Getting Things Wrong

Image

Spring Tidings.^^/

 

Like most normal human beings (that is, if you class me as ‘normal’) I get things wrong or make a mistake here and there. But, for an Autistic person like me, mistakes always seemed worse than they actually were. I’m not as bad as I used to be.

 

I’ll give you a past example…

 

Back in my school days I was one of the more ‘capable’ students, and thus, my reputation grew as such. So, I felt pressure every single day to always give it my best and to ensure that I never got anything wrong or did anything wrong. When I did say the wrong thing or I made a mistake during maths, I would get quite upset. It felt like I had let the whole school down and let myself down for not living up to my reputation. My reputation of not only being clever, being the best at sports but being a gentleman too.

 

It wasn’t necessarily getting things wrong; it was more about making someone unhappy or making someone cry. That’s the worse feeling for me. I would hate to think that someone is unhappy because of me. I strive to do the opposite. If someone raised their voice to me, I took that to mean I had done something bad and that made me feel ashamed.

 

That was when I started to fear getting things “wrong”.

 

Sometimes I would say things that I didn’t mean to say or say something because I didn’t know how else to explain it. I put pressure on myself because I probably took words too literally (hence, I don’t always understand sarcasm or generalisation), and the teachers put pressure on me to get me ‘motivated’.

 

I still remember doing my GCSE’S. In January 2006, I started my preparations for doing the Foundation GCSE’s in maths. It was literally the only subject that I did. Every time I got a question wrong I would get a telling-off for not ‘concentrating’. I was even called to the office one time for getting a score lower then average. I remember I got severely scolded because I got an easy question wrong. It was stated that I got it wrong because I didn’t work a question out using a calculator. In actual fact, I did use a calculator, I just added it up incorrectly.

 

Doing GCSE’s made me feel both proud and stressed. On the day I received a stern telling-off and had to re-take practice tests I did cry. All I did was get a few questions wrong and yet I got berated. I was under more pressure than ever to not get anything wrong.

 

2006 wasn’t the year of Ryan. XD

 

It was necessary for me to prepare 6 months for GCSE’s. I went on to get a D, well, one mark from a D (highest you could get for Foundation Maths). So, I like to think I did myself proud. Students at secondary have 5 years to prepare for GCSE’s and I only had 6 months and managed to pass, so, a pat on the back for me! =D

 

It’s important to look at it from my teacher’s point of view though; it’s a very stressful job. WWE wrestler Kane actually did some teaching before becoming a wrestler and he said that it was the hardest job he ever did. I can understand why. Teachers and TA’s are always under pressure to get the best out of a student and/or they have to meet a certain criteria. Hence, they can become stressed, which then passes on to the student.

 

My school was actually closing down in 2006 due to lack of funds. And that was pretty much when government started to close down SEN schools. This was the first and only time that the school had a student taking part in GCSE’s, I.E., me. They were under pressure to try and end the school on a good note and to get the best out of me. When they yelled at me I think they were trying a reverse-psychological approach… it failed- miserably. Haha. XD

 

They wanted to make sure as well that I was always focused, which I was by all means. It’s just that when you have your head bogged down on something and you get fatigue, sometimes, the easiest questions are the hardest, and the hardest questions are the easiest. My thoughts are, it’s not if you know the answers, it’s whether you  can focus during the actual test.

 

Nowadays

 

I still have some quirks to tell you the truth. I still get a little sensitive if I feel I’ve done something to upset someone or to make them ashamed of me. I’m not as bad though as I’m older and I have more experience of how to handle these situations.

 

As for general mistakes like getting knowledge wrong… I couldn’t really care less about those sorts of things. XD Sometimes I do get confused and ask questions but I never really go off on a tangent. If I’m mistaken about something, it’s no big deal.

 

Why, I wrote a blog on Captain America: Winter Soldier recently, annotating a review…

You can check out the review here: Captain America: Winter Soldier Review

 

I got a few things mixed up there!

 

You see, I thought the Winter Soldier (Bucky) was called Hydra. In actual fact the whole evil organisation is called Hydra, and not called Red Skull Army. XD Red Skull was the antagonist in the first film. Whoops!

 

Back in the day I would get really upset and I would feel extremely pale by writing a few mistakes on a blog post where many people mite read it online. Nowadays though, I kind of laugh at this sort of thing. Because these days people tend to laugh at my mistakes rather than yell at me. I’m an adult, thinking about it, and I’m allowed room to make mistakes.

