Categories
Definitions & Characteristics

Atmosphere – Streaks (Part 3)

When social communication fails, this does not mean the person we are trying to communicate with, trying to reach intersubjectivity with, trying to extend our own agency with… does not have a mind, does not have agency, is not human. What we think of as the ability to mentalise, to ‘read someone’s mind’ then, is perhaps the rather less impressive coincidence of happening to possess a similar mind, and what we think of as intimacy and a shared-humanity is nothing more than mirror-gazing.

Sophie Vivian

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If we start from the assumption that neurotypicals are ‘normal’, and Autistics are ‘disordered’, then poor connections between neurotypicals and Autistics inevitably get blamed on some ‘defect’ or ‘deficit’ in Autistics. If an Autistic can’t understand a neurotypical, it’s because Autistics have empathy deficits and impaired communication skills; if a neurotypical can’t understand an Autistic, it’s because Autistics have empathy deficits and poor communication skills. All the frictions and failures of connection between the two groups, and all the difficulties Autistics run into in neurotypical society, all get blamed on Autism.

Nick Walker

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But the way that things like this normally go? […] When nonautistic people can’t read autistic people, it’s either because nothing is there to read (we’re just assumed not to be giving off nonverbal cues because the cues we give off aren’t always the same as nonautistic people), or because autistic people have a global social skills deficit […] Even though it’s the exact same problem going in both directions: A difficulty reading people whose experience of the world fundamentally differs from your own, which may be a nearly universal social skills deficit in both autistic and nonautistic people.

Mel Baggs

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No one is born knowing the rules. Everyone has to learn the rules, and everyone has to learn some of the rules explicitly. […]

For neurotypical people, the need to learn social skills [e.g.: in business, in personal relationships, and in the area of disability] is treated as normal, expected, and honorable.

For autistic people, our need to learn social skills is treated as disgusting, defective, and in need of normalizing therapy.

Ruti Regan

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Stop romanticizing neurotypicality

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Learning to be good at social interactions isn’t a matter of Learning the Rules; it’s a matter of learning to develop your judgement.

Ruti Regan

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I don’t think social skills exist. Or, if I do, I think they exist like God exists – in everyone. They just may not always be apparent. […] Social skills are not contained in a person – they require the right other person.

With work, I think a lot of people can learn to develop their mindfulness and modulation skills so that they can have good social skills (i.e., capacity to connect) with more people – or, so that more people can have good social skills with them. It’s the same thing.

Some people – disabled or not – may not be able to learn how to do that, but they will still sometimes meet a person who is exactly like them, or who is very good at mindfulness and modulation, and they will have good social skills when they are with that person.

Other people will just not let other people in. […] Such people may have good social skills when interacting with people who aren’t different. But with people who are different, they [as well as the person who is different from them] will always have no social skills […]

Amanda Forest Vivian

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Categories
Spectrum

Spectrums in Life

Extra section related to:

Life experiences, individual personality,
and choices and changes throughout life:

(A myriad of little and big things play complex roles in
an individual’s experiences and influence their life)

‘Autism’ is just one thing among many others.

1
  • Specific configuration of neurological differences (cognition, communication, sensory perception, movement, interaction)
  • The fact that the variation of abilities and inabilities is inconsistent

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2
  • In which areas you choose to fuel your energy, maybe at the expense of other areas
  • How you (choose to) perform in each context

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3
  • How others think of, view, judge and treat you; how they react to, respond to and what they believe about your actions
  • Social dynamics; discrepancy between reality and others’ misperceptions

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4
  • How you change in response of others: your approach, response and reaction to situations
  • If and how you choose to show/hide your skills, your (internal) struggles, and your needs – which may differ from other people
  • How easy/hard it is for you to get/lose support; which types of support you get/need

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5
  • Whether or not you know and/or disclose you are autistic; when you knew it (if you know it), and your life history before this; how you conceive the label of ‘autistic’
  • Whether or not you have, choose to have, or seek a diagnosis

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6
  • Demographic characteristics, identities, experiences:
    • gender (gender roles, trans/non binary, etc.), race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, parenthood, cultural surroundings, socioeconomic status, physical disability, etc.
  • Stigma, discrimination, prejudice, underdiagnosis, expectations, portrayal, etc.
  • How different characteristics combine with being autistic

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Based on an article by Elizabeth Bartmess

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Categories
Spectrum

Blossoming

Popular saying:

If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism

Stephen Shore

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Autism […] involves varying levels of disability, depending on both the situation in which an individual is placed, and the expectations that are set.

Kirsten Lindsmith

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Just as neurotypical people aren’t uniformly skilled at everything, autistic people have varying levels of competence in different areas of our lives.

Cynthia Kim

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[…] you can be excellent at one thing and barely coping at another. We simply can’t make such a sweeping generalisation of someone’s ability to function.

Bec Oakley

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[…] There’s a related problem where autistic people will hear something from another autistic person, and assume that they have to be similar to that other autistic person.

Mel Baggs

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If you look around the autistic community you’ll see artists and computer programmers and teachers and writers and engineers and activists and baristas and stage managers and linguists and mathematicians and speech therapists and managers and social workers and scientists and athletes and musicians and poets and sales people and business owners and vet techs and moms and dads and grandparents and students […]

Cynthia Kim

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Many people outside the autism community don’t understand the breadth of the autism spectrum, or the effect experience, age, and environment has on our development.

Ashia Ray

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There is a whole spectrum of, very often,

reasonable [and relevant and meaningful] responses [and motivations] to unusual experiences

Partial quote, Elizabeth Bartmess

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Writing Autistic Characters: Behaviorizing vs. Humanizing Approaches

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Autistic people are sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, coworkers and employees, students and teachers, friends and relatives, neighbors and community members. […] Autistic people have different abilities, different needs, different interests, and different personalities.

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

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Autism doesn’t make us better than other people, and it doesn’t make us worse. We’re not subhuman, and we’re not superhuman. We’re just people.

Ruti Regan

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We’re autistic, we’re human, get used to it

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Think about it this way: is there a one-size-fits-all description that sums up what it means to be human? Of course not, but does that put anyone off trying to describe it? No; instead it inspires people to explore every aspect of the human condition, doing their best to unravel its mysteries in new and intriguing ways, in the hope of giving us a deeper understanding of who we are.

Helen Wallace-Iles

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Extras: