What A Truly Inclusive Event, and Society, Looks Like

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) annual gala in November (reference article link above) is a very good example of how a truly inclusive event and/or autism event should look like. Just to point out a few features/attributed.

1. Colour-coded badges for Communication Preferences Autistics have differing personalities; some love to talk to everybody (or for some, like me, is because I yearn for company and friendship), some prefer to stick to only those they know, while others prefer to be alone.

"But isn't that the same for everyone?" "Some non-autistics may prefer to be alone too". Well, there is more to that than meets the eye. It is not merely a matter of preference for us. It is due to some inherent autism traits or challenges. For example, those who prefer to be alone might need that to find solititude and calmness from the sensory overloa…

Autism community TERMINOLOGIES - Use the right ones please

Indeed, there is a lot of deeper meanings in the terminologies. We should never dismiss it as just "mere terminology" or reduce it to "let's not get hung up on terminology".
Different terms can mean very different things, and that is partly attributable to the nature of the *mEnglish language.
Moreover, it has underlying mindsets/paradigms behind the terminology, which is further reinforced through the use of the terminology.
The shift from "person with autism" to "Autistic person" is a paradigm shift on a very deep and high level and in many ways.
I hope those whose lives have been touched by autism will be players of the bigger plan of breeding a culture of acceptance, appreciation and celebration of Autism and Neurodiversity.
For Autistics, and Caregivers, if you are on the journey towards understanding and discovering autism, may you continue o…

Riding through COVID-19 with Hope

Riding through COVID-19 with Hope Written by Wesley Loh, Autistic Advocate
NOT to be reproduced without written permission of the author
We are facing a global pandemic called COVID-19 The worst crisis in decades we have seen Or at least, so nations worldwide deem Daily sharp increases of cases, while we continue mourning in our wait for a vaccine
Many shops close down, from retail to non-essential services to office & school canteen The silence in the malls and street, what an unusual scene
Everyone is barred from meeting physically, we wonder how our family and friends have been As we work and study from home, staring at the screen What a major disruption to our routine
We must stand united and cooperate if we want to emerge from this crisis strong and supreme Stay at home and keep your home clean Be considerate to others, don’t behave like you are the Queen Work or study hard, but take breaks in between, for you are human, not a machine Keep in touch with family and community virtually, tha…

Life Lessons from Autistic Adults Real Life stories, which we can ALL learn
As I read this story, I just feel so encouraged and inspired by this autistic person who has on one hand gone through much and achieved much and on the other hand, still value and impart the importance of embracing one's own autism and self-acceptance.. which are fundamentally very important to our very existence
I encourage my readers to click on the link above to read her story. Her story speaks for itself and it won't do justice for me to re-tell or regurgitate her story here, lest I dilute it. She is her own voice.
What I will do, however, is list down lifelessons I think we can ALL take away from it. I have categorised them according to what I feel is most important to a certain group/category of people, but of course some lessons can be applied across various categories of people  _______________
#1: Preserve your own mental health and self acceptan…

COVID-19: Coping Strategies for Autistics for our Routines, Adjustment and Adapting

To all my beloved autistic friends, and caregivers of autistics, out there... it can be challenging adjusting to the changes/disruption to routines & lifestyle as malls,offices,tuition & childcare centres shut down operations with effect from Tuesday, as a circuit breaker to the COVID-19 spread. Some personal tips:
● If your routine involves going out to certain malls/places on weekends (or on any fixed days/timings), take this TRANSITION PERIOD to perform your comfort routine as usual (before they shut down on Tuesday) for the last time in some time. Malls are more quiet, with less people, this period [see 2nd picture for evidence] which may mean less sensory issues to cope with there.
PRE-EMPT but makingADJUSTMENTS and PREPARING yourself for this transition... modify your routine to fit this "stay home" period. E.g. can certain routines/hobbies you like to perform outside, be performed/done at home (or virtually from home) instead?
Request home cooked food for …

Autism Acceptance Month - a Poem in remembrance of this special occasion

Autism Acceptance 2020 Poem
This month we celebrate Autism Acceptance This annual occasion never turns into one of obsolescence But is one we await with renewed expectance What does this really mean in essence Awareness is already omnipresent What we need so dearly is acceptance Kindness, love and affection
All too often we autistics find others keeping a distance Or denying us into that their social circle an admittance Because they don’t understand our difference Must our interaction with the world be met with so much resistance Causing this to accumulate within us a sense of sadness and resentment?
Everyone has differing personalities and needs, we are no exception

Disability Language - Deeper Than You Imagine
A very insightful article (link above) with profound deep thought from someone who has been working with various disabilities for a decade or so!
Sharing some of my personal takeaways and reflections:
FIRSTLY, CONTEXT MATTERS Different terms could be appropriate in different contexts
The most recent trend in the disabled community is to advocate for Identity-Firstlanguage (such as "Autistic person") as opposed to Person-first language (such as "person with autism")
I LOVE the part of the article about the values behind the choice of words.
Indeed, some conveniently shrug it off as "semantics" or conveniently say "don't get hung up with mere terminology" - when in reality, there is a lot of DEEPERmeanings, value, societal value, meaning and paradigmunderneath the terms.
The more we use certain terms, the more we reinforce the desired or undesired mindsets behind it.