Archive for February, 2013

One way as a person on the autistic spectrum I avoid sensory overload is that I rarely go into situations that I don’t know what to expect. No matter, what situation I get myself into whether it is at a bar or going to work or home I always know what to expect. I know that when I get up in front of a stage to perform that the sounds I will likely hear is laughter. I know that before and after the show there will be conversations going on, with something funny occasionally thrown in for variety. When a crowd is silent it throws me off more than most comedians, because it is unexpected and I don’t do unexpected well. Therefore, I am up there trying to salvage the show not only for the audience’s benefit but also for the benefit of my own sanity, because the longer the new situation goes on, the greater the chance I will have a problem with sensory overload. If I went into a stand-up comedy venue and instead of conversation going on like I expected there was suddenly five screaming babies who were crying at the top of their lungs I would totally freak out. I would have the worst headache because I would be unable to adapt to the new scenario and it is not only because crying babies are extremely annoying and it is a wonder after listening to one, that anyone would want to have children. If the MC before the show was blasting heavy metal music before the show it would be the same result. I would have a really bad headache to the point where I feel physically sick.
One time a couple of friends decided to randomly pop by which did not happen often. The whole time they were there I was so thrown off to the point, where I was rude being like what are you doing here. Granted it was on a Jewish Holiday where I had already been fasting for 10 hours which can make me cranky on its own, nevertheless; their appearance made me feel really uncomfortable since I had planned on playing video games by myself in my boxers the rest of the afternoon till I was able to eat again. This would not have affected most people but I felt like I had to put pants on and had to play a two-player game, it was awful. Even if someone texts me first or calls and lets me know that they are coming in five-minutes I am less thrown off.
Essentially, what I am saying is, please don’t bring a cortet of crying babies to one of my comedy shows at a bar. Thank you in advance,

sincerely

Adambeck-crying-babies

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Autistic people should… be courageous and follow their dreams. Yes, there will be setbacks along the way, but there is setbacks whenever you follow your dreams no matter who you are. It is a hard steep path filled with sacrifice and there is no guarantee that you will succeed, but there is no guarantee for anyone. Yes, there will be extra obstacles in the way, but there are extra obstacles in our way no matter what we do, but you know what? Everyday we overcome these obstacles because we are a tough resilient people with more inner-strength than we will ever know. Yes, we have fewer examples of people who have succeeded in many fields and may have to carve our own paths but we still do have a few shining beacons of hope like Darryl Hannah or Dan Ackroyd. Yes, I know they both start with the letter D and not all great people’s names start with the letter D, but that is fine. Don’t make a big deal about nothing!!

We may want to give up, but all people have their low-points where they consider giving up that they have to motor through. We also may feel like the world is being unfair to us because of our disability, but, then we just have to work twice as hard and be twice as nice. There will also be times we are misunderstood because we are different, we think differently and we make different word choices. Instead of thinking of your disability as a weakness think of ways that you can make it a strength.  Ways how, thinking outside the box can make you innovative and bring different contributions to the table which are equally worthwhile.

Don’t hesitate to ask your family for help. I have a great family, however, if you don’t make your own family. There is a great supportive community out there on blogs and online, people who understand what life is like on the Autistic spectrum and can relate to you and will be thrilled to support you. If you are lucky, you may even find a strong community in the real-world of people you know. There are great places like the Asperger Society of Manitoba to go and make friends and allies. Some people are even lucky enough to have good friends among both the spectrum community as well as the NT community.

Believe in yourself, even when no one else does. Celebrate the small victories as well as the large. If you do all of these things I guarantee you will do great things, even if the outside world doesn’t recognize these great things for what they truly are.

With the upcoming Winnipeg comedy festival, I planned on turning my comedy career around because I feel like its been on a downward spiral. I had planned on attending every comedy show, put more work writing every day and being more prepared for every comedy show. So far, I have failed at all three goals and wonder how realistic they were in the first place. It is a terrible feeling seeing someone newer at comedy come in and do much better than I did, but I have to accept that comedy owes me nothing and realize I simply did not work hard enough to achieve my goals. Let’s hope the next few weeks I am more motivated and do what I need to.

People we are not doing enough to celebrate Aspergers/Autism. I don’t think we are doing enough to celebrate people with disabilities in general, but we are definitely not doing enough to celebrate Aspergers. We need to take a page out of the gay/lesbian transgendered communities playbook and embrace our differences.

First we could have Autism spectrum parades. I think our flag would be rainbowed like the gay and Lesbian community, because frankly we are a rainbow people. We think everywhere on the spectrum from the most outgoing individuals to the most withdrawn. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, it is a burden at times but it can also be a gift. An amazing gift so why don’t we openly embrace our community of wonderful individuals and have parades

There is also a Gay and Lesbian show in the Winnipeg comedy festival. There is a panel to discuss issues relating to their specific community in a much larger festival giving them a forum to discuss their challenges and their triumphs with a much wider audience. I would love to have panels consisting of people all over the spectrum including NT (Neuro-typical) individuals talking. I think this is an amazing show and  would love if such a show existed for the disabled community. This would be a dream come true if shows like that were included in the Winnipeg comedy festival. I think that the autism community is even less well understood and represented in general and think that it would be amazing if we could be more represented.

