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

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

Friday, May 18, 2012

Some Supports are FREE, actually. (You don't pay a cent for my accommodations, so shut up.)

So, I'm still pissy about the Tumblr post, so have more issues I had with it:

Um, supports and accommodations aren't always expensive, and aren't always being paid for out of your tax money. A decent bit comes from private donations or our own pockets. And... some of the most useful accommodations are FREE. In fact, all of the accommodations I would ask for are completely free to give me and can be done informally quite easily.
1)      Don't freak out when I'm not looking you in the eye. If you're telling me something that needs my full attention, I may divert the ``look people in the eye or at least fake it" attention towards what you're saying, and then I won't be looking at you.
2)      If my body language and my words say different things, go with the words. Autistic body language and neurotypical body language aren't the same, so my body language might not be saying what you think it's saying anyways.
3)      I own noise-canceling headphones. When I'm working independently or communicating electronically, I'd like to be able to use them, since I have very sensitive ears.
4)      I flap my hands in a bunch of different ways for a bunch of different reasons. At the very least when I'm working independently at my desk, and preferably everything except formal meetings, I'd like you to be OK with the hand-flapping. Flapping doesn't hurt anyone, and not flapping takes some attention if I have a reason to flap.
5)      If I say I don't want to eat something, don't push it. I have some sensory weirdness, and that might be why I don't want whatever food you just offered me.
6)      If you want to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention, do so with a bit of force. Light touch makes me jump.
7)      If it's important that I understand something, don't be sarcastic about it or ask a rhetorical question about it. I don't always pick up on sarcasm or the fact that questions are rhetorical.
8)      Don't ask ``Do you want to do X?" unless you actually mean to give me the choice and are OK with me NOT doing X. Because that's a yes or no question, and I don't always get rhetorical questions.
9)      Flashing strobe lights drive me NUTS. Be OK with the fact that I will not go clubbing with you.
10)  Don't assume my being autistic or having sensory issues means I can't do Y unless I've told you I can't do Y. Every autistic is different, and what I can and can't do might not be what you expect. (Also, be OK with it on the extremely rare occasion that I tell you there is no way for me to do Y. I can almost always come up with some sort of lifehack, though.)
And that's it. None of those cost you a cent. None of those cost the taxpayers a cent. None of those cost anyone a cent, and I can be more productive with those, so you might get more profit out of me to boot! So yeah, what was that about all autistics costing extra taxpayer money? I didn't have formal accommodations in K-12 either. The extra stuff I did that cost money had nothing to do with being autistic and needing supports: I took piano lessons, went to the Russian School of Mathematics because I was ahead in math, was a girl scout, and eventually played some sports. And there are plenty of other people with various disabilities where the accommodations they need are just as free.
(That's not to say that people with disabilities never cost extra money. Plenty do, especially people who need an aid because of inability to drive or who are in some sort of therapy related to their disability. You just can't assume that disability must mean expensive, because sometimes it doesn't.)


  1. This is great. These are all reasonable and not difficult for neurotypicals to do. Most of these are the same for me as well, minus the strobe one; i frequently attend raves and electronic music concerts/festivals.

  2. I don't get the look in the eye thing. I don't listen with my eyes!


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