My sister Rowena does not have a blog of her own and has no desire to run one. Nevertheless she is an excellent writer and for #AutismAwarenessWeek she is writing a series of pieces about being autistic and has invited me to share them with people who might be interested.
Views expressed by this autistic may or may not reflect the views of other autistics. This is my personal perspective from my personal experience. I do not have the experience of being a parent and I have never formed friendships or been in a relationship. Do not feel pity for me. I genuinely prefer my own company, even though there are people who I like to spend time with. This year is being unusually brutal, but it is not the isolation that is giving me trouble. Introverts, autistic or not, are likely to have built up better coping skills and I am hoping to share some of those with you. I cannot guarantee that my idea of fun will be your idea of fun, but you never know. I think it is important for anyone, introverted or extroverted, child or adult, male or female “etc. etc. and so forth” to be able to entertain themselves, by themselves. It is vital for everybody’s mental health, especially at a time of crisis. There is no wrong or right way of coping. I will be giving honest perspectives that are not intended to offend or distress you. Since this is Autism Awareness Week, there may be an educational segment. We shall see. Thank you for reading this and please feel free to share with your friends, if you think they might be entertained or interested.
Rowena (Autistic Advocate & “Mute”)
Fee Fie Foe Fun!
Here are some ideas for having fun on your own.
- Read or listen to a book. (I prefer a “proper” book with pages!)
- Watch something. (What you want to watch via DVD or other means.)
- I visit a site where I can play trivia games. (I’m a mine of information.)
- Make a list of whatever you fancy making a list of. (All my books!)
- Play a board game with yourself. (For prizes!)
- Puzzle Books (Dot 2 Dot is my favourite.)
- Computer Games (Hidden Object quests & Matching relax my brain.)
- Drawing (I hand-make cards for my family.)
- Create interesting meals. (Mix cereals together at breakfast time.)
“Would You Like to See?”
The best cartoon aimed at autistics and their families is currently “Pablo” which is about the imagination of an autistic boy who is sensitive and rarely speaks. He has support from his Mum, his Grandmother and other relatives, but he likes to solve problems for himself with the aid of the Book Animals. Pablo has a room full of cuddly animals, just like mine. When he is anxious, he draws pictures and interacts with them. This is when the program turns into a cartoon. The beginning and end are live-action. Noa is a nervous dinosaur, Draff the giraffe is obsessed with facts, Mouse does not like loud noises, Wren sings and flaps, Tang the orangutan is always active and Llama repeats phrases. Each one symbolises an autistic trait. Problems that autistics face in daily lives are addressed in a sensitive manner. The messages are always positive and there are autistic actors involved. I am glad that our voices are starting to be heard.
Here is a link to the title sequence for Season 1.
I hope that this show can help reduce the stigma attached to autism. There have also been positive representations in “Sesame Street” and “Arthur,” so I am pleased that today’s autistic children, who grow to be autistic adults, will have something to relate to. I am from a less enlightened time, but I still managed to find avatars for myself. I did not know that I was autistic, but I definitely did know that I was different. I was not diagnosed until my 40’s. I am positive about autism and believe that a diagnosis does help some autistics to understand and accept themselves. It all depends on the individual. It is definitely not all doom and gloom and the best people to teach you about autism are autistics themselves.
Goodbye and take care of each other and most importantly, Be Kind.