#ActuallyAutistic #AskingAutistics – do you have comfort movies, shows, or songs?
There are many Autistic stereotypes that I (like many Autistic People) won’t fit into because people are more complex and varied than stereotypes are. However, because Autistics are also defined in a particular medical context, there are stereotypes that I (and many of us) will fit from time to time.
One Autistic trait I fit was the kid who repeatedly watched the same movie (or scene of a film) or song (or small section of a piece).
In addition to being Autistic, I also am ADHD (combined type). Being an Autistic ADHDer (or AuDHD) means I am of two conflicting “brains.” The “Autistic Brain” likes routine, predictability, and sameness, and the ADHD brain is always dopamine searching, looking for entertainment like an insatiable itch.
To feed both wolves (brains), I constantly search for the perfect balance of predictable novelty (or dopamine) seeking, engaging in hobbies I can attain thrill through mastery and repetitive practice—music, skating, kayaking, hiking, paddle boarding, and physical exercise. These hobbies scratch an itch, always nagging and hungry for more, even when tired.
Sometimes I scratch this itch by watching one of my comfort movies (movies I can watch over and over again and still enjoy) or by listening to songs I’ve heard so many times I can play them back in my head, every lyric and note from start to finish.
Today, as we sit in an undisclosed parking lot, one of my favorite comfort movies, Disney’s Cars, plays in the background as I write this piece. Like a song I love and get enough of, I’ve played this movie more times than I can count, memorizing the lines, visuals, and scenes.
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