fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
Book 3, Chapter 8 of Harry Potter and the Trouble With Neurotypicals is published!

Series blurb: Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, is a young and abused Black boy with Asperger's syndrome, and is hated by his guardians, the Dursleys. A little over a week before his birthday, he discovers that he is also a wizard, and the Dursleys knew all along. Not only is he a wizard, but he's also famous in the wizarding world! An AU fanfic.

Chapter blurb: The title of this chapter is "Catching a Rat." Anything else I say would spoil it.

Links to book 3, chapter 8:

AO3 version

FF.net version

BigCloset version

~ ~ ~

Series page AO3

HPATTWNT book 1 page FF.net and Book 2, FF.net

HTATTWNT chapter 1, BigCloset

HPATTWNT

Dec. 17th, 2016 02:15 am
fayanora: Steph bouncy (Steph bouncy)
Harry Potter and the Trouble With Neurotypicals book 3 (Aspie Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban), chapter 4 is published!

Blurb: Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, is a young and abused Black boy with Asperger's syndrome, & is hated by his guardians, the Dursleys. A little over a week before his birthday, he discovers that he is also a wizard, and the Dursleys knew all along. Not only is he a wizard, but he's also famous in the wizarding world! An AU fanfic. Third book of H.P. & the Trouble With Neurotypicals.

AO3 version

FF.net version

BigCloset version
fayanora: Steph book (Steph book)
Stop calling autism a disease. Stop saying "autistic symptoms" or "symptoms of autism." If autism is a disease, then so is being a man, or being a woman. If autism is a disease, then not being autistic is also a disease. If autism is a disease, then humanity is a disease. If autism is a disease, then liking music, or not liking music, are diseases.

Let's look at some of the traits of autism, the so-called "symptoms," shall we? Not making eye contact, that's a good one. You know what? If that's your metric for a disease, then you might as well say that everyone in Japan is afflicted with a disease, because their culture frowns on making eye contact with one another.

What next? Hey, how about "special interests." So we can't even have hobbies, now? You just called anyone with a hobby diseased, congratulations.

Going on... okay, so stimming. Oh hey, children do that. Is childhood a disease? Is anyone who bites their nails or taps their pencil during a test also diseased? Do you like a certain album or song enough that you've listened to it multiple times in a row? Or an iPod playlist? Does that make you diseased? Please tell me, I want to know.

Oh, and that old stereotype that we lack empathy? Utter bullshit. We have the opposite problem; we have hyper-empathy. We have so much empathy that it overwhelms us and we have to shut it off or shut it out to cope. Also, we may know what you're feeling, but knowing *why* you're feeling that way does not come easily to us. It takes a lot of work, and works best when we know someone really well.

Scientists have found that autism has always existed, it is as much a part of humanity as language is, or music. We autistic people were very useful back in the hunter-gatherer day, since many tasks we had to do required hyper-focus and an ability to zone out and not be bothered by menial tasks. And if all of you allistics would pull your heads out of your collective arses, we'd be very useful to modern mankind, if only you would take the time and effort to reduce the noise levels, both audio noise and visual noise.

The truth is, autistics have been with us since the ancestors of humans first came down from the trees. I'd be willing to bet it was an autistic person who discovered how to create fire without having to wait for lightning to strike.
You know what I think? I think we autistics weren't noticeable for a long time as being distinct from allistics, but as humans left their old ways behind more and more, and the cities got bigger, noisier, and more crowded, I think we who are autistic, we who fulfilled a niche humans needed in those days (and still do, in many cultures around the world) simply were not as able to adapt to the growing noise and crowding. So I think that a lot of what you call "symptoms" of autism are in fact symptoms of our distress at being unable to cope with a noisier, more crowded world.

Do I think this means autistic people can't live in cities? Of course not. For one thing, we do live in cities. In fact, (and bear with me here for a moment) I am a writer, and I have an entire science fiction world full of people who are very much autistic by Western cultural standards. They still live in cities, but their cities are quieter in terms of sound and visual noise, the lights are dimmer because their people mostly lived in forests (like many humans through time) until the cities started to come. And because of a quirk of their evolution making most of them autistic by our standards, they couldn't cope when cities took on traits like our cities, so they would redesign things until they could.

But yes, some of the autistic "symptoms," like say my being uncomfortable in my own skin and thus often twitchy or itchy, I think that symptom is actually a symptom of my anxiety... anxiety I got for being a square peg in a round hole. It makes me wonder how many other "symptoms" of autism are really the result of anxiety. Meltdowns are known to be the result of distress, people trying to force that square peg into that round hole. Any “therapy” that forces us to try to be like you allistics (quiet hands, restraint during meltdowns, any behavior that regularly gives us meltdowns to begin with, etc) are just as abusive as gay conversion therapy is.

So very many of us have had to shave our corners off to fit our square peg into your round hole, but then we get stuck. We don't work right, even when we kinda fit into the round hole, because we were shoved in there, we may have mutilated our minds to fit in, but we will never fit. We are not the disease, your insistence on curing us of an imagined disease is the real disease. Instead of trying to change our square pegs, why not change the holes so they fit you and us equally well, or give us some of our own square holes?

Autism is not a disease. And if you keep referring to it as though it is, I'm going to start referring to allism (that is, not-autism) as a disease.

