a screenshot from a Zoom with Lyric and Asiatu. Asiatu is pointing at the word FUCK above them on the wall smiling, and Lyric is clapping and also smiling.

A Conversation with Asiatu Lawoyin

One of my favorite people on the internet.

Come meet Asiatu!

Asiatu’s Venmo/CashApp: AsiatuCoach

https://www.instagram.com/asiatu.coach/


CW/TW:
ABA/Conversation Therapy/Autistic Abuse/ Suicidal ideation/mental health/trauma

Transcript

Lyric: We’ll give people a minute to get that notification too.

Okay we are live. So it is real. It is real. We’re really there

The humans on the internet can see us. Woo!

Asiatu: Hey Humans!

Lyric: Oh my goodness. I’m really excited everyone today, so I want to jump in. I’m just trying to wait a minute to give people a chance to pop in.

Let me pull up these comments so I can see. Okay. There we go. Oh, why is it doing that? Go away. Hang on. Delete. It’s like did some automatic thing. Okay. All right.

So welcome. Thank you for your patience. We are human beings, doing a human broadcast, so you know, a little, a little bit to getting going at five after the hour. Uh, but as I said, I am super excited. I am thrilled because I have a guest here with me today and it’s someone whose Instagram page I’ve been following for a while now.

It’s one of my favorite pages, and people on the internet and this person is instantly, the minute I saw, I started reading, uh, their work became one of my favorite people to follow.

And, you know, let me tell you why, because I haven’t told you this, I’m surprising you with this. Sorry. I know some people may or may not dig all the praise, but I also want to tell my readers and my viewers so that they understand why they should check you out too… is that you challenge people.

But at the same time you explain everything so clearly, so clearly, um, and you don’t just challenge people. I think you really make them think, and you really make me think. Uh, so, you know, I’m grateful for that. Um, as you’ve made me think on so many occasions, so personally, this is my chance to say thank you, uh, for all of that.

Uh, I’m honored to have you here today, from the bottom of my heart. I’d like to welcome, uh, you, the amazing… okay.

I practice saying, I practiced saying this many times, Asiatu right?

Asiatu: You got it.

Lyric: I was like, I practiced saying it so many times for the livestream, cause I always want to be really respectful of people’s names.

I think that’s really the, one of the least things we can do to be nice to people, you know, and it’d be kind be kind, but you know, I, you’re someone I’ve been wanting to have on the live stream for awhile, so thanks for finally joining me and, you know, getting this together.

Before we jump in, because I’ve been rambling and waffling on for a while, I’d like to give you a chance to introduce yourself, um, share your pronouns, where people can find your work online and what motivates you to do the brilliant work you’re doing.

Asiatu: Well, thank you very much for having me. And it’s so funny because you were one of the. Um, when I found out that I was autistic, you were one of the first people that I started following.

I feel the same way about you. Cause I was just like, especially with, you know, the autism speaks and the ABA, like you were the first person that I like really got an understanding of, of like the autistic community and what it means to be autistic.

Lyric: So, oh, wow. Oh my gosh.

Asiatu: To be here, as you feel privileged to interview me because yeah, you were the first, first, very first advocate that I actually followed.

Lyric: Oh, wow. I had no Idea – had no idea!

Asiatu: I love, I love your work too. So like yeah, it was fucking awesome.

For me, I’m my name is Asiatu. Um, I am, uh, autistic trans non-binary, uh, black queer individual. Um, my pronouns are they them.

Um, I am an empowerment coach. So for me, I advocate for the oppressed, and I give voice to experiences of those that, you know, are marginalized and don’t necessarily have the access or, um, the platform to really express themselves.

So I speak from my lived experiences, but I also try my best to highlight, um, individuals within other communities that I don’t belong to make sure that, you know, their words are connect and resonate and are seen by many people because ultimately I’m about community. And I feel like it’s so important to be, um, within a community that uplifts support appreciates, but also willing to do the work, willing to decolonized, willing, to challenge the status quo, and internalized beliefs, and willing to be accountable, and to grow and evolve, and make decisions on behalf of everyone, not just th ecapitalistic individual individualistic mindset.

That’s me basically the nutshell. So yeah, I advo- I do I’m coaching for NeuroDivergent adults, uh, parents, um, or guardians of NeuroDivergent children, as well, as I do like professional consultation, for those in the medical health field, and I also do speaking and panelists.

So, and I don’t know if I said intersectional education as well. So that’s, that’s me.

Lyric: You are a person with many talents and many skills. And can I say, I love, you know, what I’ve noticed about on your Instagram page, something you do that I think, is more people shouldn’t be doing, and I hope people take notice is:

When you reshare someone else’s work on Instagram, you always have their image and their username, like in the top of it, or you make sure to actually like credit the original person for their work. Which is something we don’t see happening enough either. It’s like really, actually, amplifying people, uh, in a way that actually helps people find them.

Because, you know, I, I like to, if I see something someone says that I like, I want to go follow them, follow the original poster. Uh, and then the people do it now. It’s like, oh, well I didn’t, I got to be exposed to this new person, but I can’t actually go connect with them. You know, if they do it the way a lot of people do, uh, you know.

So if, if anyone out there is resharing things on Instagram, just kind of go, go look and see what’s what, how this is being done, because it looks like it’s so much better. It’s just so easy. It’s like right there at the top. Uh, and it makes it real easy to find and explore new voices, because I think that’s so important that we listen to people whose perspectives are different from ours, especially.

Like we can get in these silos or these echo chambers really easily, um, and not, not be experienced to people who have different experiences than us.

And then, you know, when we don’t understand, speaking from, you know, my experience as a trans person, people often don’t understand the ways that they are being hurtful, because they don’t understand that community, or that group, because they’re not part of that group.

Yeah. And they just kind of go through and they, they think they may even think they’re helping and they’re just creating a lot of damage.

So, yeah, I, I’m grateful because you, you do help me find other people with different perspectives, you know, um, and all walks of life. So I’d love your page as a resource for that, but then your, your thoughts as well are really always helpful.

Uh, and you know, on that note, you know, today, you know, you’re here, you have the floor. Is there anything just on your mind that you just feel like you really want to get out there, or you need to rant about today? Or is there just something?

Asiatu: There’s always something of my life, which is why I’ve always suppose things though.

Um, recently it’s just more so this understanding that. Um, I want people to understand that if people had better choices, they would make better choices. And I think people get caught up in, you know, trying to demonize, or especially with like the stigma and, especially this abelist stigma of, autistics and cluster B.

But I just wanted to say that, you know, if someone offered the average person a dollar versus a thousand, they’re not very many people that would take the dollar versus the a thousand, the people that do, you know, are in that situation and you know, are doing the best that they can. And especially like just the whole concept of victim blaming. And I think society is really good at victim blaming, to avoid accountability of the privilege.

So when it comes to like survivors of domestic abuse, especially women, it’s just like, oh, well, why did they stay? No, like what other options could she have had? Or they have had to get out of that situation, what limited options and resources they have that, you know, didn’t allow them to choose something different.

And that goes for anybody under any circumstance, any marginalized person, like I hate, that’s why I don’t like the whole concept when people say like, oh, you deserve better.

Okay. But if better is never presented to me, realistically in my life, then of course I’m going to do with what I can with what I have and what I have isn’t very much.

And that might look like trauma that might look like, you know, hurting other people, that might be looked like being victimized, whatever the case is, so I just wish people would just pause and think and just be like, “people make the best decisions based on what options they have.”

