Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on November 1, 2021. The video’s public release will be December 15, 2021.
It’s rarely just Autism. If you would like to know more and would like to hear me elaborate on what I mean by this, please do stay tuned. As we jump in.
Shortest intro ever, because I wanted to get into the meat of this all at once; but first let’s, let’s look at this definition of neurodiversity, because there’ve been a lot of new people joining recently.
I talk a lot about neurodiversity, and some people might not know what that is yet, so we’re going to assume people are new.
Neurodiversity is a term that was coined in the late 1990s by Judy Singer, and Judy is an Autistic sociologist, and what Judy proposed was: that diverse neurological conditions, such as autism dyslexia, ADHD, discalcula hyperlexia, dyspraxia, Tourette syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, et cetera, all of which are, actually, more common in the Autistic population.
What Judy argued was that these diverse neurological conditions are normal variations of human brain type, or I say different shades of humanity. Different minds.
When we talk about neurodiversity we are rejecting the long held belief that people whose minds work differently are a bad thing.
Without neurodiversity we are asking people like me who are Autistic, ADHD, and more, to squeeze ourselves into broken systems, that have been created and developed by NeuroTypical people, instead of flexing these systems so that we can find more equitable solutions for everybody.
So now that we’ve got some of the basics down, back to my original statement, as I opened this video, ” it’s rarely just autism.”
I am Autistic and I also have ADHD. There are some mental health issues I have, some diagnosed, some not. I have diagnosed anxiety disorder, in addition to being Autistic. I have a diagnosis of IBS. I have migraines and seizures in addition to being Autistic. I have insomnia in addition to being Autistic.
There’s just many things that Autistic People can have going on in addition to being Autistic. I am also hyperlexic, in addition to being Autistic. I am not just Autistic. I am Autistic and I have more going on in my life, which, I mean, it’s the case with NeuroTypical People.
They are not just NeuroTypical many NeuroTypical people also have additional things going on in their life, and may have additional health conditions or disabilities in addition to being NeuroTypical. It happens.
Too often I see an issue where people will dismiss an Autistic Person, who is showing signs of being in distress, or showing signs of having something else going on, in addition to being Autistic, that they could potentially need help with, or get help with.
For example, my social anxiety, that is something I have in addition to being Autistic, that can be helped or made worse by ignoring or caring for that, but some Autistic People, if they are dismissed, that can lead the Autistic Person to not getting help, because someone just says, “oh, Autistic People just have these problems. That’s part of being Autistic” instead of treating the additional issues that Autistic People can have going on.
Another example for me is I am Autistic, and I also have auditory processing issues, which means I can sometimes miss hear words, and I don’t hear words correctly word for word. I also have sensory issues, and I can be a bit clumsy because being Autistic can also impact our fine motor control and it takes me longer to learn, to do things that require a lot of motor control, and I have really bad handwriting.
This is not because I am Autistic, because some autistic people may not have the particular set of issues that I am dealing with. These are just things that can happen with Autistic People, and are more likely to happen with Autistic People.
Something else that can happen with Autistic People, just like it can with non-autistic people is we can be intellectually gifted, or we may be intellectually disabled, or we may be intellectually average – air quotes.
I HATE the way they describe all of these things, because I think intelligence comes in many forms, and standardized IQ tests, and standardized measures of intelligence are very limited, and tend to be biased, and tend to only measure one particular type of intelligence.
As I said, there are many types of intelligence, but often these types of standardized measures are used against Autistic and NeuroDivergent People. We can be in that full range of spectrum within these standardized, stigmatized, measures, just like non-autistic people. These things are in addition to being Autistic.
Actually, even the same person, can be all over the map with these measures. For example, with myself, I spent time in both special education. I spent time in gifted and talented, and I spent time in mainstream. So I, I I’ve been in all three of these buckets.
I have been called, so many different things, and it really depends on who’s looking at me, what they say, whether I’m gifted, remedial, excellent, or average, or lazy. It’s it’s all, it’s all opinions, from the outside, without asking what’s going on inside my head.
There are a lot of differences that can happen with Autistic People. We can have sensory and motor control differences. We can have intellectual differences. We can have mental health difficulties, anxiety, depression, obsessive, compulsive disorder, other neurotypes and ADHD, hyperlexia, dyslexia, dyspraxia. We can also have
physical health conditions, such as MCAS, EDS, POTS – lot of letters, but not all Autistic People are going to have all of these things. They are just things that may occur with Autistic People. So they are not, by definition, part of being Autistic. They are things we should be paying attention to and looking for and taking care of when we are treating Autistic and NeuroDivergent People’s health.
Autistic and NeuroDivergent health is different than NeuroTypical health – that is the point.
Even medications, that are intended for NeuroTypical brains, may not work the same with NeuroDivergent brains.
We need doctors, professionals, and people to understand that NeuroDivergent brains really are different and, we are not broken NeuroTypicals, so that we can look at us as complete, whole, people, and stop dismissing us when we have legitimate, additional, health issues.
It’s like they forget that Autistics are people, and this is the thing:
When they only want to talk about the worst parts being Autistic, they often will list off co-occurring health conditions, that some Autistic People have, as part of the gloom and doom against Autistic People saying, “look, autistic people are so horrible. It’s so horrible to be Autistic. They can have epilepsy, they can have digestive problems.”
Okay. Well, you know, non-autistic people can also have digestive problems and epilepsy. So I’m just going to throw that back at you there. Let’s look at solving stomach problems and epilepsy and sort of looking at solving autism.
Let’s look at solving all of this misinformation, because people are making me tired. Autistic People… I think we’re all tired of trying to explain our existence.
Most people don’t have to constantly explain their existence to others, unless you’re part of a minority group. Being Autistic, being trans, in addition, a lot of Autistic People are also trans… being multiply marginalized, it’s like:
I have to constantly explain that I have a right to exist, and I’m not a brokem human. It Is exhausting. This is just another one of those things that they use against.
Thanks for hanging out this week and attending this; I feel it was more of a rant… more of a rant than anything else, but I hope it was an educational rant. I hope you found this rant somewhat helpful.
I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Please drop a comment below and let me know if I am on track, off track, or completely off the rails with this one.
These are some things that have been rattling and rolling around in my head for a while, and I thought it was time to try and put some of this out there.
Hopefully it makes sense to someone, and if not, please do tell me if I am blowing smoke, so to speak.
Alrighty humans. Thanks to everyone. Thanks for watching this entire video. If you are still here. Woo. Thanks! Thanks for hanging out and sharing these videos if you found it helpful. Very, very grateful for you.
And thanks to the Patreon, and Facebook, and YouTube channel members, who do the little monetary help to help fund the blog.
This, this blog is made possible by viewers like you. So I’m really grateful for each and every one of you. I will talk to you all next Wednesday. Good Bye!
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With gratitude, – Lyric