Monday, October 19, 2020

"Cursed Waters" Virtual Film Screening on YouTube

Join the nostalgia ride with me as we watch Cursed Waters live on YouTube!

Drop by my channel via this link (at the scheduled time) to watch: https://www.youtube.com/c/NeuroLushia
If you want to join the live chat, make sure you are signed into your Google account.

I will be available for answering questions and general chatting before and after the film. We may also have a special guest!

Watch the trailer here:

I recently advertised the movie in Pirates Online (TLOPO), my favorite pirate-themed MMO, in story format for an event called Dread Poet's Storytime. Listen to the story here for some snippets from the movie! (story transcript below the video)
Note: TLOPO has an annoying chat censor so I had to re-type some stuff xD lol


CW SHORT STORY TRANSCRIPT
There once was a lad named Eli Lark. Clever, eager and hardworking, if not a bit bratty at times... and poor as dirt.

Eli was working at the Dancing Monkey tavern, serving root beer to wandering sailors, when a mysterious bearded stranger with a particularly terrifying parrot tipped him off that a certain pirate captain was looking for some crew. 

It would be a prosperous venture for the poor-as-dirt Eli.

Twas good timing, as Eli's soulless old boss fired him that very same day in order to hire an ultimately more talented resident mouse ( literally... boss man was a little crazy. )

On his way home from work, Eli realized that he didn't know where to find the pirate captain that the bearded stranger mentioned.

In that same moment, he encountered a small cottage he had never seen before.  

He felt a strong urge to enter the cottage, so he did.

An old woman greeted him inside. She was a fortune teller, with voodoo and all that. Eli sat down to have his fortune told... mostly because the old lady wouldn't let him leave.

The old lady sat down, and a few moments of silence passed...

Finally, she spoke.

...

"Who are you? WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY HOUSE??" the scary old lady screeched, picking up a nearby stick with the intention to beat Eli with it.

"AAAAHHHH!!" Eli yelled. "I'm Eli! I'm here to get my fortune told!!"

"Oh, sorry..." the old lady apologized. "I am very forgetful. Now let's get started."

"I see in your future, there is a treasure. An evil man, and a woman! ...

And it will all take place on the island of Xixi. Great, GREAT evil rests on that island.

But you have to go, so have fun!" she said whimsically, handing Eli a small treasure chest as she shoved him out the door and slammed it behind him.

Eli stood dumbfounded... but at least he knew where to find the pirate captain now. The scary old lady had handed him a tacky brochure that pointed him in the right direction.

The young lad took a longboat, rowing out to an old ship with a squid emblem on the sails. He politely knocked on the side of the ship, and then scratched his head as a few barnacles fell atop his noggin.

"Who's there??" a voice... a FEMALE voice... shouted in response.

Eli felt nervous... he had heard of girls in the old legends, and know what they sounded like, but never in his life had he spoken to one.

"My name is Eli Lark!" Eli shouted back. "I've come to join your crew!"

"Well, come on up, Eli!" said the girl / woman thing. "I've been waiting for you."

Once Eli was aboard, the blue bandana wearing girl / woman thing shook his hand.

"I'm Elise Blackship." said the mysterious female. "Captain of the Squid."

Eli spoke several languages before finally landing on English.

"Nice to meet you." He finally said. "So... where are we going? Will we get treasure?? I'm so hungry lol."

"Get this man a biscuit, Dert." Elise gestured towards a pirate with striped pants and a dirty face.

"And to answer your question... we're seeking the treasure of James Vladimir. A cursed treasure it is, but among it resides the Stone of Xixi, a treasure that breaks all curses."

"Xixi? That scary old lady was right! This is my destiny!!" exclaimed Eli, dancing a jig in excitement.

Elise grabbed the rowboat oar and tripped Eli with it. "No funny business. What scary old lady? Who told you about Xixi??"

Eli relayed the info to Elise, and showed her the map. Elise lit up.

"You have the map??" she exclaimed. "Can we use it to find Xixi??"

"Not unless I get that biscuit you promised." Eli replied playfully.

