Autistic, Allistic, Neurodiverse, and Neurotypical: Say what?

Autistic, Allistic, Neurodiverse, and Neurotypical: Say what?

Hi all and welcome back to an everyday life of an Aspie. If you’re new I welcome you all. I’m Aspie and I’m all about creating mental health and awareness and sharing my life story with Aspergers Syndrome and the like along with advocating, educating you all based on this and more.

So, it has been bought to my attention right now as read Autistic, Allistic, Neurodivergent- Say What?!! as a topic today. I wanna address to you right now, because obviously at this point of time, many of us Autistics get labelled as different things as well as normal people out there that doesn’t have Autism. And, I wanna hopefully just clarify up a bit so that hopefully in saying this that we don’t get any confusion or misunderstandings between the autistic community and the community out there that ain’t autistic. So, that hopefully, we can respect one another’s differences of opinions. So, as we know basically, like now and again we tend to question ourselves what’s the right way to address ourselves and the Autistic community right? I’m sure that many of us autistics have that same sorta question to ask ourselves as well as maybe just you normal people around us when it comes down to it. I want to like I said hopefully that in hope we can be familiar with all this because there has been a lot of questions raising above this like terminology that gets so confusing once in a while, here say as well by it all. So, perhaps like I said it’s about time, I’ll address it to you guys that are new or has been with me, journeying with me so that we can just accept one another’s differences of opinion hopefully, here say as well. Assuming at this point, while you’ve been journeying with me however, that you should know the term, so well about Autistic that has come out, what it means in a general way for people on there as well as the terminology Autism Spectrum Disorder that I clearly address- What is Autism Spectrum Disorder which will be linked above me while you’re doing this. So, feel free to click that before continuing on watching this if you wish.
Yet, some of you guys not all of you guys, I am not going to prejudge yas may still have bascially or hold some form of misconception about the everyday life of an autistic, you know – how they live their life and how they may label it but it’s all in due course we’re in the learning process together- be it Autistic or not, here say I reckon. You may have heard many of us Autistics or have been reading/watching some Autistics voices either here on the blog I have got also on WordPress or even just maybe through YouTube if you’re know some that are supporting and admiring right now. I’m just hoping right now, hopefully just while teaching you or educating you today we can learn from it and also in saying this that it will matter. Because, obviously many people may say, “Say what, Kerrin!” or shall we say, “Say what, Aspie?Are you nuts right now? Who cares! You’re the only one that cares about it and that I hear about it by many people saying to me time and time again via out on the street or while I get some of the comments listed below. As you’re aware that Ihave been using the terminology or word Neurotypical or as it is abbreviated down to NT.Which stands for neurology Typical or NeuroTypical depending on what context that you’re using it in- past or present here say. Which is a neologism that has been widely used in the Autistic community for quite sometime now as a label for people who are not high on the autism spectrum here say. And just to bear note also, I am now trying to consider after doing my research that I’m hoping to address to you all even though it’s running of late about basically autism and camouflaging.

Autism Spectrum Condition to be used so that we can hope for the best we don’t offend anyone that feels of any Autistics out there of that word “disorder” to the point where they may offended or rattle some feathers. So, forgive me on this one but back to this one now though. So, for this, NT in its original usage, usually it is referred to certain person obviously with not Autism or what have you. Right? So, you are probably thinking well what’s the case here? Because obviously in saying this its original usage was basically referred to anyone who is not autistic or a cousin with an autistic like trait or autistic like brain however in this case. But, this being said is the latter.

Coming into the neurodiversity movement, there are some terms that a new person might not be familiar with. I’ve been seeing a lot of questions about some of them,
and some misunderstandings about them as well, so it is perhaps time for writing something on these terms.

If you are reading this blog, I’m assuming that you know what Autistic means in a general way. Some of you might still hold some misconceptions about autistic life,
but I believe that to be a part of the learning process. You are reading Autistic voices either here or on the blogs of other Autistics, hopefully learning from it,
and that is what matters.

Neurotypical or NT, an abbreviation of neurologically typical, is a neologism widely used in the autistic community as a label for people who are not high on
the autism spectrum. In its original usage, it referred to anyone who is not autistic or a ‘cousin’ with an ‘autistic-like’ brain;[he term was later
narrowed to refer to those with strictly typical neurology, that is, without a defined neurological difference.

