This video was shot and released to Patreon Subscribers, Facebook Supporters, and YouTube channel members on June 30, 2021, as a thanks for the support you give my blog. The video’s public release is set for August 11, 2021.
An Autism and NeuroDiversity blog based on personal experience. Please remember – this is only ONE Autistic perspective. We are all unique.
Back to part two of this video, Autistic and NeuroDivergent People’s Struggles are Invisible.
If you did not catch part one that came out last week, be sure you check that out and subscribe, because I put out new videos every Wednesday, that way you’ll never miss an update.
I’m gonna set this over here because oh look, my hat hair is not sticking up anymore.
Okay. Well maybe I just won’t turn my head that far. If you would like to know a bit more about why Autistic People’s struggles are invisible, please stay tuned.
In part one of this video we talked, talked about is my feather here, Autistic sensory issues, masking, and even chronic pain, and how these,, invisible differences can impact Autistic People, and you may not even know that Autistic People are struggling with these things.
Today we’re going to talk more about cognitive processing differences, learning style differences, some of the emotional differences, and how, we process social situations, how some of those differences can impact Autistic People, and how we engage with the world – invisible differences, and invisible things that can cause Autistic People to struggle.
First I want to talk about some of the cognitive processing differences, and learning style differences, that are invisible, and also common with Autistic People.
When we look at the umbrella of NeuroDiversity that includes ADHD, dyslexia, discalcula, hyperlexia, dyspraxia, apraxia, and all of these audio and language processing, dif- differences. These are more common, specifically and autistic people.
A lot of times, when you are Autistic, you will also have multiple other things going on, in addition to being Autistic.
For example, I am Autistic and I am hyperlexic. I am Autistic and I have ADHD. I have anxiety, mental health issue, in addition to being Autistic. I have IBS, and stomach, digestive issues, with food sensitivities. I also have seizures, with being Autistic, and I have migraines and other health issues. Let’s see insomnia, in addition to being Autistic.
So it’s Autism, plus a lot of invisible stuff going on, stuff that you wouldn’t even know was happening, in addition to being Autistic, unless the person shares with you and dumps all of that out on the table, like I have vomited out right now.
The thing is no one is entitled to all of that private information. That’s why a lot of it is invisible, and a lot of the struggles that Autistic People face, the rest of the world may have no idea that that person is struggling so greatly.
Another difference, that I experienced as an autistic person is emotional differences. These are invisible, unless I am not masking, then you may see some of my emotional differences, expressed in my stimming, and my natural Autistic body language.
For example, if I get really, really happy and I’m relaxed enough, I will be like, I’m so happy. I’m so happy. I’m happy. I’m so happy. I’m so happy and it will be like bouncing up and down. Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy. Yep, yep, yep. Yep. Yep. Real happy. Right?
That is because I am extremely happy. I might be really happy about something that doesn’t really give other people that big of a reaction and they’re just like, “why are you so excited about this? This is very little thing.”
To that, I want to say, “what is wrong with being able to find extreme joy in the little things in life?” That makes life a lot more exciting, in my opinion. Haters gonna hate.
The other thing is, if I am not masking, which I spoke about in part one of this video, If I’m afraid, for example, you will see that in me, or if I am stressed or anxious, I may be kind of in this position here, rocking hands up on my head. I kind of curl up into myself. A lot of times my fists will kind of clinch in my hands will do this. I walk around like a T-Rex sometimes, like this is like my position.
If you see me in the grocery store, especially comes cold, like I’m in this position, and you can see how I am feeling on the outside of me but that is a small reflection of the much larger intensity, that I am feeling inside.
The depths of my sorrow when I am sad or extremely deep, and I am extremely sad, even if I don’t express that on the outside whatsoever.
My joy is very joyful. My anxieties, and fears over things, can be very vivid and very intense. Just everything about my emotional experience can be very intense, anger, fear, all of that, if I am not masking, or making a very focused, mindful effort, to hide my stems, like I said, or to hide my emotions, or if emotions become very overwhelming to me, I may shut down and that can make it look, outwardly, as if I am just numb to the world, and not experiencing any emotions.
When the truth of the matter is I may have become just so overwhelmed by it. The emotions I just kind of go brain broke for a minute. Something that autistic people are known for and even diagnose for, in the diagnostic manual, would be communication, differences, and differences in how we understand and act and bring ourselves in social situations, and our own individual language, or written or spoken comprehension.
If someone is using scripting in social situations -scripting is where, and Autistic Person is constantly using, either preplanned scripts of what to say, or they’re constantly, too worried about what they have to say in the next moment, to actually relax, and be in the moment around other people.
Scripting is difficult. I am scripting, a bit in this video, by having all of these bullet points, but this is a video, where a script is more easy than a social situation.
Something I struggle with in social situations is my audio processing differences that I mentioned, briefly in video one.
If I am around multiple people at once, it can be very hard to follow everything, and figure out when it’s my turn to actually jump in and contribute.
I can be very talkative and not know when to stop talking, but in those situations, sometimes I get stuck, not able to engage at all, because I can’t figure out when the appropriate time to do so is.