I also think that it is great that there are characters who have autistic elements to them such as Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory and think that it would be that much greater if the character they had chosen to play him was on the spectrum in real life.

The real question is how can we network with groups who are already established and emulate them.

Just like there was once shame in being a lesbian and now the identity is embraced and for the most part openly accepted in society, it is my dream that the same could be said about the Autism community.

It’s the little things that really  bother me. I know it may sound tiny but just a little while ago, I saw someone I know and said hi and they returned the greeting but when I asked them how they were they did not inquire about me or my well-being. How rude. I know this is a tiny thing but it has really frustrated me. It’s because I get upset when people don’t follow the script and I am suddenly lost. I mean does she think she is better than me? Is she just a thoughtless person?

My state of well-being from knowing what to expect has suddenly been thrown through a loop and I don’t know whether it is day or night and it gives me a feeling of unease and makes me suddenly not feel safe. Like that society has suddenly turned into an anarchy.

Throughout life I have been able to drive myself and achieve things no one ever thought would be possible. My driving motivation, however may not have been the most healthiest way of dealing with my problems. You see my main motivation was always to be the best or just as good as everyone else. My condition, however, has not always made this possible. Therefore, when you are not able to accomplish or fulfill what is driving you the discrepancy between the two can drive you mad. If one is smart they will celebrate little victories and strive to be the best they can be. The question, that I have always struggled with is how to turn this little internal voice off or have a positive voice in my head drown out the negative. Is it the outside world who has instilled this voice in my head which I have simply incorporated and made a constant terror in my life. Or is it simply based on my own jealousies and that I created the voice on my own.

In the end, the ownsis of self-acceptance is upon each of us and maybe it has simply been a harder journey because of my condition and the world’s lack of acceptance. I don’t know all I know is I need to find a path to my own acceptance of my place in the world.

Other people have had this pain in their heads turn into physically acting out and hurting themselves. This may be a legitimate way for others I just don’t think this is how I operate.  I can easily see how someone would turn to anything that would drown out the pain, so far I have only turned to video games which is self-injurious enough but does nothing to address the roots of my problem and brings me no closer to any closure. I then kick myself for wasting time playing video-games.

I have not always been the most generous tipper or the most generous with my money in the past to the point of being downright stingy. My cheapness has got me into trouble on multiple occasions. One of my really good friends told this girl I was trying to woo that I would go to fancy restaurants and that I would only order chocolate milk (even though, that friend is actually 10x cheaper than I am, I won’t even get into his philosophy about tipping). He did not do this in front of me but when we went out to dinner as friends one night, she joked how she thought I was just going to order a chocolate milk, when I ordered one at the beginning of the meal and it turned into a really embarassing situation. I had no plans to just order chocolate milk but I felt like it was pretty hard to win her over at that point, when she had in her mind that I was a cheapskate. I couldn’t exactly just order the most expensive thing off of the menu because that wouldn’t look good either. It would be like I was showing off that I had money.
I can’t really justify my past, but I can explain my unconscious thinking. As a result of having Aspergers I have always felt like I was never going to mount to anything, that I would never be as successful as my parents and that I would end up as a failure and a burden on society. This internal thinking made me think that every penny I spent today would mean that I would be that much penniless tomorrow, but the penny would never stay a penny in my head but always morphed into an enormous amount. Therefore, if I didn’t spend much money at the end of the day when I was a burden on my siblings and sleeping on their couch when I had failed at everything else I would be that much less reliant on them and more independent. I still struggle with seeing myself as anything but a failure, especially having struck-out at teaching and the producers in the Winnipeg comedy scene refusing to give me any stage-time no matter how hard or long I worked at it. The idea of talking to a bunch of parents with children with Aspergers as I have been invited to do next month scares me. The reason why I think they invited me is because they think they can get something positive out of it, something for their children to aspire towards and I feel this is a misinterpretation of myself because I have never had a girlfriend, still live at home at age 27 and am still a virgin and awkward around women. Definitely not something that I see as a role model for other people to live their lives like. I am not even a professional right now, I have my degree in library-science but right now I am not taking advantage of it and am working as a general reference person, which you only need a undergraduate degree to work at.
Since working at the library I felt like I had more disposable income and have been less cheap and am able to get myself whatever I want, but this has been a long thing incoming and I often still think that I am not being generous enough towards other people and am still penny-pinching, even though I will treat my friends to lunch if they have driven or in other instances. I still struggle with some frivolous purchases such as buying myself a video game, but that is also because I can forsee myself wasting too much time playing it instead of doing something more productive like reading a book.

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