Welcome back! This week, we continue, once again, our look at why we get stressed when confused, continuing on from last week were we looked at how the article ties stress from confusion, and melt downs, together. Basically saying that the stress from confusion comes from living in a world that not only doesn’t understand us, but also expects us to act like we are the same as the wider population, than punishes us whenever we eventually break form the act in nervous break downs (it may seem like an anxity teen thing, the whole world not understanding us and the rest, but to talk to anyone who is Autistic/Aspie, and you will realize that the problem transcends age and affects literally all of us).
When we do act out, it’s not so much with big sighs, or eye rolls, or “OMGS!!!!!!”, but more like people who are actually dealing with an issue that we face everyday.
But wait! it gets even more complicated than that! As bad as living in a world that does not understand us and the rest is, the second part of the problem, expected to act like everyone else, proves to be a unique stressor all its own. Think about it: has any one of us in the Autism/Asperger community naturally knew how to act like an NT? I sure didn’t, and in most cases still don’t, or at least only in passing. We have to learn the various social cues, verbal cues and the rest when interacting with the rest of society. All the while being misunderstood by them and being expected not to show cracks in our facade.
That, the article claims, is like “learning through fear and intimidation which is not learning at all” (THE ASPERGIAN, Paragraph 15, Why Being Confused Is Absolutely Panic-Inducing For Most Autistics). And from there we move on to the articles second point: how society goes about teaching. Our school systems, or at least the ones in Canada as they are the only ones I am familiar with, do tend to teach in one way and one way only: by reading, memorizing and regurgitating information onto tests and exams. Metaphorically regurgitating. Actually regurgitating the answers would bu just unsanitary. All other forms of learning are poo-poo’ed, and any student who tries them, so the article says, is punished (not always severely, but passive aggressively, only the second-worst kind of aggressiveness).
Oh sure, those kids may look like they are having fun, they are really bending under the unyielding one-way doctrine of schools everywhere! See how unreasonably close they are to the paper?
But that’s not how human beings work (not the first time an institution, run by fellow human beings mind you, seemingly forget how the human soul/brain/consciousness works). We all, both NT and diverse, learn in different ways, from hands-on, to visuals, and than some. Some would say that it’s hard to see what’s happening on the street from all the way up in the ivory tower, but I would like to assume that they are rather working in a kind of two or three story ivory office building instead, fixed to their computers for hours on end with minimal human contact. After hours of sitting there with only the screen, some music and the ever-increasing boredom growing on you to keep you company, you’d feel more machine than man yourself. I know that feeling, as I work in a office job myself.
Well, that does it for this week! Next week we will move on to a different topic altogether using my high processing power to search the web for related topics. Shoot, I mean type in commands on my computer, to search the web for related topics (nailed it that time). But until than, this continues to be, the Artificial Intelligence. I mean The Audacious Aspie.
Welcome back! This week we will continue our look at why Autistics/Aspies often feel chaotic when confused (chaotic as in there normal routine is disrupted, not chaotic as in they suddenly become anarchist’s or agents of chaos like the Joker). Last week I talked about why I thought we felt some/a lot of stress when confused (depends on the severity of the confusion), while I stated before hand that I would be reviewing the site THE ASPERGIAN and their article on the subject. How’s that for confusion? But anyways, lets get back to subject from the source in the hot seat shall we?
I Tried To Find A Picture Of A Seat Either Literally On Fire, Or In An Interrogation-Like Scene, But Than I Found This And Thought: Why Not? Let The Subject Try To Stand On A Chair Like This For Hours On End. Just As Uncomfortable As Actually Sitting On A Fire-Chair.
So why, according to THE ASPERGIAN, do we feel insecurity when confused? First, it wants to talk about meltdowns. There is a belief, so it says, among most of those who are not Autistic/Aspie that meltdowns are part and parcel of, well, being Autistic/Aspie. The author of the article for ASPERGIAN disagrees, and frankly so do I. Rather, as the ASPERGIAN author notes, it’s not that simple. For those of you who are Autistic/Aspie, you most likely already know what a meltdown is, and that it has nothing to do with a nuclear power plant. But for the un-initiated, it’s basically what happens when our senses are overwhelmed (lots of flashing lights coupled with loud music/noises and lots of movement, for example), followed on the heels by an overwhelming emotional response (varies from person to person, from what I do, which is to completely shut down or to refuse to speak or acknowledge the environment around us, to acting out).
But, the article notes, that while it is not inevitable in and of itself, it is basically inevitable for us Autistics/Aspies living in an NT world. The whole Apple in a Mac world kind of scenario (or is it Mac in an Apple world? I can never remember). If you’re not aware of this phrase, or don’t know what it means, it’s basically an Apple (or Mac) living in the Macs world, having to play by their rules: act the way they act, speak the way they speak, and so on with out seeming like a fish out of water. Talk to any Autistic/Aspie, or if your one yourself, than you know the kind of skills it takes to pull that off.
It’s Like Practicing To Run In The Olympics, Except You Do It Everyday For No Real Gain Or Recognition For It Either.
Now, the article says, this does not happen once, or twice, but repeatedly through out our lives day by day. With all that strain coming down on Autistic’s/Aspie’s, or indeed anyone, it’s no surprise that they eventually break down. In our case, it takes the form of a melt down. But the problem isn’t in the fact that we have melt downs, its rather how the outside world, the NT world, reacts. Rather than attempting to calm us down, or find out what, or who, is it that has set us off, they rebuke us instead for acting out. For not being able to keep up the charade of being an NT when we are not. The perp in the mean time is let off the hook.
