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Autism: A Quick Trip To My Home Planet | Monique Botha | TEDxSurreyUniversity

Apr 21, 2024
thanks, they will pay you later. I'm so lonely. I'm autistic, as you can see, and this is kind of an open dialogue about what it means to be autistic and, to be honest, nine times out of ten when I walk. Walking into a room full of people and for me a room full of people could be one person other than me that's full, so usually when I do that I put on a mask, put on a skin and pretend to be human because it's easier to do that. then show people basically myself so this is going to be a very open dialogue about what it means to be autistic and in some parts you'll probably laugh a lot, in other parts you might and cry but it should all be great so it's a Autism is a developmental disorder that affects three things, communication behavior and social imagination.
autism a quick trip to my home planet monique botha tedxsurreyuniversity
Now the behavior is easier to condense like this because the other word they use for a common noun in books is social interaction, which can often be very confused with social communication and then basically because there's a lot of overlap, but I'll explain them bit by bit. so that communication with people who have

autism

is often very literal and does not mean that when you say it's pouring rain outside, I think the cats are falling. From heaven, however, there are cases where you tell me something and I look at you and review it in my mind.
autism a quick trip to my home planet monique botha tedxsurreyuniversity

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autism a quick trip to my home planet monique botha tedxsurreyuniversity...

I wonder how many different ways this can be taken, which is the most appropriate for this. situation recently, I went with my partner and we stayed in a hotel and on Saturday morning we had a book in the restaurant that night so we were talking to the receptionist and she told me which room so I looked outside. for three very awkward seconds and she looks at me and I look at her, my boyfriend walks up and says room 210, walk away and I say thank god you were here, he said why it's like he's really on to a plot, answer which room you do.
autism a quick trip to my home planet monique botha tedxsurreyuniversity
You usually eat at

home

and it's that kind of awkwardness where people say something and you wouldn't think there are many ways to take it, but I usually eat in the dining room, so I figured I'd be eating in the dining room and the question took me by surprise. surprise, another example is that every Sunday, after eating a roast, I would put the leftover chicken in the slow cooker and make something for that night and I would put the chicken in, I would put butter, red wine, some spices and I would give it a try. I come back and my boyfriend asks me what. let's do with that and again awkwardly three seconds I look at him he looks at me I look at him and I say eat it and he says okay I guess I should have seen it coming and I thought well what else to do?
autism a quick trip to my home planet monique botha tedxsurreyuniversity
You do it with food and he says, well, I was talking about pasta or I said, well, that's awkward. Apart from that, we have a behavior that is a kind of social interaction. Most people would probably know the famous avoid eye contact now for some people. spectrum, it could be that eye contact is uncomfortable, it could be that it's almost painful, it's hard to describe, it's a physical sensation that sometimes feels wrong to me, if I feel comfortable with someone, I look them in the eyes and it will be so intimate like kissing them on the cheek, so you can imagine my dismay when random people actually try to keep my eye contact.
I say and they don't understand it, they say, but why don't you? just look at me there, I mean what's wrong with you and I'm like that's not what's wrong with me, trust me and they find it hard to understand. The other things that fall into the behavioral category are intense interests and some of them are lifelong, so since I was ten years old I have been writing poetry and I don't mean to relax, to relax from time to time, I pick up a pencil and paper, I mean, on my laptop, I have like 1500 poems and they don't stop, so eventually it's going to be a problem, but we're looking at all of that, but others are going through, so while I was in my sophomore year of college We were studying about rights-based. and I decided it was a great idea to read all the Nuremberg trial transcripts and I'm not talking like it was bedtime reading, I literally read them all, all the Goron transcripts and luckily my law professor who wrote my reference for my teachers really wrote it down, yeah, she really goes beyond the recommended additional reading and you know, let's put a positive spin on it.
I actually spent six weeks reading this and it had nothing to do with the exam, so again it's a little awkward and people wait. You have to have the flexibility to be able to talk for hours about things that interest me, but that's not really what's expected in life. People think you should be able to chat about the weather and TV, so my time, usually. We review the weather, we are having a lot and people say: wow, you are ready, certainly shelepin. I say, well, actually, more than you know, um and then once the last one is social imagination, which is the ability to predict what's coming. next and I don't mean that we like in any way the form of imagination because we are writers, we are poets, we are scientists, we have these absolutely incredible minds and we do wonderful things with them, it means that in conversation I really won't.
You know what's coming next, you could stand in front of me and we could be talking about one thing and to the rest of the world it could be very obvious what's coming next, but I'll end up surprised no matter what it is. It doesn't matter if it's the most obvious path to something, I won't see it coming and part of that is that I had a hard time reading body language. Their faces all look the same so as not to offend each other, which means they could be standing there. getting aggressive you might get really angry at me and I'll be like oh yeah hi meaning when you hit me I didn't see it coming other people can see the build up they say oh you know this person getting a little aggressive at me I should back off I should doing this I stand there without realizing it and say that the time people find infuriating turns out that its prevalence is about one in a hundred when both men and women are included, its increase is phenomenal and there are many theories about whether that is simply a better diagnosis, if it's actually increasing gender differences, it's interesting because people usually associate it with men, the Sheldon Cooper thing, so a lot of times when I tell people you know I'm autistic, they like it, but you are a woman.
I appreciate you noticing that people don't typically expect women to have

