AskingAutistics – David Rivera pt 1 – Autism, Echolalia, and Mimicry

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Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on December 25, 2022. The video’s public release will be January 4, 2023.

This is Pt 1 of the interview with David. Stay tuned for pt 2 next week.

ID: David, a medium brown skinned human, with long, curly, salt and pepper hair, and Lyric, a pale skinned multiracial nonbinary person with short green, teal, and purple hair with shaved sides and jet black roots are sitting on a sofa next to one another in an RV. There is an open window behind them. The words “Autism, Echolalia, and Mimicry” float in front of them in pale teal and green letters.


[00:00:00] Lyric: I’ve been thinking about the direction. I want NeuroDivergent Rebel to go in the new year, and I’ve built up with the help of all of you, this platform that I think is really awesome, but I think it has the potential to be even more awesome. And as many of you know, the reason I started asking autistic is because I never want my voice to be the only voice that’s heard on this platform.

So I ask a lot of questions, hoping that many of you will share your experiences as well. And in the new year, I’m hoping to start interviewing other neurodivergent voices in the community, and today I’m going to start with my first interview, and I’m really, really, really excited about this one. Long waited.

As many of you have already might know, my first guest is my husband, the wonderful, talented, and handsome David Rivera.

David, would you like to come to the sofa?

[00:01:01] David: No, not really.

[00:01:02] Lyric: I know David’s very reluctant and doesn’t wanna be on camera, and I told Dave, you don’t even have to look at the camera. You can pretend it’s not here.

[00:01:08] David: Camera’s not here.

[00:01:09] Lyric: The camera’s not here. I love you.

You want it And they’d be like…

[00:01:48] David: You know what it is, I’m uncomfortable being on camera.

[00:01:50] Lyric: Yeah, I know you are. It’s okay. That’s why I said, just look at me instead.

[00:01:53] David: I’m gonna look outside .

[00:01:54] Lyric: Okay, that’s fine.

I have your, I have some of your questions here. I guess I’ll put that there too. Our beverages can sit there and be dating, while we have our date on the couch.

[00:02:02] David: Yay!

[00:02:02] Lyric: I’ll talk to you and… hi!

[00:02:04] David: Not you.

[00:02:05] Lyric: Oh, the beverages. The beverages.

[00:02:06] David: Yeah.

[00:02:07] Lyric: So I’ll talk to you, uh, and they’re here… They’re here, but just, you know, it’s just you and me. It’s just you and me.

[00:02:12] David: Just you and I..

[00:02:13] Lyric: Yeah, exactly.

Uh, so mm-hmm. , I’ll, I’ll, I’ll pick this first question, from Mote’s Place the Page, and I think it’ll be easy for you right now.

And it’s: “what do you find frustrating?”

[00:02:25] David: This interview.

[00:02:26] Lyric: Yeah, that’s okay. I thought that might be the case.

This interview.

[00:02:31] David: Uh, doing things that are not in my timeframe.

[00:02:35] Lyric: Yeah.

[00:02:36] David: You know, I struggle with. I like to be prepared, and know what I’m getting into. I don’t like to put myself in situations that I’m not, of course, not comfortable in, but it’s.

I don’t know.

[00:02:51] Lyric: Yeah, that’s okay. I, I was like that- that’d be a really appropriate question for this right now.

[00:02:55] David: Did I even answer? I have no idea.

[00:02:56] Lyric: Yeah. What do you find frustrating? Well, right now, I knew it was like, this interview…

[00:02:59] David: Things that are not in my hands, number one, you know? And I normally don’t do things that are not in my hands.

I like to be in control of my situations. That way I can escape if I need to. .

I can’t escape this video. I can, I can walk out if I want to.

[00:03:12] Lyric: I appreciate you not escaping the video. I really do.

[00:03:16] David: I feel like I’m in prison right now.

[00:03:17] Lyric: Oh!

[00:03:18] David: I feel like I’m in prison. It doesn’t feel right. .

Oh, Liviu – Radu

[00:03:23] Lyric: Liviu-

[00:03:23] David: Liviu-

[00:03:25] Lyric: I’d ask about his personal interest and what brings him joy. Music, books, nature. It would be nice to hear him talk about things he’s passionate about. What’s something you’re passionate about? What, what? What is your, what are you interested in right now?

[00:03:36] David: I don’t know. Not much anymore.

[00:03:38] Lyric: I know, since we hit the road, like you’ve been so busy trying to like…

[00:03:41] David: I haven’t had time to do me.

[00:03:44] Lyric: I think you need something. I was thinking that the other day. I was like, you need a hobby right now.

[00:03:49] David: I don’t have one.

