#LightItRed – Autism Acceptance Month reflection

HAPPY APRIL EVERYONE!!!

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You know what that means- April is recognized as Autism Acceptance Month! Notice how I didn’t say awareness– we will get into that in a moment. But this month is very important for all of us not only to educate people as to what this month really means but also some misconceptions and maybe some news to many other people.

Why #LightItRed instead of blue? Well…think for one second. When I say “Autism Organization.” Who do you think of? That’s right, I can read your mind! It’s Autism Speaks most likely. They were the ones to start the “#LightItBlue” campaign a long time ago.  Well…..got some news and LOTS of “tea” to spill about this organization.

Why they are a hate group.

Autism Speaks, while with good intentions of educating the masses about the disorder, they do it very poorly and has effected millions of people- they don’t respect us.

They view Autism as a “burden” and something that should be “fixed”- hence why the puzzle piece is their logo. They treat Autism as if it was an epidemic in our country that needs to be fixed!!!!1! (please note the sarcasm). Imagine being called a burden by people who want to help you. It’s not a good feeling and it makes us feel less valuable and less respected.

Where does the money go? – Fear mongering and promoting a false stigma.

This video called “I am Autism” is an example of their fear mongering of Autistic folk. (A trigger warning for ableism in this video.) Some of the lines in this video are disgusting like they say Autism “knows where you live” and “works faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined.” …..I’m sorry we are NOT dying. Most of the money many people have donated to this organization has gone towards advertising and campaigning AGAINST Autistic people.

This article provides an overview from an actual Autistic person about the organization, their experiences and how they view them.

They don’t speak for us at all, this is true because there are NO Autistic people on their board, only nerotypical people who think they know everything about it from reading about it and not having the actual disorder. The chart below from “autismadvocacy.org” show accurate information about where the money is going towards and a “too long didn’t read” version of the information I have shared above.

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Why you should light it up and wear #RedInstead

Using the word “Acceptance” rather than “Awareness” helps us be more accepted in a community that want to help us through our struggles and teach others about the disorder. We are not a burden.

The #LightItUpBlue tag shows something that is a common gender stereotype. Blue = boys. Most people diagnosed with Autism happens in boy and is really overlooked by girls on the spectrum. This is why we try to stem away from the blue and the puzzle piece. Instead, the national symbol for Autism is the rainbow infinity sign. What does it mean? It show a good example of including everyone from girls, boys and even non-binary people. The rainbow signifies the spectrum itself and how diverse it is.

My dear readers, please accept us rather than be “aware” because we are already aware of who we are. #RedInstead.

Here are other Autism Organizations they you can check out!! They actually have proper resources and more!!

Autism Advocacy 

Organization for Autism Research

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Have you learned anything new today? Do you feel a bit more educated about the Autistic community. To my fellow Aspies, how do you feel about this month? Excited? Ready to advocate? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you all for reading ❤

The Positives of Special Interests – EMBRACE THEM!

Special interests, what are they? Well let’s think of it this way. You watch a TV show and you LOVE IT, you can’t seem to stop talking about it with your friends and recommend it for them to watch. You maybe buy some merchandise related to that piece of piece of media and that’s it. Or maybe you have a small hobby, you don’t think anything of it really but only that it’s only a hobby like painting or crafts or anything like that!

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Not with Autistic people, imagine this scenario but times ten. One of the symptoms with Autism Spectrum Disorder is that the person can develop something called a “special interest” This ranges to many things from more broad things like art to more specific things like trains! Some people may think this is something useless and won’t get them anywhere. Well….let me tell you something very interesting. Have you heard of Pokemon? OF COURSE YOU HAVE! From the cards, movies, anime and ESPECIALLY the video games. Did you know that the creator, Satoshi Tajiri is Autistic?

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He created some Pokemon characters from his fascination of bugs as a kid and his fascination for arcade games as a teenager. His parents didn’t understand his interests and thought he was throwing his life away so they thought of him as a delinquent. He some makeup classes to complete his high school diploma and completed two years at Tokyo National College of Technology for computer science and electronics. From there, the gaming magazine turned gaming company Game Freak massed into a major game company creating many Pokemon games and becoming the franchise we all know of today.

This is only one example but there are probably more examples out there of the same story but this only shows that someone’s special interest isn’t in vain or is bad at all. Let me share you all my special interests and how some have helped me become who I am …..buuuut be warned it changes a LOT but as of right now it’s a few things. Splatoon, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (a fairly new interest of mine that is taking over my life) and Guzma from the Pokemon series. (The last one I will explain in the next paragraph. I swear.) Some have stayed in my head for 2 or more years while some have faded in favor of another interest.

