How Can You Help with One of Our Comorbid Conditions?

By Rochelle Johnson Everything I do—every thought, feeling, action, compulsion, achievement, and failure—comes from an autistic lens. Why? Because it’s who I am. There are many things I can share from the lens of autism but today I want to focus on comorbid conditions. Comorbidity in terms of being autistic means that we can have disorders that co-occur with our autism. For some it’s an intellectual disability, significant speech articulation issues, or mobility issues. But by far the most common, as far as I understand it, is that of mood … [Read more...]

My Life-changing Second Awakening of Truth

By Rochelle Johnson The air around me is suddenly crisp and clear and real and natural. I can taste it anew. Taste it in a way I don’t think I ever have before. Every drop of morning dew and a blade of grass, each little squawk of birdsong, is fresh and new and more real than it has ever been. I’ve undergone an awakening. An awakening of sorts that is so incredibly momentous that it is so almost impossible to put it into words. And yet, there is a word for it, there is even a word for the time of life I am in, there is even a sentence to … [Read more...]

Why the High-Low Labels are So Wrong!

By Rochelle Johnson It’s nearly impossible to avoid hearing or reading the words high functioning autism/autistic. Regardless of their validity or inadequacy at actually describing anything, you will hear them in the autism world. You can hear them applied to people in both negative and positive ways. You can hear them used as a weapon to silence or as a shield of avoidance. “But you’re so high functioning.” “They must be high functioning.” “But you’re much more high functioning than my child.” “You don’t look autistic.” And … [Read more...]

Taking Language for Granted

By Rochelle Johnson I don’t think that word means what you think it means… Language is one of those things we often take for granted. We use it without really thinking about it. We take on new language almost through osmosis. All of a sudden we find ourselves using words we can't really guarantee we actually understand and comprehend their actual meanings. It can cause an embarrassment, offense to others, or a situation where you are passing inaccurate information to others. Language is not only something we take for granted but it is … [Read more...]

A Golden End to the Misleading Puzzle Piece

By Rochelle Johnson The puzzle piece is ubiquitous. Just about everywhere you look in the autism world you see representations of it. Whether it’s a Facebook page, a support group, or a website so many people like to use it in some form or another to represent autism. The Puzzle piece. It’s everywhere. Personally I don’t like it. There are a number of reasons I don’t but mostly I think it sees me as passive not active. The puzzle piece has negative connotations that I don’t like, it doesn't represent me as an equal and conveys the message … [Read more...]

My Unenchanted Evening was a No Meltdown Triumph!

By Rochelle Johnson The needs of our children don't let up. No matter where we are at emotionally, physically or whatever. One of my girls needed a lift to her weekly small group she attends so I gathered up my energy and motivation and headed out the door even though I was tired and a bit fragile. It was an unexpected disruption to my inner plan for the evening and the rest of the day. Trigger point one had been breached - Change of routine in unexpected ways. This was particularly pertinent, I had already dealt with a few of these … [Read more...]