Yes, the disease of allism. No really, that alien species I mentioned above, who are all autistic by our standards, on their planet there is a condition that amounts to allism. Symptoms may include:

* An unnerving fondness for direct eye contact.
* Lack of awareness or concern of personal boundaries; violates personal space regularly.
* Excessive desire to socialize, to an unhealthy degree.
* Unable to focus for very long on any one task.
* Gets bored easily.
* Unable to speak with strangers about special interests, partly for a lack of same; instead insists on discussing dull things like the weather, or gossiping.
* Seem to want to speak just to hear themselves speak, and wish others to do the same, with nothing of any meaningfulness being transmitted.
* Not only knows what others are feeling (which is normal), but has an unsettling ability to know WHY others are feeling that way, without having to be told. (Possible telepathy?)
* Paradoxically, unable or unwilling to accommodate the needs of others, often upsetting people in ways that were easily preventable, were they normal.
* Unnatural fondness for noise; must fill every available moment of their lives, practically, with sounds or with visual noise.
* Unusually and unnervingly quick to change things around, to fix what wasn't broken, often for no reason at all, or for shaky reasons. (Unnatural aversion to routine.)
* Does not appear to need the normal, natural comfort of stims, at least not to the same degree as usual.

You see what I mean? You can point at anything and call it a disease, but calling it a disease does not make it one. So STOP. CALLING. AUTISM. A. DISEASE!!! STOP CALLING THEM "SYMPTOMS," AND CALL THEM "TRAITS" INSTEAD! STOP TRYING TO CHANGE US! STOP TRYING TO MAKE US FIT YOUR EXPECTATIONS, AND CHANGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS INSTEAD!

And please, please, PLEASE will you take the time to get to know us, listen to us when we tell you what we need you to do or not do to help us cope with this noisy, overwhelming world, and please have some of that empathy and compassion that you keep claiming is an allistic trait, because at least when it comes to autistic people, it seems to me that "lacks empathy" is more a symptom of allism than autism.
fayanora: Rinmarugames (Rinmarugames)
Both my Harry Potter fanfic series have updated!

First: Harry Potter and the Trouble With Neurotypicals has updated! Book 2, Chapter 6: "Riddle Me This"!

FF.net version

AO3 Version

BigCloset version!

Second: The Many Faces of Harry Potter, chapter 11: "Return of the Return of the Heir"!

FF.net version

AO3 Version

BigCloset version!
fayanora: Elle reading (Elle reading)
"Harry Potter and the Trouble With Neurotypicals: Book 2," an AU Harry Potter fanfic, is published! Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, is a young and abused Black boy with Asperger's syndrome, and is hated by his guardians, the Dursleys. A little over a week before his birthday, he discovers that he is also a wizard, and the Dursleys knew all along. Not only is he a wizard, but he's also famous in the wizarding world! An AU fanfic.

Read it on either Fanfiction dot net, or on ArchiveOfOurOwn.
fayanora: Avatar dino (Avatar dino)
I wrote a fanfic! First chapter in a multi-chapter series. Harry Potter and the Trouble With Neurotypicals."

Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, finds out that not only is he black, on the autism spectrum, and hated by his guardians, but is also a wizard! An AU fanfic.

(Hermione is also black.)
fayanora: Cyborg velociraptor by Djinni (Cyborg velociraptor by Djinni)
"Remember your words!" A refrain many auties (autistics) hear, especially if we resort to animals sounds. But why? Isn't it true that the highest compliment you can give someone is to say that words are insufficient to tell them how much you love them? If words are so limited, why not expand our vocabulary to include words from the languages of other animals? (And there's plenty of evidence out there to show that, yes, other animals have their own languages, and a lot of them are quite as complex as human languages.) Maybe I don't even know how to put what I'm feeling into words, so I growl or purr or hiss or whatever, you ever think of that? Of course you didn't.

I think the reason for it is that when allistics (non-autistics) lose their words, it's generally a sign that they've lost self control. But what they don't understand is that such is not necessarily true; it is an assumption, especially as regards auties. I don't know about other people, but when I use animal sounds, I am still reasonable and in control, I just don't want to waste effort trying to put into human words what I have a perfectly good animal word for. Not enough time and/or available brain RAM to waste on translating simple and effective animal speech into the most recent version of the chaos that is human language.

What's more, that assumption sometimes works in my favor. If I tell someone to back the fuck off, they'll probably still ignore it if they're a certain personality type. But growl, hiss, yowl, or bark at them, and they DO back the fuck off, usually. In this instance, the animal word for "back the fuck off" is often far more effective.

Another thing a lot of auties hear is "Quiet hands!" No. Just stop saying that. If I'm flapping my hands, I'm either too excited for words, or I'm trying to get my brain in gear. Either way, by trying to make me stop, you are being the opposite of helpful. I'm already having trouble, in that instance, with getting my brain in verbal gear, and having to add the subroutines for compliance to allistic norms is NOT going to speed up the process at all. Flapping hands is often the autistic version of a computer's processing ellipsis, so it means "Processing. Please wait." (And it's not a case of having less RAM than allistics, it's a case of having too many programs running, or the programs we have running are processing too much data. Or both.) Would you rather have some outward sign of such a processing problem, or not? (Bearing in mind of course that with no outward sign, we'd just be sitting there, unresponsive, frustrating you even more.)

So please stop assuming things that are wrong. Your assumptions just end up frustrating the both of us.
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
Text and picture reposted from this Tumblr post. It might make more sense if you read the Tumblr version, since I think this excerpt makes references to things in other peoples' comments, and I don't feel like reposting the entire thing here.