Sometimes I can’t hear a conversation. You get a lot of people in a room and it gets noisy. When I have audio processing problems, all of the sounds, and the words, all kind of mumble together at the same volume. If I get really tired, it can sound a little bit like the teacher from Charlie Brown – “wa-wa-wa-wa-waaa”.
A lot of times, even in ideal conditions, when I’m listening to someone speak, I don’t seem to hear things, word for word, and my brain likes to skip words, or will hear a word incorrectly, and I’ll hear the completely wrong word.
Some of the things I think I hear people say, in my head, are really funny and amusing. Sometimes I’ll say them out loud and be like,” blah, blah, blah” so the other person hears what I heard, even though I know that it, isn’t probably in no way, not at all what they said, and we’ll get a good chuckle about it together.
Most of the time I just keep it to myself, and use context clues, which is something I learned in elementary school first or second grade, when I went to school and this started to become a really big problem for me, because in the classroom with the teacher, and the bigger room and 20 to 30 students, all of us crammed into one space, hearing things, well, word for word, was not happening for me.
With these social communication differences where, I’m too blunt, and I am accidentally hurting people’s feelings, unintentionally, or being the person who gets scolded for not being able to read the room over and over again.
I’m pointing at myself right now, and just having social misunderstandings, being constantly misunderstood, and just the stress of not knowing how to navigate the relationships with NeuroTypical People, because they are everywhere.
They, they, they seem to be the majority, at this point in time, as I say, seems to be, you notice?
This can really cause so like anxiety, social anxiety, and avoidance of social situations. Oh look, that’s another invisible thing. Those repeated misunderstandings, and just being scolded by NeuroTypical People.
This can create waves of self-doubt in an Autistic Person, or, you know, maybe they’ll just decide that socializing is too exhausting, confusing, and stressful, to be worth the effort.
We’re going to start talking about the mental health stuff, at this point. So if you struggle with listening to discussions on mental health issues and suicide, please might be a good time to drop off the video now.
Yeah. You have been warned.
Autistic people also may struggle with mental health issues. We are more likely to have additional mental health issues, on top of being Autistic.
Some Autistic People say they are very lonely, from a lack of connection, especially if people around them aren’t understanding, and accepting, or encouraging. A lot of Autistic People may not have been able to be fortunate enough to have a good support network.
I feel as if I am extremely privileged in the fact that I have a support network. I am so grateful for that, because I know many Autistic People who do not have that. This can leave Autistic People, who do not have support, feeling very isolated and very alone.
Another thing with that is when you are feeling alone, and isolated, and you have no one to turn to. We talk about suicide, and it’s concerning, because this is a top killer, Autistic People -suicide and epilepsy. Those are two invisible dangers that harm Autistic People.
Getting back the suicide, the masking we’ve spoken about several times in this series, mentioned at the beginning of video one, and mentioned again briefly in this video too.
Masking has been tied to anxiety, and depression, and poor self-esteem, and mental health outcomes in Autistic People.
When we talk about suicide being a top killer of Autistic People, and masking the invisible struggles, and the invisibleness of the fight that Autistic People deal with, living in a society that isn’t set up with us in mind, and often excludes us, is a major contributing factor in all of this, contributing to the death and loss of Autistic life.
Thank you for sticking around for this video, that got very serious, very quickly. A lot of these issues are serious issues and that that’s just the, unfortunate, painful fact of this is: Autistic People have struggles.
You may not know one Autistic Person is struggling, because just like with NeuroTypical people, especially on social media, a lot of Autistic People, or people in general only are going to share their best moments and their best days.
Sometimes that is intentional, because they want to make you think everything is fine, but a lot of times that’s because it is what’s socially acceptable to do. If you share too much of your struggles, your problems, or the difficulties in your life, people will scold you for that too, and tell you that you are complaining too much and you are too focused on your problems.
People are uncomfortable with your problems and your suffering, so they don’t want to hear about it, because it makes them uncomfortable.
Although when you’re Autistic, sometimes people scold you for not sharing enough of your problems, because then they assume you don’t have them and online, they can accuse you of not being quote “autistic enough”. Which is ridiculous.
Alright Humans, thank you all for hanging out with me this week, and for watching this two-part video series.
If you found this useful, please, go ahead and hit that share button because hopefully someone else will also find it useful special.
Special thank, you really quick, to the Patreon subscribers. They probably got this video around the end of June, which is when it was shot. However, I believe the public release date of this will be in early August.
Getting the videos early is just a way I say thanks to the Patreon subscribers, Facebook supporters, and YouTube channel members, who give a little bit of a monetary donation to help me create this high quality content. Part of that is my transcription software, and other things that make these videos more accessible.
I am truly grateful for each and every one of you. I couldn’t do it without you. This blog is truly made possible by readers and viewers like you.
Thank you for everyone, whether you are subscribing on Patreon, or commenting, and sharing, and liking, and interacting, and giving your feedback and ideas for these videos and the content I create.
I really couldn’t do it without you in this community. I am so incredibly grateful each and every one of you. Thank you for being here. I will see you all next week later, Humans.
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