Saturday, July 25, 2020

What Makes Me "Creepy"? Advice for Autistic guys on approaching women

This is for all you awesome autistic guys (and AMAB folks) out there who are attracted to women (and/or AFAB folks).

I know many (but not all) of you struggle to approach these lovely people for multiple reasons, and being perceived as "creepy" is a common obstacle--even if you are a genuinely nice person with the best of intentions.

For those who love and need in-depth explanations of social dynamics, I found a great video that thoroughly explains what traits and behaviors are often perceived as "creepy" and why. (TW for descriptions of sexual harassment)


Note: This video seems to mainly be aimed at guys (& AMAB people) but could be useful for other people as well.
--> Also, keep reading for a useful article on reading body language, it's definitely related.


HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO AUTISTIC PEOPLE?

Since many of these points can be attributed to social ambiguity and awkwardness (plus some relating to appearance management like hygiene... a struggle for some autistics), it's not surprising that autistic people sometimes "creep" out other people, especially neurotypicals.

Part of this may be due to differences in communication and social norms (autistics basically have their own culture), but I think it's multiplied when an autistic person was not taught how to properly navigate other people's boundaries. In these cases, it's likely that they could creep out other autistics, too.

If someone is more vulnerable than you (like a cis woman or AFAB person), violating their boundaries (even unintentionally), could set off their fight or flight. Even bordering on boundary violation could have the same effect and contribute to you being perceived as "creepy."


BODY LANGUAGE IS A FACTOR
Unfortunately... but learning is possible!

I hope that the insight in this video helps, so next time you approach a woman or AFAB person, you have a better idea of what kind of things could make them feel unsafe. But now that we know what to avoid... what do we do? How do we respond? And more importantly...

How do you even know if someone is uncomfortable?

A major answer is... Reading body language. (Unfortunately for autistics...)

Some people will outright tell you, but even in those cases, it's often preceded by some sort of non-verbal cue (even autistics do this!) that communicates their discomfort. Catching the discomfort early makes a huge difference.

Read this awesome article for specific examples of body language and possible meanings.


Social stuff is freakin' hard. I have mad respect for genuinely kind straight cis autistic guys who are trying their best to navigate social situations. It's frustrating when you want to connect but it's like a complicated game without instructions.

I hope my blog post, the video, and the article link provided you with some ideas of what to do and what to avoid, so the other person feels comfortable with you and you can connect more easily.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

"I am a disillusioned BCBA: Autistics are right about ABA" by NeuroClastic

This article, "I am a disillusioned BCBA: Autistics are right about ABA" by NeuroClastic is incredible. If you are considering becoming a BCBA, or putting your child in ABA (or if they already are), please read this article first. 

On another note, many Autistics are dehumanized and treated this way outside of ABA, too. I witnessed it happening all the time in special ed and other settings, and I had internalized those messages that I will not be loved and cared for unless I act neurotypical. It has been detrimental to my mental health.

Thankfully, I have been able to unlearn much of that in my adult years. I may not have been so lucky had I been put in ABA. 

ABA is like an intense, concentrated form of the gradual behavioral conditioning society pushes on autistic people.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Problem with ''Autism Mom'' Merch (and what to buy instead)

I got a Facebook ad for a shirt (not pictured in thumbnail, but it's in the video) that can be harmful to autistic people. I explain why the shirt is harmful, and some alternatives that are more supportive. Support my work! (one-time donation) The Ableist History of the Puzzle Piece How Autism Speaks has NOT been kind to autistic people Before you donate to Autism Speaks, consider the facts Self-regulation methods that have helped me feel my best Fierce Autie edited the sunflower shirt design and made it auesome! BETTER AUTISM MERCH, FOR AUTISTIC PEOPLE (that supports #ActuallyAutistic people) Neurodiversi-Tee
Fierce Autie Neurodivergent Rebel Growing Up Autie BETTER AUTISM T-SHIRTS, FOR PARENTS, FRIENDS AND ALLIES "Autism Acceptance" on teepublic "Autism Acceptance" on zazzle "#RedInstead Autism Acceptance" "Light it up gold - Autism Acceptance" "Celebrate Neurodiversity" "Embrace Neurodiversity" "Neurodiversity is human diversity"

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Advocacy vs. Assholery

In the Autistic community, there is a difference between being angry about injustice / advocating hardcore for change, vs. being an asshole to your own people.

Getting angry at corporations partnering with Autism Speaks = Good ✔️

Gently educating non-autistic parents about the harms of ABA = Good ✔️

Policing the preferred language and identities of fellow autistics = ❌ Bad

Harassing helpful autistic advocates off the internet due to a single disagreement or mistake = ❌ Bad


We are all humans

It helps to avoid having an "us vs. them" mentality and recognize that we are all humans with strengths and flaws, unique circumstances, different upbringings, and all kinds of traumas.


Harassment ≠ Change

Harassment does not help educate or make change, unless the change you want is to scare the other person into a corner.

It's totally reasonable to request removal or alteration of harmful content or statements. It helps to explain why it is harmful too, if the person is genuinely ignorant.

However, if a fellow autistic advocate is doing tangible good, a small mistake should not warrant complete removal of that person from the internet.


On language policing...

If an autistic person is seeking help, validation, or sharing their story with others, but you disagree with their use of functioning labels or how they identify, consider whether it's useful or not to correct them.

You may have a strong opinion on how someone identifies, but their identity is ultimately their own choice. They may be coming from a different perspective.

Your feelings are valid, and it's okay to vent when you need to. We've faced so much abuse and trauma and it's not right. Just don't harass or invalidate others in the process.

The cycle of abuse stops with us.

Educate, do not force.


3 Days Left! $2.99 for "Through Our Eyes" DVD


There's only a few days left to grab a copy of "Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger's" Special Edition DVD for only $2.99!

Since it's Autism Acceptance month, I wanted to make this film more accessible on DVD for people on the spectrum, educators, and parents.

Get a copy from my shop by clicking here.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Autistic Reacts to "Light it up Blue" Autism $peaks' Video ._.

I decided to actually watch Autism Speaks' "awareness" videos for 2020 and give my opinion as someone on the autism spectrum who has been aware of/researched the organization since 2015-ish.

The videos are short, but still telling about some of the organization's shortcomings.


They have not changed much over the years. Check out these infographics which explain the problematic aspects of Autism Speaks. The first infographic is from their 2010 budget and the second is from the 2018 budget. (more resources below) 


2010

2018

WHY YOU SHOULDN'T SUPPORT AUTISM SPEAKS
"The Horrors of Autism Speaks" by iilluminaughtii  "The Truth About Autism Speaks" by Stephany Bethany ➤ "What's Wrong with Autism Speaks?" by Ask an Autistic  "Why Autistic People Generally Dislike Autism Speaks" by Neurodivergent Rebel
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