The original picture:



My part of the post:

I totally get Tedd’s shock. I became aware of the concept of transgender pretty early on, around 15 or 16, but it didn’t really fit me. I started identifying as a trans woman online more out of it being the closest I knew to what I was, but privately had no idea what to think of myself as. At least, not until I read about the term “hermaphrodite.” Well, actually, the progression went more like this: A. Read term “hermaphrodite,” started using it to describe the people of this story I’d started to write, and their religion. B. Did not apply the term to myself. C. Figured out I was trans or something like it. D. Became obsessed with that story I was writing enough that I adopted the religion I’d made for them. E. Realized only then that I was closer to “hermaphrodite” than I was to male or female, and so privately began to identify as such. F. Realized I’m Otherkin, as one of the Ah’Koi Bahnis people I was writing about, which deepened the connection to “hermaphrodite.” G. Didn’t hear the term gender-fluid til… well, it’s hard to say. Only a few years ago, I think. I think I read it on Tumblr, but I can’t be sure. I have a bad habit of hearing information relevant to me and then watching it take months or even years to process it enough that I finally think “Hey wait, that’s me!”
A whole lot more )

Representation matters!

One more note )
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
On my scifi world Traipah, the Ah'Koi Bahnis people are all autistic by human standards, but since they've always been that way, their whole society is set up for them. There is a neurological condition among them called Hyeh'theydj'mah [hje ðeɪʒ mʌ] Disorder that makes some of them more like neurotypical humans, and for their culture is a disorder.

Anyway, here I'm gonna go with a possible article from that world on the subject, from a less enlightened era in their culture:

Hyeh'theydj'mah Disorder gives its sufferers diminished sensory input, makes it difficult for them to find a job by not having a proper special interest (because they know a little about a lot of things, and what use is that?) and by their being unable to hyperfocus like a normal person. They have to rely on body language rather than empathic knowledge or verbal cues, in order to know a person's feelings, and of course normal people don't give the kind of body language cues that would really be useful for someone with Hyeh'theydj'mah Disorder.

The condition also tends to give its sufferers a preoccupation with talking about unimportant and often uninteresting things like the weather. Any buffoon can tell by looking what the weather is doing, and such a topic is only interesting when something unusual like a tropical storm is on its way. They also tend to have a preoccupation with talking about what other people are doing, but not about their work; more likely what they're wearing, who they're dating, what they do in the bedroom, and other highly personal things like that, thus coming across as very creepy.

People with Hyeh'theydj'mah Disorder have an unsettling tendency to look other people right in the eyes, and show other signs of having little grasp of the concept of "personal space," such as touching people without getting consent first. Often they cannot simply sit with friends and quietly do their own thing while gently enjoying the friend's company, at least not for long without becoming bored or frustrated; instead, they feel compelled to focus solely on conversing with the other person, and get irritated if the other person does not do the same. This is exacerbated by their compulsion to touch other people, even if the other person is a total stranger to them.

Those who suffer this condition tend to be bad about boundaries in general, and since they have at least one diminished sense, and often all their senses are diminished, are less prone to sensory overload and meltdowns, thus can drive a normal person into sensory overloads and meltdowns with absurd ease. They will then often become irritated by the consequences of their actions, being unable to see what is obvious to normal people, and thus are unable to see the obvious signs of impending overload/meltdown. This irritation can, if left uncountered, cause the sufferer to make an already bad situation worse by continuing to invade the normal person's personal space.

There is no known cure for Hyeh'theydj'mah Disorder, though treatment can help them become more functional in society. Negative reinforcement can train them out of their habit of direct eye contact, or if they are high functioning enough to begin with, they can be taught how to focus on some other part of a person's body so as to not look people directly in the eyes. Teachers with children suspected of having this disorder can enforce alone time or strap the unfortunate soul to a chair so they won't invade the personal space of others.

Teachers are also encouraged to grab their hands when they attempt to touch without consent, and say "quiet hands" as they do so to attempt to teach them respect for boundaries.

Sufferers also do not need to stim, due to their diminished capacities, and therefore should be encouraged to stim anyway so as to not disturb others. If the child is resistant to this, keep trying. If they are obstinate about it, something called "spanking" may be used; this is using the hand or a paddle to hit the rear end of the child in order to cause pain. Yes, using this on a normal child would be unthinkable, but it does not hurt these children as much as a normal child would be hurt by it, and is effective on this sort of child because they have a more physical communication than normal children do, due to their verbal learning deficits and their touch compulsion.

Raising a child with this disorder can be extremely taxing, frustrating, exhausting, and emotionally draining. Therefore, there are many Orders that have books, pamphlets, and other reading materials to help, and other services like specialized day care centers, stress counselling, and classes on how to care for these damaged souls. There are also locations where you can anonymously drop off such problematic children for groups such as The Order of Nahtahdjaiz to care for them if you have come to your wits end with such a child. The Order of Nahtahdjaiz is dedicated to the safety and well-being of all children, even mentally disabled children such as these.

It is unknown what causes Hyeh'theydj'mah Disorder. Some suspect certain medications taken by those who are pregnant or nursing may cause the disorder, but the evidence is inconclusive. And without knowing the cause, the cure is equally elusive. So until a cure is discovered, we simply have to be patient with these poor damaged souls and find somewhere for them to try to be useful.
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
Originally posted by [personal profile] kengr at diagnostic criteria
While reading someone's rant about" treatments" for autism (mainly that nobody ever seems to ask if the autistic person thinks they are better off after treatment) something came to me.

Time and again, if you read thru DSM-IV or later, you see a pair of diagnostic criteria trepeated.

I plain English "If this doesn't bother the patient, and it doesn't interfere with their ability to function in society" then it's not an actual "condition".

Ok, great. If both are true (isn't bothered) and (can function in society) it's agreed there's no problem.

But there are *four* possible combinations off a pair of true/false conditions.That only covers one.