Well, this does it for this weeks post! Next week we will continue our look at the article, possibly finding out why we Autistics/Aspies feel anxious when confused. But until than you’ll just have to make do with feeling confused for now (don’t worry, it’ll pass. It’s not like the world keeps coming up with conundrums like: Why did a world leader say that? Did a celebrity really just do that? Is that really a smart thing to go to war over?) but until than, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.
Welcome back! This week we will be looking at a topic that, while it may seem relevant to everyone, really does not hit home unless you are, let’s say, different-abled. When Autistic’s get together the topic tends to follow ‘you know how sometimes when…’ or ‘you know how most times…’ When they are talking about is how confusion creates stress, and how both go hand in hand with chaos. Then it becomes a vicious circle.
SORT OF LIKE THIS, BUT NOT AS DRAMATIC, OR VIOLENT, OR COOL-LOOKING. ALTHOUGH, THIS IS A GOOD REPRESENTATION OF WHAT CHAOS WOULD LOOK LIKE IN OUR MINDS.
Why is it that when it comes to feeling confused, people who are different-abled tend to also feel stressed or overwhelmed? An article from THE ASPERGIAN (their all-caps, not mine. I just type’em) claims that it may have the answer (some where, it goes on a bit about meltdowns). I have my own theory as to why we feel stressed/anxious when confused: our routine is disrupted. Not everyone who is Autistic/Aspie is the same or will react in the same way to the same situation. So say for example when Jean’s routine is disrupted, causing confusion, he may feel some stress about the situation, but not enough to paralyze him for long, or to cause him to react excessively. Rather he keeps a semi-cool head, and tries to figure out how to solve the problem.
Samantha, on the other hand, does not react well to her routine being disrupted and confusion occurs. She either freezes, has a meltdown or leaves the situation. Then tries to calm down before she can deal with it again. In both of these situations, chaos has followed confusion, as confusion has disrupted their sense of normalcy. As you can see, it’s not a simple “oh God, gotta deal with this now” thing for Autistics/Aspies, but (from my experience) get’s better with experience. Which is just a nice way of saying it’ll get easier as you get older.
Now, I don’t mean that the stress of facing chaos gets any less, but rather you learn to deal with it better. If we can go back to the previous examples of Jean and Samantha, we can assume that Jean is some years older than Samantha as he acts like someone who has gone through this many a time before, he knows how to handle it. In geeky terms: the monster is still just as powerful as it was before, but as you progress through the game your stats will increase exponentially, picked up enough magical items and learned some new skills to deal with it, whenever it shows its ugly demonic hide again.
(SIGH), SPRING AND SUMMER. THE TIME WHEN THE LAND IS FULL OF LIFE, THE OUTDOORS ARE GREAT, AND THE YOUNG BEGIN THE NEW RITUAL OF ALWAYS HUNTING FOR WORK.
Well that does it for this weeks post. You may be wondering why I am posting less frequently these days, and I have an excuse ready in hand: work. Lots of work. If you are reading this in Canada, you may know already that it is the summer time, and therefore the time for young people, like me, to find some part time work or two or three or four. Make money for the next post-secondary semester, or to get that car you’ve been pining for, or just because you’re a masochist and hate the idea of rest. Until than, this continues to be, The Audacious Aspie.
Welcome back! I have an announcement to make and a couple of things to say. First, the announcement. As some of you are probably already aware, I have been trying to walk the tight rope for a few years of writing posts, not coming down firmly on either the pro-Autism awareness side or Autism acceptance side. Rather I was going to wait on getting a large enough readership first before I publicly went one way or another, so that in the event I did lose some, or a lot, of readership, I would still maintain most of my readership and therefore above water, so to speak.
But it’s my blog and I see no reason why I must continue to try to walk that tight rope, rather I am now stating what side I am for. I, am pro-Autism Acceptance. Awareness can only get us so far, that now is the time for us, the Autistic/ Asperger community to change our slogan (or whatever you wish to call it): we do not need awareness anymore. Now we need acceptance.
Now with the announcement out of the way, I have a few other things that I will need to say as well. Last month I made a mistake in not doing proper research (a major sin on my part, concerning how in university they drill it into your heads to research, research, research. May the gods and goddesses of post-secondary education have mercy on me) and supporting, unknowingly, an organization that is known for being, well, less than supportive of people in the community, even though they claim to support us.
For that I apologize once again, I well do my due diligence in the future. But yet despite my repeated apologies, I am still seen as anti-spectrum. This is far from the truth. Myself being on the spectrum, I know exactly what it’s like. I have readers who are parents of kids on the spectrum, teachers of kids on the spectrum, and people on the spectrum themselves. I don’t speak of my personal experiences because its not what this blog is about. Ask me privately and I may tell you. May being the operative word, as I’m a very private person . On this blog I give opinions of others in order to generate discussions. Sometimes I support these ideas, other times I do not. From now on I will try to say whether I do or do not support the ideas. But either way, we can all learn something from reading them, even if only to further our own private opinions.
Well that does it for this weeks post. Next week, as always, will be a different topic altogether. What topic will that be? You will just have to see, or read in this case. Until than, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.