Retreat isn’t just a quiet room, it is an explicitly neurodivergent space. Nothing about us without us, right? It’s a place to stim freely, drop the mask a little, and find some neurodivergent kinfolk.
I need regular doses of solitude to recover from sensory onslaught. This doesn’t mean I am anti-social. I’m deeply social, but I do need a fair amount of downtime.
Pro tip: it’s fine to want to understand your autistic friends’ sensory and accommodations issues, etc., but please don’t frame it as a “Gotcha.”
This checklist is for people who aren’t autistic (or whose autistic traits differ from those of their child/charge) to understand what may upset an autistic person, and cause them distress.
For a person with heightened sensory sensitivity, clothing and accessories can make or break an entire day out; here are suggestions for clothes, accessories, and miscellaneous accoutrements that might work.
I truly do not know why some parents don’t want to listen to autistic adults. There is so much good autism information for parents from autistic adults, and so much of it is freely available, and yet the parents choose not to know.
All humans deserve to be able to do energy budgeting in ways that make sense for us, and I hope to see the day when support for autistic people toward this end is considered a matter of basic ethics and decency.
Anne Borden King twitter.com/AgainstCures The NOIT device in use [image: Screen capture from a video, showing the back of a person’s neck with a small buzzing device attached with a gel pack or some such.] The NOIT product was first flagged by Rory McCarthy, an advocate in the ADHD and autistic communities. The device is attached to the base of a child’s neck with glue. It stays attached to the child throughout the day, emitting loud beeps every eight seconds. Its marketers claim that this “Natural Orientation Inducing Tool (NOIT)” is a “tool to create and maintain focused attention.” There is no research or evidence to support this claim. Despite this, NOIT marketers earned nearly $150,000 promoting the product on Kickstarter, even as members of the ADHD and autistic community reached out to Kickstarter, asking it to remove the product from its platform and calling it a torture device. A petition…
Photo © Sybren Stüvel | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: Frustrated white person at a computer keyboard. Their hands are on their head covering their hair, and they are wearing glasses.] Maxfield Sparrow UnstrangeMind.com Like many folks, I had not heard of Zoom before the pandemic. My friends in IT tell me they were using it for work meetings before much of the United States went into self-quarantine, shelter in place, lockdown, or whatever you want to call the “social distancing” we were urged to observe to help slow the spread of the virus. One bonus for me of the way things have shifted during the pandemic is that I’ve been able to join small groups of people from whom I’m genuinely geographically isolated. For the holy season, I celebrated in community with a Lodge in Sacramento. My friend, Smash Ford, invited me to attend a meeting of the Non-Binary Union…
Source: Focus Features [image: Poster for the movie Harriet. A glowing orange-brown background features three Black people, one man and two women, in 19th century clothing. The woman in the center is wearing a wide-brimmed hat and has an unapologetic expression. Below them is a smaller photo of the center woman, in profile holding up at pistol. All-caps white text below her reads, “Harriet”] Maxfield Sparrow unstrangemind.com The movie Harriet (2019) is 125 minutes (two hours and five minutes) long. www.focusfeatures.com/harriet —- The first thing I noticed about the film Harriet was that the showing was sold out. I was eager to see the film and was simultaneously irritated and grateful that I couldn’t get a ticket. Irritated, because it meant buying a ticket for a later showing and finding a way to kill time for a couple of hours. Grateful because Harriet’s story is one everyone should know. Harriet…