The Blue Divide

I firmly believe you can not attempt to “reclaim” images that are triggering to others.

Furthermore, I am a brash and outspoken individual that doesn’t have a reputation to tarnish and therefore I do not back down or mince words when it comes to calling out something that I think is grossly offensive.

I’ve seen this a few times now, people claiming to use an image first and then continuing to use said image with the negative impact and triggering effect already in place from it being used for years by another corporation, company, organization or entity.

I’ve written about related things in “An Autistics Guide To Corporate Social Responsibility” which provides a great resource for those who might want more information on how to create a favourable campaign while being considerate of Autistics.

With all of that being said, there is a DEFINITE divide in the “community”, I created this image, youtube video and podcast about it. I hope you have a chance to check it all out below.

There’s lots of links in the youtube description as well. Just click the video.

Thanks for reading, watching and listening!

Confident?

There’s been times where I have had my confidence mistaken for cockiness. It’s not intentional and I feel as though a lot of it has to do with my tone of voice. My tone of voice has to do a lot with an attempt to mask and be like everyone else when I speak. It’s apparent that I don’t do the best job.

Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

I had this one instance, about 8 or so years ago where I was getting interviewed for this live painting thing and it was on camera. One of the other participants from another team kept looking at her friend, wide-eyed and probably threw in a couple eye rolls as well. I’m pretty sure this was because she thought I was conveying myself in a fashion that made me seem as though I was very full of myself. Of course, that wasn’t my intention. I just felt confident at the time.

How does an Autistic Individual convey confidence and not seem self absorbed? Honestly?! I don’t know. Maybe I need to change my tone, change my walk, change everything about me? It’s an assumption, clearly. I believe neurotypical people will perceive me in one way and neurodiverse people will perceive me in another way and there’s nothing I can do about that.

There are times I feel really down on myself and feel like I missed an opportunity. My Art went viral on imgur and I didn’t make a single sale on my etsy store. It wasn’t my intention to sell art, I didn’t even include the link initially, but I do have to say that it was a bit of a blow to my confidence level. I still haven’t sold anything on there, this time around.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s one of those things where there’s such a fine line and you have to teeter between the two to figure out where it is you stand. Sometimes, I have to remember to remind myself that it doesn’t matter what people think of me and that I make sure to stay true to who I am.

What Happens When Autism Speaks Appoints A New Ambassador

Before any opportunity is offered to me, I always do my research. I search up the positives and negatives so I can make an informed decision. That seems to be common sense; at least that’s what I thought.

Occasionally, i’ll do a twitter search for “Autism Speaks” to see what kind of propaganda is being perpetuated. I’ll usually see parents, this running app (CharityMiles) that donates to them and merchandise with puzzle pieces for sale.

Yesterday was a bit different. The last big rift between the Autistic community and an outspoken supporter of Autism Speaks would be the whole Niantic deal. The Makers of POKEMON GO decided it would be excellent publicity to partner with the Autism Speaks Run and have their own family fun booth. They were met with outrage and rightfully so. Pokemon Go gave some individuals a reason to get outside and engage. I wasn’t one of those people, but there were other reasons given that made it seem like the Autistic community embraced it–that is, until, they made an incredibly rash decision without any research.

So, back to yesterday, I noticed there was a gamer by the name of Ash or Clash With Ash (CWA) who was incredibly excited to share the news of his ambassadorship with Autism Speaks. His video was complete with puzzle pieces in the background. What a lovely touch.

He’s even gone so far as to raise money for AUTISM SPEAKS, already.

We, the Actually Autistic community have been on it. We’ve let him know that this isn’t helping us – that it’s actually hurting us. Ash’s followers are commending him and don’t seem to be questioning him. I’m assuming they believed he did his due diligence and researched Autism Speaks before he went full out and posted all his puzzle-piece laden propaganda for them to eat up and praise him for. He’s been incredibly quick to thank his supporters and put us in the backseat. Part of me believes he thought this would be good publicity and paint him as some kind of saint because his late Brother was Autistic. Here’s the initial tweet that started this all.

If you take the time to scroll through his twitter, you’ll see the calm before the storm. I took it upon myself to let his followers know that his actions are the opposite of commendable-by informing them that Autism Speaks is not a good organization. I don’t recall any of them responding to me.

I’m not sure how this benefits him. Perhaps it gives him a greater sense of purpose and believes that because he has a platform and an audience, that he could bring some kind of awareness to a cause he says is so important to him. We don’t need that. We can advocate for ourselves without hiding behind the guise of a hate group. There’s also better organizations to donate money to, like ASAN.

If you wish to add your opinion and let him know that we don’t need him to speak on our behalf, his social media platforms are:

If you want to learn why Autism Speaks is so terrible, here’s a great list: A Roundup of Posts Against Autism Speaks

Thank You

This has been amazing!

Why “Sensory Friendly” Isn’t always what it seems.

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I posed this question on twitter:

The response was overwhelming. It seems a lot of people tend to agree with me.

A number of venues will offer, what they consider to be “sensory friendly” events which they believe caters to those who are Autistic and yes -it does cater to some, but certainly not all.

According to AMC (who works with Autism Speaks) this is how they define their sensory friendly film program:

AMC Theatres in 2007 started the AMC Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society to bring a unique movie experience to our community! As part of the program the film showings have their lights turned up and the sound turned down.

