Autism, how it feels

Pick a theory on what causes autism.  You already  have an opinion so pick a theory that validates your opinion.  That’s what most people do. There are probably some seeds of truth in most professional theories. 

You’re wasting your time. You’d be better served to understand what it feels like to live with classic autism. 

Walk into a public place. See the lights? Stare at all the lights. Some are flickering, some are colored. Keep looking.  Children wear shoes with lights that flash on and off as they walk. All advertising is lit. People wear watches with lighted dials. The lights are pulsating.  The list is long.

Now, listen to the noise. People talking, babies crying, muzak changes from shop to shop. Instructions coming from speakers. “Billy, please meet your parents at the food court.”

Smells. Perfumes, foods, cleaning supplies. The janitorial staff dragging buckets. Hear the wheels, smell the water.

Temperature changes from doors opening, body heat from crowds. People touch you. They get too close.

Multiple all this sensory input by 100. Most of us can filer out 95%. We do it automatically. Autistic people do not filter. They see, hear, feel, smell everything.  Armies and prisons use sensory overload as a form of torture. 

If repetitive, rocking movement or flipping a card bothers you, too bad. It’s a coping mechanism; a method used to fixate in an attempt to stop some of it from pentatrating. 

I don’t have the answers. I don’t know the causes. I’m just asking you to try to experience your own life without your filters. I’ve tried. I didn’t make it long. I’m asking you to see the world the way they do. Have compassion.

I’ve worked with this population for years. Occasionally an autistic child would reach out and briefly touch my hand, just for a second. He was saying,  “Thank you for knowing. ” 

I advocate for them. Even if you disagree, thank you for listening. 

25 thoughts on “Autism, how it feels

      1. However I have been. Teaching for almost 4 years. And I remember the post you wrote on November 15 about seeking help with telling your story. I’d like to help if I can.

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      2. Attempt to Evade Love is chapter 1 and has been 30 years in gestation. Lost at Sea was what came next in the story and the thing that had put it all on hold for so long. Writing a sex scene is hard, especially if it was a mystical experience. A lot of women didn’t like it. I was surprised by their comments. Repressed sexuality or emotional castration. Whatever it was, it’s confused me.

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      3. Ok. Where do I look to see these? Honestly sex is seriously amazing. And I hate that it is used as a means of control. I plan to write about it when I have to opportunity. I already wrote about being the angel of death and the anti Christ. The whore of babylon is my next stop

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      4. I wish there was a better way to communicate. You won’t find the comments on my blog. The same day I wrote lost at sea a may wrote a post on writing sex scenes. He told me I was brave. He couldn’t write what I had written. The comments are on his blog.

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      5. That is, I am offering to help. You don’t have to do anything or whatever. 🙂 just putting it out there. I can’t promise anything. I dunno. Just.. I dunno. Things are just easier with someone else by your side. You know?

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  1. I assume this is the post you were referring to? I know you said it was about autism. I love what you shared here. Yes, you capture well the sensory hell that many of us with autism live in. It is interesting because some autistic people can be hyposensitive to stimuli, but others (like me) are extremely hypersensitive to any kind of sensory input. I do think there are some gifts to this sensitivity. I think as well as being bothered by more things, we experience other things more deeply and meaningfully than perhaps many neurotypicals do. We are often more deeply moved and affected by music, art, nature, literature, and many other sources of sensory input. With our special interests, we can almost experience a kind of euphoria.

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