The obvious second pairing is "does bother" and "does interfere with functioning". And that one too most folks will agree means that the person *does* have a problem and it needs to be treated.

Now for the less obvious ones.

"If it bothers the person, but doesn't interfere with their ability to function (as a "random" example, someone who is gay and belongs to a very "conservatine" church), the "proper treatment is going to be to get them to realize that it's *not* actually a problem just the way they are looking at it is a problem.

It's also fairly obvious (especially with that particular example) that they may not want to be told thos, and may be distinctly unhapy.

Now we come to the *real* zinger.

What if the person is happy with their"condition" but it does "interfere" with their ability to function AS DEFINED BY OTHERS. That's the situation in a lot of cases. Everything from homosexuality & some gender issue, to many kinds of autistics and related conditions.

Which is the right thing to do? Some rather loud and well funded groups will tell you that it's to force the "patient" to act as they are expected to. There can be *some* truth to that. Developing the ability to "act normal" even if only for short periods of time is a useful survival skill.

But forcing people to act according to what are in reality some quite arbitrary "rules" when they are wired such that it's incredibly diffoiucult for them to do so?

That's trading "can function (with horrendous, painful effort) in society" for "is not bothered by condition". That may look like a good trade to some people. But it's sacrificing the individual on the altar of conformity.

And that's a viewpoint that badly needs to be considered by the folks who are so gung ho about making these folks "act normal".
fayanora: Steph Chloe Dartagnan (Steph Chloe Dartagnan)
Originally posted by [personal profile] kengr at socialization is important, but...
I've been working my way through an interesting person's tumblr (warning, she's goit a *lot* of NSFW content) and I ran across this entry.

The comments about "forced socialization" are *so* true. Yet somehow most teachers, parents and other adults don't seem to even *consider* the possibilty of any of this.

I expect a lot is due to this cultures overwhelming bias towards extroverts.

But it's also a symptom of the practice of adults not *listening* to kids. You can't just throw a kid in with a bunch of other kids and expect them to learn social skills by osmosis, much less make friends.

Yeah, it works often enough to be seen (via selection bias) as workable. The problem is that when it doesn't work, it usually goes pretty far into the negative. And then we blame the kid for not being able to get along or whatever. Hell, it's where a lot of bullying comes from.

Parents *really* need to stop and listen. And consider that while the kid may not be expressing himself well, that doesn't mean that he doesn't have a point. He (or she) may well know quite well that things are going wrong (and how), but just lacks the vocabulary to discuss it.

Lack of success does *not* mean lack of effort. Often it's a case of clashing personality types. Or of ignorance.

I know that I had some difficulties fitting in in the first few grades because (due to being raised by a widow) I didn't know the rules to baseball, football, etc. Didn't help that mom's husband had been a lefty, so when she gave me his old baseball glove it didn't help.

We *really* could use someone sitting down and writing out all the stuff "normal" kids *do* pick up thru osmosis and writing it down (probably as a series of "age" appropriate books) for the kids (and adults) who *don't* figure it out.

Also need something to explain to the kids who don't "work" the way "normal" kids do (and their parents and teachers) that it's not *wrong* to be different. Andd suggest coping strategies that *aren't* "fake it".


My own addition:

There weren’t many other kids in the neighborhood when I was real little, and my parents were concerned for me. They tried to socialize me by taking me to a day care center even though Dad worked from home. Well, that didn’t work, because I had absolutely zero interest in other kids. The only people I wanted to socialize with were adults, because adults were interesting. Other kids were dull and stupid compared to me, and we had nothing in common aside from our age. At best I viewed them as an obstacle or a nuisance, at worst they were bullies. Luckily, I didn’t have my first experience with a bully until kindergarten, but still, it set the stage for things to come, and made me go from passive disinterest to active avoidance. I would have been better off being homeschooled and left to socialize with adults the way I wanted to.

Also, there were infants and toddlers at the day care center, and I have always detested infants and toddlers. They’re noisy, far beyond simple annoyance, and all they do is eat and shit and get into trouble. Being autistic, I have always had issues with noise, both literal and psychic, giving me migraines and other problems, and small children put out a lot of both kinds of noise. If I ever have a kid, I am going to adopt one that is past that stage of development, because I cannot cope with that bullshit.

When I say the forced socialization didn’t work, I mean that at the day care center, I continued to pay no attention to other kids. I avoided them, playing by myself. I communicated with them only when necessity demanded it. I did not want to be there, and I’m certain that the fact I didn’t want to be there was obvious to everyone. Part of it is being autistic, and part of it is the psychic and literal noise issue; everyone puts out psychic noise, but kids especially. For me, being forced to stay at the day care center was like someone with sensitive ears being forced to spend the whole day on an airport runway, with the jets constantly taking off and landing.
fayanora: Avatar dino (Avatar dino)
The following is from a Tumblr post, I felt it was important for people to read, so I am reposting it here. The link to the post is here.

anonymous asked:

I was wondering if you could go in depth about autistic people who need help doing cretin things like going to the bathroom,washing hair, remembering to eat, ect. You don't really hear about that much I and I would like to learn more about people with autism who have trouble with task that for most people are 'simple'. I often forget to eat/drink because i don't notice I'm hungry


neurowonderful answered:

Hi anon. This is a very big topic that is difficult for me to write about here, seeing as how every autistic person is different and will have different disabilities and difficulties.

