About autisticaplanet

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Welcome to a blog about an autistic adult woman in her late 30's using words and images to advocate acceptance as well as awareness of those with life-limiting sensory processing issues and resulting social and behavioral challenges. I write about inclusion ideas for those who remain in isolation due to their neuromakeup and share how my Christian faith keeps me going. Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Which part of me "doesn't look autistic"? Which part of me does?

I posted a side by side picture of myself on my FB page. One has me with no glasses, smiling into the camera. Another has me with glasses on and smiling, but my gaze is off.
I wanted to show through photography the rediculousness of telling someone "they don't look autistic" or that they must fit the stereotype when they aren't making eye contact, but making ever effort to be plesant. That isn't hard to do in nature.
I think the media created a stereotype at least over the past two decades that an autistic person must be white, male distant, apathetic and having a persistant, off gaze all of the time.
I do have a slightly lazy right eye. When I am stressed or very tired, the eye does move off center. That is also my migraine eye.
Sometimes, my ever buzzing mind distracts me right before a picture is taken. The smartphones can be hard to see exactly where the lens is, especially if I want a picture taken sans glasses. Sometimes, in the case of the selfie or groupie (I only do them to document where I go in any given moment of time and to showcase the effort that goes into looking presentable in public, not to post to get "likes"), it is hard for me to focus on just where the target is.
I don't make eye contact, even with people I've known my whole life. It isn't to be rude, it simply is too much information. My mind can't focus on the content of what they're saying. Looking at their feet or the top of their head is about it.
As a growing Christian, I practice ways to be empathetic. I don't lack empathy, but can miss others' cues that they need it. I listen to their words and tone of voice. What is the context of their speech? Is their tone indicating something is wrong even if they say, "I'm fine."?
I hope this gives someone reading better information about women autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that will disprove the media stereotypes. Maybe you are part of the media. This is one autism story that addresses one very misunderstood topic. Listen to ASD individuals, their families and friends. It is my hope that the stereotypes will begin to dissolve and a broader picture will form. It may take a little time, like a Polaroid picture, but I believe it can happen.