autism

. I'm part of the problem is that when they were actually flagging the symptoms, they said, hey, let's just study the men. because it's a good idea, which means that the way women on the spectrum present themselves is actually quite different from the way men present themselves on the spectrum, so they go unnoticed, it's meant to be for men for all women, but actually when you start to figure it out and if you change the diagnostic criteria to fit the way women present, it's closer to one to one, meaning women are not being Diagnosed at an appropriate age, they are generally diagnosed at age 30.
Now think about that when children are usually diagnosed before the age of 8, there is a 22 year difference, that is a lot, that is the life of a young person, that means there is no early intervention, it means there is no extra help, they are just women struggling to get ahead, which is really sad. So I'm going to show you some very scary numbers and personally this is where I have a big problem, so in the non-autistic community up there you can see with anxiety disorders that little red slice and without the anxiety disorder it's so big. .
The yellow piece in the autistic community, the red one is the number of people who suffer from anxiety and the yellow one is the one that doesn't exist, and I guess you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to tell the difference, we can play find the difference, but I am pretty sure. We all get it, we just assume it's a big difference that's actually a bit shocking. I mean, it's a diagnosed anxiety disorder, so we're not just talking about general anxiety, we're talking about something diagnosable within the DSM and there are a lot of people who would like to say that. it's just an inherent part of having autism, you're autistic, therefore you're anxious, like it's part and parcel, like everything in my DNA that makes me autistic makes me anxious.
I think it's a really sad way to look at the world, but I guess. that's how they see it right now and they say there's a lot of talk in the community that it's the autistic person's fault because they don't fit in, therefore it's their fault when they get anxious. Now, one of the key areas of autism is this sensory overload, which means that we can't stop processing information when we should, which means that all the time I pick up visual cues, auditory cues, all at once, which means Yes, the world is overwhelming. and sometimes I want to put on my noise canceling headphones and not see anyone.
I don't do that, of course, otherwise I wouldn't be here, but yes, you can understand why that would come with some anxiety, but can you really? The blame is that almost half of the autistic population has diagnosable anxiety. Some more scary numbers. Depression. 25% in the non-autistic community will at some point in their life have a form or attack of depression. Pretty sad numbers. There is the autistic community you are looking for. almost three quarters of the community end up with depression and again it's this idea that sadness is woven into our DNA as if we have nothing more than this, autism, and that's why we were born to end up depressed and I think that's sad. way of looking at the world and I think anyone here would and we can keep saying it's part of the genes, but I offer a different explanation than I'll come to.
Actually, there are some scary numbers that I didn't put on the board because it would mean accepting them as reality. Those numbers are that 64% of people with autism have suicidal thoughts. 64% think about that for a minute because it would be like 1 in 3 don't. and it would be 2/3 of the audience who end up feeling suicidal and of that before the age of 17, 17 percent of people with autism will try to commit suicide, that is horrible and I didn't really put them on the board because it would mean accepting them as a reality and I can't do that because I have too many friends and too many family members who are also autistic and it would be like lining them up and saying one of them is going to be lost.
Those numbers are scary and this is where I attribute it. Discrimination against autistic people is the rule rather than the exception and that's a UN rights expert so think about that for a minute in my short life of 23 years, I have faced some pretty horrible experiences and where I tell someone I have autism. I'm autistic and I get different responses some of them are nice some of them are surprised most of them are but you're too pretty to have autism some of them are oh god I'm so sorry it must be like this. Horrendous and I've never thought about it like that but okay some of them are missing they say oh but you can't actually be autistic and that's the problem you can tell someone you're autistic but chances are if they talk, They're not going to believe you, which brings me to the scale, there's a high-functioning autistic individual and a low-functioning individual, and we in the community actually hate this language because it reduces people because I started speaking at a certain age. .
I'm classified. As a high functioning person, if I had waited a few more months before developing an attitude, I would be classified as low functioning. The funny thing is, for me, it's the different people. I have been taking three different types of anxiety medications. I have frequent autism. Crises where I'm rocking back and forth, getting hit in the head and not in the musical sense of the word where I would be described as low functioning and no one sees that part of me because I keep it to the people closest to me. to the rest of the world.
He sees a bright girl who they describe as having a bright future, which means they think I don't struggle. 42% of people with autism, if they end up getting a job, will be fired because they can't fit in socially, they can do the job. that's fine, but they can't fit in socially and keep in mind that that number is within the 18 percent of people who actually get jobs because if you have autism, if you're autistic, that means you look at the world a little bit differently. that's the chance you have of being employed, first of all, less than one in five people on the spectrum end up in full-time employment and then we wonder why when we go back you have that, I mean, it's kind of common sense.
I think my research basically takes this and says more: It's actually a form of minority stress because we fit into literally a small minority of the population and the discrimination that we deal with day after day, day after day, has burnout, so 43% of autistic adults lost that job for not having or having or disclosing autism, so, in part,They literally walked into the office and said "hey, I'm autistic" and said "oh, you better empty your work." drawers then, which is really uncomfortable and the problem is that there are a lot of people who say oh yeah, but there are discrimination laws for this, but the problem is that they don't come into play

