Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Break

So I'm back from spring break. It was last week. I could get online some, but mostly I made heavy use of the scheduling function blogger has, writing fairly far ahead and setting days posts well in advance. That's because I was traveling on what I think is a pretty good example of Sports Inclusion For Real. I've talked about my ultimate team on occasion, mostly on the Facebook page I think. Some has been good, some less good. They've been good about the times I have used AAC to communicate with them, handled the question of the spring break trip very well, and have been understanding of the fact that it does take me more practice to get good at certain kinds of movements if I ever get good at all. (The ones that are problems are not directly used in gameplay. That might help.) The less good is mostly related to the stuff I have trouble with, movement wise. They don't really get the "complimenting my effort is always fine, but telling me I'm doing a good job when I am very obviously doing horribly is patronizing and bad" thing.  They are starting to get better about that one since I talked to them, which is a good sign. It means that they're willing to learn in their efforts to be good, meaning that they care about actually being good instead of just wanting to look good. See also: not making videos about how great they are for having me on the team, just having me on the team because I'm on it.

So for spring break, what they did was they gave me a heads up of exactly what it was going to be like, and they let me ask for any extra details I needed so that I knew what I would need to prepare for. Then they let me decide if I thought I could manage it or not, which I concluded that I could. I needed to make some preparation, but it wasn't particularly complicated. My iPod, my iPad, my laptop, good headphones, some stim toys, and a heads up to the team at large that if they need to touch me, they should warn me first and do so firmly. (Yeah, I'm one of the Autistics who has a problem with light touch.) I also told them that warning me meant words, not body language, that the reason they needed to warn me was that I wasn't likely to pick up on the body language and warning me in a language I don't understand isn't exactly useful. And guess what? People were good. They didn't ask me to stay at the parties that they had many nights, I was able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. They were a bit confused by my apparent immunity to the coldness of the water in the pool in Florida and the ocean in Georgia, but that confuses most people.

And because I was able to take care of myself, using the iPod for music and headphones to quiet the world at need, the iPad and laptop for reading and writing and AAC if needed (it wasn't needed), I had a good time and I was able to play in all the games in the two tournaments. I'm not the best player on the team, not by a long shot. But I'm getting better at keeping the person I am covering on defense from turning it into a contest of who can sprint faster, which means I can stay on the person I am defending. I'm getting better at getting open, too, and I have been a good thrower for a while. Sure, it took until my fifth year of playing to be an actually decent player instead of being pretty bad, but I eventually got there, and ultimate is even more fun when I'm on a reasonably even footing. I can, shockingly enough, actually play the sport. I earned a few turnovers for my team, caught a few discs, made a few good throws. I kept the person I was on from getting open many times. I even managed not to get injured while playing. The Year (and a half!) Of The Sprained Ankles ended almost a year ago, and I've been in pretty good shape since.

No, injury waited until the last day, after all the tournaments and playing was over. I managed to stub my little toe, and I did so hard enough to draw blood. I feel like that takes skill. I also want it to hurry up and heal, because it hurts to walk on it with shoes. You can probably see how that's a problem with class and with working in a chemical engineering lab. I need to be able to wear closed toed shoes, preferably without ouch. I'm stubborn enough to do so with ouch, though, and I ... kinda did that.

It was still an awesome break, though, and I'll be playing in several more tournaments with my team this season. It's going to be great, just as soon as my toe heals up.

Later update: So when my dyspraxia led to me stubbing my toe on the stairs hard enough to draw blood and all? Yeah, my toe is permanently more pointy than it was, and I did wind up losing the toenail. Actual injury. Actual problem.


  1. I <3 this post. On hearing how you helped people understand what you need for supports and how they are learning to support you. LOVE!

  2. This post gives me hope. I wish it were easier to convince people that compliments on inadequate performance are condescending and destructive and would love to see a blog on that topic.


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