Autistics Spoke, and you listened

1 Nov

Today is Autistics Speaking Day. Julian Frost, blogger and frequent commenter here on LBRB blogged the day as Autistics Spoke, and you listened at his “home” at africanjungle.iblog.co.za. Concerned that some people can’t see iBlog, he reposted it on his new blog at WordPress.com

I thought, hey, LeftBrainRightBrain may be visible to people who might not have access to iBlog. Besides, it is a much more fitting post than anything I can write today.

Here is his post:

Happy Autistics Speaking Day! There is a saying that if you’ve met one Autistic, you’ve met one Autistic. In the spirit of this saying, and of the Autistics Speaking Event, I have decided to describe a number of things about myself for your interest.

  • I can be up, shaved, face washed, dressed, bed made, breakfast eaten and out the door in under 40 minutes from my alarm going off.
  • My stim is pacing, and I once walked 5km to get an ice cream.
  • I find it far easier to communicate through the written word than through speech. This is because the written word gives me the time I need to organise my thoughts properly.
  • I recycle my glass, metal, paper and most of my plastic. I also leave my geyser switched off for all but a few hours each day to save electricity.
  • I’m a reader and commentator at my church.
  • My blood type is O+; I donate blood; in 2009 I received a medal for reaching 50 donations; and less than 36 hours ago, I went and donated.
  • I am afraid of heights, to the point that if I even dream I’m up a tall building I start to panic.
  • I’m an animal lover, and I own a fishtank with at least 13 fish.
  • I will never kill a spider, not even a dangerous one, and I’ve lost count of the number of sac spiders I’ve thrown out of my flat.
  • I am brilliant at Algebra, but terrible at Euclidean Geometry.
  • I’m a Software Test Analyst, and I learnt more about computers in the first two years of my job than in my entire life up till then.
  • My dream job is to make documentaries, and if things had been different I’d probably be a Forensic Auditor.
  • I’m an ardent bibliophile.
  • As a child, my favourite author was Roald Dahl, and I still think that Matilda is the finest children’s book ever written. My favourite author as an adult is Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld Series.
  • I will never again read Dale Brown, Guy Bellamy, or Kathy Lette.
  • I think Red Dwarf is the funniest television show ever.
  • I find Reality TV boooorrrrriiiiinnnngggg!
  • As a general rule, I dislike musicals, and I enjoyed “Mamma Mia!
  • My three favourite songs of all time are: “Bright Eyes” by Art Garfunkel; “I don’t want to wait” by Paula Cole; and “Sacrifice” by Elton John.
  • I can eat almost any foodstuff apart from Tofu – I can’t digest it and it gives me an upset stomach.
  • I’m sensitive to salt. As a child, Marmite would burn the skin around my lips, and I found bacon so salty I couldn’t eat it.
  • Last month, some organisations proposed a 24 hour Communication Shutdown to start on November 1st in support of Autistic people. The idea was roundly condemned by autistic bloggers, who pointed out that Social Networking was a boon to many autistics. In response, Corina Becker and Kathryn Bjornstad created the event Autistics Speaking Day on Facebook. I am one of the bloggers who joined.

    We spoke. Thank you for listening to us.

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    4 Responses to “Autistics Spoke, and you listened”

    1. Navi November 1, 2010 at 20:34 #

      “I will never again read Dale Brown, Guy Bellamy, or Kathy Lette.”

      Why?

    2. Marianne November 1, 2010 at 23:04 #

      Hi Julian,

      My name is Marianne and I am part of the Communication Shutdown Team.

      I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and also thought I could clarify our intent.

      As well as raising much needed funds for autism services, our aim is to simply encourage a greater understanding from people outside the autism community. Social network users have become reliant and even addicted to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And if they shutdown for 1 day, they will feel a sense of disconnection and a sense of frustration. By creating a little empathy, we hope to encourage a wider understanding and acceptance of people with autism – an understanding we recognise those in the autism community already have.

      Which is why we are in no way asking people with autism to give up their tools of communication.

      We are very happy to see that Communication Shutdown has prompted ‘Autistics Speaking Day’and has been able to rally people in a productive way. Although our executions are paradoxical, we believe we have the same goal.

      We are talking to a number of people on the spectrum and parents of children with autism who are blogging on Nov 1 about their positive experiences and also their challenges. We believe that both events complement each other and will be promoting their blogs to give their voices extra reach, while at the same time giving our supporters a deeper understanding about autism.

      With your permission, I would like to share your story too. Please email me at marianne.harvey@communicationshutdown.org

      Many thank.

    3. Julian Frost November 2, 2010 at 06:05 #

      Navi,
      Dale Brown: Warrior Class was a ridiculous (and completely unintentional) bad parody of action books.
      Guy Bellamy: A humour writer I don’t find at all funny.
      Kathy Lette: A “humour” writer whose villains make cardboard cutout characters seem well-developed, and who writes plots that simply aren’t plausible.

    Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - Autistics Spoke, and you listened « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - November 1, 2010

      […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kev, janice kelly. janice kelly said: RT @kevleitch: Autistics Spoke, and you listened: Today is Autistics Speaking Day. Julian Frost, blogger and frequ… http://bit.ly/aUSDrP […]

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