How You Experience Autism

Posted by Ginger, Volunteer Mentor @gingerw, Jan 8, 2020

I came across this article today, posted on The Mighty. I “get” it, as it is familiar to me. How do you react to her vision of the manifestation in her life?
https://themighty.com/2016/04/what-does-autism-feel-like/
Ginger

@mamacita

@hopeful33250, I hope this finds you well. I wanted to address this perception that many NT's (Neurotypicals) have regarding those of us on the Spectrum.

Several months ago I saw a new therapist in my search to tame my ADD tendencies. I was open and frank about my place on the Spectrum. She basically nodded and went on to listen to everything else that brought me there.

Later on, after having seen her for months, she finally made a comment that I thought was interesting. She said that she never would have guessed that I was Aspie or anything else on the Spectrum.

I smiled and responded to her statement with my own.

"Well, you see, it is like this. We grow up knowing we are diffetent. We learn that we have to "mask" in order to properly fit in. So we learn all we can to be just like you. So that we can survive in this world. "

But unfortunately all this masking takes its toll on us in the form of disease, disabling conditions, and a false sense of self.

We know now that who we are is who we should be.

Removing the masks takes time and courage. Both qualities we tend to have in abundance.

It's never too late to be yourself.

Thank you for accepting us as we are.
Love and light,
Mamacita Jane

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Your description of the mask makes perfect sense to me. I'm sure we all put on masks to some degree, but to do it all the time would produce stress which in turn might lead to disability and disease.

Are there times when you can just be yourself and take off the mask? How does that feel?

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@hopeful33250

Your description of the mask makes perfect sense to me. I'm sure we all put on masks to some degree, but to do it all the time would produce stress which in turn might lead to disability and disease.

Are there times when you can just be yourself and take off the mask? How does that feel?

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@teresa, when I am around people who really care about me and actually show me they care…I am just myself.

Thank you for caring!
Love and light,
Mamacita Jane

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@hopeful33250

Your description of the mask makes perfect sense to me. I'm sure we all put on masks to some degree, but to do it all the time would produce stress which in turn might lead to disability and disease.

Are there times when you can just be yourself and take off the mask? How does that feel?

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we auties in a neurotypical world and even in the Mayo clinic connect group are masking to fit in and or to not go off the deep end at comments and hassles

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@sirgalahad

we auties in a neurotypical world and even in the Mayo clinic connect group are masking to fit in and or to not go off the deep end at comments and hassles

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Agreed

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@sirgalahad

we auties in a neurotypical world and even in the Mayo clinic connect group are masking to fit in and or to not go off the deep end at comments and hassles

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@sirgalahad – just curious, and wanting you to feel at home. How do you feel you need to mask to fit in the group here just for auties and those who care about them?

@auntieoakley – will you share more about that, too?

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@lisalucier

@sirgalahad – just curious, and wanting you to feel at home. How do you feel you need to mask to fit in the group here just for auties and those who care about them?

@auntieoakley – will you share more about that, too?

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ok, there has been issues with the able body people whom run the clinic connect who are very unfamiliar with Auties, in particular, our variants on the spectrum , comorbidities and we are all not the same . Our executive function levels vary , our planning and timing and how our brains operate in a different way and our perceptions . We are different and we do react and respond to what we see in front of us and how we are spoken and talked too.for example i am an autie at the hiher end of functionality but still have melt downs and miss voice intonations and facial cues and langauge and how i rread things .Some see we auties are all the same and dont see empaths kindness humour variants in sexual idosynscriacies .i felt i had to hide my inteligence and humour and i am quite direct and blunt .i am also a teacher and a biomedical scientist childrens oncology at westmead childrens hospital .My medical skills have recently helped mamacitta keep a very dear couple of friends of hers alive .i feel i cant discuss my knowledge and training in regards the biomedical and genetics responsible for autism incase i scare people

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sorries I maybe shouldn't have written this I am just coming thru a major meltdown over the weekend from my back injury and able staff I work with and ongoing workp[lace patronisation and denigration

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sorries if iit has come across a little blunt

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No worries, @sirgalahad – I asked. What can the Connect moderation team or anyone involved in discussions in the Connect Autism group do to help you feel more comfortable and less like you need to mask at all? @mamacita @gingerw @auntieoakley – any thoughts?

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@sirgalahad

sorries if iit has come across a little blunt

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I agree with @lisalucier, Lisa, no worries. Your thoughts were very helpful, @sirgalahad. I hope others will add their thoughts as well. Thank you.

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@lisalucier

No worries, @sirgalahad – I asked. What can the Connect moderation team or anyone involved in discussions in the Connect Autism group do to help you feel more comfortable and less like you need to mask at all? @mamacita @gingerw @auntieoakley – any thoughts?

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@lisalucier I am always amazed at the timeliness of many of the messages here on the Mayo Connect site. Like @sirgalahad I am currently working through issues with some people in my life and their non-understanding/non-acceptance of me as a person with autism who has high functioning abilities and lots of knowledge. I have always extended a basic respect to everybody; someone can increase that respect by their actions towards me. But I am finding that to be understood by many neurotypical people, I have to play down my knowledge base. Or not be true to myself in my responses and reactions, which are very sensitive to others' everyday conversations. The sensitive way that I respond to statements or actions are downplayed by many, which can have an isolating and/or frustrating effect, and I shut down further. I hold these slights to me very close and for a very long time. Like @mamacita and others have described, we see/feel/process differently, for example what someone says goes to our heart, and we respond accordingly, then we hear "just kidding/don't take it so literally/lighten up". But that is not how we are wired. I can only speak for myself in this and perhaps it is a habit of neurodiverse, but I allow others to live their authentic self, accepting them for who they truly are, and I would like to be given that same opportunity. That seems why a fellow neurodiverse person is someone we can often pick out of a crowd, we "see" that fragility we live with everyday.
I don't know if this rambling resonates, or makes sense. It is what flowed out of my mind this morning.
Ginger

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@lisalucier, I think my closest friends have "gotten the memo" that I am very sensitive to criticism. Even when it is nothing really serious, I will absolutely get heartbroken if I feel I have failed to do my responsibilities. The area of social engagement and appropriate behavior around Neurotypicals is one where I still have much to learn.

I read constantly, attend Bible studies online and in real time, and study many subjects without setting foot in a class. My passion is learning and I will dig for it every single day. Pretty much nothing is boring to me. And that last sentence is what gets me in trouble.

Because I am fascinated by everything I will, in conversation, frequently think that my audience is fascinated as well.

But you live and learn, right?
And most of the time folks understand and give me grace.

Can I spot another Aspie? Quite frequently, yes. When I see them with their pattern recognition antenna up, my little Aspie heart rejoices. My tribe!!!

They sometimes have that restless leg jumping up and down while waiting for their order to arrive in a cafe. Sometimes they have a certain look in their eyes that lets me know they have mastered Neurotypical eye contact. But are not too comfortable using it.

I tell our kiddos at church to be themselves. I hope it resonates.

Love and light,
Mamacita Jane

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