Saturday, December 6, 2014

Why are females with autism being singled out?

Wanting to be accepted by ones peers is not a new phenomenon. Nor is the act of presenting one's best self to others in order to win popularity or acceptance. It's an extremely human trait. Everyone does it. We are all taught to do this even as children. Yet despite this fact, there's only one section of the population being singled out and pathologized for applying the exact same "coping mechanisms" that everyone else uses. My question is why? Why don't we say that everyone is 'masking' themselves if that's what presenting one's best self boils down too? I mean really, it is something that everyone does. So why are females with Autism being singled out for presenting their best selves to others when everyone else does the exact same thing, only better most of the time? When someone can tell me why an action that is considered merely an artifact of human nature when it is observed in other people, is considered as 'masking' when observed in Autistic women, then I'll be satisfied, until then, I'll keep asking the same question.

-Mae Seventh Voice

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Melancholy Princess - by Chrissy Shahankary

Melancholy Princess

I am the melancholy princess
my eyes shine because I cry
my smile comforts many
while I die inside
I am the melancholy princess
my hair flows like the sea
to be me is to be beautiful
but so unhappy.

-Chrissy Shahankary

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Green - by Dallas Volk

GREEN If I grew quick and clever Touching surface too soon Would I likely get overturned? It was not my Spring… yet try I did To bloom from what I’d learned We foolish flowers Beyond helpful powers… Aren’t most of us lost Premature? Should I survive I would live for the Light As I always have strived To be sure

-Dallas Volk

Clouded / fragmented - by Flora Alice

The worst feelings are ones I simply can't describe a white blank page clouding me when everything escapes me and any traces of logic flee white noise clouds clattering cluttering me when all I've learnt seems wiped away leaving me hanging in air suspended when pattern collapses leaving me breathless I watch the fragments float away out of sight when I feel completely incomplete my body scattered my mind shattered F J-M

Seeing red / I exist / meltdown? - by Flora Alice

Seeing red / I exist / meltdown? My head is spinning My body is yearning Churning Swirling with anger Trapped in my own body Trapped in my own skin My silence is deafening My stillness is trembling Everyone leaves me I am leaving I have left Left my body I feel like crimson smoke Floating in the air A bitter residue Of an unknown despair I am red A vermilion hue The colour that I loathe I am my biggest fear If only someone could step inside my skin maybe then they would see what it's like to be me Listen to my silence my stark sighs Or ignore them as you do I know it is much easier To pretend That I am okay Like I am the others But please please, just remember that I exist I exist. F. J-M

Powerless - A poem by Flora Alice

It's a funny thing how the human race can turn me powerless Gag bound They mute me Sellotape my face so I cannot breathe Restrained They tie me up wind me around so I am paralysed Tied by the ropes of anxiety holding me back and pulling me out of reality F J-M

Monday, July 28, 2014

I Am The Girl Outside - by Flora Alice

This poem was written by my lovely friend and aspie sister Flora Alice. It's for my site ! 

I am the girl outside 
I am partially hidden 
like the shaded side
of the pale moon 

I am a shadow 
in the dark
dimly repeating
the others I watch

I am a mirror
a cloudy reflection
a distant echo
of the world outside

I am solitary
sitting still
silently listening
to inaudible noise

I am trapped
a prisoner
in my own skin
detached from reality

I am disguised
to look like the others
but if you look closely
you'll see I'm an outsider

I am the girl outside
you can shed some light
for me to see
but I'll never be free

F. J-M

Overloaded - A poem by Dallas Volk

OVERLOADED I’ve been guilty of Indecent exposure… Laid my cards naked On the table for all A suicidal kind of Over-disclosure Picture me the loose cannon …with a lot of balls I wish for once To extinguish the flames My head is fried; My body’s burning With shame The lines used to define The shape of things Were never mine How can I win? I do not know the game

-Dallas Volk

Underdog - A poem by Dallas Volk

UNDERDOG Once I had a mission Pushed my little pistons And worked real hard When I blew a gasket They stuffed me in a basket and Sent me to the scrapyard Had a lot of steam Did the Tool & Die scene For the American Dream Until they cast me as The Villain I froze up… unwilling Like a rusty machine Made myself some mistakes Had a ton of tough breaks That withered me dry Drained of every last hope Strung out like a old rope Wrung every tear from these eyes But don’t throw in the towel yet There’s still some fight left In these tortured bones Crawling for the finish line Maybe for the last time Please don’t leave me Out here alone

-Dallas Volk

Monday, July 21, 2014

Saying "Neurotypical" would only be bigotry if THEY where the minority ...

