I introduce this blog on the day of November 1st. For some people, today is Communication Shutdown Day, where people stay off their social networking sites in order to sort of simulate autism spectrum disorders. I kind of understand the intent, but I still think it is pretty silly. Since when do we understand brains enough, much less autistic brains, to think that we can experience what other people experience? Also, it perpetuates the message that is given too often, that autistic people cannot communicate at all. Let me assure you that there are plenty of people on the spectrum who can communicate. The real tragedy is when a great effort is taken to express oneself, and the message is left misunderstood. This is the message behind Autistics Speaking Day, where people with autism and Asperger's syndrome express a message to the world, in hope that someone will listen.
As I am not certain at this point where I lie in this great spectrum of different wirings, I have been taking both roles. I am reading others blogs about this day and writing my own. I will attempt to introduce myself and tell the world something important at the same time.
Some key things to know about me:
1. In lots of ways, I am a pretty typical 21 year old girl. I'm a community college student. I don't have three eyes or something like that. I say 'like' a lot and wear sparkles. I listen to music on the radio and shows on tv. I even like to get groceries.
2. There are also some pretty strange things that I like. I like to collect facts. I like to watch spinning fans. I like some textures and despise others. I like to walk around rooms over and over.
3. I especially do not like changes in my routine. Some days I can be flexible, but I get myself fixed in elaborate patterns sometimes. That is what got me in trouble with school a lot.
4. Things like this were recognized in school to the point where I was referred to a child psychiatrist. Sources tell me different things as far as whether a valid diagnosis of autistic disorder was attained.
5. There is a huge tension between how much I love to learn and how much I struggle with school. This is the source of most of my frustration.
6. I learned how to read functionally when I was four, but I rarely complete books. I read extremely slowly and have a lot of trouble with the nonstraightforwardness of most fiction.
7. But I do love stories. I love to hear and read of adventures and philosophies as well as about the concrete facts.
8. I don't think I make eye contact. It's just isn't natural for me, and there is no pressing need for me stare into peoples eyes when I'm interacting with them.
9. But there is a bit of trouble when I do not remember what people's faces look like. Many a times I run into people I've seen around for years and do not recognize them because they are in a different outfit or cut their hair. If you are one of these people, I apologize, and assure you that I probably at least remember my experiences with you.
10. Strangely enough, I draw people the most out of all of my drawings. The diversity is intriguing to me.
11. I still have a little trouble with the communicating as well. My auditory processing isn't nearly as bad as it used to be, but I still occasionally miss what people say. And it used to be that the whole language part of my brain shut down when with people other than family, now it is rare to have a full language shutdown.
12. I have aspirations of world domination ;) I will invent something revolutionary, help all sorts of people learn, and write books based on my research. The pure awesomeness of this will take over the world.
13. If only I could jump down from my imagination sometimes, deal with this crazy confusing world, and in time to actually get my homework done for once...
It is already past my deadline of November 1st and I still don't have a clear message to the world through this. I suppose it is something along the lines of: everyone has their own way of seeing the universe, but we are all in this universe together, so understanding the strange minds out there, like mine, may be the key to holding the universe together.