Autism Acceptance Month – Day 20 – Reoccurr...

Many Autistics have special interests, which are interests that they absorb themselves in. I am no exception. I have a few that reoccur or rotate throughout the year. My big ones are Pokémon, Harry Potter, and Dolls.  I do have many more, but the list is way too big for me to remember them all at this moment. My bigger ones tend to rotate throughout the year, usually depending on if a new book, movie, or game relating to one of them has come out. Usually I only focus on one special interest at a time. Last fall, the world had a different idea. Both the new Fantastic Beasts movie and the new Pokémon games were released on the same night. I was happy flapping and info dumping so much about both to my husband. Somehow, I did manage to split my time researching both things – when I am focused on any special interest I do tons of research on the subject to either learn about or update myself on it.

The three special interests I listed above are actually lifelong ones for me, to which I have now added Autism research as well. Pokémon has been part of my life for 19 years, Harry Potter about 17 years, and doll collecting… technically since I was a kid, so 20+, however the kind I mainly collect now just hit 10 years. I always come back to these interests, although sometimes I get distracted by others. When I am focused on one of my big ones all I want to do is talk about it and nothing else. It’s very hard to get my attention away from them, though I have gotten better over the years on listening to friends and letting them info dump as well.

I am very happy that my online store allows me to combine all these interests. I sometimes get to make weighted plushies of Pokémon or magical creatures. I also get to make doll clothing to sell. The weighted plush and stim toys fit in with being Autistic and wanting to help others like me.

I love seeing other Autistics get happy flappy about their special interests. And I really love it when I find others who have the same ones as I do, so we can info dump and flap together!

Autism Acceptance Month – Day 19 – Two Year...

As of today, it has been two years since I discovered I was Autistic. It’s been quite the journey since April 19th, 2015. I have learned so much about myself in the past two years.

What I have learned:
• I am not broken
• I sometimes go non-verbal (and that is okay)
• Stimming is a natural part of being Autistic
• To stim when I need to – to help regulate sensory input or for fun
• To take time when needed for self care – such as naps, or playing a video game
• To advocate for or about my needs to others
• To better explain why I do the things I do or have done in the past
• That many things I thought were weird things only I did, many other Autistics also do
• That I’m not alone in the world – there is an online community full of other Autistics
• That many of my really close friends are also Autistic
• To accept myself as-is and be myself. No matter what!

I love who I am and who I have become in the past two years. I finally understand myself. I no longer feel lost in the world, which is a really great feeling. It’s been amazing to finally learn the words that I need to explain my experiences to others. I hope I can help those who read my blog understand themselves better too!

Autism Acceptance Month – Day 18 – The Phon...

The dreaded phone. Why is it hard? Why does anyone like it? Why do people try to force us to use it?

I simply cannot do phones unless I am talking to someone I am comfortable with, such as my husband, a close friend, or close family member. I go non-verbal, my brain freezes up, and words do not want to work if I have to talk to someone I do not know on the phone. There are a few instances where I can talk myself into calling places. In those situations, I rely on scripts I have written up to read from. If the conversation deviates from what I have scripts for then I start having issues.

When I was younger I could talk to friends on the phone for hours – keyword there is “friends”. Now I very much prefer to talk to my friends online via some kind of chat interface. Sometimes we do Skype calls or Discord calls, and those freak me out as well, unless (again) with really close friends.

I hate hate hate having to use the phone to make any sort of appointments. I do not understand why places cannot accept emailed answers to their questions. It would be so much easier for both parties, as most of the time the people on the other end of the phone seem to mishear me. For most of my appointments, I found ZocDoc which allows me to make them online, but sometimes places still want to call me, which is highly aggravating.