 And the sad part, is the sad reality is not very many people have a lot of healthy, supportive options… and that even goes for ABA and parents.

And I understand that, you know, I empathize with parents and the system in the sense of, you know, there aren’t any other options or they’re not very many options. And sometimes that’s literally the only option that will be covered by insurance. So it’s all interconnected and, but that still doesn’t negate the harm and the impact of ABA.

So at the same time, it’s all about both, and I can both empathize and also still speak to the harms. Yeah. So yeah, all of that is what’s on my mind recently,

my new – (Lyric inaudable)

Just want people to be nicer, not even – I hate nice. Kind.

Lyric: Truly kind.

Asiatu: Emphasize,

Lyric: Just not fake nice. Real nice.

Asiatu: I hate nice, it’s superficial and it’s just bullshit. Just know that people are doing the best they can, with what they know, and the choices that they have. And if you hurt somebody just apologize, don’t necessarily center, you don’t – don’t center yourself. Don’t get defensive, breathe, pause. Like I just posted a little earlier today about cognitive dissonance, and how to respond to cognitive dissonance and cognitive dissonance, basically is destress that you have, when you’re presented with an opposing belief, of what you believe in.

So the contradiction of those two causes stress and people go into protective mode and then get defensive, and so I wrote about PRR- P.R.R.

Lyric: I loved it. I loved it. Please share that.

Asiatu: So P.R.R. is pause, reflect, respond. So if someone says something to you, that’s holding you accountable and it’s uncomfortable.

And the first step is to pause, take a breath, like literally at least five seconds, just sit with it and like, just feel your emotions, try to connect to those emotions. But the most important thing is just pause and pause can be five seconds. Pause can be 10 minutes. Pause can be the next day. You know what I mean?

Pause, like allow what somebody is saying to really like get into all of your credits. That sounds really weird.

But anyway, reflect, reflect is, you know what, like your discomfort is telling you something. Like you’re uncomfortable because that’s an indication that work needs to be done. And, and, and so connect with that connect with that, understanding that the harm that you’re feeling is it is probably just a fraction of the harm that was caused by your actions.

So connect with that, connect with the pain, connect with the discomfort, connect with the uncomfortable connect, with a desire to want to protect yourself because the person you harmed is trying to do the same thing by holding you accountable, and then, then respond after you go through all that, by being accountable, by not centering yourself, by avoiding getting defensive by validating the other person’s feelings, and making amense, and really doing the work, and being committed to changing your behavior for the future.

And knowing that it’s a lifelong journey, like colonization- de-colonizing, isn’t ever going to happen within one lifetime and definitely not within our lifetime.

So, and everybody needs to be colonized because it’s like, you can’t be a fish in water and not be wet. So we’re all wet, we’re all in water. So we all have shit that we have to deal with. And majority of us have some kind of privilege and usually multiple privileges on some level. So you do have, even if you’re oppressed you to have work to do, we all have work to do so.

And then there’s internalized oppression that, you know, like internalized ableism that I know, I struggle with that, I still have to constantly deconstruct all that to them, catch myself. I have internalized transphobia, that I still have to deconstruct and catch myself, and it’s a lifelong journey, it’s not a destination.

And we’re just, we just have to be comfortable in our discomfort and know that it’s okay, you know, and you’re going to make mistakes and I make mistakes, and I love the fact that I have a community. That’s like, “Hey, you know, that’s not cool. And I even, I have to catch myself and I’m like, Hmm, I’m really want to get defensive, but what is this trying to tell me, what do I need to do? How do I need to pause?”

So I have to practice what I preach to. This is not easy. It fucking is difficult as shit, but it’s so fucking worth it, because I don’t ever want to know that I consciously, like I in unconsciously hurt somebody.

Regardless. Impact is alway more important, and ways so much more than intent, intent, literally, shouldn’t even be a part of the conversation, because if someone shoots you accidentally versus on purpose, does your pain or your suffering or the damage change? No, it’s still fucking hurts. It Takes a long time to heal and it’s, you still have to take medicine, and you still have to do all those things, regardless of the person’s intent. So intent doesn’t matter.

So. My number one, pet peeve is just like, well, “I didn’t intend to, I don’t care what you intented. Like, you shot me!”

Whether it was my mistake or not, like I have a fucking bullet in my body right now. Can we focus on that? Please? Stop centering yourself. I’m fucking bleeding.

Lyric: Oh yeah. See you make it so clear! And see, I’m going to admit that even, you know, years ago, when I started stepping into like these spaces, I didn’t understand some of these nuances.

I didn’t understand like, well, I’m trying to, it was like, okay, but you’re, you’re, you know, like I said earlier, we don’t realize we’re causing harm, sometimes, I didn’t realize, you know, and then, and then the other thing is that feeling like defensive and like not understanding that kind of trauma response, when you feel like you’re being attacked, and that you need to take back and breathe.

Like I’ve realized, I also didn’t know myself very well when I started, cause I was like, just figuring out like with autistic. Uh, and so I’ve realized, now that I know myself more, I’m really someone who processes things on an extreme delay.

Like, I’m the one who needs to probably go take 24 to 48 hours, at least, to sit with something, because, if it has to do with like feelings… uh, it’s a lot of gray. If I got to really figure out what the feelings are. You know?

If it’s a more concrete facts and statistics and graphs, oh yeah. I can sort through that real easy, but if I’ve got to deal with my own feelings, and figure out why is this giving me this feeling, and what have I got to get past?

And, you know, I, cause I can’t apologize unless I sincerely mean it. I do need to mean it, and I need to understand what I’m apologizing for. I have to comprehend it.

Asiatu: Me too. I’m the same way. And I think a lot of autistics are, which is why I think it kind of plays into the, you know, stigma and the false stereotype, that we’re un-empathetic, because neuro-typicals: an apology isn’t necessarily genuine, it’s just wanted, you know what I mean? And it’s just superficial and it’s just like, it’s just commonplace and just standard. You know what I mean?

Like for us, no, when we apologize, we mean it, otherwise we’re not. So then therefore we’re perceived as cold or detached or un-empathetic no, it’s not that we don’t feel by any means. And a lot of us, you know, identify, myself included, as hyper-empathic. It’s just, I need to fully understand, and I need to fully digest.

And that’s another reason why I hate it when people are just like, well, why are you trying to bring up something that happened, you know, such a long time ago or like last week, or we got all over that, or we passed that.

No, clearly we didn’t! Because it’s still in my mind, and my feelings are valid, and I have every right to express myself, and to bring up whatever I feel that I need to, to help process my emotions, because you harmed me. So I don’t care if it’s a week later, five months later, six months later, a year later, I don’t give a fuck. Like I still have that right.

And I’m not saying that it’s okay to constantly, you know, berate and harass somebody by any means, but if it’s something that I’m still trying to work through and I’m still trying to process part of making amends, is creating a safe space for me to express myself, because you know, you. And that’s what I think people are lacking in understanding.

Lyric: Yeah. And you would think too, like if this is someone that wants to be in a relationship with you, you know, it’s like outside of this, like they would be, they would want to help you make sure you are understanding one another and that, you know, like it’s, it’s a respect thing.

And then they’re like, you know, the other side of that is like online, because I’m a delayed process, or some people need a response like – online or in person.

Like when you get in the heat of an argument, and someone wants a response right now, right now, right now, it’s like, “I need time. I need time. I need time.” You know?