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Splatoon, is a colorful third person shooter developed by Nintendo with humanoid squids and octopus’ shooting ink at each other to claim the most turf. The game itself is super creative and has an interesting lore behind it. What made me so interested in the game is the music, the gameplay (since I hate pretty much the same old stuff for war games) and the creativity of the weapons. I mean COME ON you can use a paint brush and a BUCKET to “splat” people doesn’t that already sound awesome?! Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is…complicated to explain but all you need to know that it’s a really weird anime about men who fight people with something called “stands” which are sprits that have powers based on the characters….and they fight many enemies based on pop culture references. This is a fairly new interest of mine I have yet to explore why I want to research into it more. But as for my other interest, why is it just one character from Pokemon? For the quick answer to save you the read, Guzma is a character I personally connect with, someone who is a bit aggressive at times but realizes his wrongs and works hard to battle these feelings to improve himself as a person. I see myself in him in many different ways and since there isn’t so much about the character, it’s always fun to build theories and expand more on his character in the little free time that I have anymore. But also with these interests throughout the years have been the reason I wanted to pursue art in the first place. I draw art for these franchises CONSTANTLY.  (As seen below) because of this I have grown my skills as an artist and because of the communities of my interest I have been able to expand on my art style

I mention my own interests because there are reasons that people get into the things they are into and why you I encourage, my dear readers to keep going with your special interests and for parents and peers to listen to us when you info dump something on you!

  1. You may learn something new- Active listening towards Aspies can teach you something new! Remember when I threw you the fact of that the creator of Pokemon is Autistic? Well you wouldn’t of known that if I wasn’t interested in Pokemon! It’s amazing what you can learn from someone about a certain TV series or even little things like trains!
  2. It will help us out mentally! – As someone who kinda was turned away of talking about what I’m into to be “normal”, this kinda struck me a bit mentally. While I get it from a perspective of not CONSTANTLY talking about that one thing, being shut down about it isn’t the way to go about it. Please let us talk about our interests in moderation or even for a little bit. We are SO excited about the stuff we learn and our natural reaction is to share it with other people.
  3. Introducing us to similar people helps with social skills! -social skills is something we struggle with but talking about these things help us with introducing ourselves to new people and gain a better understanding about “how to talk to people.”

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What are YOU interested in and why?  Let me know in the comments below or reply to any of the social posts!

That’s all I have for this week! Now…if you’ll excuse me it’s time for me to draw some Jojo characters! Hope to see you all next week!

ANXIETY ATTACKS! – A guide on certain anxieties and coping mechanisms.

Hello all!! Hope you have your weapons equipped because we are fearing our first boss as quickly and it ain’t an easy one.

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Looks scary huh? Well, for us Aspies, it really is. Let’s open this up with a little bit of research According to a study from Indiana University, 41% of children between the ages of 10 to 14 are dignosed with another disorder other than Autism and most common disorders are related to anxiety (source). So it’s pretty common is Autistic children AND adults to have anxiety.

One thing I should mention before listing all the anxieties that Autistic people go through, I must take note that Autism is on a spectrum and isn’t one straight line of “low functioning to high functioning”. This is a common misconception from people not in the spectrum. It looks more something like a color wheel! Some people have some troubles or weaknesses that other Autistic people don’t. It isn’t the same thing for everyone else.

Here is a GREAT example I am talking about is this comic strip from Tumblr user, theoraah. Now that you have a better understanding going into this, lets list of some common anxieties and tackle each one of them!

SOCIAL ANXIETY

The most common type of anxiety for people on the spectrum. From my time in this world, I have had some trouble with this Especially growing up with special interests and no one to talk about them in my class or anything like that. I have always had trouble asking people certain questions about things in fear of an answer I won’t understand the answer or won’t satisfy them by asking MORE questions. (You can ONLY imagine how much I say “sorry”). Another anxiety I deal with is being president….of a club. My college has a Media Arts Club and I am the president, I have HUGE doubts about my presentation skills and how I’m leading the conversation. There’s always constant bugging in my head to just quit and don’t deal with it! But at the same time….I must push myself. Plus being in the outside world is REALLY scary especially I really liked being alone a lot and I still do but I now know a healthy amount of me time. So how do us Autistic adults, we defeat this?

  • It’s okay to take a step back!- excuse yourself at an appropriate time and take a breather. If someone is overwhelming you, make your voice heard or make a little plan of what you want to do to get back into action.
  • Distract yourself- for me, I usually put some headphones in and distract myself while doing some breathing exercises. It’s also okay to use some stimulation toys to distract yourself from the situation that is making you anxious
  • Challenge yourself a little- now I am NOT saying, “Hey! you should REALLY jump off a plane in order to get over your fears!” no no no. As I mentioned before, I am the president of a student club in which I NEVER been a leader before but I usually watch people do the job first before throwing myself into the hat. I suggest this advice because it makes you LESS anxious about what you want to do.

