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

Monday, December 17, 2012

Interview With Jill of Spectrum: The Film

There is a project called Spectrum, The Film, which will be making a short documentary about autism and sensory perception for Autistic people. The person running it interviewed me over email, and this is what was said. You can also find it here Have a read!

  • Alyssa (ME): My name is Alyssa, and I blog at Yes, That Too. I asked my mother if I was autistic when I was eight, making me the first person to put the pieces together by approximately five years (Lydia of Autistic Hoya was the second, soon followed by much of my high school including the psychologist.) Somehow, it still took until April 2012 for someone to actually diagnose me. In any case, I'm 20 years old, study mathematics, engineering, and Chinese, and seem to have acquired autism as my latest autistic obsession. Whoops.
  • Jill: I'm amazed that you were able to identify yourself at such a young age. It's great to hear you are studying three incredibly awesome and useful subjects! First question: How would you describe your autistic sensory perception?
  • Alyssa: My autistic sensory perception is interesting, to say the least. My *whichever one is the name for knowing where my body is in space* isn't quite useless, though it is close to it. My spacial reasoning is great as long as my body isn't one of the objects I need to reason about.
  • My hearing is slightly better than average- I can hear quieter things than most people and I can hear both higher and lower notes than most people. (Something like 16-25000Hz instead of the 20-20000Hz that is supposed to be average.) However, the maximum volume I can have is dependent on a lot of things- even small noises will make me jump if they are sudden/unexpected, and loud noises often physically hurt. I jumped at the school bell all the way through my senior year. There are also certain frequencies that are painful, mostly higher ones. Also I can't really process multiple people talking at once. Sound is one of the big factors in sensory-based meltdowns.
  • Taste-wise, I tend to be mostly OK, though I can't stand anything mint.
  • Vision-wise, flashing lights are my biggest issue. I'm not going to have a seizure (no epilepsy, thankfully), but yeah. Sensory badness. Once fluorescents start flickering, they are bad, though the same can be said for flickering incandescents...
  • I tend to be OK with most textures for wearing, though stockings, tights, and leggings are all out of the question. For food, rubbery textures (eggs) and yogurt-like textures are problematic. On bad days, I can't even have pudding. I feel like I'm missing some, but I can't really remember what all issues I have except for running into them.
  • Jill: Is there anything that you do to help your body know where it is in space?
  • Alyssa: Not really. I've just gotten used to the fact that I crash into things/walk into walls.
  • Jill: Seems like a fair adaptation. :) Have your other sensory issues changed or improved over time?
  • Alyssa: My tolerance for some of the textures has gotten better over time. Other sensory stuff varies with stress and energy levels- higher tolerance when I am under less stress and have more energy.
  • Jill: If you had a billion dollars to spend on making the world a more sensory-friendly place, what would you do?
  • Alyssa: I would lobby to outlaw strobe lights outside clubs. (Yes, this would include banning them for cop cars/ambulances. They can figure something else out.) I would also fund research to find a way to signal class changes with something other than the current school bells and get them ALL changed. Given how corrupt government is, I'm not sure how much I would have left after this, but I'd get noise-cancelling headphones for as many people as possible after that, with me first.
  • Jill: Haha! I think if you had a billion dollars, you should absolutely be the first one to get noise-cancelling headphones. Thank you so much for sharing with me. I look forward to following your blog, Yes That Too @
You can find more information about Spectrum: The Film on Facebook, Twitter, or their main website. They are raising funds for the project on Indiegogo as well.

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