Asiatu: Um, and then I, and then I would like comment on things like, you know, like you online, like a few days later and they like, “I don’t like, you know, you’re bringing it up, like we’ve already passed that. Or, you know, why are you still stuck on this?” or, you know what I mean? “Like let it go!” just classic gaslighting.

And I’m just like, “I process differently and I need time, and I have every right to express myself again. Especially if you caused harm. So, yeah, stop trying to tone police me, because that’s not okay.”

And let’s, let’s, you know, either get on my page or you just going to get blocked and that, and that’s an option too. And no problem doing that at all. I am constantly blocking people and I know you are too.

Lyric: It took me a while to figure that out, but yeah, I am now.

Asiatu: We just don’t tolerate oppression in our spaces. We’re safe spaces. So I’m committed to keeping my space safe.

So if you’re not committed to doing that, and you feel like you are entitled to say things that are hurtful, without being held accountable, I don’t want you in my space point blank period. And you don’t, you can go elsewhere. There’s plenty of people you can follow. It’s just not going to be in my space, because I’m not going to allow that to happen.

Lyric: Oh yeah, there’s a lot of completely un-moderated pages out there, where you can go feel free for all in those comments threads – not mine.

Asiatu: Which is part of the reason why I always said, like, “I didn’t necessarily want to get big” because I don’t ever want to lose that intimacy, and I don’t ever want to lose being a safe space, and I also don’t want to ever be perpetuate the status quo, because majority of people who have such a large- amass, a large following, is because they perpetuate the status quo, and that’s what people are used to hearing.

And that’s, you know, how they get, and then when these people get these large accounts and then they don’t know what to do with it.

And then, you know, they end up doing more harm than good. And so for me, like that was always a fear for very long time, whereas now, I realize, that in building community, I have other people that can participate as well.

So like I love seeing in my comments when someone holds somebody else accountable, and I don’t have to do anything or, you know, or the opposite of that when they, you know, give praise, and love, and appreciation, and acceptance, you know, to others within the comments, you know, without even like, it was just so beautiful to see, and I’m just like, “that’s what I want.”

Like this is community, and when I say community, I mean, it, I mean community, and I mean connection and I mean, responsibility of, you know, emotions and feelings and you know, other people, and that’s what we’re missing in society as a whole, which is why we’re going through all this fuckery in this dystopia.

That’s why we’re in this shit. Right, we are now, is because we, we forgot what community means, and going back to like, you know, indigenous and African cultures, and so many other cultures out- I mean like pre-colonization, that’s what the mindset was, and it was beautiful.

I mean, not to say everything was perfect, but the sense of responsibility and sacrifice for the betterment of the whole was, you know, a healthy mindset to have, because that’s what connection is. That’s what building is. That’s what support is.

To me, that’s what I’m atheist, but that’s what God is. Got to me, It’s community. Like I don’t want to be able to ask, you know, for support, and not necessarily, you know, praying, but to me, prayers are asking for support for people in your life. You know what I mean?

God is blessing you with support, and appreciation, and understanding, and yeah, so. It’s just this dystopia just it’s horrible

I hate capitalism. It all comes down to capitalism.

Lyric: I was about to say, “we’re all trapped in Capitalism!”

Asiatu: It’s all capitalism, and people don’t even understand, like, everything is connected with capitalism, like racism, patriarchy, it’s all, ableism. It all goes back to capitalism.

And that’s just that’s the main roots, and then capitalism had three babies, patriarchy, um, racism, no, two babies, patriarchy racism and then capitalism. Those are the three main roots, you know. I was like, it’s time to go, go away.

Like, it’s, it’s done, we’ve been, it’s not working well. It’s working for the rich.

Lyric: Uh, you know, it isn’t working though, really, because, you know, if we look at it right now, we’ve got employers that, for so many years have been exploiting their human resources like machines. Right? And we’re people, we need to be treated like people, and so they’re like burning people out and people they’re like, “why do we have all this turnover?”

And they don’t realize that the people that are burning out are actually people that cared a lot about their job, because it was like, you have to care to burn out. So it’s why we have advocates that burn out, because they care too much and they burn themselves out, because they don’t stop because there is endless work.

Yeah. And so we ha we, we can’t treat ourselves like machines, you know, or, or we fall apart, because we’re not meant to constantly go at the forever pace. And so now, you know, you hear the capitalist, people complaining, “nobody wants to work.”

It’s like, “no, everybody has woke the fuck up and is tired” of, excuse my language, is tired of being exploited.

Asiatu: Exactly.

Lyric: You don’t care – I remember your favorite word is the F word.

Asiatu: Yea, It’s right there.

Lyric: Yeah, that’s right.

Um, but you know, it’s like people are waking up and realizing that their time actually has value now. Like there’s you know, death and horrible things all around us, you know?

Like, so now we’re like, well, you know, my loved ones may not be here tomorrow. Why am I going to spend all my time doing this thing that sucks away my soul, you know?

Asiatu: And doesn’t give you enough time off or doesn’t know shits about you, they will replace you in a heartbeat.

Doesn’t care if someone dies, doesn’t care if you have a baby. Doesn’t care if you have a family. They don’t care. They literally don’t care.

So why should you care about something that literally doesn’t give two shits about you, and you’re supposed to invest yourself, and your time, and your emotions, and your energy into something that literally doesn’t reciprocate that on any fucking, even the basics of level?

Like hell no!

That’s why so many of us are entrepreneurs, because we’re just like, fuck the corporations and fuck corporate, because we’re not valued, and we couldn’t function, and that’s not how we function.

And I feel like that’s, what’s so beautiful about neurodivergence, is it highlights the toxicity of capitalism and, and I think it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. And I wish it was, you know, embraced more, not to the extent that then it’s commodified and exploited, but just the mentality. I wish it was more normalized and understood that like, we, we ha we ha we can, we help, you know what I’m saying? We highlight, we have so much more to offer than what people realize and give us credit for, you know what I mean?

And, and it’s, it’s just a frustrating, cause it’s so dehumanizing and it’s just like, we see so much and know so much and connect so much way more, you know what I mean?

And even are, can be super productive, you know, even to a fault, you know what I mean? Where we have catch ourselves and just like, “okay, you have to take a break.” I know I, I go through that.

So it’s just, we have so much, so much to offer, and I just wish we were not constantly dehumanized, especially autistics.

Like I’m so sick of seeing cure shit. Like who are you to tell us that we want to fucking cure? Like, what’s, that’s like basically saying like, I want a cure for being black, like, or I want to cure for being trans. Like what the fuck?

No people were just like, oh, well, what about the people with high support needs?

Well, those with high support needs, if they’re actually accommodated, and supported, and valued, and appreciated, then maybe their needs wouldn’t be, you know, so high and, or they would just feel so valued and appreciated and loved that that would be a beautiful thing regardless, and they could live in a world where they’re accepted and valued.

It’s not us that’s the problem. It’s the fucking broken ass world and it’s so frustrating.

Lyric: You know, when, when, when I get to, which is rare, these days, like stand in a room with people to talk about these issues, like I have this question, I like to ask people, and I asked the whole room. I’m like, “everyone raise your hand if having to pretend or act like someone or something, you’re not, makes you miserable.”

And of course, everyone always raises their hand. Like I’ve yet to stand in a room and have not every hand go up.

