Autism is an identity. I identify as autistic. What is an identity? How I understand my own identity if affected by autism. What’s one example of your identity? Come up with an answer. How an autistic person answers and an allistic answers is different. It’s very subtle, but it’s important to note. My answers: I am autistic, I write, I founded a nonprofit, and I wear yellow every day. Did you catch it yet? It
I sometimes forget that my world isn’t everyone’s. I was on a road trip. The radio was blasting. The air conditioning was blasting. The car was rumbling. The freeway was buzzing. The people were chatting. My body found the sensory sensation too painful and in order to protect me, put me to sleep. I woke up to a sensory overload. The pain was horrible. I was a crying mess. My Da and sister asked what
As a child, I was constantly told that what I was experiencing wasn’t real, so much so that I questioned my reality. Not knowing I was autistic, my world was so vastly different from most everyone around me. A fact that I now know, that I didn’t as a child, is that pooping can cause a sensory overload. Yes, you heard that right. Pooping can be a painful sensation for those who are autistic. For
Selectively Mute When I was in elementary school, I maybe talked to one or two people during the school day- my twin sister and a best friend. That was about it. During class, I didn’t speak at all. Some days were better than others when I could ask to use the restroom or- actually that’s all I remember asking a teacher. As I got older, I began leaving a whiteboard in my desk or my
Ground breaking show, Freeform’s Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, casts three autistic actors as autistic characters. Kayla Cromer (not pictured) is the first female autistic actor to portray a female autistic lead in a television series. Joining her will be reoccurring co stars Lillian Carrier as Drea and Carsen Warner as Jeremy. Included throughout the series are autistic background actors authentically cast as autistic characters. Lillian Carrier consulted throughout the production of the show in order
I like the idea of taking people with all different perspectives and having them work together. Each person having their own individual ideas all their own and offering them up. In that type of environment, possibilities would be endless. In reality, I lived in a world where everyone seemed to have the same answer to a question and I was the one with something different to offer. In this situation, I felt like my
Are the holidays something you dread? Maybe it’s too many people, high expectation placed upon you or even worse low expectations? You’re not alone. I can tell you that I approach holidays from a very different place now that I know better. What do I mean by know better? I mean listening to my own body and being honest about the capacity I have for celebrations, as well as listening to my twins Lillian
Ever been to middle school, a school filled with people between the ages of 11 and 13? Everyone is growing up, but receiving more and more restrictions because their parents are scared of things such as pregnancy and drugs and death. I don’t know why we look at 11 years olds as getting into some kind of trouble that could cause way more horrendous consequences than that of a 10 year old. On top of
Stay A Sprinkle: High School Speech (2015) Written by Lillian Carrier Being an outcast is something most people fear. I have never had an issue with it. My mind has always put the strange and weird into a category of great things. I feel complimented when people call me weird. This may seem strange to most people, but take for instance the term “Normal”. I don’t think anyone wants to be called “Normal”, or any
The Land of Fear and What Ifs Co Authored by Chloe Estelle and Gail Carrier So, first day of school. We all remember that right? The importance of that first impression, leading to picking out the first day outfit. All the effort going into what things could possible go wrong. What if I walk into the wrong classroom? What if I sit with the wrong people? What if I forget my pencil? What if I
While my cousins were running around, playing tag and pretend and hide and seek- I was sat with my nose in a book. When my family went on vacations- I was sat with my nose in a book. While my peers were listening to the teacher’s lecture- I was sat with my nose in a book. Whenever I had a chance to read, I was reading.
I have a dog, his name is Benji and he is not like any other dog. If you’ve read the title, you’ve probably figured out that he is a service dog. He was trained for a long period time by professionals and he was trained specifically for me. When I decided that I was going to switch schools and move across the country, I decided this was the moment that I needed a service dog.
I locked myself in my bathroom one weekend. I had placed all these pillows in my bathtub and curled up behind my computer screen. I shut a word out that I didn’t quite fit into, that was very painful. I locked my parents out who were trying to take my safe place away and keep it barred away from me in a safe.
Each year, these awards ceremonies meant less and less to me. I saw how easy my peers made it through the school day. I saw how their 30 minute homework assignment took 2 hours for me. My peers extra curricular activities included sports and art and volunteering while my extra curricular included sensory overloads and doctor visits and tutors and councilors. I lived in a world that continued to seem harder and harder compared to