 

SENSORY ANXIETY

This is exactly what is sounds like. I’ve had many experiences with this as a kid but not so much now, I have very little sensory anxiety as of today. But some examples from my childhood are clothing sensory issues. I would push my long sleeved shirts up all the time, it was only because my brain was telling me that this was bad and felt more comfortable pushed up. Food had ALWAYS been an issue for me, I have been a super SUPER picky eater since I was a kid and I still am but have expanded my palette quite a bit. I have come to the conclusion that textures are a thing for me that are a factor of if i like the food or not, to see if the taste really matches the texture. What’s some weapons so we can defeat THIS monster?

  • Trying things little by little- for clothing sensory, try some clothes that may have a texture you like but a different style. For food, try foods BASED on others. From my personal experience, I have never really liked any other chicken besides chicken nuggets (I know this is weird but PLEASE BEAR WITH ME). I slowly expanded my horizons with OTHER foods I enjoyed like bread, cheese, exc. Sooooo there comes my first experience of trying new thing, sandwiches! A little goes a long way!

 

ROUTINE BASED ANXIETY

Dealing with this anxiety is something I kinda grew up on learning to deal with….but for more explanation on it is when something changes in your routine of schedule that triggers this anxiety. It still kinda happens to me but only for planning out certain events and trying NOT to go: “But THIS was supposed to happen. Why isn’t this happening now?” Not much advice for this category but to those parents out there reading this. DO NOT and I mean DO NOT just take away things and call it a day, do this gradually. Slow and steady wins the race, let the child or even yourself know before hand about a slight change in the schedule days before it’s going to happen.

But everything isn’t SO bad from these anxieties, once you defeat this boss, you usually can get rewarded out of it! Let’s see what we have to add into our inventory.

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It’s always good advice too that these mechanisms are kept at a good amount so you’re not completely separated from everything in the real world but also don’t rely on them too much because at the end of the day, you WILL be fine!!

There you have it for this first boss. Let’s take a break this next blog post .

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Even if you aren’t on the spectrum, do you to battle with these anxieties? If so (or even if I didn’t list it), how do you cope and figure the anxiety out?

[PRESS START!] Welcome to “LexicalNuisance”

Oh? Looks like you’re in. Welcome to the “Journey of a LexicalNuisance”. You’re probably confused as to why you are in this very confusing and mysterious world? Don’t worry; I am just as confused as you. Like any video game, there is a tutorial as how this whole thing works. That’s why I’m here. Now….let me introduce myself

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My name is Alexsa but I preferred to be called “Lex” or “Lexi”. I am a 19 year old college student from upstate New York. I’m an artist who dwells more into illustration (if you can’t tell with the pictures I have posted already) and graphic design as well as a cosplayer as a hobby. I also LOVE Nintendo with my favorite games being Splatoon 2 and Kid Icarus: Uprising. But one thing that is ALWAYS a surprise to people is that I have Asperger’s Syndrome and for short, I shall be using the word “Aspie” through the duration of my blog. Now I know what you’re going to say next, “You don’t LOOK Autistic. You’re so normal!!” Trust me, I am not but that’s for another blog post. (wink wink nod nod)

Now we have our introductions out of the way, let’s get into the burning question that everyone (kinda) has, what does “LexicalNuisance” mean. Well, not only is this an art alias of mine for all art accounts I have on social media since I was in middle school but through the years it has it’s own meaning. Let’s analyze:

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There you have it!

Being an Adult “Aspie”

What is Asperger’s Syndrome? It is neurological developmental disorder that is like Autism but the difference is how the mind develops. It develops normally but social interaction isn’t developed as well.  But, Asperger’s has most of the same symptoms as Autism and  is now seen as an umbrella term for Autism.

How was a I diagnosed? When I was three years old, my mom noticed something different with me. I was highly sensitive to certain textures and wouldn’t wear anything else besides “comfy pants” and would push up my long sleeved shirts. When I would go in different directions to get to places I would have a meltdown. I would have a routine to my day that I followed VERY closely. My mom went to many doctors before finding one that would properly diagnose me. So since then, I have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Through therapy and even some guide from my parents (or maybe some trauma thrown in there too), I have improved on my social skills, I show a little bit more emotion now but just a little bit too much. For an Autistic person, I am pretty far in life right now. I have a job, I go to college and plan to transfer, have a wonderful group of friends. But this doesn’t mean that I’m the ONLY Aspie to get this far. People who are non-verbal Autistics can get this far, people who are “high functioning” can get this far, ANYONE on the spectrum can get this far with lots of hard work and lots of help. With my love of video games, I’d like to think of my life as one. There are bosses you have to face and side quests you have to go on in order to reach your end goal.

Now you maybe asking, how did you get this far in life? Or maybe, how can I cope with what I have and how can I embrace my interests in a healthy manner? My job here is to educate the people about my disorder and help other who are going through the same struggles as I am. With that being said, like any RPGs or role-playing games, you gotta have a party for some help. We are in this journey together so please follow along and join me in my next blog post to start equipping out first items to face our first boss: anxiety.

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