But it’s because it’s a universal human experience, to need to be loved and accepted, as you are strengths, weaknesses, the whole person, but with NeuroDivergent/Autistic people, for some reason, it’s like, well, you know, it’s like that “be yourself, but not like that.”

We have a different standard, we’re not allowed to be loved and accepted for who we are. We need to try harder to be something else, and that is not fair.

That is soulcrushing.

It’s it’s

Asiatu: so, Ugh, that’s part of the reason why I was suicidal for so long, and I still suffer from suicidal ideation, but finding the autistic community, like literally saved my life, like in getting the diagnosis and, you know, having the “why” to my struggles and having the why to why I wasn’t thriving, like at all my peers, you know what I mean?

Like it just, it gave me the opportunity to have so much grace for myself and so much more acceptance, and love for myself, because I’m just like, instead of saying my perception before was just like, “Oh my God, like, what is wrong with me? I’m so broken. Like, I can’t do what I’m supposed to be doing and everybody else is thriving.”

So once I got my diagnosis, I’m like, “holy shit, look at all the shit I accomplished going so long without support, and not being diagnosed, it like totally flipped my self perception, for the better.”

And it’s just like, “wow, I accomplished a whole lot and I’m accomplishing a whole lot, despite not having the support that I need” and that made me value myself even more, because it’s just like, you know, “I’m not broken. I’m fucking amazing. Holy shit, this is wonderful.”

And then I found community, and other people that understood me, and then I stopped being alone. You know what I mean? Like I was always the black sheep, and I was always like the outsider looking in, and then I finally found other people and then like, we became a community and it was the autistic community, and then it was just like, oh, “people that understand me, people that speak my language, people, that know, you know, don’t get mad at me for literally being who I am or not responding or having time blindness or running behind, or, you know, lack of flexibility or whatever the case is.”

It’s just like, I don’t that’s oh, that’s another thing I really wan neurodivergent people out there to please stop apologizing for who you are, and it crushes my heart every single time I get comments or I get messages, that’s just like, “sorry for oversharing” or “sorry for this long comment” or “I didn’t mean to, you know, go so long” or like you’re beautiful and valid, the way that you are, like how you express yourself is just, is like, it’s totally you, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Like just be mindful of internalized ableism, always constantly apologizing for neurodivergent traits. The oversharing, the being verose. You know, all that is just neurodivergent traits that you shouldn’t ever feel ashamed for.

Especially, not when talking to a fellow person, who speaks their language, I’m like of all the places to apologize, it’s not to me.

And I say that the most love, and the most kindness, “like I am you, like, I am a safe space. I speak your language. You don’t have to apologize to me for being who you are ever, ever, ever, ever, ever.” so, yeah. I just want to throw that out there.

Lyric: That’s a good one, because, what was it… not this year? So every year I try to work on like, like –

I’m like one of those like annoying people, that’s always trying to grow, be growing, and be bettering themselves. Right? Um, so I’m one of those annoying people.

So every year I pick like something I want to work on, and like, I think it was a couple of years ago, like one of them was not apologizing so much, because I realized I was like, “sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry for existing” basically to every single thing, and so I had to, it was hard.

I think it took at least a whole year, maybe a year and a half to train myself to stop apologizing for things.

Asiatu: It’s hard. It’s definitely hard, but I just, I see it so often, and all the time, and I’m like, “don’t apologize to me. You don’t need to apologize to me or anybody, but especially me, cause I get you. I’m like, have you not like met me? Like I am you!”

I literally like am super verbose. You know what I mean? I’m always thinking, I’m always analyzing, like, that’s just, I have anxiety, like that’s just who I am, and it’s okay to be that way and exist in this world, regardless of what the world has tried to tell you otherwise.

So yes, please just cherish yourself, and give yourself grace and love and stop apologizing for who you are, because there’s no, there’s no need to feel shame for it at all whatsoever.

Lyric: I love it. I agree so much. Uh, and that’s something I didn’t know, you know, and, and like, it was similar to you. You’re like, oh, you realize, oh, it’s not my fault.

And man, I’m not an inferior neurotypical that can’t do these things that I think I should be able to do, because I’m comparing myself to someone with a totally different brain than me, like fish, to dogs and fish climbing trees, and dogs being under water.

You know, it didn’t even make sense to me. I didn’t know that, until I knew I was neurodivergent, and then it was like, oh “wow, look at what I, what I, what I’ve done so far” and then it was like “Gee, imagined what I could have done if I had support earlier?”

So, you know, I was, I was pretty angry, when I was first diagnosed. You know, there’s like that feeling of, “I went 29 years with no support – ah!”

Asiatu: I went 41 years without.

Lyric: Oh, wow.

Asiatu: The thing was, I was, actually, diagnosed ADD at the time, which is ADHD in puberty, but even back then, they still didn’t know what to do with me.

All I got for accommodations was just untimed testing. That was it.

They didn’t know, you know what I mean? Like they, the school didn’t know about learning disabilities, and things of that nature, and I requested to have more visual, you know, information and age and class, but outside of that, I got nothing, and I went to a private school, and pretty progressive, at the time, you know, but they just didn’t know.

And I didn’t realize how much ADHD affected so much of who I was, because of the general understanding of, okay, it was just, you know, being hyper or inability to focus.

Nobody talked about the executive dysfunction. Nobody talks about the timeblindness, blindness, or the object permanence, but especially the executive dysfunction is just like, that’s everything like, or the memory issues jump in, you know, in conversation, and people always just like, oh, you’re so rude because they’re always interrupting me.

Like there’s so much more just ADHD than just, you know, being hyper and having attention issues, that we’re now just starting to become mainstream, which I think is such a beautiful thing, which is why I applaud people who, you know, advocate and also put out content that people can relate to or just, and then it inspires them to go get checked out. Because, it’s it’s so much more than what I had thought.

And then that combined with the autism, it was just like, but for me at first I thought like you, in the sense that I was kind of angry, but then I realized it potentially could have been worse, because then I could have been put in ABA.

Lyric: Yeah, the deeper you fall down the rabbit hole.

Asiatu: But then I was like, they didn’t really know what the fuck they were going with, ADHD, let alone autism. And I was like, I guarantee you, I would have ended up in ABA, and that would have been horrible, so I think not knowing in certain aspects actually helped protect me, um, and especially being black and being AFAB.

So I think that, that people tend to always look at hindsight, or the possibility, always the rose colored glasses. And I was like, it’s just as, as probable that it was positive, as it would have been negative, and I think that’s what people tend to not understand or forget.

So they, you know, they always look back and be like, “what if, what if, what if” and “I shoulda, coulda, woulda.” And I was like, yeah, but it’s just as likely that those things could havechanged out worse than what they did, because it’s 50/50.

Instead of just focusing on just the positive, just know that, you know, the opposite could have easily just as easily occurred as well.

So I’m just happy that I got my diagnosis, I found my community, and now I’m helping other people, especially little kids.

Oh, I just wanted to share one of my favorite experiences ever in my entire life is I work with, um, um, mother of an autistic child, and the child had just switched to a charter school, um, because they were diagnosed autistic and they were struggling and they had been bullied in their other school, and they were struggling, until the mom decided to switch schools, and find a charter school, which was much more neurodivergent affirming, but…

I think she’s in second grade, second or third grade, and she was so she’s autistic, starting a new school. So that is anxious anxiety in and of itself. And, you know, having the fear of a repeat of what her old school was like, you know, I’m sure you can understand.

