Normal Is Overrated

Musings and meanderings on the autistic spectrum

June 21, 2007

Driven to Frustration

As many readers may know from my other blog— and others will quickly learn— I’m 24 years old, yet do not drive a car.

Simply put, I don’t trust my perception of what’s going on around me, even after years of practicing.

And despite the fact that most people seem to think I’m exaggerating, there’s good reason for this distrust of my perceptions.


Filed under: Sensory Issues — codeman38 @ 9:16 pm

June 9, 2007

Overload, Discomfort and Shutdown

From what I’ve found, I tend to be more easily overloaded by certain stimuli than do most people. The same tends to be true for a lot of others on the autism spectrum with whom I’ve talked, though it’s hardly universal amongst autistics.

So today, I thought I’d talk about what sensory overload is like for me.

First of all, it’s important to note what sorts of situations can actually make me feel overloaded.


Filed under: Sensory Issues — codeman38 @ 7:30 pm

June 4, 2007

Say what?

Rather than writing about autism in general today, I’m going to write about one aspect of my own personal experience: specifically, some of the quirks in my perception of auditory stimuli.

Long before I had an Asperger’s diagnosis, I had been diagnosed with auditory processing disorder. For those unfamiliar with that diagnosis, what it essentially means is that my hearing is technically fine, but the way my brain processes auditory input isn’t quite normal.


Filed under: Auditory Processing,Sensory Issues — codeman38 @ 11:10 pm

June 3, 2007

An Autistic Speaks about Autism Speaks

[Note: This entry was originally posted at DailyKos; the original version of the post, with its comments, can be found here. I’m reposting it on my own blog, with some slight modifications so as to make it more timely and to reach an even wider audience.]

Imagine, if you will, that an organization existed by the name of “Womanhood Speaks,” which, on the surface, appeared to be in support of women’s rights.

Now imagine that the governing body of this organization only included members of the male gender, with not one female represented in its ranks. Imagine that its actual aim was to create a registry of all females and force them to become more masculine, completely disregarding the fact that a majority of females were perfectly content with their womanhood and even found it to be advantageous. Imagine that members of its leadership appeared on popular TV programs talking about the epidemic of womanhood and how it needed to be eradicated.

Doesn’t sound too appealing, does it?

This hypothetical situation may seem utterly absurd, but for one segment of the population— albeit a much smaller subset than that identifying as female*— it isn’t all too far from reality.

I’m speaking of autistics, and more specifically, of the organization known as “Autism Speaks.”


Filed under: Autism Speaks,Controversies — codeman38 @ 12:39 pm

June 1, 2007


So, I felt like starting something new around this place… but before I get into anything, let me introduce myself:

I’m Cody, and I’m autistic. Or more specifically, I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is considered to be one variation of autism.

Go ahead and admit it. Some of you are probably saying something along the lines of, “Autistic? But you can talk, and you’re attending graduate school! How can you be autistic?”

And that is the reason I’m starting this blog.

Simply put, there’s a lot of misinformation, or at the very least, a lot of spin out there on the topic of autism and related diagnoses. There are those who want to paint a picture of life with autism as a never-ending scenario of doom and gloom, or even in some cases, to use rhetoric to the effect of a happy child having been ‘stolen’ and replaced with some sort of soulless husk.

Now I’m not going to say that autistic life is all hearts and rainbows. I’ve dealt with quite a good number of situations where I struggled, where I felt completely overwhelmed, where I nearly went into a breakdown—or, worse yet, did do so. And I’ll freely admit that I probably wasn’t the easiest child to raise.

But one thing I’ve always been able to count on was support. And that’s what I’d like to see more of in the autism community.

I’ll expound on all of this in some later posts, as well as offering some insights into how precisely I perceive things, why I sometimes behave the way I do, and so forth. And I should emphasize that in doing so, I’m not trying to speak for all autistics— such a claim would be as ridiculous as for one person to claim to have an insight on every single non-autistic person’s perspective. I’m just sharing my own experiences, with the hope that it may cause some people to reconsider their initial conceptions about autism, to realize that not everyone perceives or thinks about things in the same way.

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:06 pm

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