"Autism is my Superpower. I hear things more loudly. . . "

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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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17 Jul 2015, 2:41 pm

I saw this mother with this shirt in Walmart. And what really caught my attention was the back.

Quote:
TEAM ROGER

I hear sounds more louder.

I see lights more brightly.

I smell things more strongly.

.

.

.

I have autism.

Okay, I wish the last part would have been phrased better. Autism is not something I 'have,' it's part of who I am.

But I love the fact that she leads with sensory issues! This is exactly the kind of thing teachers, principals, and other school officials need to understand. The child is not being 'bad.' The child is perhaps acting exactly as you would act if you were in an environment in which you were overloaded with unpredictable sensory input. For example, if the principal was trying to do desk work when there was a punk-rock band fifteen feet away, at times whisper quiet, at times super loud and all in an unpredictable way. The principal might not get much work done and she might find it super frustrating, yes, she might.

The front of the mother's shirt said, "Autism is my Superpower," which I've seen before. But what really caught me was the back.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/114804129/ ... er-t-shirt



JT_B_Goode
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17 Jul 2015, 5:07 pm

I like the back, but the front completely changes the message.

I think it's important for people to understand the sensory issues tend to be problematic more often than helpful, which is one of the reasons I cringe when people call autism a superpower. It's not that our senses are any stronger; our brains just perceive the information as louder, brighter, etc. Even calling our differences in thinking and logic a superpower is simple bias, condescending, and distracts from how different each of us are from one another. Sure I can solve every Sudoku puzzle that my co-workers can't, but that's a teachable skill. My brain was simply prepared to self-teach it. I've needed others to teach me social etiquette, so do I call that an NT extrovert superpower because it comes more naturally to them? If we want to be treated like equals we have to admit that we're not so super. We have strengths and weaknesses like anybody else. Ours are maybe just more uncommon, and it helps for NTs to know that.

So, I could get behind the back of that shirt if the front didn't ruin it for me.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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22 Jul 2015, 2:56 pm

In general, I want people to understand both. The problems, issues, and difficulties we face, that side of the equation, but also, the strong suits we bring to the table and what we can achieve if met halfway or maybe just given a little bit of an opening.

I'll try and give a fuller answer later.

And these are personal issues to me. Right now, I'm working as a cashier at a place I'll call MegaMart*, which is honorable work, at times interesting work in that you met a variety of people, althought it doesn't pay that well and is often not viewed with full respect.

At the same time, I think I have talent in writing and journalism. All I can do is keep at it, keep going forward, write stuff which makes sense in my gut, try and get some interplay going between theory and practice, etc, etc. Realizing that there are a lot of luck factors, external factors, and timing factors.



Xenization
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22 Aug 2015, 11:21 am

I agree with JT.

If it had been something like, "Autism is my superpower. / I think differently, / etc.", I might find it more appealing. But sensory overload is a very real problem for me. Not all superpowers are physical ones.


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eleventhirtytwo
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22 Aug 2015, 11:50 am

The "Autism as a superpower" angle might be a convenience for helping kids to not see their autism in a bad light when they first find out about it?

I agree with you all though.


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