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Ginger, Volunteer Mentor (@gingerw)

How You Experience Autism

Autism (ASD) | Last Active: Aug 22, 2020 | Replies (171)

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@mamacita I was reading junior high books at 4 yrs old, and very "precocious" but extremely socially awkward. My grasp of concepts was beyond my teachers' comfort levels. When asked at age 13 how I came up with the correct answer to a mathematical problem, I couldn't give a step-by-step except it was different than what was being taught, so it was labeled incorrect. My senses of smelling and sound are highly tuned, as is my ability to hear inflection in spoken words/body language. While it might look like I am sitting still and taking part in conversation, a closer look might reveal me turning a ring, fingering a bracelet or pocket stone, drawing designs.

@auntieoakley How blessed you are! We should all be so lucky to have such an advocate in our corner!

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Replies to "@mamacita I was reading junior high books at 4 yrs old, and very "precocious" but extremely..."

@colleenyoung, Connect Director

When you meet me I will look you in the eye. Because you have proven yourself safe. Trustworthy. Respectful of diversity.

When you meet me ( and you will….I have no doubt about that) you will wonder about the number of bracelets and necklaces I wear. You might think I am part of the Traveller Community. ( Formerly known as "Gypsy.") There are at least three bracelets on each wrist. Two cross necklaces and one more necklace around my neck. Wedding rings. Anniversary ring. They "weigh" me down. I "fiddle" with them when I am a bit anxious. Stimming preferences happen naturally. When I write a long letter, or story, I will play with the pen. Twirling and twisting.

When going to meetings, seminars, church, or counseling sessions ( my part time job) I always have a water bottle, notebook, pen, spare pen, spare pen for the spare pen, scissors and tape. Gum, or breath mints, small inspirational books that fit into my purse, and hand sanitizer. These are not stims. But they are "transition" items that help ne stay focused and available to do my job. Just like we let litle Auties in the schools have transition objects to hold onto . When they are changing classes or standing in line to go to lunch or recess, or whatever. The transition object gives them something treasured to hold on to. It helps give them resilience. They eventually learn to look within themselves for resilience. So do we adults.

Someone asked me a question this week about enpathy in Autistics. They thought we did not have empathy . I told them that was a commonly accepted myth. That actually, we are more sensitive to hurt and deep feelings. We feel too much sometimes. So much so that we shut down to protect ourselves. She seemed quite receptive to that notion..

So when you meet me, and you will, this Grandma, this Mamacita, this Abuela, will be so happy to greet you in real life for the very first time. With a hug, if you are a hugger (I am) and no doubt with grateful tears in my eyes. In gratitude for having found this place. And for you all being so transparent.

Love and light,
Mamacita Jane

@gingerw ,
You make me think of myself and my oldest Grandson.

I already knew how to read when I arrived at first grade in my Sweet Home Alabama school.

My teacher used me to help teach others to read. I enjoyed that so much. I still to this day love to help children learn to read.

My oldest Grandson was in kindergarten when he brought home a little paper book that we were to help him read.

He sat on the sofa, exactly in the same spot where I am sitting writing this. I could hardly breathe when I, in the kitchen with my back turned to him, heard him read that book word for word. I should not have been so surprised. When he was only nine months old, his first sentence was " Thank you, Jesus!" Repeated twice more.

I taught music class for two years when I was eight and nine years old.

I can do and know lots of different, sometimes strange things.

Like you, @gingerw, I found that some teachers did not like it when I could come up with an answer differently than the way she taught. It. I understood it better my way. I was not trying to be difficult.

Love and light,
Mamacita Jane