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, October 9, 2015

And then I played sports

No, really.
I'm not good at sports, but I play on my universities ultimate (Frisbee) team. I have every year I've been on campus, except the semester that I had a broken foot.

I am also a part time AAC user, because I'm not always able to speak, and I'm also dyspraxic, and I tend not to process movement as quickly as my teammates.

This year, because the incidence of injury has been increasing (I broke my nose playing this sport in high school, but the worst that's happened to me in college is getting cleated) all of the players had to do a concussion recognition training. I actually think this is a good idea, but I needed to clarify a few things for my teammates and coach because the training assumed a neurotypical player for their baseline.

This is pretty much what I told them, shared in case it comes in handy for any of my fellow autistic athletes. I know more of us exist.

  1. Changes in speech: If speech is completely gone, or if it's slow and halting, this means very little. These could happen as a result of a major injury, but these could also happen because I am tired, hungry, thirsty, hot, cold, sore, stressed, or because I made actual eye contact with someone. 
    1. HOWEVER, if my speech is slurred, that is a sign of something unusual. My regular language issues don't include slurred speech.
    2. HOWEVER, if I'm also having trouble writing or typing beyond the expected difficulties doing so in the current level of cold, that is a sign of something unusual. My normal-for-me instances of speech going kaput leave typing and writing unaffected.
  2. Appearing to move clumsily: I'm dyspraxic. Any way of moving that I haven't done many times, and recently, is going to be clumsy. Flapping my hands is also TOTALLY NORMAL, along with rocking.
    1. HOWEVER, if I'm clumsy at something I normally do smoothly, like throwing a flat forehand, that is a sign of something unusual.
  3. Appearing confused on the field: I process movement a bit slower than most people. My pattern recognition is good enough that I can cover for this when everyone is moving in patterns I recognize, at which point I can even appear to have faster than average processing and reflexes, but I don't.
    1. HOWEVER, if I'm showing confusion about plays I've mastered, that is a sign of something unusual.
  4. General overload (same causes that lead to my losing speech) can reduce the threshhold for clumsiness or confusion. So if I only recently mastered a way of moving or only recently mastered a new play on the field, and then I'm overloaded, me falling apart at those isn't actually surprising.
  5. I will show behavioral changes that indicate (nearly all) injuries before I am aware of being injured. So if I seem to be favoring an injured leg but haven't said anything about an injured leg... ask me. If you get me thinking about the leg, and it's injured, I might be able to tell you that I'm injured, even if I hadn't noticed it before.


  1. I have marginal to no spatial awareness or intrinsic sense of orientation. I am in my school's marching band and I'm usually spotted easily due to my posture (standing straight, flute parallel to the ground).

  2. I've heard at some schools they actually do an individual assessment on each player before the season starts... that way they have a record of what is normal for that individual player, instead of waiting until the player gets injured and then comparing him to whatever general baseline they have. I think that makes a lot of sense... after all, all brains are different!

    1. That reminds me of why my neuroscience Prof liked the military. When applying to the military, soldiers get a bunch of cognitive tests to decide if they'd make suitable soldiers. Then, if they get a brain injury, you have a good baseline to compare against.


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