Monday, September 30, 2013

Autism Answer: "We either all live in our own worlds, or nobody does."~ Lynette Louise aka THE BRAIN BROAD

My mom (Lynette Louise aka The Brain Broad) was asked in an interview about autistic people living in "their own worlds". Her response was, "We either all live in our own worlds, or nobody does." I appreciate the importance of this statement, and can't help but giggle at how I came to truly understand the weight of it's truth!

My husband had been complaining about the skinniness of one of Hollywood's starlets and I was agreeing with my usual "I know that everyone should be their healthiest selves, and some people are naturally skinny, so I don't want to lump them in with the women starving themselves to look like someone they aren't" rhetoric, when I heard myself add, "besides, men prefer women with a little meat on them." Case closed. 

But then I had an epiphany. The men in my world had preferred women with a little meat on them because I have a little (and sometimes a little more!) meat on me. Huh! 

And then suddenly, for a brief moment, I truly understood how different this world behaves for each and every one of us, especially the ones with brain disorders like my mom and brothers. 

Can you imagine if you were seeing sound as colors (some of you probably have!) all of your life, and so as a little child decided to knock on a wall over and over because of the beautiful shade of blue it produced? Can you imagine how confused you would have felt when people who obviously loved you also slapped your hand or yelled every time you tried to share that beautiful sight with them? You are certain that they can see what you're seeing, because we all assume that everyone is seeing the same world we are. The confusion might have made you pull away, or knock even harder. But you were never in you own world. Just trying to share things you can see that others can't, in this world. 

I believe a reason it's so important to keep in mind that our autistic brothers, parents, children or selves are not in their own world is because it empowers us to respect that they are dealing with challenges we can't see, while reminding us not to give the challenges so much control that we allow ourselves--or them--to pull away and not try to engage with the world together. 

When I ask my autistic brother to pass me the pepper, and he reaches for almost everything BUT, I don't know if it's because the orange pen beside it is creating such a painful shine that he just can't see the spice, or if his intention tremor is making the task nearly impossible, or if he's just bored and this is a game for him. I don't know. 

But I do know that he can do it, and if I'm in the mood to be a good sister I won't yell impatiently or give up and get it myself. I will keep asking him to figure out a way to engage with this world, because let's be absolutely honest, this is where we all live. And I want him to learn to be comfortable here, because I love my brother. 

And it just so happens, I love my world!

Hugs, smiles and love!!!
Autism Answers

Silly Update: Back when I believed all men liked women with a little meat on them, I ate cookies accordingly. Now that I know it's more of a personal preference thing, I still get to eat cookies! Because my hubby's personal preference is me!! tee hee!