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

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thank blob April is almost over

Today is the last day of April. For family reasons, I wasn't online all that much in the last week and a half of the month (this was good and I should probably arrange to spend as much of April as possible too busy to be online in the future, except for the part where if I'm that busy I am also working towards a burnout and I need to fall the heck over now.)

Even so, autism nonsense and attention paid to it tended to be at a high. Sometimes this is useful. Like when one of our own needs a social media crisis thrown against a discrimination issue: Niko won a competition for a trip but doesn't get to go because of his disability.

Sometimes it's frustrating: do I really need to answer for the n+1st time that I am an autistic person, not a person with autism? There exists a cat named autism because autistic humor is a thing, but I do not live with this cat. Do I need to explain for the n+1st time that no, I don't think organization XYZ can be reformed in a way that would make it helpful for autistic people? (Organization XYZ is usually, but not always, Autism Speaks.)

Sometimes it's scary: I don't really need to be reminded just how far many parents are willing to go in order to "get their child back" from this scary autism thing, or what they do when nothing "works." I don't need all the reminders of why I'm scared for (not of, for,) autistic kids today. (A lot of other people do seem to need the reminder, but they don't seem to be the ones getting it, or understanding why this is scary.)

And it drops back to somewhat normal levels tomorrow.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Are you still afraid of anything?

I got asked that yesterday.

Thought the first: You're joking, right? Anxiety is a big problem for me. What's wrong? I dunno, but something must be. (Or sometimes I do know, the thing I'm worrying about is unlikely to impossible, and my brain is just being a troll. Or sometimes I do know, the thing I'm worrying about has actually happened to me before, and I therefore can't tell my brain it's just being a troll.) ... yeah we just asked someone who has anxiety if they're scared of anything. The answer to that question is yes. This does not seem complicated?

Thought the next: The person asking me this has seen me dealing with a thing I'm afraid of ... pretty often, actually. I'm scared of heights. Like, really scared of heights. I can (and often do) have bad moments with the fear of heights when walking down stairs kind of scared of heights. That might be related to my having fallen down the stairs when I was younger. Here's some things they've seen me do:
  • Go on tall roller coasters, including Batman and Superman (Bizzaro?) at the nearest Six Flags.
  • Zip line between mountains.
  • Rappel down a 150 foot waterfall.
  • Climb "rock" climbing walls to nearly the top (but also get stuck 3 feet up a bunch of times.)
  • Ski.
  • Descend stairs. Remember, that can and does set off my fear of heights.
Thought the next: I'm afraid of driving. That's part of why I didn't get a liscense until I was 23. It's also a fairly rational fear, for several reasons. First, I've got sensory processing issues that make driving overloading. If I'm starting off in good shape and with a lot of energy, I can drive safely, but I hate it. Second, I tend to lose speech when I drive. Getting pulled over while non-speaking, even as a white person, sounds like a seriously bad time. Thanks, but no thanks. And yes, this person knew that my not driving was related to a fear of driving.

Thought the last: I am (sometimes/somewhat unwisely) Gryffindor. Looking at my behavior in order to tell if I'm scared or not tends not to work very well, because my inclination when I'm scared is to do the thing anyways. Scared of heights? Yes, let's go on the roller coaster. That sound great. Looking at how I act in order to tell what scares me works even less well because I, like many (most? probably most) autistic people, have been taught not to show or act on fear or discomfort because it's "weird" or "faking for attention." (Spoiler alert: It may well be weird, but I am definitely not faking. Stuff that doesn't bother other people is often painful for me, and vice versa.) And ... this person is one of the people who's denied that people's perceptions could possibly work the way mine do. So their not being able to tell when I'm scared? Not just because I'm (sometimes/somewhat unwisely) Gryffindor.