In other words, this refers to anyone who does not have any developmental disabilities such as autism, developmental coordination disorder,
‘or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The term was later adopted by both the neurodiversity movement and the scientific community.

In recent times, people with any sort of mental disability, whether congenital or acquired, have also sometimes been excluded from the neurotypical label.
In this sense, the term is now contrasted to neurodivergent, ND, or neuroatypical, an umbrella term inclusive of people with diverse mental and behavioral
disorders, such as mood, anxiety, dissociate, psychotic, personality, and eating disorders. The conditions themselves, following the neurodiversity
and social construction of disability models and in distance from the hegemonic medical model of disability (otherwise known in the neurodiversity community
as the “pathology paradigm”), are often referred to as neurodivergences—that is, neurotypes that are divergent from a given social and medical norm.

Neurotypical, as a specific term for its original purpose within autistic communities, has been replaced by some with allistic, or “nypical”,
which has roughly the same meaning that “neurotypical” had originally.[6] These terms refer to those who are not autistic and who do not possess another
pervasive developmental disorder, even if they may be neurologically atypical in some other way, such as having dyslexia.

The National Autistic Society of the United Kingdom recommends the use of the term “neurotypical” in its advice to journalists

You’ll notice that I use “autistic” rather than “person with autism” throughout. This is intentional. The basic idea is that my being is autistic-
the patterns my brain form thoughts in, the essentials of the way I perceive and learn from the world are autistic. Autisticness is, for me
and many others, an essential part of what makes me, me. It is who and what I am as a whole. It is as I’ve shared so many times before known as the difference of wiring in the brain and how I connect to the world as well as seeing it as a different pair of eyes to you guys. As you know, I’ve used term Aspie alot in most of my writings as well as through my videos. I am a person with Aspergers Syndrome. On the other hand,
saying I am “with” autism denies this reality.

There are many brilliant writers who have addressed Autistic vs person first language in more depth. Jim Sinclair, one of the Autistic community’s elders,
wrote a piece in 1999 on the issue which you can read on Cafe Mom. Many others have echoed and expanded upon Jim’s thoughts since then. Lydia over at
Autistic Hoya has written a number of posts on identity first language vs person first, including “The Significance of Semantics: Person-First Language:
Why It Matters” which ends with a list of links to other writers on the issue.

Some people’s constructions of how they phrase their identity are very personal, others political, and a good number both.
I have a mixture of phrasing for myself. My own preferred construction is “
Allistic, on the other hand, means “non-autistic.” (Some people use “neurotypical” this way, but I”ll get to why I disagree with that usage in a moment.)
That is all it means. It doesn’t mean someone is intrinsically better or worse, and it doesn’t indicate ally-hood or opponent-hood.
\It just means that someone is not autistic.

Allistic is a term that members of the autistic community came up with. While the earliest mention I can find (Zefram, Fysh.org, 2003)
is constructed to work in a parody, the word construction makes a lot of sense. So much so, in fact, that Zefram’s work isn’t known to many community
members now using the term. In Zefram’s postscript, it is explained that the construction is based on the way that the word “autistic” is constructed:

The word “allism”, invented for this article, is intended to precisely complement “autism”.
It is based on the Greek word “allos”, meaning “other”, just as “autos” (in “autism”) means
“self”. […]

This explanation of “allistic”‘s construction continues to be in use. As some might note, the relative constructions of “autistic”
and “allistic” are not dissimilar to the relationship between the words “transgender” and “cisgender.” Even if the alternative was developed to suit
the needs of politically charged parody, allistic is linguistically a more accurate term than some of the alternatives.

Neurotypical is often used interchangeable with allistic, but I would argue that it isn’t actually interchangeable. Neurotypical is short for
“neurologically typical”- within the typical range for human neurology. Obviously it wouldn’t make sense to say that someone with definitively atypical
neurology was neurologically typical just because their atypicality wasn’t that they autistic. Indeed, the Neurotypical/neurodiverse terminology has been adopted
by certain segments of the Mental Health consumers/survivors communities for this very reason.

On-going usage aside, from what I recall the initial usage was one that is synonymous with the current “allistic.” However, between the acceptance of autistic
cousins (those who aren’t autistic but who have similarities, including those with ADHD) and the penetration of the term beyond the initial communities it swiftly
became used more diversely. Eventually, the more diverse (and in my mind accurate) usage meant that a more accurate term for non-autistic was needed.
(Which brings us back to Allistic!)

