How to feel miserable as an Autistic person
27 November 2023 | 5:15 pm

Or, what not to do. Just a silly little post inspired by Keri Smith’s “How to Feel Miserable as an Artist”.

  1. Believe that there’s something wrong with you.
  2. Compare yourself to neurotypicals.
  3. Have no access to resources and supports that you need. (Unfortunately a reality for many Autistics.)
  4. Never indulge in or talk about your special interest.
  5. Suppress all your stims.
  6. Force yourself to endure sensory overload all the time.
  7. Never connect with other Autistic folks.
  8. Constantly seek validation from neurotypicals.

My secret weapon for hyperfocus
6 November 2023 | 4:40 pm

I have a Spotify playlist that I listen to whenever I really need to focus on a task. It’s a playlist of songs I find stimmy by my favourite artist, Mike Patton.

Check out the videos below to get an idea of some of the interesting sounds he makes with his voice! (You might want to lower your volume first!)

(WARNING: Video below has some flashing)

His music definitely isn’t for everyone! But I love it. His music sounds like the inside of my AuDHD brain. Listening to it clears my head and makes my brain happy (even though it probably sounds messy and chaotic to most people). I made a playlist of my favourite stimmy songs by him and it works wonders in getting me into a hyperfocus state!

I doubt my playlist would work the same for every Autistic/ADHD person. But maybe you have your own stimmy songs (or other stuff) that make your brain happy! You could try to find ways to incorporate them into your daily life like I did.

If you’re curious about my playlist, you can check it out here:

A little shop update

T-shirts are now available on my Etsy shop!

Autistic As Fxxk t-shirt
Unable to Speak ≠ Unable to Think t-shirt

Get your t-shirts now!

My selective mutism diagnosis confused me
8 October 2023 | 3:01 pm

My mom always said that I began to sing long before I could talk. Not sure if she meant it literally or just quoting an ABBA song.

But I do remember singing a lot at a very young age. Music was my first love. I could effortlessly memorise lyrics and loved sharing trivia about bands and artists with my mom.

I stopped talking at the age of four.

To be more precise, I still talked to my parents and sister. But not to anyone else. Not even my grandparents who lived with us and took care of me while my parents were at work.

I was diagnosed with selective mutism. I guess that diagnosis made sense at the time.

At some point, I stopped speaking in a “normal” voice even with my parents and sister. Instead, I began to speak in a barely audible, whispery voice to everyone.

My mom suspected that there might be more to it than selective mutism. She wondered if I might be Autistic. When she brought up that possibility with the doctor who diagnosed me, he insisted that I couldn’t be Autistic and that I only had selective mutism.

And so, selective mutism was the only thing I had to explain my difference. And it led to a lot of misunderstanding.

Many people assumed that I spoke this way on purpose because it was “selective”. That all I needed was some discipline or scare tactics (people have said to me “What if you get assaulted or kidnapped? How are you going to scream for help?”) to make me talk normally.

It didn’t work, of course. People thought I was incredibly stubborn. Or “dumb” (people have actually called me that to my face).

I saw therapists to treat my selective mutism. But their strategies didn’t work for me.

When I read up on or watched documentaries about selective mutism, I found it hard to relate because there wasn’t any situation where I spoke normally.

At the age of 20, I was finally diagnosed with autism. It explained so much more than my selective mutism diagnosis ever did.

Now, I realise that the way I speak isn’t solely caused by anxiety. I have a sensory aversion to speaking at a “normal” volume. (It’s too loud for me! And the sound is coming from inside! I can’t cover my ears to block it out!) My brain sometimes struggles to put together words in my mouth. And it takes a lot of energy for me to speak — it’s not something that comes naturally to me.

I now find “semi-speaking” to be a more accurate descriptor of my communication style.

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