Words, sensory regulation and autistic meltdown.

What a great post – about two topics near and dear to my heart. This is the 2nd time in one day that I’ve read an autistic person’s comment about words being disorienting. For me, the need to translate words (sounds, shapes) into pictures of what they represent, then sort out what those pictures mean, get the pictures to interact with each other, and then translate it all back into words… it’s such an arduous process, but it’s something I’m accustomed to doing. I wonder, sometimes, what it would be like if the rest of the world were to follow my “footsteps”, inch by inch, and mirror my every move and action, thought, impression, reaction. It would either give others an appreciation of what it’s like to be me/us… or it would send them running in the opposite direction.

All things considered, I actually think we do pretty well with everything we have to process. Go us!

The other side

IMG_1311Selfie, taken at Oxford train station while texting Rhi, drinking flat white coffee and squinting at the camera in bright warm sunlight. By the time the train arrived ten minutes later a sudden cold wind had brought on numb fingers. 

Occasionally I read autistic blogs and the writing feels remote. Slowly I’m identifying a difficulty in matching words to experience. Meltdowns have been one such area of disconnect, but today, as I prepared to make an overnight journey, words and experience coalesced to bring a new understanding.

A brief essay on words(skip if you just want to read about the meltdown)

I mean words – what are they and where do they come from? I’ve previously described how writing feels like plucking words from the sky. I sense them rather than understand them in a precise manner. Sometimes I get the ‘right word’ but often I don’t, and I have…

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