There are lots of daily tasks that neurotypical and able bodied people tend to think of as simple or easy but that can pose real challenges for autistic, neuro-atypical, and disabled people. Many of these are what is known as “self care skills”. Personal hygiene (brushing ones teeth, showering/bathing, dressing, etc.) and basic homemaking (preparing food/meals, cleaning counters and sinks, sweeping/vacuuming, maintaining a tidy living environment, etc.) make up most of the “self care skills” people talk about.

There is a stigma surrounding those who, for whatever reason, need assistance or accommodation with self-care skills. This is partly because of a lack of understanding or empathy on the part of the able bodied/neurotypical majority. The able bodied/neurotypical thinking appears to be something like, “I learned to brush my teeth when I was four, and I have never had any trouble brushing my teeth, so idea of someone who does have trouble brushing their teeth is confusing/pitiable/unbelievable to me”.

I think another part of the stigma is that many of the self care skills people talk about were “supposed” to be learned and mastered in childhood. The able majority is all about the normative milestones, and there is a definite link in the average able/neurotypical person’s mind between the mastery of self care skills and adulthood. This means that disabled people who struggle with or who need accommodation to perform self care skills are often infantilized and presumed to be less competent overall, even in areas where they display no disabilities or challenges.

When it comes to autistic people specifically, there are many reasons that self care, like showering or remembering to eat or drink, might be difficult. In my mind the three biggest reasons are sensory processing issues (SPD), executive function issues (executive dysfunction), and comorbid conditions (other disorders or conditions that are also present).

Rest of the original post )

arinwolfe:

The more I read the. More I want to cry because I’m not alone. I thought it was just me, that I was broken. ( not that I think anyone else that needs help is!)


(What follows is from the same post, it's my response)

I know when I get “in the zone” on something, I tune everything else out. When I finally snap out of it, hours have passed and I’m hungry, have to pee, thirsty, and who knows what else. I had at least one instance of spending a whole 8 hours straight, no breaks, just drawing. Holy CRAP I felt horrible when I snapped out of that one. I try not to let myself stay in the zone that long.

As to everyday life, a lot of self-care things I just forget because I’ve gotten distracted. I get up and I’m like “Oh gotta do the thing,” but then I’m like, “Wait, gotta do this other thing first,” and then I forget about the first thing and do other stuff, then an hour later or so I remember again and we start the process all over again.

Then, too, depression plays a major role in my self-care issues, too. I keep my hair in braids so it doesn’t get tangled into rats nests at night, but a lot of mornings I don’t have the energy to comb them out and rebraid them, so I’ll either just leave them in, or just take them out and comb them, but not rebraid my pigtails; I leave that for some time before bed. But I don’t always have the energy to do it then, either.

And I don’t mean bored or anything like that, I mean I am fucking EXHAUSTED after combing out my hair and/or rebraiding it, especially my arms. The stamina my arms have for staying up in the air doing things is not very long. Frequent breaks are needed.

More )
fayanora: Hermione not amused (Hermione not amused)


There’s been another school shooting, this time in Santa Barbara, and the culprit is an Aspie. We all know what’s coming: blaming autism for his actions. Which makes about as much sense as blaming someone’s actions on their being male, or on their preferring pistachio flavored ice cream.

We need to have a serious talk in the media about how wrong it is to blame mentally ill people for being violent, when it's almost always violence and ableism and bullying that causes people to snap in the first place, and that most people who snap do so internally and shut down or commit suicide, and only a very few will snap outwardly, which is true of all people, even neurotypicals. Push anyone hard enough and they will either implode or explode, and whether they're mentally ill or not has very little to do with which they will go with; and my guess is, that if being mentally ill affects that outcome at all, it will affect it more towards implosion than explosion.

All these school shootings are not a fucking coincidence, they are happening for a reason, and that reason is that our entire fucking society is broken and needs to be repaired or replaced. A broken society creates broken people. Even if mental illness or mental difference *did* somehow correlate to violence, the cause is the same: society. School is a fucking war zone these days, and was long before Columbine. School sucked when I was growing up, and it has gotten at least 10 times worse if I can believe all the things I've read, and I do. We overload our kids with so much homework - an activity that doesn't even do anything positive - that they break down into tears and get PTSD. Nothing is done about bullying, and that adds to the stress, and creates depression and climbing suicide rates. School is literally Hell these days, and we wonder why our kids are suffering. The system is broken, if it ever worked in the first place, and needs to be replaced, because I believe it is beyond repair. And we can go a long way towards fixing those problems by taxing the rich, giving more money to our schools, and replacing the broken school system with a better one. We can go even further along the road of peace by removing the stressors that cause violence, by making sure everyone has enough food and water, has dependable shelter, and people don't have to work themselves to death just to survive. Do that, and crime and violence will plummet like a stone through air.

These issues, after all, do not exist in bubbles apart from each other. Taxes affect education, education affects mental health and stress levels, basic survival affect stress levels of kids and parents alike, high stress in adults leads towards a heightened chance of domestic abuse which causes more stress for the kids, and heightened stress levels that never really let down will cause a certain percentage of all kids, whether neurotypical or not, to become violent. It's basic "fight or flight." And since the adult world is little better in some ways and worse than others, some people just feel there is no fleeing, and that fighting is the only option. Fix the tax system by taxing the rich and punishing those who evade taxes, combined with coming up with a newer and better education system, will go a LONG way towards slashing the rate of violence.

In the mean time, blaming mental illness on the violence without looking at the real causes of the violence is just as effective toward solving the violence crisis as Republican denial of climate change is going to solve that crisis.