quick

ly enough to achieve it. a lawsuit like that to pass where you are like I was actually fired because I have autism already wears on your mental health B your financial well-being and C your physical Hung due to stress ten percent of autistic people received support from their employees that's it, it's a scary number because even if he reveals his autism and manages to keep his job, which you're lucky enough to be able to make only one in ten get help and that's despite 50% wanting it and lastly that number From there, eighty percent experienced harassment at work, so that's after school, after college, so you can get past all of that. and stand up and try to be proud, try to hold on to the last vestiges of your self-esteem and chances are you'll end up harassed in the workplace.
Such a gap exists because of isolation due to doubt, discrimination, harassment. lack of acceptance lack of sports stigma and lack of communication is scary, that's why my research is the minority stress model and that is a model that has typically been used to describe the difference in life outcomes for minorities, for example, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ minorities that we typically see that have a higher mortality rate, have higher levels of anxiety or depression, basically they have lines that don't reach the expected level and you can keep saying that it's somehow interwoven In our genetics we were born to fail. that we were born to be unhappy that we were born to be anxious and that we have nothing to offer the world, which is fair, if you want to take that view, I think you are missing something really great, you should meet my nephew personally I think It's something else and I think if we level the playing field the depression rate the death rate the suicide rate the anxiety rate the self-harm rate the bullying rate the unemployment rate the rate The number of people who end up artistically in Domestic violence situations will decrease