[00:03:50] Lyric: I know.

[00:03:51] David: I drive. I drive when necessary. I love driving.

[00:03:54] Lyric: You’re also very creative.

[00:03:55] David: Uh, I guess, but..

[00:03:58] Lyric: You’ve done photography in the past. You’re really good with-

[00:04:00] David: years ago-

[00:04:01] Lyric: you’re very good with videography.

[00:04:03] David: Not today-

[00:04:04] Lyric: Today you were tired and didn’t wanna do the interview.

[00:04:08] David: I don’t like being on video either, so… like your little video clips that you do or whatever. I’m like, I’m in there for like a second. So not a big deal.

[00:04:13] Lyric: We’ve been breaking you in slowly.

[00:04:15] David: Slowly.

[00:04:15] Lyric: Popping that video


[00:04:17] David: Yeah. So, uh, hobbies? Nah, not really. None.

[00:04:21] Lyric: Not right now.

[00:04:21] David: Not now.

[00:04:23] Lyric: What do you think you might wanna be interested in?

[00:04:26] David: hobbies?

[00:04:26] Lyric: Yeah.

[00:04:27] David: Right now?

[00:04:28] Lyric: Yeah.

[00:04:28] David: A lot of my energy goes into the house, the truck, uh, keeping it maintained, and a lot of things we do, you and I just do things together.

Like we socialize together, we talk about this together, we talk about our past together.

So the hobby we do right now is just building us.

[00:04:44] Lyric: Yeah.

[00:04:44] David: That’s what we mainly do. We talk about us, and our relationship, uh, how we’re feeling, how we’re doing, what can change.

[00:04:52] Lyric: Reconnecting with each other. I got really burnt out a few years ago in my corporate job, where I worked a million hours. Not a million, literally, but a lot of hours all the time.

Just around the clock. I was never unavailable. Never.

You can drink on camera. I just try not to eat on camera, cuz the chewing sounds.

[00:05:09] David: What sound?

[00:05:10] Lyric: The chewing sounds. Chewing, chewing, chewing. Chewing. Chewing, chewing. Anyway, chew.

So I got disconnected, because I completely shut down and had no energy for my passions, my hobbies, or Dave.

Poor Dave, was isolated for a really long time, and I had just kind of shut down, and just like went into myself, because I was just in survival mode…

[00:05:28] David: Yeah, but back, back then I was into the photography and editing stuff. So…

[00:05:32] Lyric: You had something to do?

[00:05:32] David: I was, yeah, I had something to do. I didn’t need you.

[00:05:35] Lyric: Oh, . . Damn, damn. Wow.

Oh, this is a good one: Read Madden- do you have echolalia, yourself? If so, what tends to trigger it more often? What are, and also what are your comfort songs, shows, or movies?

[00:05:53] David: Too many questions!

[00:05:53] Lyric: Okay, so let’s do the echolalia first. Do you have Echolalia????

[00:05:56] David: Right, but not in the form that they asked.

[00:05:59] Lyric: What triggers your Echolalia?

[00:06:01] David: I think the question was “echo yourself”.

[00:06:03] Lyric: No. Do you have echolalia yourself?

[00:06:05] David: Oh, I heard do you echolalia yourself.

[00:06:07] Lyric: Yeah. Do you have echolalia, yourself?

[00:06:09] David: I do. Mm-hmm.

[00:06:10] Lyric: Definitely. We echo each other a lot.

[00:06:12] David: A lot!

[00:06:13] Lyric: Yeah. What triggers it more often? Which, what do you think triggers it? Me.

[00:06:16] David: Lyric.

[00:06:17] Lyric: Yeah.

[00:06:18] David: Dogs. The truck. A noise from the truck, hitting a pothole.

The grocery stores, anybody who’s near me at a grocery store, if a child is near me and makes a sound, I’ll do that. Uh, if an adult is saying something that sounds kind of different to me, I’ll repeat that.

I do a lot of running away in the grocery store, or the convenience store or, you know, just anywhere…

 When we go out shopping, uh, like we did the Santa Fe once, and we went around the square and you know, there’s a bunch of noises out there. Yeah. I mimic noises.

[00:06:51] Lyric: Like when you accidentally echoed that child and like – that mom’s gonna kill me – RUN!!! Cause you didn’t- and cause you, nobody’s gonna assume it’s an Autistic adult.

They’re gonna assume you’re making fun of their child.

[00:07:02] David: Making fun of somebody.

[00:07:02] Lyric: Then Ma Bear’s gonna come for you.

[00:07:04] David: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:07:04] Lyric: You’ve gotta get the heck out of there, you know? Cuz people assume Autistic adults don’t exist.