The world is changing, and we don't need mindless manufacturing worker drones anymore; we need intelligent minds to invent ways for us to abandoned short-sighted capitalism and move towards a future where everyone can be free of the stress of not having enough food or shelter and clothes, and can focus instead on chasing their dreams and contributing in meaningful ways to society. We have the technology already to provide more than enough energy, food, and shelter to everyone on the planet several times over. The only thing keeping us back is the greedy capitalist system and the even greedier, short-sighted fools who benefit from this system. And if we don't start acting soon, we will self-destruct our entire species, whether by environmental catastrophe, increasing outbreaks of violence, or both.

So please, let's stop blaming the victims of the system and start placing the blame in the hands of the system victimizing them, and the more-real hands of the people whose profit and greed makes them the real victimizers.
fayanora: Hit Girl (Hit Girl)
The other night, I was out returning home from meeting a friend. I was not taking my usual route because it was later than I usually leave, and thus the route I took put me into a neighborhood that I consider dodgy. (Part of the place along Killingsworth.) Now in Portland, dodgy areas are mixed in with better areas like those dry lumps you sometimes get in pancake batter, so no matter how dodgy, you're always no farther than 10 blocks from a decent neighborhood, but still, late at night in an untrustworthy neighborhood I know is riddled with crime despite (or because) it crawling with more pigs than a factory pork farm, so naturally I'm on guard.

This woman (white, skinny, smoker, looked to be in her late 20's physically but her eyes said late 40's at least, comes up to the stop and asks when the bus will be there, as I was just then putting my phone down from checking. Fine, I don't mind simple queries from strangers, so I told her. Then she was like "Can I borrow your phone to make a phone call." Internally I'm derisively laughing, but externally I'm just like "No."

She offers to pay me 50 cents (oooooh, big fucking money!). I again say "No." At this point, the conversation is making me uncomfortable enough that words are getting difficult; thinking in words is getting difficult.

The woman then says "It'd be 50 cents more than you had before." Still, I said, "No." If I were more able to process words at that point, I would have explained why, but I couldn't.

She launches into some rambling thing about having had her phone stolen 17 times since Christmas, so I respond "Then you should understand better than anyone why I don't want to let you use my phone." She immediately starts backtracking by saying "Well some of them were just lost, not stolen." But this was the point where I decided to leave. I had been considering it anyway, since it would be 23 minutes til the bus came, so I just left without a word. I could hear her shouting undoubtably rude things to me, but if I was able to hear any of it, my brain was no longer processing the words, so it all sounded like Charlie Brown-esque "Wah wah wah" to me. I walked two or three stops down, a distance of maybe 10 or 15 blocks, before stopping, expecting to see her on the bus.

No, she wasn't on the bus when I got on. But she somehow had made it two more stops ahead of me, getting on there. I am certain it was the same worman; I may have partial face blindness but if my brain has reason to pay attention, it remembers faces at least for a few weeks after a single encounter. She didn't look at me, thankfully, or try to talk to me. Still, I wonder how she got so far ahead of me without me seeing her pass me. Unless she went down a side street and ran flat-out. But why?

Anyway, if I'd been able to gather my thoughts enough to be more verbal before leaving, I would have told her the following:

"First of all, lady, my general rule wherever I go is that if I don't know you, I don't trust you. Except for obvious exceptions, like employees of places, and even then it's only so far. If some random employee at Target wanted to borrow my phone, I'd still say No.

"Secondly, not only are you a stranger, you're a stranger on a dark night in a dodgy neighborhood, so even if you were offering $1000, I STILL wouldn't let you use my phone. If you had an emergency, *I* would call 911 for you. My phone stays on my person at all times except when I'm at home.

"Third, even if you were a close friend and wanted to borrow my phone, I would expect more than 50 piddling cents. Even my would-still-be-homeless-if-not-for-my-charity roommate offers more than that to make calls on my phone. But it's irrelevant because I don't trust anyone I don't know, and even less in dodgy neighborhoods, so you have about as much chance of me letting you use my phone as the moon has of spontaneously popping like a balloon and getting stuck in a tree.

"So basically, lady, if you need to make a phone call so badly, either find a payphone in the area or find one somewhere else, or find someone else gullible enough to fall for your obvious attempt at thievery. And anyway, even if I did give you my phone to use and you stole it, the joke would be on you because it's one of those free Assurance phones and is a barely-functional pile of rabbit pellets held together with yarn and faith."

*growls and shakes* Honestly, I have fucking trust issues and don't even fully trust my closest friends. I trust Amy, but when I let Amy use my phone, I hover over her waiting for it back.

Incidents like that make me wish I could fully switch to Alex without The Filter so he could sass her. I think if we could do that, there are interesting possibilities for the way the convo could have gone...

Scenarios, long. )

Seriously... this is just one example of the many reasons I don't like people I don't know trying to chat me up outside of certain contexts. Basically, if I'm out and about, and I don't know you, I don't want to talk to you at all. I will grudgingly answer simple, inoffensive queries like the time or directions somewhere or when the bus will get to the stop, but beyond that I generally want you to shut your fucking trap because unless you genuinely compliment me on something I'm wearing, especially something unusual like my cloak or my pentacle, I pretty much have no reason to think you're anything other than just another boring, annoying mundane/non-geek.

Now, IF something you say reveals to me that you are a geek, a pagan/satanist/new ager/etc, a pagan, etc-friendly person, and/or a fellow weirdo in some way, or have useful advice for me regarding things to help ease my burden of being so poor, THEN I will at least listen, and MAY even contribute. I have been known to make new friends that way. But otherwise, I will assume you are another boring Normal and passively ignore you.

And obviously in some contexts it is reasonably safe for me to assume that you are safe to speak with, like if you show up to the pagan meetup, and/or are wearing a pentacle or somesuch yourself.