quick

ly, isn't it so funny that all you have to do is level the playing field and you know what it's time for a movement, it's time to change the things we use as a society. the language that we use using the words that we use we build our society is something that is flexible and it is something that is moldable and we can choose to keep it the same or we can choose to change it now when I say what if we don't change it now?
We're going to have a really big problem on our hands because there's only so much time you can suffer suicidal thoughts without completing it. We will have a generation that thinks it is easier to take. their own lives to move on I don't think it's inevitable I think it's necessary to redefine what we are, the kind is common and many people have told me that if you realize what you're doing, I mean, it's never going to work. and I looked at them and thought: you've never seen how determined I can be. I shouldn't think it takes a level of determination.
Basically, it's time to give responsibility back to society. I'm reshaping the future, so what autistic people? I want you to know, and this is coming from people all over the world, this isn't just coming from me, almost everyone I've come out to has said something like you don't look autistic to me, but if that makes you feel better or I know someone who is autistic and you don't act like that person, don't be that person like I'm not even joking. If someone tells you he's autistic, don't say oh yeah, cool, cool, so food you don't have. to make a big deal out of it and you don't have to compare them is like saying yes you have brown hair but you don't look like my friend who also has brown hair, I wonder why and that's what I find. pretty much it doesn't really matter who I'm telling whether it's someone I work with whether it's new friends I say you know actually more distich and they say you don't act like Sheldon Cooper.
Like thank God so healing more is not an option we do the best we can but we will never stop being autistic the most frustrating thing is that people want to accept that you think differently but they still hope that one day you will fix it that's a little sad, of course In fact, you may have noticed a week ago that they managed to reverse autistic genetics and mice. I remember it very clearly because I read it and I thought: now I'm fine, you know, a scientific discovery is fine because I love neuroscience. So I can understand the push of science and I was actually walking to pick up a package called my mom started crying and she said what's wrong and I said, well, they've managed to reverse autism in mice.
I think it's too late and she said too late for what and I said I've been pushing for society to accept my whole life but actually it's been easier to rewrite the genetic code than to accept that we don't want to be cured and I actually had this debate . with someone and they told me, but why do you have a say because you are highly functional? And I said, well, that's funny because you don't know the backstory. Yes, sometimes I can seem human and I do the best I can for some days. I didn't get out of bed, but I never thought the problem was me.
I looked at society and said yes, I don't fit in, but I hope society changes and the problem was while I was on the phone. to my mother I realized that no, I'm a little late for them to be literally trying to cure autism instead of becoming a little more tolerant and that's a scary thought, empathy is actually a thing for us, a promise Sometimes we show it wrong, no. I'm going to lie so I'm the most empathetic person I know even if my face doesn't show it don't be the person who says an autistic person doesn't care we actually have the biggest heart for Coombe because we feel so deeply because we are literally constantly generating stimuli, which means that when we are sad, we are very sad, when we are happy, we are very happy, yes, other things are needed, for example, if you tell me that you broke a nail.
I'm not going to care, I'm sorry, there are worse things happening right now and that's what we're so busy looking at the bigger picture that with the little things it was like growing another one, but we certainly have a lot. of empathy we think it can be a gift it hurts our feelings when people talk about it as if it were an illness or as if it should be cured I wish people would stop seeing you as something so negative people often say that there is something that needs to be fixed Just because We don't fit your definition of normal doesn't mean we're not normal, we're not broken, we're normal people and I guess for us the people at Mozza wouldn't consider me normal, but it's okay because they love.
Anyway, I'm a different kind of person, yes, we don't like to look each other in the eye and sometimes we read things, for example, like I count my steps and I always try to end up on a nice even number, and even if that means that I have to take the long way I would take the long way and if I have to walk in a circle I will walk in a circle that doesn't mean I should be erased from humanity that's a little traumatic I think we don't want to heal be part of the I change when I'm done I just want to leave you with one thought and it's this I think my method of communication is pretty direct like I mention you guys do when I was a kid and we invited people over and we kept in mind that this is from the stage where I could walk and talk If I decided that no, no, you had been in my space long enough, I would go get your bag and your keys in your jacket come to you, you put them in your hands and say goodbye.
It was nice to see you. My parents thought it was really fun until I was the one who did it to my family and they were meant to be there for the weekend. I wasn't impressed that they didn't leave. I think my method of communication, even if it is unique, is quite simple. I think my behavior, even if it seems strange to you, keep in mind that I do everything I can to prevent it from spreading to the world. even if that means I meant that when I get

home

it may not make sense to you, but it makes sense to me and lastly, we can change society and I won't sit here waiting to, I don't know, figure out something. amazing like I'm never going to be like Einstein and I'm not going to prove that there are gravitational waves even if that would be cool all I ask is that you see what's beneath the surface and next time someone steps in front of you and they say what we should cure autism, you ask them why and you really keep digging into that narrative and you say well, actually, don't you think we could adjust a little bit?
It doesn't take much, thank you.

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