And so I talked to, I even talked to the, to the, to the child, um, a few times, but the mom had texted me that in like a few weeks into school, um, for show and tell they brought, um, one of the Uniken, um, pouches that I actually gave her pencil pouch or whatever, and she actually had bought a shirt, and for show and tell, she talks to the class about what Unikin means, and that she’s Autistic, and how she’s so proud of what, uh, how proud she is of being, or how proud they are of being autistic, and I was just like, ah, like tears, just, just the tears of just like, just knowing like.

 Uh, it’s just it’s the total opposite of the experience in which they had previously, but also my experience growing, up of being bullied and misunderstood or whatever, to get a child, to embrace their autism, at such a young age, and be proud and comfortable enough, in a new environment to share, which is kudos to the school for creating such a safe environment that they felt comfortable to do so, but also just, uh, it was just so beautiful.

So that’s what I love doing what I do, and why I always fight. It’s just moments like that, where I’m just like, “it’s so fucking worth it. It’s so worth it.”

All the ableism, transphobia, and racism that I deal with, for moments like that, is just, it’s so worth it. It’s, it’s just worth it.

And I’m going to continue to do it for as long as I can, because of moments like that. I want so many like Autistic kids just to be so proud and happy and just know that they’re not alone, and there’s like a whole fucking community, that’s like, like rooting for them. That’s my goal.

Lyric: That’s that’s a good goal. That’s a, I mean, we, you know, it’s like we want the next generation to not have to go through the same junk that we went through, and, you know, luckily I think more of the kids are probably going to be caught and diagnosed, you know, now because we have more understanding of the process.

Like sometimes people are all panicking saying, “oh, there’s an epidemic. There’s more autistic people.”

And you and I know it’s like, “no, the diagnostic critera has been evolving, since like 1980, and it keeps including more people, and so it’s not, you know, it’s just, we just identified now.”

You know, we’ve got so many of us, especially like our age, my age, your age, old, and older, even, like I meet people online, in our communities, who are figuring out they’re autistic in their like sixties, seventies.

Asiatu: Me too.

Lyric: We promptly, you know, people in the audience today who are discovering, you know, later in life, because, it, we’ve got that missing generation, you know, of people, you know, my age and older, especially.

Like the ADHD, with me, it was the other way around. Like, even though they suspected, I had ADHD as a kid, my mom was really afraid because it was like the nineties, and that’s when it was like, you know, Ritalin was coming out and she was just really scared, um, about that and everything.

So she was like, “there’s nothing wrong with my child. How dare you?” Because the stigma that was like pushed by the school, it was approached in a very stigmatized way, and so it was like, “no, no, no.”

Uh, and then I didn’t get diagnosed ADHD until earlier this year, actually, I was diagnosed autistic first, and then that, you know, that was like a shock of my life at 29, because it’s like, “Ooh, wait, what?”

You know, you don’t expect something like that, when you’re almost 30, just like, I’m sure you’re well, you had ADHD first, so that might’ve been a little bit less of a shock but..

Asiatu: It made sense to me and, basically, damn near everybody in my family is ADHD. So like that made sense, but I still always felt like an outsider. So like I knew there was, I felt like there was a missing piece, but I didn’t realize it until I got, like, and I literally found out or started this journey from reading a post online, um, from, I think, Autism Goggles.

Lyric: Oh wow. Okay.

Asiatu: And that they posted a post about, um, traits and quote, unquote women and girls. And I was just like, holy shit, like all the list traits, all the traits listed were me like all 12, 13, and then I’m like, “check, check, check.” And I’m like, “holy shit. Am I fuckingAutistic?”

Of course, typical went down the rabbit hole, you know, absorbed, absorbed, research, research research. So then I was just like, yeah, I’m Autistic.

It explained everything, like everything, and it just, it was so comforting and yeah, it was just comforting, super comforting.

Lyric: I mean, the information is crucial, like so crucial.

Like I was contemplating very horrible things for myself before I found out I was autistic, because I just didn’t think I was going to be able to do things, anything, anymore.

I was just so at my end, and everything seems so dark and figuring this out, did that perspective shift, that both of you and I have experienced, and I think a lot of other people, uh, in the readership and I’m watching today, have, probably, experienced similar cause a lot of people kind of gravitate towards, you know, people who have similar experiences.

Um, but you know, that process of getting a diagnosis, like we’ve got so many problems with that process, like all over the world, there are different problems like in Europe and the UK, their wait lists are years long, you know?

Uh, and, and, and here it’s like when I, when I was looking for someone to to get an assessment, there was only four people that did adults and we’re in a major metropolitan area.

It’s probably different now, but I, you know, I was given a list from the autism society and it was just, you know, when I got – it’s was just four. Just four.

Asiatu: Wow.

Lyric: That even saw adults back then and there, you know, there was a lot more just, they, they were in-house with ABA therapy centers, a lot of times, and so they have no incentive to diagnose someone who might not get ABA. So, you know, there wasn’t, there was just nothing out there.

And then after I was diagnosed, I was, I feel like I was one of the lucky ones, because the person who diagnosed me, I was like, I was like, “oh my God, this is what’s wrong with me!” You know, I was in that mindset at first.

And then the doctor she’s like, “No, there’s nothing wrong with you. Your mind works differently. You need to adjust your life to accommodate that.”

And you know, that, those words, and then her recommending autistic voices, like books by autistic authors, and things like that, being my first experience, like how you came across that autistic boy, it was like, oh, these, these match me, check, check, check.

And then I started to read and hear autistic stories and was, oh my gosh, this is me. Exactly. It was so affirming.

And then you go to Google. You know, and then you see what’s on the internet, and it’s so bad.

Asiatu: It’s so bad. It’s, it’s, it’s the system, and what I tell people all the time is it’s, it’s very similar to the mentality of racism within the U S, and then expecting black people to be gung ho about a vaccine.

And I compare that, you know, very similarly, to wanting autistic people to get diagnosis yet, a lot of therapists are ablist as fuck.

So, you expect the most vulnerable to go into the mouth of a lion. You know what I mean? To, to get, you know, what they need, and of course people are going to be fucking hesitant. You know what I mean? Like it’s just common sense. Like, of course it will be hesitant.

There’s so many therapists. I have therapy trauma from a child, when I was in therapy for my ADHD, and other in depression and anxiety. I have so much problem, and for years I was just… that’s part of the reason why I didn’t even want to get a diagnosis for autism.

And the only reason why I did was because I was able to find a black, trans, autistic, therapist.

Lyric: Oh, wow.

Asiatu: Yeah. I found a fucking unicorn.

Lyric: There’s probably a lot of people that have like that contact info from you. I don’t know if they’re still practicing, or if you don’t give it out.

 I have their updated,

Asiatu: but, um, they, they weren’t seeing patients for some time, um, but I think now they might be, but if they are I’ll definitely, I was for a long time was constantly recommending them.

But then they got burned out, like we do, you know, we always want to help people, we overextend, and then we pay the consequences, and then the impact and then, you know, depression or whatever kicks in, so burnout.

Um, so yeah, but, uh, yeah, I found them and that’s the only reason why I got a diet, like a medical diagnosis. It was because I found them.

I had been looking for like therapists, and majority of the therapists, like you said, that I reached out to were just like, “oh yeah, you know, I worked with autistic kids, not adults.”