Yet if your behavior towards me is annoying, like the woman above or like that one idiotic extroverted Oedipus that one time months ago, and I have nothing else to judge you by, then I will file you under either "actively ignore the annoyance" or "worthy of naught but contempt."

I have had enough experiences with horrible people in my lifetime to give everyone in the world at least one, so I don't need any more. Understandably, I am very picky about who I give my time and attention to.

Man, my life would be very different if Alex could take over at times like that, unencumbered by The Filter. And my life would have been very different if Alex had existed when I was a child, before The Filter even developed. *wistful sigh*
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith had a post about asexuality in fiction, and I made a comment that I feel bears repeating here:
This kind of thing is why I'm glad Lyria, my asexual character, is not aromantic; she and Forizano are falling for one another. I hope I can get it finished, then published widely enough for lots of people to be like "Oh, hey, that's something I'd never considered before."

Then on the other tentacle, we have the Ah'Koi Bahnis, who are - in many ways - like people on the autism spectrum compared to humans. But far from the usual stereotype of autistics as being unable to connect with other people, the AKB are actually BETTER at connecting with one another than humans are. They more readily form bonds, their deep bonds affect them more strongly (to the point where dying not long after a spouse has died is far more common among them), and they can connect this way to a larger group of people than humans can. The number of people they can think of as people, which human scientists refer to as "the monkeysphere" is bigger than ours. Polyamory is more common among the AKB, as well. Furthermore, they're a lot more open about sex, with hardly any hangups about it. They are honest with their children about sex, let their children experiment, and never judge for doing so. There's no slut shaming in their culture. There is also hardly any rape at all, because in that culture you would have to be some kind of sociopath to rape someone. If we had contact with them at our current stage of development, they would probably gasp in horror at us "sociopathic barbarians," slam the proverbial door behind us, and nail it shut.

Yes, a lot of them have difficulty with humans, but that's more because they tend to think of humans as the oddly unemotional, detached ones (at best). For instance, they would find bizarre the tendency of many people to cut themselves off emotionally from their parents just because it was "uncool" to show affection for parents past a certain age. And while AKB do tend to get lost in their passions (like many on the autism spectrum among humans do), they tend to use their passions/obsessions to connect with other people who share those passions.

One thing I have long known about the AKB is that even their introverts have a stronger need for the touch of other people than humans do. People living alone in their apartment or house is practically unheard of on Traipah. The few who do, leave their home frequently to be with friends or relatives.

So I suspect any asexuals among the AKB would retain those tendencies.

Hmm... you know, I seem to recall there being a person in Nokwahl's past who I felt at the time should have been a love interest of hers, but nothing ever happened there. There was chemistry, and the two were certainly something other than friends, but I'm thinking now that nothing sexual ever happened there because the other character was asexual. And I didn't even know about asexuals back then, so I didn't recognize it.
On a related note, which I did not have in the comment, I was glad that Lt. Cmdr. Data wasn't asexual. True, attraction is an emotion and he supposedly didn't have them, but he did have sex with drunk Tasha Yar that one time, and seemed to enjoy it immensely.
fayanora: pensive (pensive)
This was written Tuesday, August 27th, 2013.

As an aspie, I'm prone to getting lost in “The Zone.” If I'm doing something that is productive and creative or productive and yet very simple of a task, I tend to sink so deeply into The Zone that I no longer feel my body's needs. I've come out of zone-trances to find my stomach twisted up in hunger, or my bladder so full that I have to do the pee-dance to get to the toilet in time, or have to poo so badly I'm afraid of crapping my pants. I ignore thirst, as well, during those times.

However, I've gotten to where I can usually avoid going into The Zone for tasks that aren't productive, like TV shows and computer games (both done on my computer). Also for tasks like reading that, while productive to a creative like myself, can still be classified as entertainment. Which is good, because I get bored easily, and if I'm doing something like cooking, I will watch TV shows and/or play games while waiting for things like the water boiling, or the chicken to finish cooking. I've gotten to where I can usually remember to get up every minute or three to check things.

But, as I said, certain other tasks are easier to get lost in. Just about an hour ago, I decided to start working again on my Trai'Pahg'Nan'Nog language, which still is requiring me to bring order to the mess that is the original list of words, which were written down in the order I thought up words in, rather than in anything like alphabetical order. And since I discovered that going through and alphabetizing the whole thing was going to give me a migraine because it was trying to bring too much order to too much chaos too fast, I long ago decided to start with the relatively simple task of putting the words in “piles” sorted by nothing more difficult than the letter they began with. A words in one pile, B words in another, C words in a third, and so on. Done by English word, since most of the words are [English word] = [TPNN word] format, and setting aside exceptions into another pile.

Well, this piling of words by first letter is one of those tasks which requires very little thought, so I put the Harry Potter book 7 audiobook on and set about getting so far into The Zone that the Autopilot had taken over, my conscious mind focused on the story. And so it was that the first time I snapped suddenly and unexpectedly out of this zone-trance, I found myself hungry. I turned on the oven to pre-heat, intending to bake chicken, and then set some water boiling for pasta. Then I made a sandwich to take the edge off my hunger. I then made the mistake of sitting back down at the computer, forgetting that this was only safe to do for things like TV or computer games. I went back to the task of sorting words by first letter.

