Putting your ear against the fridge in your kitchen to listen to the motor because the longer you listen to it, the more you constantly hear new sounds as the fridge-noise teases apart into increasingly distinct sub-noises that basement away into ever new components that your ear can’t stop chasing.
When I was fifteen, I had never made a friend before and I was getting stressed out about it. I thought, you know, “This is weird.” The loneliness was overwhelming by then- it had been weighing on me for as long as I could remember. My efforts to connect with other kids always went awry…I was too confused by people. People are strange.
I’m never able to get Jacques Tati’s 1967 film Playtime completely out of my head. There are phases where, for a few months, it’s on constant mental rotation…and then there are quieter times. And then the cycle repeats.
On Twitter, Anonymous asked, “How did you find a good therapist?”
I recently guest-posted two interviews at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. I thought I would share links to those here, along with every interview/conversation I’ve been part of over the years. The topics all converge around autism, but I’m grateful for the huge variety of insights and perspectives these discussions made possible.
Every now and then, when I was very young, I could sense this shape coalescing within my thoughts. I would find myself…not so much visualizing it, as feeling it.
Alexia Klein is a Brazilian translator and author of the blog O autismo em traducao (“autism in translation”). After her son was diagnosed with autism, she decided to use her translating skills to share English-language posts about the spectrum and neurodiversity with readers in her home country (where Portuguese is the official language).
She recently reached out to discuss translating posts from Invisible Strings, so I took the opportunity to learn more about her efforts. We spoke via email about her blog, her translating work and the current state of autism awareness in Brazil.
(re-posting from a few years ago, for the holidays.)
When I was in elementary school, my social struggles developed into an intense fear of other people.
I sought out friendships, connections, but lacked the basic communication skills necessary to traverse the social world. I didn’t know that I lacked body language; I didn’t know that my mind was unable to catch the nuances of non-verbal communication. Needing people, interested in others, I repeatedly jumped into interactions, only to stumble for reasons I had no way of understanding.
As a little one, you didn’t understand facial expression. You didn’t even know it meant something…you just knew faces shifted and moved and you couldn’t make sense of that.