 a friend with an autistic daughter shared something that made me giggle a little, and then it made me take a really long pause. My first thought was haha if this is accurate then I’m autistic too and then my second thought became if this is accurate then I’m autistic too!

So of course: I looked it up.

Soon I was learning things about how autistic girls tend to experience less frequent meltdowns, less language delay, and they show less interest in technology, opting for less obscure special interests that might not seem “weird” to the casual observer. Ok. Well those seem like the traits that we pick up on in boys super easily, right? And girls don’t really have that? Interesting…

Girls on the spectrum lean towards higher intelligence, may be more prone to eating disorders, come across as shy, and as children (and sometimes as grown ups) tend to seek out “mother hen” friends. Autistic girls often come off as mature in childhood, and as childish in adulthood. 

The list goes on and on and on.  (more…)

Autism Awareness Month

I’ve been thinking about Autism Awareness Month a lot for a while now. This was before the impending apocalypse, of course, so now with things being the way they are it seems to have flown under the radar. I haven’t seen it mentioned much. Not like last year when the awkward blue puzzle pieces were everywhere. In case you didn’t know: autistic people really hate the puzzle piece.

On one hand it feels potentially inappropriate to bring it up now.

On the other hand, it seem fitting that our lockdown has happened during April.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how everything is wrong for all of us right now. And how a sense of wrongness is something that quite aptly characterises the life experience of many an autistic person. The stress of the not quite right. And the even bigger stress of all that wrongness not being accurately acknowledged.

If you ever thought it was strange how an autistic person might meltdown because of a change in their routine, maybe you can understand it a little bit now.

If you ever thought it was “naughty” that an autistic child just refused to conform to something being forced on them, maybe you can understand it a little bit now.

If you ever thought it ridiculous that an autistic person just could not conform to expectation, maybe you can understand it a little bit more now.

Because I think sometimes an autistic life can feel a little bit like a forced quarantine. You can’t be who you are. You can’t be where you want to be. You can’t do what you want. Because the world is saying that’s unacceptable. So you conform. You become acceptable. And in the process your whole life gets lost in someone else’s idea of how and who you should be. And not because the world is an asshole, but because they’re doing what they think to be best for you. Or they are expressing what is best for them.

Sometimes they’re right. Sometimes not.

And all you can do is wait and see what happens.

Rage Reading Rosie *book review*

WARNING: This review contains a few spoilers but they are kind of irrelevant since this is one of those books where the storyline is kind of bland and you’re mostly reading for the dialogue and interaction between characters. If that makes sense. Other people interpret books this way too, right…? Shit now I’m doubting myself…

Anyway… There are casually mentioned spoilers here…

Book: The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect

Author: Graeme Simsion

My Rating: 3

I’ve barely read a thing all year and I’m going to go ahead and put a tiny bit of the blame on these two books. Is that fair? No. Not at all. But it’s still kind of true… (more…)