I support neurodiversity. Yes, yes it can be used in a derogatory way. Is it bigotry, to use such a term? Even as an insult? No, it's not bigotry. Well, a lot of people will say it can't be, but I think it is possible for it to be bigotry. For it to be considered bigotry, first, you need to build a time machine. Then (back in time), you need to somehow alter to population so that neurotypicals are the minority. And when neurotypicals are (for generations) subject to segregation, humiliation, inequality, along with rhetoric like "epidemic" or "cure the disease" and just general cruelty. If someone on the spectrum, who will at this point have this massive support structure in society, says something like "Oh, those neurotypicals, they sure do have some funny ideas don't they?" Then, THAT, would be considered bigotry.

-Moromillas Radec

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Poetry by Dallas

Enjoy this wonderfully poignant poetry, by the talented and passionate Dallas Volk. Dallas is a newly discovered member of the growing Autistic Community. She is also openly transgendered. What many don't know is that being gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgendered is actually more common in the autistic community. Dallas is an inspiration in "coming out" with her discovery of being on the spectrum. She and other LGBT people opening up about their Autism Spectrum Condition, may lead other LGBT folks to discover that they too may be on the autism spectrum. Welcome, and thank you Dallas!  

My name is Dallas S. Volk I’ve been challenged all my life, but only recently discovered that my condition is most likely a form of autism. Writing poetry is an important component of my personality; it is a coping mechanism, my unique form of expression and a means of sharing what actually goes on in my head. What makes it so intensely personal, is the confessions and over-shares that can be read in-between the lines. Sharing this work is the hardest thing, because I’m also transgendered. For a long time, I believed I should not be heard or read because of low self-esteem. Now, as my secrets are laid bare, I hope that my dignity will be allowed to remain.

Young man
I’ve got a jukebox brain
When it plays your tunes It drives my heart insane… And I tried not to let it fall Old Soul You have a way with sound When it fills my ears My world turns upside down Alone at night, it’s hard to right it all Tried my best to come unglued discreetly Should have never offered love so sweetly Far too easy to be crushed completely To wear my heart out on a sleeve Big kid Trying to fill his shoes Doesn’t mind stepping on a flower or two In the course of his day He’s merely trying to find his way Sullen girl With a grown man’s face How did I let my soul get stuck in this place? Must shed the skin that ties me to this phase And let it slip away Maybe I’ll be someone else… someday.

TINY ELEPHANT There’s an elephant in my panties Been aware for quite some time The trunk might appear cute to some But that’s no friend of mine Hard to hide that little head With jowls that itch and bind More days than not I’ve had to stop and let it speak its mind There’s an elephant in my panties And it thinks it has to breed No longer shared are those beliefs Grown tired of its need For many reasons left unsaid We must go our separate ways But part of it will be kept inside Awaiting better days

-Dallas Volk

Sweet nicotine

poisonous pal
I’ll not forget your scent
Your wispy form Enveloped many hours Of my time But now I fear To die with every penny Sorely spent Too late To trade tobacco For a cask of wine

-Dallas Volk

THE BILL OF WRONGS Many buy in without question To the deception our world has for sale But then there are those, including myself Who consistently tug at the veil I cannot spy through pinholes In the lie, or hear Past the wool over my eyes and ears Would a glimpse of the truth Be significant proof For a reality check to be clear? If even I had a such a penny For thoughts I would hope that they’d offer them free Little more than a fool would I Be to beg for ears And accept lies for currency
-Dallas Volk

CASTAWAY Feeling lost and alone I’m in a dark place Need to be on my own Please don’t look at my face Search not for answers When I’m in this space You wouldn’t like me It’s no fun being sad Why risk making worse What’s already so bad? Close your eyes, turn away Something dies everyday Don’t be mad If I step into fire Maybe I’ll be reborn Could it cauterize wounds In a heart badly torn? Or would my soul die in the light Bright and warm? Never try swimming Through the tears in my eyes Any vessel of reason Is sure to capsize Say a prayer… if you’ve any to spare Then bid your goodbyes

-Dallas Volk

MAKE BELIEVE You may think that 40 years I was a male No such thing As a sex change for the soul In silence I endured Such crazy pain- but no one knew! Until my presentation Had grown pale

But maybe I’m malingering My concept of the truth Why would you believe What can’t be seen? Talk of torment Through a torrent of self-pity Smack me silly! I’m too beside myself To furnish proof

-Dallas Volk

In reference To preference of pronouns And such Don’t use Him, His and He When referring to Me I would be touched Rather like very much If you’d replace those With Her, Hers And She In retrospect Of self-image regret And burdens that can’t be Shaved free Speak of my mind Leave the body behind How hard does it Have to be?

