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

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I love explaining my autism to people who know they don't know!

That's not sarcasm, by the way. Explaining what I need and possibly why to someone who thinks they know all about autism is really hard, because what I need and what people tend to think all "people with autism" need is really different. I don't care if the dorm you stick us in is dirty as long as it's not of the "going to make me sick" kind. I don't care if the restaurant you want to take us all to is dirty as long as it's not of the "going to make me sick" kind. I probably don't even care if it's loud. I care that the noises aren't of the specific kinds that will trigger my sensory issues, but general loud isn't always a problem. Crowded subways? Crowded bus? Navigating new locations? Fine, fine, and fine. And of course, my education can go just fine without my being "table ready." Demanding that I be so is actually where we're going to get into trouble!
And the things I do need? Might not be unusual, but they're not things that you would think of for a small child, which means that people probably won't think of them: people hear autism and tend to think of small children, not adults. Touching me without warning is bad. Flash photography is bad. When I can speak, I'm pretty impressively verbal, but yes, selective mutism is a thing. "If I'm hurt and I say 'ow' as it happens, it's probably not serious, but if I'm silent that's a bad sign." That's not something people usually expect. But it's the way I am.
The extent to which it is better? I'd rather explain this stuff in Chinese without dictionary access (that's what I did right before I started writing) than explain to someone who thinks they know when they don't. But the info that my academic director got? One of the things in it was that each person would be different and you should see how it applies to them. That's one of the most important things, I think: none of it is going to be universal, though much of it will be good as prompts of "is this accurate" or for letting us modify to how we specifically are. Having a fairly specific prompt is really helpful for me.

1 comment:

  1. What has been your experience with asking for and receiving accommodations, whether at school or at jobs? Just curious, so that I can pass your experience along.


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