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Deodorant: An Autism Masking Story

Such neurotypical world bleeds in black and white, but we neurodivergent humans are considered a spectrum for good cause. There is middle ground. We can learn to make use of offensive hygienic commodities by finding those least offensive to our tastes, but our neurotypical friends and family should meet us halfway by advocating for us, instead of against us–forcing us to suppress our legitimate concerns and discomfort for the sake of their own.

Meltdowns

There are parts of my personality and existence for which I’ve felt inordinate shame. These are things I’ve long repressed, pretending they were never actually part of my lived experience.Receiving my autism diagnosis has forced me to confront and scrutinize these. Today, I need to talk about meltdowns.

Abhorrent Academics

In undergrad, after I settled on English Lit as my major, my university experience greatly improved. Prior to this, I’d declared business as my major and my academic performance was shoddy, at best, in this course of study. Yet in Literature and Humanities classes, I outperformed all my peers and while I rarely contributed to class discussions, my teachers treated me like a genius after reading my written work.

Intellectual Inconsistency

For starters, I did a poor job of preparing for the test. I owned a practice assessment book, but I just could not engage with the strategically abstract nature of the content. Needless to say, I didn’t spend all that much time preparing. To read the practice manual was, for me, like reading a foreign language. It exhausted me and triggered tension headaches.

Probably Autistic

Using Tania’s list, in concert with online Asperger’s assessments, I can easily qualify my self-diagnosis of ASD. It is my hope that I will find a specialist to corroborate my own analysis.

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

ADHD. Autism. I was trained to fear both of these. In the earliest parenting days, I remember adjusting my mode of operation, because of the fear that my kids would develop either condition. This is because in today’s world, the narrative surrounding them includes fear mongering and coercion. We are told–wrongly–of a causal link between vaccines and autism–screen time and ADHD. In truth, both of these conditions have been found to be genetic.