-Dallas Volk

TIME FRAME I construct things Like my Dad Build up theories I have We both focus- But I tinker in my brain And the world gets left behind Sometimes I run With what I find Hoping it will fly Like a model airplane The dreams released Eventually come crashing Down Gathered broken pieces Stowed away… Forgotten now Father framed himself Out of the picture In many ways, I guess I’ve done the same Struggling to sustain A steady solitude No time or distance Great enough to ease the pain

-Dallas Volk

In my memory… like a song You linger on But I don’t want to hear you fade away If an image of your face Could live inside me Sooner than known- so would it escape If you were just a gypsy I would follow in your wake Willingly accept whatever fate For a sliver of your time I’d let you under my skin While fearing that I reach for love Too late

-Dallas Volk

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Right Pissed

 After reading up on NLD and aspergers and also hearing from people in the know I think I can say that I might be an aspie. I was not diagnosed as being autistic or aspie as a child because of my reading comprehension and my ability to communicate effectively through writing and speech. However, I must note that socializing, body language, abstract thinking, mathematics, "taking a hint" etc, were retarded. Now I know people think of "retarded" as a bad word. People get their knickers in a knot about it because it has been used as an insult. I don't care if people call me retarded because in other ways I am more advanced then they are. I have different gifts and skills and so do they.

I am not sure but I think that "retarded" simply means something is delayed or slow. How much effort would it be required to not get pissed over one word? I have been given the label of "crazy" yet I don't go on a crusade to make sure no one uses that word. Its bloody ridiculous. I am more concerned over someone being physically harmed or berated or lambasted or demonized. One word does not easily describe a person and if you, my readers, ever have been given a negative label just know that the particular person that labelled you probably is insecure and has some sort of deficit in his/her life.  People do not attack others for no reason. Its very likely that someone will be belligerant if they are experiencing trouble of their own.


 The more I try to plug into this world the more I hate it. I can't stand all the nonsense that is spewed on a regular basis by pundits and people "in the know". I have tried to care about the planet at large and people of all nations and belief systems. But my compassion no longer exists for those that harm people because someone disagrees with their doctrine and it is downright maddening. Religious extremists, political extremists, bankers, military leaders, governors all piss me off.They take advantage of the trust and kindness shown to them. I feel as though I can't trust almost anyone because I have been taken advantaged of in the past or used as some sort of "buddy" or patsie. The friends I have tagged in this note are all people thatt I have had good conversations with and that I respect for one reason or another. I don't respect people just because it is what everyone else is doing. I don't respect people because they are part of a trend. What I observe, what I hear, what I see from people is what determines how I address that person.

I have found is that there is a very small amount of people of high intelligence and skill who easily manipulate the stupid and ignorant. They easily manipulate and educate people through the schools and media in a manner that will make them produce capital through their labour.  The mass media is very much like that which was show in George Orwell's 1984.  It is there and its always on all the time and people sit and just watch it for hours on end.

We do have the "two minutes hate" and a lot of propaganda through advertisements on youtube for example such as "Gateway Facts.". Its bothersome. I've tried to disconnect because my health is more important than correcting someone on facebook or reddit. I am starting to feel old again and I have gained some wisdom but in general I do not think I am anywhere that I should be. Even writing this novel of sorts is not wise. Oh well.

I am frustrated that people simply give up their dreams and just work like a slave for people that do not care about their well being and do not give them opportunities to advance and to create. What bothers me the most is that I have been given some opportunities but not on my terms but someone else's. I have to shut up and stick to someone's plan otherwise I do not get to benefit from work. Being paid and using that money is a good thing in some ways but a person should be able to work at something that is rewarding. If working at a grocery store is someone's dream, by all means help that person reach that goal. But those with gifts need to be encouraged to express themselves and in a constructive manner. Its the people that feel cheated by the school system and the adult world system that cause a lot of trouble. There are too many people, myself included that feel helpless and trapped. Something has to give eventually. It will happen, people will act like chimpanzees eventually.