Neurodiverse can have two meanings depending on what it is talking about. When referring to individuals, it simply means that the individual(s)
in question have neurologies that are neurologically atypical. AKA, that they aren’t neurotypical. Generally speaking this usage is not used to just
talk about Autistics, but is inclusive of other people whose neurology is atypical.

When discussing a population sample, though, it can mean that the neurologies represented are diverse. In this usage, the people in question include
more than one type of neurology, and may even include members with individually typical neurology in some instances. This is the less common of the two usages
that I’ve seen, though.

I hope that this was useful. For those interested in more information about the origins of certain aspects of autistic culture, I recommend you read
Jim Sinclair’s History of ANI, which documents the early days of the autistic culture movement through the establishment of Autreat.

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Labels: I am Not Who and What I am

Labels: I am  Not Who and What I am

Have you ever wondered how what you are saying to others could affect them one way or another? Have you ever wished that you could take some words back, and holding the regrets and fear of losing that particular person? Have you ever wondered how things are going to affect you and others around you? Have you ever wished the labels you are carrying should disappear at the snap of your fingers? Have you ever imagined having a magic wand to wave all the labels so that can magically disappear? Have you ever thought that the labels on you would leave a scar on you?

Do we try and shrug off to what people may say or think of us, despite how or what we are  saying or doing to them so that we can be sure that we are okay ourselves? Sometimes, all these and more can or do have some form of label mentality on people. Despite that, some may act like that they do not care or sometimes, they do care but try real hard to hide their own thoughts and feelings towards others so that they do not fall too close to them.

Many people around us will tell us that we will be fine, or another classic example that I hear a lot is, “Get over it and move on Kerrin, this will not and shall not last forever. Do what you have to do to make yourself happy” Sometimes, some of these statements may ring true to some of us, or may ring true to the point when you ask yourself, “Why did they say that to me in the first place?” I am  usually the one that will then tend to carry this for a time, these labels and certain other feelings. When  I have had my bad days, I then tend to think “Then why say it to me in the first place? What made you say it?” and other questions will start running through my head that will then cause me to self-doubt and cause so much confusion and more.

Sometimes, people that do tend to label us will act cool, macho and make others feel small, or just to make themselves feel better. But in reality, they also have a story or legacy to share and to tell. Whatever their reasons for giving us a bad time shouldn’t excuse their behaviours and attitudes towards or to us. They have got their own struggles and battles, yet making others small and weak or vulnerable is soooo…. not cool. Labels, how I see them, should be left on jars or even on books, not on people. Yes, I do understand that it is how we take some things that are said and done to us. Yet, we should not have to seek for attention or validate our feelings towards others, as they should know what they have said and done towards us were wrong. Many people with Aspergers Syndrome will not tend to drama act our feelings or emotions. We tend to try and share our feelings and emotions to others around us. But sometimes, I have learnt that there are so many people in this world acting as if they do not give a damn about anything else, but themselves. I have learnt to try and appreciate the smallest of things that we take for granted no matter what, as this will likely to be taken away from us. I may come across some people that have been in and out of my social circle saying I am seeking out attention and more. Yes, it will be great to have this, but I know that I will not forever get this! I am not always seeking out for revenge or attention. All I am seeking out for and will admit-that I am afraid to do now and again after what I have been through-is that I just want some love, understanding, empathy and normal everyday values that most people tend to seek out for in their life. On what I have been through in my life so far, of my trials and tribulations past and present, many people may think or say that I did deserve this sort of treatment and I am like, No way Jose’, I didn’t deserve this at all. Sometimes what we go through happens for a reason and for the best. Moreover, what happened in our lives does test us in everything and makes us or break us depending on our attitudes, actions and thinking. I do  try my darn hardest now when trying times come, not to dwell on them for too long but to at least make sure that I can resolve the issue or problem quick smart, so that I can tackle what needs to be done for the rest of the day that lies ahead of me. It would be easier to manage these labels if we know that Aspergers Syndrome is not  curable or can be fixed, neither is Depression or other form of mental illnesses that we may have.

Labels cannot always be kept on us humans however as we have got the power to decide what we want and how we can go about it. Labels inflict pains on us to the point where we just have to be strong and believe in ourselves. I believe that we should at least, be careful about what we say or think, as well based on labels as that it can affect some of us in a way which may take a while for us to get over it.

