Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact VS Stereotype

The Accountant
PR 2017

Autism is a wide spectrum and now that I finally had the willpower to watch the 2017 Reboot, let’s talk Autism: Facts VS Stereotype

Stereotype: People with Autism don’t want to socialize

Fact: People with Autism have a HARDER time socializing. I’ve been out about my diagnosis of Autism at 16. I declined a wedding to a friend from high school

Stereeotype Autistics have 3-5 interests and no social skills

Fact: Some Autistics can’t even talk

Repetitive Behavior

When I was younger I used to say give me homework whenever I didn’t know what to do. The worst punishment I ever got from my parents was go to my bedroom for a time out to stew in my own juices. My younger brother who you read is the family and my dad make me take him in

The importance of “Happy Birthday”

This is primarily me but my old therapist was impressed by how I knew were my real friends are. If you have 3 people in the room. Let’s say 2 of them are autistic and one isn’t. I know when to help someone out if they’re frightened or scared. Case in point the suicide in my life from 2016!

Eye Contact

This is where I struggled but now I’m able to do it

Stereotype: Autistic people love Math and Yugioh

Fact: In high school, I didn’t like Math Class. I had to take special ed Math and there were students who always talked about doing Marijuana. The majority of my college crew were autistic but there was only 1 who was into Yugioh. Back when I was still closeted and with a toxic closeted friend

Collections

Starting at the age of 10, I started collecting action figures. At 14 I was interviewed for them on the radio. At 16, I used them in my high school’s comedy talent show. Now that I have my own apartment my next step is to give them to my pen pal’s son. Now that I have my own place my collection is going to be pins, fridge magnets and movies. I will still be collecting figures occasionally until the Russians arrive but my pen pal was helpful when Fuzzy died.

Unable to read Humor or Sarcasm

As you saw in the clip, Billy tells Jason he can’t understand Humor or Sarcasm. This is a stereotype. I like telling jokes and I’m not sarcastic. I’m the first one to tell a joke but I also stand up for the person who got bullied

Memory

Your average person has their earliest memory come about from when they’re 5. My earliest memory is from when I was 3.

“All people with Autism are the same”

When I heard this I was angry and the director pretty much got away with it or so she thought. This just shows ignorance and prejudice. When Fuzzy died I vowed to continue my education until I graduated.

Making Physical contact

I will hug and kiss others.

Sex

When my last girlfriend wanted sex, I wanted to wait because even though I’ve been living on my own I wanted to wait but she didn’t. Who I have sex with is going to be difficult. My last girlfriend refused to call herself that since it sounded to teenager for her but I was trying to help her with her kids

Am I a robot?

Of course not! Last Monday I was angry because my job coach completely blanked about our appointment.

Determination to reach a goal.

I want to end this on an empowering note. I’m 31 now but 3 years ago

Does Sam ever want to get married?

Yes and the junior rabbi from his Bar Mitzvah years will lead the ceremony and his online community is invited!

Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact VS Stereotype

On being an Autistic Jew – What is a sensory overload

This is something that’s really important if you have someone with Autism. I was diagnosed when there was still the split between Asperger Syndrome and Autism. Now it’s just Autism Spectrum Disorder. I digress though.

As I said I have a vision loss so I hear and smell everything. My sense of touch is very acute. So what exactly happens? Imagine walking down the street just minding your own business. You hear, a woman talking on her cell phone, you see the guy eating a bag of chips nearby, or you’re at a party, so many people talking at once. The music is playing in the background, the clinking of glasses. This wouldn’t bother someone who is “Normal”. But to those on the spectrum, it would.

Over the years I’ve learned how to control this. I’ve learned how to make eye contact as to appear normal but my self loathing of wanting to be Normal has disappeared. For me, I was kicked out of several groups of Autism for being too friendly. All my life, I’ve been different.

Sensory overloads cannot be avoided but there are things that can help:

Noise canceling headphones

You can also distract yourself. Try to think about something you like. For me, I’m an aspiring jack of all trades. I’ve trained myself for the most part to handle sensory overloads. Some are more difficult than others. If you have one, I urge you to find someplace quiet. Then take 3 deep breaths and count to ten

Don’t take the path I did during my teenage years and see Autism as a curse. It wasn’t until I was 24 that I felt like I could come into my own. Only YOU, know what YOU want out of life so let’s go from there next time. Let’s talk about what I want.

 

On being an Autistic Jew – What is a sensory overload

On being a Jew with Autism: Advocacy

In this day and age people either know someone who has Autism or are Autistic themselves. I wrote my last blog to set my foot in the door. As someone who believes in Advocacy, I want to do things like public speaking and standup comedy and I write, I want to eventually open my own restaurant and be on Saturday Night Live and the Simpsons.

On my mother’s side, I’m the 3rd eldest of 8 grandchildren. On my Father’s side I’m the eldest of 4 grandchildren. I’m human just like anyone else but I’m the only one with Autism on both sides who’s willing to make a change for people with Autism. In part 3, we’ll discuss education.

For those unfamiliar with A Bar Mitzvah, it requires a lot of Education, Preparation, Determination and it’s all about the destination. My portion, Sh’emini, was all about boundaries and rules. I remember the first 3 words, “Ki Ani Adonai” Honestly I don’t remember the rest. The Rabbi is only there to help, but YOU are in charge during that service.

My Bar Mitzvah was 7 months after the 9/11 terrorist attack. 3 years after my Bar Mitzvah when I was a high school Sophomore, I spoke at an interfaith service in Downtown Seattle. My Speech was well received and had people saying I did a great job with it. Public speaking isn’t for all autistic people, in fact, it takes a rare breed to step forward.

Towards the end of my sophomore year, I was confirmed and we each needed to give a confirmation speech. I was not afraid to admit to having Autism. If I could get a job working at a mental illness center as a desk receptionist, I’d have no problem. Maybe speak publicly for Autism Speaks or a supporter of some Tourette’s group But, I digress

As I got into college, I attended not 1, not 2, but 10 leadership conferences. I met 2 of them through student leadership one of which got my degree, the other one was there for the degree and he got involved with student leadership. Two of them I knew in high school.

So here’s my advice to people who are on the spectrum:

Only YOU know your life. YOU are in the driver’s seat.

Take charge of YOUR life.

A sense of humor will help get you far

Make the best with what you have

and Finally

Be Patient! I cannot stress this point enough. Keep yourself busy with multiple hobbies

 

To those who aren’t on the spectrum:

Be Understanding – No two autistic people are alike. I know I said that last time, but you have to realize that life is full of gray areas.

Share strategies – Just because someone has Autism, doesn’t mean that they don’t care.

Don’t treat them like they’re stupid – People with Autism have different ways of looking at something that you might not have thought of

 

Finally a mutual point for both parties

Respect boundaries – If someone doesn’t smoke and you do, find a way to compromise. Life is what you make of it, you can only make your life work according to you. I started this blog since I actually want to get a job at some sort of advocacy mentall illness focus group. For Example, right now I currently make meals at Hero House. Hero House is a wellness center dedicated to helping people seek employment and just a positive place for people. My dream job is to be an advocate for a non profit such as Hero House. Eventually I want to speak for something like that, but for an Autism focus group. If you’d like to find out more about Hero House, visit our website at:

http://www.herohouse.org

If you are interested in becoming a member and would like to try one of our lunches, they are $2. This might seem like a shameless plug but I’m trying to promote this non profit. Thank you

 

On being a Jew with Autism: Advocacy