the burden created by masking Hello Michelle Swan

The burden created by masking

I am autistic.  Everything about me is autistic. I do everything I do autistically. Over my 44 years I have learned, often quite deliberately, to do things in ways that you will interpret as “normal”. But, I am still autistic, even when you can’t tell I am by watching my behaviour. I am using a strategy called masking to blend in. I am passing as non-autistic. 

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tired hellomichelleswan.com

tired

“I am tired”

It’s a phrase we say and hear a lot. It could be a valid reason, or used as an excuse, to avoid doing something or to explain our behaviour. I feel like we assume “I am tired” means I need sleep, or I need rest. When I use the phrase “I am tired” it is not quite that simple, and I suspect this is the case for many neurodivergent people.

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when behaviour is stigmatised Hello Michelle Swan

when behaviour is stigmatised

We all behave. We all use behaviour as a form of communication. We all have opinions about other peoples behaviour. We all make assumptions about what constitutes “good” and “bad” behaviour. In the context of disability support, behaviour is a much discussed topic, and very often the word “behaviour” is preceded by the word “challenging” or followed by the word “management”. More and more though, I want to precede or follow the word “behaviour” with the word “stigmatised”.

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autistic anxiety

It’s great that as a society we are becoming more aware of mental health challenges and the impact they have on peoples lives. Words like depression, and anxiety are part of our conversations now, and the stigma around them is reducing. But there is still some misunderstanding about what they actually are, and even more so when we mention anxiety in neurodivergent people. 

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5 ways to support someone through a meltdown

“Meltdown” is a pretty commonly used phrase these days. When I use it I don’t just mean that I lost my shit because something didn’t go my way. I am referring to the frightening, overwhelming, out of control experience of an overload induced meltdown. We most commonly refer to children as having meltdowns, but autistic (and other wise neurodivergent) adults experience them too.

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meltdown hellomichelleswan.com

meltdown

{ In this this post I describe my experience of a sensory overload induced meltdown. It may be triggering for some people. }

everything is suddenly louder. it was loud before but now it’s like there is an extra megaphone inside my head and it hurts when a sound flows through it. hurts in my whole body. right to my core. and ricocheting back out again to my skin.

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