And I’m like, well, that’s not going to be helpful. And then I’m like, “okay, well, have you dealt with, you know, women or non men, you know, diagnosing?”

And they’re just like, “yeah, no” or they would say, “oh, well, it’s not really that much of a difference.”

Okay, thanks, bye! Yeah. We’re done. Like, yeah.

So there are just so many ignorant comments, and I was just about to give up, but then I found them, and I found them through a mutual, um, client or patient of theirs, that was also autistic.

Um, so again, just the autistic community just helped me out and came through and, and it was, that was how I got my diagnosis at 41.

So that was last year. It’s only neem a little over a year, October last year is when I got my medical diagnosis, and then may of last year was when I read that post and I was just like, oh, I’m fucking autistic.

And then, the added layer of this all is, my mom is a retired pediatrician, so.

Lyric: Oh wow.

Asiatu: Her concept of autism was so heavily ablest and so white boys center that, you know, she didn’t even consider like me being autistic. It was just, oh, you’re just ADHD and, you know, depression and anxiety.

Which, I mean, compared to what she was taught, and what is out there. Yeah. I don’t seem like I would be autistic for sure, because I’m not a white boy, and my traits do you know, manifest differently. So yeah, I wouldn’t think that I was autistic either.

And that’s the thing, majority of the people. Either assume autism are just traits specific to like white boys, or they think that it’s, you know, the ex what is deemed the extreme or high supports, you know, needs without it being a spectrum and I’m like, spectrum is literally in it.

Like “it’s the autism spectrum!” It’s a spectrum!

It’s not just one thing, it’s a spectrum. But then this whole concept to me, reality is everything about human nature is a spectrum. Nothing is like very few absolutes in life, especially with human behavior exists.

So even when it comes to depression, there’s a spectrum of anxiety, there’s a dis- there’s a spectrum, schizophrenia there’s a spectrum.

Everything is a spectrum. Like literally emotions, a spectrum, sexuality, gender, spectrum, like it’s everything is a spectrum.

Like if we could just get rid of the fucking binary, that would be great.

Lyric: The binary does not exist.

Asiatu: It’s not – exactly!

And the binary, isn’t just gender and sexuality. It’s in everything, and that’s what people don’t understand. This whole concept of good evil fat, thin black, white, gay, straight, you know, CIS trans: that’s all binary, and within the binary, if you value something, then you automatically devalued the opposite. And that’s what people need to realize.

Cause people just like, “oh, it’s just personal preferences.” no, your preferences imply, within the binary, that it’s better than the opposite.

“White is better than black.” “Skinny is better than fat.” like, you know, “CIS is better than trans.”

 It’s not just that they exist, no, it’s within the binary… and our that’s another thing I wish people would understand, like, just the basics!

And we can just get by and understand the basics it would be great. It’s so frustrating!

Like we see everything, and it’s so blatantly obvious to us, but everyone’s just like, “oh, okay.”

Or just not paying attention, or just because they’re privileged, and they don’t have to, they don’t fucking care.

Which again goes back to community. You have to get beyond yourself.

Lyric: Yes. Yes.

Um, you know, we’re, we’re, you know, it’s almost like seven till the top of the hour?

I don’t know if you have something.

Asiatu: I don’t.

Lyric: Okay. I just want to make sure, because I want to be very respectful of your time. Um,yeah!,

Asiatu: I could talk to you forever, though.

Lyric: This could go on and on. This is awesome. I was like, I didn’t even really need the questions, I had them just in case, and it’s like, it’s been so natural. It’s been great. Uh, but that’s what happens when you get…

Asiatu: You find your people!

Lyric: Yes! I thought was so weird and awkward, and then I met other people who were like, I’m not awkward to other NeuroDivergent people. It was like the first thing I noticed, like when I used to get to go to conferences, you know, gosh, it seems like it’s been another life ago, now that we’ve been through the lockdown.

I, one of the first things I noticed was, if it was an autism conference that actually had autistic people there, and you’re like in this circle of autistic people, and then some neuro-typical shuffles in… it is really funny to see them be awkward. Because they now are, you know, they are the odd one in the group then.

You know, like, I want more of that. I want more neurodivergent people to experience that, and to see like that dynamic, because we’ve been told we are the awkward ones, we’ve been told we are the, you know, the weird one.

And it’s, I really like in that experience, it like solidified my belief that it is only because we are the minority that we are “awkward” air quotes.

I hate, I hate that assumption it’s like, because we are compared to neurotypical people. So it’s like that relatives in comparison to it’s like, why are we being compared to them all the time?

I don’t know. I think that’s something I wish that that would be something we could change.

Asiatu: I loved your analogy, In the sense that, I feel like it’s like basically we’re fish and they are dogs and it’s like, “you’re comparing a fish to a dog” and I’m like, “you’re expecting a fish to bark.”

Lyric: And climb a tree!

Asiatu: Exactly. It makes absolutely no sense, when you put it in that context.

It’s that illogical. It’s like those two things can exist, you know, together, appreciate the differences, and also be valued equally. Like it doesn’t have to be either or hence the fucking binary, like dogs and fish can, can coexist and it’s okay. It’s a beautiful thing.

And I liked your, the fact of like, I would love to experience that more with neurodivergent, like groupings, and then seeing the neuro-typical, and I also would like that applied to other marginalized communities of like white people being the only people within a sea of like black people, or indigenous people, and knowing what that feels like, you know, to be the ones that stands out all the fucking time.

Or, you know, or even just, you know, role play like tokenism, you know, and make- and so that they understand what it’s like, and that’s what privilege is all about is that you are shielded from the experiences of other people, and therefore you think that that’s the norm, but in all actuality, there’s plenty of us going through a whole lot of shit. You just don’t experience the problem.

Like you have to empathize with the reality that other people experience life different, and marginalization differently than you do, because you have privilege.

And that’s the whole point of privilege. It shields you from certain experiences, usually that are harmful and traumatizing and hurtful.

Lyric: I I’m gonna agree with all of that, and just say that, I think that growing up when I was younger, you know, my family, we moved into a particular neighborhood, when I was growing up where it was not a white neighborhood, for the first time, and I was in middle or elementary school when this happened, it was like fourth grade, fourth grade.

And it was hard for me, because I had been in a town that was very whitewashed, you know, up until that point, but I think it was one of the best experiences of my entire life, going through that, and I’m so grateful that I did go through that, because it did give me experiences that I wouldn’t have understood.

Just like you’re saying, white people should go experience being the only white person. Like I absolutely agree with that 100%, like so much.

Asiatu: Or a Cis person, in a group of a whole bunch of trans people.

Lyric: Oh please! It’ll be fun. Come on. Just go.

Asiatu: Exactly! Like, yeah, just to know what it feels like to be, to not be the majority, to not have the comfort, and the understanding, and the power of the majority. That shifts people’s mentality, which is what it comes down to.

And so for me, I’ve said this for many years, and I’m glad it’s starting to take more of a, of a normalized like standard.

But for the longest time, I would say “love isn’t the answer” for me, it’s suffering, because people can experience. People can go a whole lifetime without experiencing love. People can go a whole lifetime without experiencing, healthy, love or even understanding what healthy love looks like.

But outside of medical anomalies, generally speaking, people know what pain feels like, whether it’s physical, whether it’s emotional, they know what it feels like when something hurts. And to me that is more of a connector, then this idealized, or theorized, you know, idea of what love is, is like, no, I want, I need something more concrete.