Overall I think I am growing up and I ask for help and understanding as I go through the process of reconnection. Please be patient with me, I have a lot of heavy shit on my mind and its difficult at times to even take care of my basic needs. I am just too depressed to care some days. It will take time. A lot of time. I am learning albeit slower than average.

-Nathaniel Allen

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Modern Revolution -by R.W.G.

(first verse and chorus)

We're in the shadows
deep when you're shallow
swimming in water
right up to our heads

we'll keep above now
we want the doves now
we don't wanna fight
we simply want change ...



fallen and callin'

we'll keep on callin' out for freedom ...

Do you see us, do you hear us?
We are not living dead!
Sharing stores all between us
Finding answers unsaid
You've kept from us
Well, look at us!
We're writing out in red
It's a Modern Revolution
No gunfire, red be Written ..

-by R.W.G.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Movies! -by Neil McVilly

I watched Rosie's video on Youtube "Accomodating and managing cognitive variance" (*click on it to view*)

This got me thinking about a long-standing issue I've had, more marked in my earlier years, but I still struggle with a little bit at times.
As a child, I seemed to have a lot of trouble following and keeping up with the plot when watching certain types of movies. I don't recall any trouble with simple tv programs like cartoons, Sesame Street or Playschool or TV soaps of my era (Family Ties, Neighbours, etc)
 It was the movies with more intricate plots or a lot of fast dialogue that proved the most challenging.

It may be worth mentioning I am short-sighted and did not get glasses until early high school. Possibly this may have compounded my processing challenges even after getting glasses and learning how to put my improved eyesight to good use.

Mum was puzzled and at times driven up the wall by my incessant questions during movies. 
What's happening?  Which lady is the bad/evil lady?  Where are they going now?  Was that the same man he was talking to before or is that a new man? 

Mum could not understand whether the problem was poor attention or some other processing issue and to this day I am not sure what the cause was or why things have gotten a lot easier as an adult. 

One strategy which helped me a lot was re-watching some shows my sister taped on our video recorder.   I would usually re-watch the show on my own without distraction from others and might need to rewind parts until I picked up all the dialogue and put it into context.  It would also help me get my head around the more intricate parts of the plot, with a few twists and turns, or more complex social interactions.

As a final note, I've enjoyed revisiting some of my childhood movies many years later, not only to take a trip down memory lane, but to see how much I missed as a child!   I now have the advantage of maturity which helps to understand more complex social interactions which went totally over my head as a child. 

My computer allows me to replay videos very easily, I can "cheat" on IMDB if I need a little help following a more intricate plot, or google for a history lesson or whatnot.  If I feel inclined, I can also download English subtitles for movies which seem to help me with verbal processing when there is a lot of fast talking dialogue.   

In any case, movie watching has become a fun hobby in my leisure time :)
I'd be very interested to hear if others have experienced similar challenges.

-Neil McVilly

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Misconceptions still dominate the understanding of autism

Geneticist gives lukewarm "Autism Talk" with the usual, cookie cutter passively demeaning terms,  on Ted Talks.

I comment on the website and it seems it has been removed.... I still have it saved though....

This was a very disappointing talk... It's amazing how little it is known and how many misconceptions still dominate the understanding of autism, including 
in this TED talk... For example, the incidence is not lower in girls, the behaviors are simply different because the female brain is fairly different than the male brain. A good example: my wife. I compare my wife side by side with my son, who is moderate to severely autistic, and they have exactly the same problems and very similar behaviors. But because of our understanding of a girl's behavior relative to our understanding of boys (what we find socially "normal" for gender roles), my son was diagnosed at 3 and my wife at 25. Chung's speech is just a random compilation of widely distributed data, nothing really interesting, with no insight. Here's some insight from a "savant". "Autism" is characterized by a powerful brain that perceives a lot more than the "neurotypical" and can process information far faster... my brain can perceive a lot of interactions that most "neurotypicals" can't. While my information processing speed is several times faster than that of a "neurotypical" (I can write a whole book in my head in just a few minutes), the number of perceptions is so much higher that it still takes me longer to process all the information. That is the reason why we get overwhelmed easily, while we have sensory sensitivities, executive functioning issues, communications issues, why autism is related to ADHD and so on... You don't have to only take my word for it either... if you also fall for the fallacy of expertise, you can check out this neuroscientist (he has the magical piece of paper) who says the same thing: It would be really REALLY helpful if people would actually ASK us about our experiences with autism...