I don't know how much time passed before I again snapped out of the trance, nor what triggered it, but when I got up again, I found the water at a fierce boil and half of it gone, evaporated! Luckily I had not put the chicken in yet, though if I had I would have turned on the timer. (Though as I later noticed, the phone had had some kind of strange malfunction and temporarily wouldn't play the timer noise, even though the volume was set normally.) I hastily put more water in and put it back on the stove, put the chicken in the oven, set the timer, and decided to stay standing, even if it was boring, while I waited for the water to boil again and while I made the mac & cheese.

*Facepalm* Oh duh, I just realized something: the reason I sometimes don't register people are talking, and can't understand what they're saying at those times because I've missed half or more of what they've said... is because I was in a zone-trance at the time! It happens most often at Brooke's, after all, where I'm on the Internet, another good way to get into a zone-trance. The same thing tends to happen when Lilla and I are at Starbuck's, when I'm on the Internet. Silly me for not realizing this sooner. Of COURSE my brain was having issues with language, because I was so in the zone that the Autopilot was the one controlling the body, mostly, and the Autopilot is not a very intelligent construct. It can do simple tasks very well, and... and I zone out most often while playing games, or while typing out LiveJournal entries and the like. Although the writing-trance would be different from an Autopilot trance, since the conscious mind is involved more fully in the writing process. So okay, it's not ALWAYS because I'm on Autopilot. But it's still a trance state, a state of being totally or partially oblivious to the outside world.

Heh, that's part of what I loved so much about the “Bec” stories by BarBar on storiesonline.com (or is it .net?) = because Bec has a condition very similar to autism, which sometimes makes her zone out even more completely than I do. I can usually be roused from my trance when part of my brain recognizes that a shift of gears is necessary. Bec, on the other hand... her trances are so deep that she doesn't stop until her drawing or whatever else is done, and can be led around places by others while in the trance, so that she sometimes snaps out of the trance not knowing how she got where she is. Thankfully I've never had that particular experience, but Bec is very easy for me to relate to.

Anyway, now that I'm done cooking (almost done eating, in fact) and this entry is almost done, I'm going to go back to my word-piling task.

Update: I'm now past the "piling" point and am into a new, more difficult task: checking for repeated words between the two files, a task that also requires looking at the TPNN word, because it's not always the same, and deciding whether to add the other word as an (or [other TPNN word]), delete it completely, or put it into a pile of words to give different meanings to because I like the way they sound. It's so difficult that I did it for two hours and only finished with the B's. I was exhausted after that, whereas the "piling" task was not tiring at all.

PS = I am posting this from the library, and was quite surprised to find that Microsoft Word can read OpenOffice's "odt" format perfectly.
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
For a long time, I'd been mildly curious about my seemingly having little need or want to stim, since I am autistic. But last night, it occurred to me that my stimming is largely VERBAL. I figured this out after spending the last half hour repeating to myself, in various weird voices, a term that my friend Brooke got stuck in my head a few days ago: "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."

I looked back through my memory, and I saw a pattern of words, phrases, and songs being repeated in my head or aloud over and over and over again. I used to think the words and phrases doing that was just an extension of what most people have with the "song stuck in my head," but now I think it may be something else, that all those things going through my head, when they do, are me stimming. Or, the words and phrases at least.

The reason I think the songs may be included in that, too, is that the part of my mind that they usually come from is the part I call my inner child, Molly Elizabeth. I used to think she was just trying to drive me crazy. But now I'm not so sure. At least some of the time, it may be stimming. Of course, there are still the times when she does it because she's feeling hyperactive, or wants attention, but not always, I think.

Anyway, something to consider, at least.
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
I keep saying I'm hard of hearing, but some recent evidence has convinced me I'm wrong. Yes, I was genuinely hard of hearing as a child. But seeing as I can now hear a hell of a lot better... well, I thought I couldn't hear as well, before. Now I realize the problem is multi-tiered:

1. I hear TOO well. So my brain ignores a lot of stuff.

2. My brain has problems distinguishing foreground sounds from background sounds. I knew this already, to be honest. Signals get lost in the noise because my brain has difficulties telling which is which.

3. The noisier it gets, the faster and harder I lose my ability to concentrate. Inability to think means a lot of stuff just doesn't get processed by my brain.

4. I have difficulties judging the direction sounds come from.

5. My brain doesn't seem to have as many natural filters as other people's brains do.

There may be more. Merits more observation and reflection.
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
I made a poll about autism and otherkin. You can vote here: Here.

Or comment here. (I'd have done a DW poll, but I don't have a paid DW account.)
fayanora: Memetically (Memetically)
You know the old saw about men being oblivious to women's subtle hints about things, and how women think they're being obvious in their signals to the men around them, and the men are clueless to these "obvious" signals? Well, neutotypical people in general tend to be like the women in that old saw, whether they are women or men. We who are autistic, or aspies, or similarly neuro-atypical, we're like the men in that old saw. You think you're being obvious with your nonverbal signals, and maybe you are to other NTs. But to us... it's like speaking verbally to a deaf person using ventriloquism. Deaf people normally know, visually, when you're trying to speak to them, even if they can't hear it, by the fact your lips are moving; if you aren't moving your lips, the deaf person won't even know you're attempting to communicate. Aspies and auties, we may not even be aware you're trying to communicate with us, no matter how exaggerated you may be making your nonverbal communication. We can't decipher your nonverbals if we don't realize you're giving them off.

So, long story short, when dealing with autistic people and people with Asperger's, you need to tell us VERBALLY what you want to say, or else you may as well be using your nose to whistle-speak some alien language that is beyond the human range of hearing. Getting upset, pissy, and rude with us because you've been telling us your feelings for months in an alien language we can't even hear or recognize as an attempt at communication just makes you look like the asshole in the equation.

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fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
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