 

multi colored chairs in row

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My thoughts on something where the lights are on and the sound is down: Terrible. Just awful. For me, not being able to hear dialogue and having bright lights in my face would not be sensory friendly. I function best when the lights are off or there is natural lighting.  Each and every person on the spectrum is different and their ways of mentally processing incoming sensations are all unique to each person. You can’t simply say something is Sensory Friendly and use it as a blanket statement. I believe a better term would be Sensory Aware and a disclaimer that would say something like “this isn’t sensory friendly for every autistic person or person with sensory processing difficulties” would be highly beneficial. It’s just another step towards inclusion or at least a better understanding of what Neurodiversity is.

photo of head bust print artwork

Photo by meo on Pexels.com

Years may go on…

..but words still hurt and the pain lingers.

closeup photography of loser scrabble letter

Photo by Shamia Casiano on Pexels.com

I believe in the power of words. Whether it’s for good or bad, words linger. The power you can have over someone else’s emotions and personal strength is more impactful then you probably realize. That being said, tomorrow is my birthday and today I feel a bit crestfallen.

15 years, 20 years or 25 years, does the timeline really matter if you still feel the same way that you did when that person said or did that hurtful thing to you? Does time invalidate the pain or the ability to make things right with someone who you may have said incredibly distressing things to? No. Never.

You have time to make things right; time to heal those who you have wounded.

I feel like a fool sometimes for reaching out to those people and try to give them a chance to make amends, clear the air and have a positive interaction with me — but some of those people would rather make it seem like I am the one at fault; like I deserved it.

Reliving these terrible instances is a horrible way to live. Oh, and not only live, but sleep, dream or even have nightmares about it. Why are some worthy of respect from these individuals, even friends of mine, and yet I’m not? I don’t know if it’s because I’m wired differently, because I’m neurodiverse or because my skin isn’t as thick as it could be. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I spent so many years crying and being ‘beat up’ emotionally by those around me, including a family member who should have set a good example. The term “emotional punching bag” comes to mind.

DoodleBeth illustrates it perfectly. It was truly kismet to see this images yesterday.

If someone gives you the chance to make things right, please don’t insinuate that the victim is the one to blame when given the chance to make things right:

“I am sorry you harboured this feeling for so long. i’m not sure if I can give you the response that you wanted – but I do hope you can mend that hole.”

 

In conclusion:

Please make amends with those you may have hurt.
Your words are more powerful than you realize.
Be kind.

Autistic Speaking Episode 4

I refuse to be silenced.

-Margaux

I am Colour.

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Yes, I will admit it: I am Weird.

I believe I have embraced this as my identity in a very subconscious way. I have no fear when it comes to expressing myself and I don’t think I ever did.

Anxiety is also a big part of who I am. It sometimes forces me to freeze and feel very weak-minded. It takes over me. I sweat profusely, I get heart palpitations, I just want to run and cower. It even can prompt me to sleep a whole lot.

Art is something that can help calm me right down, it is my soul doing the talking. It is an everlasting moment of freedom. I can look at my Art and think “I made that?”. It can be incredibly hard to believe.

I have hopes and dreams with it. Literal “close-my-eyes-and-fall-asleep” dreams. I see myself in the heart of a big city with my art in a gallery. I know it can be considered low brow and heck, I know there’s people who don’t like it and who could truly care less about me. I still have this dream.

“It’s too small. It should be bigger!”

“I can’t be your friend because I can’t stand your Art.”

“Your art is ugly.”

Tell me this. Tell me this over and over and over and over again. Please.

Why? Get your negative thoughts out, it’s good for you.

But for me?

I’ll keep creating.

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Love,

Margaux

CBC Docs POV Presents Love, Hope & Autism

Firstly, I want to say thanks to CBC for giving me the chance to view this incredible film before it even airs on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 9 PM.

Update: This has become my most popular post yet—but I have no idea where the traffic is coming from. Where did you find this post? Comment below and let me know, Thanks!

Love, Hope & Autism centres around fraternal twins Fraser and Hallee Fresco and their journey growing up. Their bond is beautiful. Fraser is Autistic and Hallee is not. The special connection Fraser has with his Cameraman Father is so unique and really amazing. I loved seeing all their adventures captured on screen. The fact that so much of it is footage captured by the Father during the twins childhood provides a fresh perspective like nothing i’ve seen before.

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I hope you have the chance to watch it and open the discussion of how diverse Autism really is and how it can bring some families together, much like it did for the Frescos. There is still a complete lack of funding and resources for adults on the spectrum and this film definitely brings it to light.

For more information, please check out:

@cbcdocs #CBCDocsPOV

 

 

The power of misunderstandings.

Today I was told that I come across as “a bit entitled”.

I feel like that’s the farthest from the truth. I am an incredibly direct person who tends to include factual information and I ask a lot of questions. If a certain channel doesn’t yield any answers, I try another channel. Yes, I am an incredibly persistent person but that should not be confused with entitled.

I seek informative answers, I seek consistency. I seek an answer, whether that’s acceptance or rejection, I feel as though I’m worthy of either versus just being ‘ghosted’. Being completely ignored.

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My story and my passion is one that is mixed with drive, acceptance, awareness and equal opportunities. I have a mission to showcase products, attractions, experiences and opinions with my wide array of different visitors–both Neurodiverse and NT.

 

I wish there was a general understanding that I am not doing this blog to get free stuff. I am creating content because I want to show the world a very unique point of view. This is a niche. This is my passion and I love to create media rich content—it allows me to be creative which is a huge part of my identity.  I have been told by a very prominent local blogger that I should be charging for all the work I do. I have not made a cent.

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Please don’t pass judgement. Education is key and incorrect labels do not help anyone.

For more information, please visit:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/aspergers-diary/201503/being-misunderstood