Elise grumbled and gestured towards Dirt, who tossed Eli a biscuit. Eli wolfed it down immediately. Elise ignored his bad manners and asked more about the map, and together they went over the landmarks.

Eli was particularly interested in the duck statue on the map, by Xixi's shore. It made him giggle.


Time passed on their voyage, and Eli became friends with Rusty, the navigator; they bonded over their love of root beer and their dislike of intelligent mice who steal the tavern jobs of hardworking landlubbers.

Dert, the first mate, became like a brother to Eli. Many hours of card games and catching chickens felt like years of bonding.

On their way to Xixi, they were attacked by a ghost ship! These ghosts were also seeking the long lost treasure of Xixi Island and they would not tolerate competition.

After a long battle, they captured Elise's crew, including Eli.

"Where's your captain??" demanded the ghost ship's first mate, a rather crazed looking fellow who was petting his poorly made sock puppet.

Eli looked around. Captain Blackship was gone!

"I... I don't know." said Eli. He looked at Rusty and Dert, hoping they knew where Elise had gone. They merely shrugged.

"Well, this is no good." said the ghostly first mate. "Let's maroon them! We'll find the captain later."

They made Eli and his new friends walk the plank, and they fell into the ocean with a *SPLASH!!*. Eli would have considered it a fun ride, had he not been in danger.

"Stay calm, lads." said Rusty. "Swim slowly and save your energy. There's the island up ahead."

When they reached the shore, they collapsed from exhaustion. But at least they were safe. Eli felt somewhat anxious, but glad that his friends were with him.

Eli propped himself up enough to look at the island.

"Guys... this place looks familiar." he said, his eyes fixed on something straight ahead of him.

There on the beach was a duck statue. They made it to Xixi Island.

THE END BUT ALSO NOT THE END BECAUSE THIS IS ACTUALLY A FULL MOVIE I MADE AND YOU CAN WATCH IT ON MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL THIS THURSDAY ( 10 / 22 ) AT 7PM CENTRAL TIME.


Thursday, October 1, 2020

"Through My Eyes: Autistic Behavior" Virtual Presentation by Alyssa Huber

Tune in for my virtual presentation on autism, October 14th - 15th at the Northern Regional (Virtual) Conference on Developmental Disabilities! The event is free and open to the public. Check my events page for more info.

📅📲 Add this event to Google Calendar

  RSVP on Facebook

Presentation Title: "Through My Eyes: Autistic Behavior"

Description: "All behavior is communication or serves a function, and knowing what lies beneath behavior is crucial in any human interaction. This presentation discusses autistic behavior, how viewpoints of autistic people impact our interactions with them, and ways we can help them function better while encouraging healthy self-regulation."

I will post more information soon, with what time I'm presenting and the streaming platform(s). There are also other speakers, check out the brochure for more info... and keep scrolling for important website updates!


I hope to see you there!


WEBSITE UPDATE #1 ~ Event Calendars

I added two Google Calendars to the Events page! That way you can add any events you plan on attending to your calendar, or simply view any upcoming events in one place.

The first calendar, "Neurodiversity / Autism Events Calendar ~ Lushia's Neurodivergent Life" is for Lushia's autism related events, like discussion livestreams, speaking events, film screenings, and more. 

The second calendar, "Gaming Livestreams ~  LushiaGaming Calendar" shows all my scheduled gaming livestreams on Twitch. Tune in to watch me live and chat with me in real time!


WEBSITE UPDATE #2 ~ Visual Improvements

I changed the default font of my website to be more easily readable for those with dyslexia and information processing issues. I also lowered the contrast of the default font compared to the background. Examples of the change:

Before:

After:

If any part of my site is still inaccessible or hard to read, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

~Alyssa

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 a cis woman, AFAB person, and/or autistic person has previously experienced harassment (which is quite common for our kind), 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"

Vanessa Blevin's page "Parenting Through The Fog"
Autism Support Groups & Resources Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Gaming Channel (Twitch) My Blog Facebook
Twitter ---MUSIC CREDITS--- "Inspired" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ "George Street Shuffle" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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.