Nelson Guedes

Friday, June 6, 2014

My thoughts on Professionals and their meddling impacts on my personal journey of growth

I decided to write about my experiences with various professionals over the years and I have seen several. I have had good experiences, bad experiences and downright traumatic experiences. I think it is important for me to write about them. I am hoping sharing my experiences will help others to be careful when it comes to choosing the right professional for themselves. Some professionals really are not necessarily helpful or supportive, which is unfortunate given their position and the fact they are meant to be helping people and working with people, not against.

I have generalised my experiences and this is not about any one professional but a summary of what I have experienced over the years of therapy that I have had. 

They have:

Invalidated my life's journey and experience

Ignored my self-knowledge and how self-aware I am (I'm not bragging or being arrogant). I really am quite self-aware and open to learning ways of improving myself but at my pace and in a way that suits me.

Told me I'm making up issues to get attention and that I don't need counselling.

Told me I can't possibly be depressed because I'm smiling, laughing and being social in the first appointment. Which I now realise is due to inappropriate effect.

Taken advantage of my naivety and vulnerability which is due to me not being able to read faces, unsaid rules and body language. I take people at face value - how they present themselves is how I think they are. So when they do the opposite of how they present themselves (their good side) to me. I'm shocked, hurt and traumatised. It is incredibly difficult for me to comprehend and understand why a person (any person, not just professionals) would do this.

Don't really listen to me.

Think they know better than I do.

Pushed me into doing things I'm not ready to do. Didn't give me time to think about it and process it.

Thankfully, not professionals all are like this. Some are really good and have helped me in my life's journey.

My ideal therapist would be someone who sees me as the professional of my own life and that their job is to guide me by asking me the right questions to expand my thinking and self-awareness.

Narrative therapy is what I believe is best for me. I intend to find a good narrative therapist when I am ready. 

My GP told me that I'm very smart, self-aware and will work things out for myself in a way that suits me. She agrees with me that I don't need to see a therapist right now. I did try to organise seeing a psychologist but I found the whole process of organizing to see one too triggering, stressful and upsetting. I've decided that I am far better off not seeing one right now. I have found that they tend to disrupt my process of healing, growing and learning.

I find I have to heal and recover from the damage some professional have caused me by how they treated me or let me down. Some of the experiences have been very painful and traumatic for me, which is very unfortunate.

I am happy with who I am, finally. My diagnosis gave me a new understanding of myself which in turn gave me permission to accept myself. Prior to that I hated myself and all the things I thought were wrong with me. I became obsessed with trying to be normal. I nearly lost who I was as a result. I do not want to ever go back to what I was like pre-understanding of who I really was. I've finally accepted myself with my imperfections. I'm happy figuring things out for myself, at my pace and in my own way. I've done this most of my life. It's how I work best.

My mum and GP support my choice to heal, grow and learn at my pace. I'm incredibly grateful for their support and understanding.

An example of me figuring something out on my own.

E.g. I recently read about Emotional freedom techniques 
I have heard of it but I didn't know much about it. I must have been ready to learn more about it as I read about it and had a light bulb moment. It seems to me to be a mix of meditation (repeating a phrase) and stimming (repetitively rubbing pressure points). Perhaps it could be considered advanced stimming. That's my opinion.

I've been trying EFT when I'm triggered by flashbacks of bad experiences, emotionally over loaded or anxious and it helps me calm down. I rub the pressure point between my thumb and index finger, focus on my breath and repeat 'All shall be well.' I was able to calm down easily and get on with my day. I'm very grateful that I read about EFT and decided to give it a try.

Ideally I would like to have a group of autistic women of various ages meet in person and online to support, guide and mentor each other without a professional present. I think that is the best way for Autistic women to learn and grow together. We understand each other and tend to have a deep empathetic respect for each other and our individual journeys. 

Note: I am not saying don't see professionals as there are definitely good ones out there. I have come to realise that this decision is best for me. It may not work for others. I encourage others to be mindful of the professionals that they do see. 
Check them out, ask them questions 
Find out if they have knowledge and understanding of Autistic adults. 
Remember you are paying the professional to support and help you. If you don't feel that they are helping you then you have a right to stop seeing them and find another professional who is more suited to what you need. You are after all paying them to do their job, if you feel that they aren't doing their job, then you have a right to walk away. It's your life, your money and your mental health that is most important. If they aren't helping you overall then find another. It's that simple.