 

Labels: Removing the Labels

Labels: Removing the Labels

As I’ve mentioned in my video blogs as well as inside my book, there are so many labels out there that many people put on others. When the labels are used on us, they pose a problem for many of us with different disabilities, or shall I say with many with different conditions. These labels can affect us in many different ways. I used to have so many different labels such as: “Handle with care”, “Too fragile,”, “Too hard to understand,” “Too hard to talk to,” “Retarded” and more. Yet, we hear the word or label “Retard” so many times in the past and such label still exist today. This topic I am now sharing is a really sensitive and delicate one that needs to be addressed. As I sit down and write this piece, I hold this closely and dearly in my heart. I would like to say to most of you all this, “HOW DARE YOU use the term “Retard” in the wrong context to someone who is completely different to you.”

DO YOU ever bother to talk to these people that are different and get to know them better? After all, they are  still people, like the rest of us, with feelings and emotions, thoughts and more wired in them too. You can laugh at me, or pick on me, or point fingers at me, or even say to me “Are you joking, Kerrin?” Does it sound or look like I am joking to you right now? I know what it is really like, to have some form of labels on me, which made growing up difficult for me. I had a few struggles like; speech impairment and cognitive delay with my communication and thought processes, yet I am improving every day. I hear sometimes when I am walking down the street, people still calling us retards, just because they are different from them. This can be hurtful to the ones that have cognitive delays and more. Despite what you call these people, after hanging around with them from all walks and stages of life, you will soon discover they are great people with high potential; and that they are  bright, intelligent and smart and could possibly put you “Normal” people to shame. These people that are different go through everyday struggles just like you. I feel that the term “Retard” should be replaced with a term called “Different”. Many of us need to be more considerate to these people however, as they’re like you and I, despite their different needs. It may be higher than ours or lower, but we still should treat people them the same way we want to be treated. When you call others that are different retards, maybe you should look in the mirror and see for yourselves that you are the ones that are retarded, due to your attitude and behaviour towards others, which is disgusting to me. Attitudes and behaviours need to be changed. You will  never know if you will become like them, through either say a car accident, or even if you suffer from a stroke. Be in their shoes for once. I feel that the term “Retarded”, as I have talked to some people with different conditions, should be taken out of the dictionary and also our vocabulary completely. We should love others all the same, no matter what and who we are as a person. Look beyond their condition and that you may see something more beautiful and magnificent about them. We are who we are for a reason and that we all have dreams and visions no matter what they are, and are achievable. We can make a difference in people’s lives no matter where we’re heading in our lives, as well as becoming an inspiration to others in our social circle to who we have in there at the time.

As I said above, many of us while growing up tended to have labels. No matter what they are, they can easily be broken. I used to try and put up with these labels for so long. Yet, as I mentioned in the chapter of misunderstandings and misgivings in my  book, people just find it easier just to put the labels on us and also tend to place the finger of blame on us, if anything goes wrong. I used to be called a loser, hard to understand, hard to talk to, hard to get along with and more. Imagine what it was doing to me as a young child growing up. This was doing not much for my self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem. These labels and more, that we hear almost every day in our lives does take its toll for the young children and in the end, we accept what’s being said. These labels really can cut anyone deep. I tell you, I used to get bullied so much that I had to make so many excuses to my parents for not wanting to go out anywhere public; like school, park or more. Yet, without my parents love, help, guidance and support throughout my years, I wouldn’t have gone this far in life.

I thought to myself that I would conquer this and will stand up and stay strong. I also believed that I could conquer anything more than I’ve done years ago when I was at my worse, when it came to struggling with the “Black dog” (Depression). I did have my own demons to fight, but I am blessed to be alive and fighting. I believe that anything is possible for us to achieve, if we just put our minds at rest as well as having the right attitude and thinking to get through it all. It’s up to us to see ourselves in what we want to see ourselves in what we want in the future. We all do deserve respect. Yet, respect is something that we need to gain and earn as well as learn from others around us. We all have many different challenges that we face and conquer. Despite them, we are still after all humans and we do make mistakes like you all do. Remember the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Well, that can apply here too. If you treat us right, we shall surely do this for you too. Engage with us no matter what our condition is and get us involved in your daily activities. Take a close look person, and not the disability!