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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The "High Functioning Blogger"

So, I figured I'd run down what people seem to think is true of the autistic bloggers And I will point out which parts of the stereotype I do/don't meet and why each one is false.
  • We are all considered high functioning by doctors. (I probably would be, since I can talk, but it's iffy because I have hurt myself stimming.) [Doctors can't agree on who is and isn't high functioning... because functioning labels have big problems. Which means we've got bloggers who haven't been given any functioning label, bloggers who've gotten both high and low at different points/from different people, and basically any other way of being considered for these labels.]
  • We all speak. (I usually do, but not always. I am a part time AAC user.) [I believe I have listed non-speaking autistic bloggers before? I've met some of them too.]
  • We have difficulty in social situations. (It depends on the situation.) [I think most of us do in at least some situations. It's just not the biggest problem we have.]
  • This social awkwardness is our biggest autism issue. (NOPE NOPE NOPE. Sensory processing issues are much worse. So is people being mean about stimming. Executive dysfunction is a problem too.) [Bahahahaha. I think that people taking away AAC devices when they think no one is watching or getting death threats over telling people you deserve to be treated like a human being or sensory processing issues or motor skills issues are worse.]
  • We don't have those "other medical cooties." (Pretty much, actually. Sensory processing issues, dyspraxia, stuff like that, but if I have anything life-threatening it's news to me.) [Amy's got epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Kassiane has epilepsy and adrenal failure and I forget what all else. Henry has a hearing impairment. One of the moderators for autistic eagle has a pain disorder and is immunocompromised. Amanda Baggs has gastroparesis, uses a wheelchair, has some sort of movement disorder. Jim Sinclair uses a wheelchair, no I don't know why.]
  • We don't have public meltdowns. (That totally explains why I melted down three times in front of the same teacher this past summer. AKA NOPE.) [Autistic Hoya blogged about one too. So yes, some of us do.]
  • We all have the Aspergers diagnosis. (Nope.) [Speech delay disqualifies you from Aspergers, as does never speaking. Remember those non-speaking bloggers? How about the ones who just had speech delays, like Julia and Kassiane- Kassiane was diagnosed before Aspergers was considered a thing?]
  • We're obsessed with social justice. (Not really. I just get to engage my actual obsessions offline. And I don't think trying to make people stop dehumanizing me is social justice.) [Life experiences and social justice aren't the same.]
  • We think all the autistic kids are like us. (No, I'm well aware they aren't all just like me. I've met some of them, remember? I think E from The Third Glance is just like me, though.) [The bloggers are sufficiently varied that we can come up with someone similar. And we're aware that we're not even all like each other, so we can't think every individual kid is like every single one of us.]
  • We don't stim in public. (I've had everything on my desk including my pen confiscated in a failed attempt to make me stop fidgeting. I flapped all through some of my finals. I've flapped in front of every in-person employer I've ever had. I made chainmail out on the desk in class.) [Kassiane posted a picture of herself stimming in public too. It's not just me.]
  • We're all good at math. (I am.) [Autistic Hoya isn't. And she hates it, too.]
  • We hate parents of autistic kids. (Not usually, but I don't usually trust you unless you earn it first, either.) [And that's pretty common. We kind of have reason not to trust you, since it is parents who kill their autistic kids and parents who get the sympathy of other parents when this happens.]
  • We think autism is a blessing. (I think it's sometimes awesome and sometimes stinky.) [Thinking it's sometimes awesome and sometimes stinky, but needs accepting because it's who we are is pretty common.]
I think I've about covered it. Did I miss anything?

1 comment:

  1. One day when I was very fidgety in class, I had all of the following confiscated by my teacher, before I was sent to the principal's office for about my eleventybillionth in-school suspension, in chronological order: A string, another string, an elastic band, two pencils, three clicky pens (I mean the ones with the retractable ink - I love the click-click they make, so I call them clicky pens because it's more descriptive), an eraser, my entire pencil case, my scribbler, my worksheet, one textbook for a different subject (math), one fiction book, a dictionary, a hair elastic I wore around my wrist as a fidget (dunno why - wasn't even bugging anyone else with it), my shoe laces, an apple, an orange, and my entire lunch. When I started tapping my fingers on the desk, the teacher taped my hands to my chair, so I started playing with the strings of my pants. The teacher then told me I could change into my gym clothes or she could take scissors to the strings and elastics I was fidgeting with so I would stop disrupting class. She sent me to the office when I told her that it would be destruction of property for her to damage my pants and that's a crime, and besides, my gym shorts have a string, too, so there's no point to getting me to change, and besides, playing with my strings wasn't bugging anyone so really she was the one disrupting class, not me.

    In addition to the in-school suspension, I got "has a bad attitude," "is disrespectful to adults," and "is disruptive in class" in my school records again.

    ... so, uh, yeah. I definitely have stimmed in public. Still do. I flap all the time at work because I love my job, and nobody makes a big deal out of it. I've overheard coworkers say to new people, "Oh, that? That's just her. She does that when she's happy. If she seems to ignore you, she's probably really absorbed in what she's doing and literally doesn't realize you're there. You can have a conversation right beside her when she's writing and she won't hear any of it, she gets that into what she's doing. It's pretty cool. So don't be hurt if she's doing that. Just tap her on the shoulder or something if it's urgent."

    Also, yes, I can totally not hear any of a conversation being held right in front of me. Hyperfocus for the win, I guess? It caused problems until my coworkers realized that was what was going on and started to make sure I was aware of the conversation before asking me to do stuff (I nod as a stim when I'm focusing on something and usually don't make eye contact when talking work because I'm concentrating, so miscommunications galore! They saw nodding and thought I was acknowledging them, when I was really just thinking about technical drawings of my design for a reaction system).


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