Like, you know what I mean? Like that feeling that you had when your, your, your pet died, you know, that grief, or like a friend of mine recently, he was, he just told me that, you know, he had never experienced, depression and someone basically explained it to him, he was, as, you know, he had experienced his dad’s passing.

And he was like, “imagine having that grief of your father passing every day, like all day, every day, and it never goes away.”

And he was like, in that moment, that’s the first time he really understood what it would feel ike to be derpressed, even though he had never experienced it.

And those are the moments that I like to tell people. That’s why, when I say like, even with the cognitive dissonance, connect to someone’s pain, no, that accountability equates to someone’s pain.

You are hurting somebody, and you have to step outside of yourself, and your ego to understand and to, to take accountability for it. “Wow. I just made someone feel pain.”

Focus on that, and don’t focus on wanting to make amends and make that not the case.

Lyric: I think that’s so brilliant.

Asiatu: Just pain. Pain is a unifier. To me is more of a unifier than anything within the context of how society is now. Will it always be the case? I hope not. And I hope love can be, you know, the answer, many years down the line, but as of now, within this dystopia, like pain is what’s uniting us.

Whether you’re poor, whether you’re CIS, whether you’re trans, whether you’re black, indigenous, you know, Asian, we’re all experiencing pain; and that’s what the major unifier is right now is we’re all suffering, for various reasons, but it still fucking hurts.

How about we come together, recognize that and try to figure out ways to help alleviate each other’s suffering, by being the support and being the community that that is needed.

And that to me is what we’re slowly starting to do and starting to see very, very slowly, slowly, very slowly, but we’re getting there as long as humans are slow and movement.

Lyric: But you know, I don’t talk religion often, but I’m, I’m Buddhist. So, you know, speaking to pain and suffering.. Buddhism is all about pain and suffering.

And now I’m like… “okay. I understand why we were on the same page so much now!”

Because it’s like, yes, pain and suffering is like the only thing in life that’s inevitable. Everyone’s just like,”Ewwwe, no!, what’s wrong with you? We don’t talk like that!”

Asiatu: They were like, “oh, love. It’s all about love, and togetherness, and harmony.”

No, that’s not what we need right now.

Lyric: You can’t love somebody if you can’t understand their pain- you know?

Asiatu: Exactly.

Lyric: You know, you can’t love somebody, if you don’t understand their pain, you have to understand their pain.

Asiatu: Exactly. I completely agree. And that’s funny because I’m an atheist, but Buddhism, I was considering being a Buddhist for a very long time, and I would say that that’s one of the things that I love about Buddhism is life is suffering.

Lyric: It is an anti-theistic religion. There is no deity, really. The Buddha was a human figure who, you know, like, you know, so he’s, he’s not really even a God. So I am non-theistic, even though I’m Buddhist, you know, but I was like, you, the-

Asiatu: I love that. I love that when I heard the car, like that quote, “life is suffering” and I was like, that has been my entire life. Like I, when I tell people like I’ve suffered suicidal ideation in kindergarten, like I remember it vividly.

And people were just like, well, “how do you know or whatever?” And I was like, “because I, at the time, you know, I believed in God and I prayed and I would pray not to wake up, or I would pray, you know, try to suffocate myself with the pillow or in the bathtub, you know, trying to hold my breath longer.”

You know what I’m saying? And basically drown in the bathtub.

And I was like, because now I know why a lot of it was because of my autism, and being introduced into a school environment, and not having any supports and understanding, and also being one of the few black kids in a predominantly white Jewish area.

So it was just like culture shock, culture shock, and my parents, you know, got divorced, my mom got remarried. It was just, we moved. Like, it was just so much going on at once, and just, I knew that I was different and then I didn’t, I couldn’t connect, and I internalized that, you know, as a kid, and as a kindergartener, that’s all you want at that point, it’s just outside validation and just confirmation that like, you know what I mean?

Like people you can’t connect with with your peers, you can’t connect with the teacher, and I just, the teacher loved me, but I couldn’t connect with the kids, and it was just so painful and. I didn’t, I didn’t feel like I connected with my family, like I just felt like I was just an alien, which is classic autistic, and nobody understood me, which they didn’t until I found my people.

And then I’m like, “oh” and I just can’t imagine what it had been like, you know, if I had found my people, you know, earlier, and I don’t know if it would necessarily have helped, or even if I would have been able to find my people, because we didn’t have the internet, you know what I mean? We didn’t have all these things that we have now. And so, yeah, but yeah, it was hard.

I hated school from kindergarten all the way through graduating from college. I hated fucking school. I hated it. You could not pay me, and you know, all those things where people were just like, oh, well, you know, “if you had like a mil- will someone paid a million dollars, if you go back through childhood or like, you know, puberty, whatever, it’s like, you got to fucking be kidding me.

There’s not enough money in this world that would make me go backwards. Are you fucking kidding me? I got to go forward. I was like, I’m trying to see myself at 50.

Like, that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m not trying to go backwards, fuck that shit. Nope. I’m good!

Lyric: Yeah, yeah, no, I …school was the worst time of my life, and I really like, the teachers didn’t even like me.

I, you know, the kids didn’t like me, the teachers didn’t like me. It was that shit show, and I wouldn’t go back.

I left, I left school thinking I was completely incapable of learning. I didn’t realize, oh, if I, actually, study things I like, on my own, I can teach myself almost anything, but I thought I was completely incapable of everything.

Uh, I, I, I hated myself, by the time I left school and it, and then continued to hate myself more and more, until I got to that point at that corporate office job, where I was, you know, pondering, driving off a bridge everyday on the way home from work, you know, before I was finally diagnosed autistic, because it was like, I hated myself so much, because there were all of these expectations.

That the other thing is like salt in the wound is when they tell you you’re exceptional your whole life, and for all of these things, like I was hyperlexic kid. I was reading college level in elementary school.

You know, I was in special ed. I was in gifted and talented. I was in mainstream. It was in all of the different, like no one knew what to do with me, but it was expected that I would be some amazing child because I started reading at one and a.half.

But it was like, I was hyperlexic, and I was like the little kid that spoke like a professor, with this big vocabulary, but I didn’t understand even a lot of things I was parroting, and I appeared wise by my years, but I was very, very immature in so many ways, and then it’s like your whole life, they’re like pressure to be great pressure to be great. I’m also the first grandchild, so it’s like all this pressure to be great.

And like, I became this horrible perfectionist and like just was just like so hard on myself, because I couldn’t attain, and I was supposed to be able to attain, I thought, you know. And it was like..

Asiatu: I can definately relate.

Lyric: You know, and I couldn’t, I felt like I couldn’t do a simple thing, it was the simple things that were hard, and I couldn’t understand it.

And I, I was too focused, before I knew I was autistic, on all of my shortcomings to be, to have space to appreciate my skills.

 Me too.

Asiatu: I relate to all of that, with the exception of, I’m the baby grandchild, so it was, it was definitely the pressure of that, but also instead of being hyper, well, I don’t know.

I wrote really well, but I didn’t necessarily read beyond my, but I wrote way b-beyond, I don’t know if that would necessarily be considered the same.

Lyric: It tends to be kind of like an obsession with re- wording and read- reading, and vocabulary, and texts, tend to have higher reading comprehension than spoken.

Asiatu: See, I have shitty reading comprehension, but I think that was just because of my learning disabilities, but as far as being able to write and express myself, I was always ahead, like, way ahead.

