With the Passing of Chris Cornell, I keep thinking about something I experience as an autistic person called the "Shut down". the scary thing about shut downs ...is that they occur spontaniously, and can happen when a person is sad OR happy - something just clicks and the brain starts shutting down. This appears to be the same thing that happens with depression for many folks - it doesn't always "start/grow/simmer", but many times it is completely unexpected and unprepared for. Sometimes it is like Robin Williams, where there is a growing panic over an impending trauma, and sometimes it is like Rick Warren's son, where it caught everyone completely off gaurd - there was nothing to lead people to expect it. as Rich Mullins said "we are not as strong as we think we are"
We are frail, we are fearfully and wonderfully made
Forged in the fires of human passion
Choking on the fumes of selfish rage
And with these our hells and our heavens
So few inches apart
We must be awfully small
And not as strong as we think we are
A friendly off the wall reminder (we who are autistic are good for that):
do not give your children under 12 "non-children approved Pepto Bismol (there is a children's one): the adult version contains a lot of asprin (salicylate), which can harm/kill children:
"Regular Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate, containing bismuth subsalicylate, are approved for kids 12 and older. Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate contain aspirin-like ingredients and should not be used in children with chicken pox or flu-like symptoms because of the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness." - google Pepto-Bismol
I was thinking of what I could use this page for, since Parenthood is over, and I was seeing if anyone would be interested in a sort of "Ask a Hank" aka ask someone who has gone through life undiagnosed and what they have learned about being on the spectrum.
I know I haven’t written much lately, and the reason is very simple: I have trouble feeling what I say is important. I am not saying this for pity (so please don’t tell me that it is, because I will feel I emotionally manipulated someone to say it), but for point of discussion and to share a characteristic others on the spectrum may have.
Yes, I know others not on the spectrum have the same issue with “feeling important”, but there is something that non-autistic people will... have barriers in comprehending a lot of times when autistic people share things. People need to remember that when individuals on the spectrum share how they feel, it is complicated in the fact that most of us on the spectrum have issues with social dynamics, including: interpreting others, reading social cues, deciphering facial cues, generally accepted social parameters, etc. Any “feeling” or “issues” that a spectrum individual may have – especially if it entails any form of social dimensions – has embalmed in it a social dimension that a non-autistic person will not “appreciate” (think: explaining what a cloud looks like to a blind person, or what a banana tastes like to a person without taste buds= explaining social dynamics to a person on the spectrum).
So people like me do not know how to properly interpret how or if what they are doing is important: it will either be “super important” in their eyes or “not important at all” – the whole marginal/middle ground “it is important simply because it is part of the process” is very hard to conceive – mostly because being “part of the process” entails assimilations of social dynamics.
Understanding the term Anti-Social: "Anti-Social" does not specifically mean that a person does not like social interaction (though I don't particularly care for it); it implies that a person has traits/behaviors that are contrary/antagonist to standard social behavior (like deciding to loudly count by prime numbers while someone is trying to converse with you). A person may really like social contact (again, not me) but have behaviors that offend general social sensibilities.
"Unfortunately this behavioral-assessment approach—that is, using a checklist of deficits—has become the standard way of determining whether a person has autism. We say a child has autism if he displays a combination of traits and behaviors that are deemed to be problematic:"
My son loves Minecraft, and this individual runs a server specifically for those on the spectrum...
for those of you who fly with special needs: http://matadornetwork.com/…/hear-jet-blue-autistic-boy-sha…/
here is a fuller article about Darryl Hannah that I posted earlier. it's a good read about an adult who, even though accomplished, still faces many of the same struggles as she did as a child: http://www.aww.com.au/…/daryl-hannah-my-battle-with-autism-…
to say putting your child at risk because of an unsubstantiated fear is beyond reasonable... that's like not wearing a seatbelt because you are afraid a bridge will collapse and you won't be able to get the belt off before the car sinks...
I find this amusing, because I know there is a disconnect with many people on spectrum with the concept of sarcasm. I use sarcasm a lot, but for me it is simply a way of speech as it is also a defense process and have to watch my tone often. I have learned that I speak figuratively but construe literally which creates odd combinations of interpretational dissonance