[00:07:08] David: But not only that, here’s what I also do. I, this is so weird.

[00:07:15] Lyric: No.

[00:07:15] David: I- like at the grocery store – if I hear someone ask a question, I’ll answer it, even though they’re not talking to me. It’s not echolalia or anything, but –

[00:07:26] Lyric: I don’t do that one.

[00:07:27] David: I, I, I, I like, if a kid asks his mom, “mom, can I have this candy?” And I hear it and I’m like, “sure, grab it”. You know, I’ll just say stuff like that.

Or someone’s talking on the phone at a grocery store, you know, and they’ll say something and I’ll answer the question how I’m feeling in that moment. You know, “how did you like the concert or whatever?” “I didn’t go to the concert after all”, you know, I’ll say, you know, but that’s just me in passing.

It’s just a thing.

[00:07:51] Lyric: What about people’s accents?

[00:07:53] David: Accents? I’ll do accents too if I hear them, or they’re interesting enough for my ear.

[00:07:58] Lyric: There was a second question, is another question, also from Reid. “What are your comfort shows, songs, and movies?”

[00:08:06] David: Comfort shows, shows. I like comedy, like MASH, number one.

[00:08:10] Lyric: Oh yeah.

[00:08:11] David: I love M.A.S.H.. What did we watch you and I with the Families? Life and Pieces!

[00:08:15] Lyric: Oh yeah. Oh, you like those murder shows? Murder, documentaries?

[00:08:20] David: Forensic files, not all murder whatever, but forensic files. I take interest,

[00:08:25] Lyric: “Bla-bla-blaa-blaa” I don’t even know what they’re saying, but I just know tone, like “walking in the night, he never got”

I don’t know what they’re saying

[00:08:37] David: 6am never made it home- where does she disappear? .

[00:08:39] Lyric: It has this –

like rhythmic, you know, it’s all, I don’t know it.

[00:08:44] David: It’s a soothing type of narration.

[00:08:46] Lyric: I don’t find it soothing, but I can tune it out.

[00:08:48] David: You don’t find it soothing?

[00:08:49] Lyric: Listening to them graphically describe murders?

[00:08:51] David: No. The guy talking, the guy who’s talking, who’s narrating.

[00:08:54] Lyric: Because I’m a visual thinker, when they’re describing disturbing things…

[00:08:56] David: Why did she not

make it home – you know?

[00:08:58] Lyric: It’s like it’s, I’m too involved to find that relaxing. Like that is stressful to me. But like someone else who’s a really close friend of mine also found them relaxing. So, you know, you’re not the only person, and I bet someone out here listening right now actually would find that relaxing as well.

I don’t think you’re alone in that, either. I, I’m pretty sure you’re not.

Drop a comment if you find forensic files, or something similar, to be relaxing. I, I’m, I’m betting you’ll have, you’ll have others.

[00:09:25] David: Yeah.

[00:09:25] Lyric: Sally thinks you’re so cute.

[00:09:28] David: Sally. Think other thoughts.

[00:09:29] Lyric: Oh my gosh. . . Uh, oh.

This is, I’ll put, this one might be putting you on the spot and if it’s not

[00:09:36] David: Don’t put me on the spot.

[00:09:37] Lyric: That’s okay. Okay. Yeah. It’s okay. You can always pass on any of them, that’s why I was like, you can relax, cause you could pass.

Bianca White says, “when did he know he loved you?”

[00:09:47] David: About seven years after, into our relationship.

[00:09:51] Lyric: Take some people longer.

[00:09:53] David: About seven years.

[00:09:54] Lyric: Yeah.

[00:09:54] David: That was, that was easy. Something like that. Seven, six years.

Okay. But do I answer why or what’s, I don’t understand –

[00:10:00] Lyric: that, that that was just all they asked.

That’s all they asked.

[00:10:03] David: It was the spring of 2010.

[00:10:08] Lyric: You were

[00:10:08] David: making that up aren’t you?

I don’t know.

[00:10:09] Lyric: I was like, you don’t actually know that one, do you? It’s okay.

[00:10:12] David: She’s gonna fall.

[00:10:13] Lyric: She’s gonna, yeah, she might. As long as she don’t take my laptop with her.

Punch me.

[00:10:29] David: You punch you.

[00:10:30] Lyric: I punched me. In your face.

[00:10:31] David: You punched you.

[00:10:32] Lyric: I punched me in the ear.



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With gratitude,

– Lyric

One thought on “AskingAutistics – David Rivera pt 1 – Autism, Echolalia, and Mimicry

  1. Do you guys ever make your way up to Kansas City area? I’d love to meet you or hear you speak sometime!

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