Friday, September 11, 2009

10 things, no questions

Ten Things That I Wish You Would Accept, No Questions Asked:

1. I can be surprisingly good at one thing (say, remembering conversations precisely as they happened many years after the fact) and surprisingly bad at another thing that you might think should be so much easier (like keeping track of receipts or remembering the procedure for filling a prescription).

2. Just because I have the words to type it does not mean that I have the words to say it.

3. I really do hate to melt down, especially in public. If there were another way out, I would always take it.

4. I never play stupid. If I ask a question or say I don't get it, it means I don't get it. Please don't make me feel dumber by saying that I'm faking it, just because it seems straightforward.

5. What may be slightly bothersome to you, like the waistband on a pair of pants, can cause me to be a witch all day... or at least until I change clothes. If I'm crabby, it's because something is physically uncomfortable in the sensory realm of things. Until that thing changes, I will continue to be crabby.

6. I can't control my excitement over cats. So if you mention cats or point out a cat, realize that I'm going to get excited. Let me enjoy it. A little happiness never hurt anyone, eh?

7. I am often completely unaware of self-injurious behaviors. I scratch, hit, bite, and pick often, and much more frequently when I'm agitated for some reason. In the moment, I don't know that I'm doing it; if made aware, it's so compulsive that I almost physically can't stop myself. But using my head, obviously I don't like the results of it.

8. I am exactly the same person inside regardless of how engaged (or disengaged) I am with the environment and others in it. Yes, you might have to change some things based on how I'm reacting in that moment, but please continue to treat me like the same person that I am.

9. Engagement and happiness do not depend on one another! I can be just as happy off in my own world as I am fully engaged with you. However, a lot depends on you, here. If I'm disengaged and you're forcing me to "act normal," then no, I don't feel very happy. If you're interacting with me in a way that I can in that moment, then I can be as happy as I've ever been.

10. While autism does mean that I am absorbed within myself (aut means self, after all), that doesn't mean that I don't want you around. If you can come to me, rather than forcing me out of my world to come to you, then I'd love to let you in. There's a whole world in here... maybe you should check it out.


  1. What you say is so important. I am going to copy it for school.

    I think you need to print it out and leave it lying anywhere you need people to know this face to face!

    I hope you are making it through your difficult week in one piece?

  2. I'm encouraged that you managed to post after your two eight hour shifts - you made it! Well done! :)

    That ten things list seems perfectly OK to me. Do you mind if I use it? Send it to shool and to all the places Bear goes? You two are so similar it's scary.

  3. Lydia, this is amazing. I am going to frame it and laminate it. You are giving words to my son to help me understand. And to help everyone understand. Thank you.

  4. Please, use it however you like :)

  5. Lydia, I'd like very much to use this on my own blog and point people to yours.

    It is probably very much what my own daughter goes through and is very similar to what my mom has been able to tell me.

    Jenn B