Balloonacy and Me in the Chronicle of Higher Education

Balloonacy post number three…

An Intense World

I have been mentioned in the Chronicle of Higher Education in a piece on the author of Balloonacy. Scroll down to the second piece, titled Work as Play. They specifically mention my involvement in this video, based on what I had written on this blog about Daniel’s reaction to the play.

It turns out that the playwright, Barry P. Kornhauser, had in fact written the play to reach children who were either deaf or couldn’t speak English–meaning, he had disabilities and language difficulties in mind, even if it wasn’t specifically autism. In fact, in a private email, he admits that though he works with children on the spectrum all the time, it hadn’t occurred to him that the play would be perfect for them. I’m certainly pleased that he was touched by my words, even as Daniel was touched through his play’s lack of them.

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Troy and Daniel’s Trip to See BALLOONACY at DCT

There are two follow up blog posts to the first Balloonacy post I reblogged a few days ago and I’m very pleased to share them 🙂

An Intense World

The Dallas Children’s Theater did this animation based on this post. I there is a performance of Balloonacy near you, I encourage you to see it. Whether your children (or you) have autism or not.

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Aspie Moments #5: The Event

I relate to what is written in the following blog post quite closely.
I’ve been trying to analyze my anxieties… I’ve discovered that the anxiety before an event feels quite different to that experienced afterwards. Pre-event anxiety is somehow understandable and I can cope with it. I find rescue remedy and aconite help. Post-event anxiety is more elusive in finding understanding of it and is far more difficult to control. It coexists with forms of exhaustion, overwhelmedness, sensory overload and irritability. Nothing but quiet and rest will heal it.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us Little Sparrow 🙂

Counting the Ways

This weekend was the middle one of three in a row when I have to socialise and “do things” for long periods of time. Last weekend was probably the most stressful. It involved driving 200 miles to an unknown place, meeting up with 15 people, spending all Saturday afternoon and evening with them, staying overnight in a hotel, spending the Sunday with the group as well until I could finally get away at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I knew all the people, and they are very nice, but still it was very stressful. I survived with only a couple of wobbles (those little crying fits that I get instead of meltdowns). Fortunately I had Monday off work to recover. I needed it!

This weekend involved only one evening event. I was kind of observing myself as I went through it, so here is what went down:

I was…

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The Imitation Game: Alan Turing’s Autism

I haven’t seen the film, I’m reblogging because it’s a great post but especially because of the paragraph about the being alone paradox.

An Intense World

If The Imitation Game is an accurate portrayal of Alan Turing, there is little question that Turing was autistic. It is difficult to lay out all of the evidence from the film, because practically everything Turing does in the film screams to the audience, “I have autism!” But I will note a few specifics.

Consider Turing and language. He uses language in a very direct, un-nuanced, literal fashion. And he takes what everyone says as though they were using language the same way. Thus, when the announcement that “We’re going to go get lunch” is made, he takes it as an announcement that everyone else is going to go get lunch; what he fails to recognize is that the announcement is an invitation. And he fails at such recognition of the kinds of language games people play throughout the film.

Turing also had a tendency to appear to people to…

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Public parenting and social anxiety

The description that Susanne quotes in this post fits so well…

(Sorce: The description is from here. )

Meanwhile, in the real world...

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I had been writing a post about how much I’ve been struggling with parenting in public – I sobbed myself to sleep over it on Saturday night and have felt miserable for the last few days. But then another blog I read made mention of social anxiety and the example they gave resonated with me, it was yet another “Oh me too!” moment. It also made me realise I didn’t really understand what social anxiety is, that there is more to it than I thought, and so I decided to do a little googling. The first internet hit had me literally saying “Bingo!”

People with social anxiety disorder usually experience significant emotional distress in the following situations:

  • Being introduced to other people
  • Being teased or criticised
  • Being the centre of attention
  • Being watched while doing something
  • Meeting people in authority (“important people”)
  • Most social encounters, especially with strangers
  • Going around…

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Inclusive autistic traits

This is brilliant. I’m reblogging so that I can find it more easily but also as a help to others…

autisticality

Problems

Autism is big and messy and confusing, and no-one really understands it. It’s difficult to make a good summary and description of autistic traits, because generally no-one can agree on what autism actually is. But even taking that into account, I’ve never read a satisfactory article or leaflet summarising and describing autistic traits.  Every description I’ve ever read suffered from at least one of these problems:

  • Wrongly weighted. So many descriptions of autism written by neurotypical people focus completely on social traits. Often autism is described as an entirely social thing, and any other differences are considered incidental if they’re mentioned at all.
  • Vague. The “triad of impairments” is the worst offender here. It divides social traits arbitrarily into “interaction”, “communication”, and “imagination”, but there is absolutely no clear distinction between those categories. They’re meaningless and useless divisions that don’t remotely simplify the description, and so they serve no useful purpose…

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Dear Neurotypical friends…

I’m reblogging this fab post by Laina as this is so close to my own experience…

the silent wave

I may have a social disability. I may say or do things that seem strange to you or put you off or leave you wondering.

This could–and sometimes does–lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary hurt feelings, on either side–or both sides.

I wantto be your friend. It’s just that aspects of life that the general population may take for granted as natural and intuitive are, for me, anything but. Aspects like communication (whether verbal or by way of facial expressions and/or body language), socialization, etiquette, and so on and on and on.

It’s not you; it’s me. Well, actually, it’s our intersection. It’s not a character flaw, just a neurodevelopmental variant. It happens, and it’s OK.

I’ll explain. In fact, I’ll provide you with a mini-handbook, a roadmap to the inside of the social areas of my brain.

I’m just not into gossip. I’m not into hearing about people I…

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Intense World Theory of Autism and Problems With Understanding Metaphors

An Intense World

Given what I have read here and there about mirror neurons, I was somewhat interested in reading Gregory Hickok’s “The Myth of Mirror Neurons.” However, after this excerpt in which he discusses autism, I am definitely going to have to get the book.

Hickok provides evidence against the idea that autism is a deficit; rather, he argues, autism is an excess. People with autism are too sensitive to sounds, touch, others’ emotions, etc. We look away from others’ eyes because the emotions there are too intensely felt by us. Indeed, I have always felt people’s presence quite intensely, and it gets to be tiring, overwhelming after a while. Of course, if you’re looking away, if you’re paying attention to everything else as much as you are paying attention to a person’s face, you are bound to miss any number of social clues.

So the Intense World Theory of autism seems…

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Yesterday…

…I actually experienced what I termed ‘happy contentedness’ for the first time in many weeks. It felt nice. I felt human. I felt alive. I felt cared for.

So what’s happened?

I told you I have started taking the antidepressant, Citalopram. According to instructions I took 10 mg’s daily for a week increasing to 20 mg’s thereafter. Once over the initial side effects I was left constantly fatigued and emotionless. Constant headaches and feeling that my jaw was going to dislocate when I chewed or yawned. I felt drugged to be honest and it wasn’t pleasant. A few days ago I decided to drop down to the one 10 mg pill.

The result is much better. Yay!!! Yesterday was a good day.

Today I needed a quiet day to recuperate from having been out yesterday. I spun 🙂

But, lovely readers, the best result is that I feel hopeful. It’s so glorious to feel hope…to experience it. My once dead flat psyche is awakening.