I remember in sixth grade, like one of my teachers said I wrote an essay that was basically on my level, like a nineth grader, and I was in sixth grade.

Yeah. And I was just like, I love to write. And as long as I was writing, again, on something that I was interested in, and that made sense to me, then I can actually articulate, um, I did well.

But the second that it was something that I like didn’t care about or didn’t catch my interest. That was it.

But I didn’t really like reading, I think, because it was more so my attention, and I just couldn’t focus, and I would get so frustrated, because I was like, I was that kid that would read like for an hour and not be able to tell you what the fuck I read.

Like, I would just like, or read the same paragraph, over and over and over again, and it just not connect, and it just not make sense, especially if it was something I wasn’t interested in, it was just, it was a waste of fucking time, like literally a waste of time. Plus I have dyscalcula, so that was a while nother issue. So, yeah.

And the same thing, like they saw me writing, and they saw how I articulated myself and how I was, so, you know, much older, and beyond my ears, and then they couldn’t understand why I struggled with like basic concepts of math, like change and like, you know, reading a clock.

Like it took forever for me to understand. I’m like, “how am I supposed to look at numbers? And it’s not the value of the number. It’s another number. How does this makes sense? Please make this make sense!”

Lyric: I just don’t read analogue clocks… I’m just like no hard pass. I don’t…

Asiatu: You’re telling me number, you taught me numbers. You taught me, they have certain value, but now you’re telling me those same numbers, but those same values mean different things, because they’re placed in a circle on a fucking clock. Like how? And then they’re counted by fives. Like WHAT?

And then there’s 60 minutes in, I mean, 60 minutes in an hour. And then there are multiple hours.

Like what? It just was mind blowing. I was just like, this makes absolutely no fucking sense to me. Like I don’t get it.

And then all that time, with all the all the teachers are just like, “oh, you have to learn this cause he’s not going to always have access to a calculator because, life skills or whatever.” Meanwhile, fast forward, we have a fucking calculator in our pockets: teachers

Lyric: AND all of the encyclapedia,s a dictionary…

Asiatu: Made me go through all that for nothing, for absolutly nothing! But it is what it is.

Lyric: The viewers agree, the analog clocks are evil!

Asiatu: They are! They’re totally evil. Like it makes no sense. Like, I just think it’s rediculous.

Lyric: And so they’re talking about, yeah, and so this is what I was thinking too, with the hyperlexia, it tends to be about the reading specifically, and someone who has dyslexia says that they can write a fine, even though they have dyslexia and they can write really well.

Um, so someone suggested maybe hypergraphia, but we don’t know if that’s a thing or not. So it’d be interesting to Google and see if that’s a thing yet. But I think the thing to think about is that, with us neurodivergent brains, like it was autistic people, especially, we are almost never just autistic.

Like we’re, I don’t know if I’ve met an Autistic person, that’s not autistic plus, in some regard.

Like I’m autistic plus ADHD, hyperlexic. I’ve got an anxiety disorder diagnosed as well. You know, it’s like all these things. I’ve got seizures, you know, it’s like, I’ve got AD- is like, plus hyper, I’ve got a hyper-mobility disorder, you know, they’re, there are all of these buckets that come.

Like IBS, like – WHY?

Asiatu: I think you’re right. So I’m trying to think of if I know anybody that’s just autistic and I’m just like, I don’t, I can’t think of anybody off the top of my head, like yeah, no

And just like, you know, an untramztized Autistic, does that even exist, considering the fact that this world is so anti-autistic, so with that trauma, of course then comes, you know, anxiety, depression, you know, and, and possibly other triggers to other things.

Lyric: So yeah, this could do a whole like hour talking about like, the systematic impacts on mental health, of living in a system that is not de-.

Like, I was like, oh, we can, so do a whole hour and geek out on that. Like why like living in an environment, that doesn’t design with your needs into account, like just crushes your soul and destroys your mental health.

Asiatu: I would LOVE to! I would LOVE that!

Lyric: Let’s talk about doing another, like, we have to do another hour, because this week we’ve done a little over an hour. Like we have to do this again soon.

Asiatu: I would love to! (Inaudable)

Lyric: This was like, I had these questions. We didn’t even need them. We can come, you can bring things to rant. We’ll do this again, because this was GREAT!

Asiatu: YAY!

Lyric: Um, yeah. And some people sent stars, which I didn’t even know was going to be turned on. So I’m going to figure out how to send you some stars. If anyone’s sending me stars, I’m going to send them over.

Asiatu: Thanks.

Lyric: Y’all, so you know… if you send those, it is like pennies on the dollar. Facebook does take most of it, so mehhh..

I don’t, you know, just so y’all know. Yeah. Yeah. Not, not, not the best way to support a content creator, but it is enabled by default.

Um, but I’m going to figure out what that ends up being. I’ll give it a few days, cause people might do more and I want to send those to you for coming and sharing your time with me.

Um, I’m so grateful for your time, and I, I think, unfortunately we don’t do a very good job, always, in this community of understanding the value of people’s mental energy and their time. And so I want to set a good example, since the viewers are sending stars, I want to pass those along.

So just so everyone knows if anyone else sends them, I’m going to pass those over.

Asiatu: Thank you.

Lyric: Yeah. Yeah. Um, I’m going to end the live and then you and I can chat offline, figure out when we can do it again, and what we want to talk about, uh, and when we can do this again, because I think everyone really enjoyed it.

And hopefully, on Facebook, it’s just so everyone’s watching, I will leave the live up. It should automatically post.

I’m going to go check and, make sure the closed captioning worked.

I should have a transcript from this, and if I don’t, I’m going to manually fix the transcript, because I have a software, but that might take me some time.

So if technology works, I’ll get that sorted out really quickly for everyone.

Um, but I’m going to ask a little bit of patience, just in case, because I haven’t done a lot of these in a while, because I’ve been in hiding.

Um, and I’m kind of on partial hiatus, for the rest of the year, as I’m writing, and writing, and hiding. So, uh, I’ll be hiding, um, but keep dropping questions and feedback for us.

I think both for people who can accept and appreciate useful and helpful mindful feedback and things like that.

So if there’s anything you were watching, we’re dying to know or share, I think I’ll be checking the comments and, uh, you know, for the next couple of days to see what’s coming through.

Um, is there anything you wanted to just say to close the floor out, before I end the live?

Asiatu: Just thank you for having me. And this was amazing, and I had so much fun.

And, um, if anybody wants to reach out to me, um, at Asiatu.coach on IM, more active on IG, and if you want to just directly, um, support me, my Venmo and cash app is AsiatuCoach.

Lyric: If y’all are y’all are doing the coins on Facebook, that is a better way, because that way all of the money goes that way instead of Facebook stealing a touch.

Uh, so Hey, uh, feel free to drop. I want you to drop your links in the comments, after we get off the live so that people can find your Instagram and your payment links. I want people to be able to find that too, so they can do that for you.

All right, humans. Thank you all for hanging out with us this week.

We’re going to do this again because this is just fab.

Asiatu: Same! Same!

Lyric: All right, everyone. Talk to you later.

patreon

Help me get the word out!!! – If you like what I do, and would like more, please consider subscribing on Patreon. This blog is made possible by support from readers like YOU!  (Sharing my content is also, equally helpful!)

With gratitude

-Lyric

One thought on “A Conversation with Asiatu Lawoyin

Leave a Reply to mlmusic Cancel reply