 

Feeling no pressure for being me and being clever and what have you is all washed away in the past. The way I am now, getting things wrong and making mistakes left and right, getting barrels of laughs at my mishaps, suits me very well. It’s a part of who I am. =)

 

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Getting My Hair Cut

Image

Spring Tidings!^^/

 

On this lovely spring day I started to reminisce, basking in the cool sun. Even though it’s only been a matter of years that I left college I realised that I’ve developed a lot as a person more than I realised. One of the biggest independent steps I have taken in my role of…independence is getting my hair-cut- at a hair salon.

 

In the past I use to scream the whole place down, making many ears bleed in the process. I was very talented at that back then. 😉 We can all laugh about it now, especially me, but I was severely Autistic back then. I absolutely hated change. If I needed a new pair of shoes, my Mum would have to get the exact ones but in bigger size. Same applied to getting a new coat, new pants, new toothpaste, and new duvet and so on…

 

So, with all these “quirks” in mind, getting a hair-cut was a nightmare experience. My thought process at that era… I have to sit idly in a chair whilst someone was touching me (I hated close contact and being touched). And I hated change, I.E., getting rid of hair that was on my head, which I grew accustomed to for many months. With that hair gone it was like losing a part of me as an individual…and made the back of my neck very cold!

 

What did work one time is when I bought a Thomas the Tank Engine toy with me. It made me feel safe, and I was engaged with the toy rather than having a hair-cut. The toy I bought along was Devious Diesel…a true scoundrel he was. I still have that very same toy with me today, safely placed in my very own Thomas the Tank Engine carrier case. ;-D

 

I did gradually get used to getting my hair-cut, especially after I found a certain hairstyle that I liked (that’s not an interesting story though, so I won’t delve into that. XD). But what was a bother though was every time I kept on changing hair salons and hairdressers. I needed familiar faces and familiar routines.

 

I went to the one in my local town but I was quite uncomfortable with it because it was very tiny and made me feel squashed. I went to another local salon for a good number of years. I do think I was quite successful there since I gradually became more independent and actually started to walk on my own. I still felt vastly uncomfortable though but I still managed. Sometimes I would get a hair-cut with either my mum or sister if I felt uneasy that very week. I think what made me nervous was how busy the whole place was. It wasn’t as cramped as the other local salon but it was much, much busier.

 

My confidence did grow every time I did go out independently to the hair salon, especially when I went to a new hair salon based in Westhoughton. The person who owns the hair salon or co owns the hair salon, actually used to work as a hair-cutter at the salon before I came to here. So, that especially enticed me to going to the hairdressers based in Westhoughton. I’ve known this person for… 10 years or so? Familiarity can be quite key for an autistic person, especially for me. Hey, that rhymed. =D

 

Ahem-

 

In all seriousness this is the ideal salon for me. It’s very spacious and the most people that will get their hair cut at the time will be three. It has a familiar face and it has a general nice presentation, especially that plant in the corner. XD Now I can talk without any worries. I do still get anxious every time I go there though but I’m like there every time I go out.

 

The Autism side of me surfaces at the thought of going out and harbouring the guilty feeling of doing something “wrong.”

 

So yes I’m very happy at the hairdressers I have now as it’s the first time I’ve been myself when getting my hair-cut.

 

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

World Autism Awareness Day

ImageHi Everyone! ^^/

 

You may or may not know but today is World Autism Awareness Day. =)

 

Autism, as some of you may already know, is sometimes known as a ‘Hidden Disability.’ It is known as this mainly due to the fact Autism is a mental condition and some consider it a mental illness. If someone has a physical disability, you can see that they have a disability. If someone has Autism or a mental illness, it isn’t obvious because you can’t see it.

 

I’ll give you an example of a conversation I had with a tutor during my University days. He has a sister who has Autism/Aspergers. He told me that she likes to sing and dance on a bus. She was quite happy singing and dancing and I for one, see no problem with it. However, because this is not seen as ‘The Norm’ many people would glare and pass rude and hurtful remarks.

He told me:

‘My sister has special needs but like you [Me] it’s not obvious that she has Autism. If someone who has Down syndrome did a dance on a public bus then everyone would be sympathetic and be more understanding. However, if they didn’t have a look of ‘special needs’ like say ‘autism’ and they danced and sang around, they gave her cold stares.’

He also spoke about advertisements where the pictures/images are usually modelled by people who look like they have special needs. I must say that what he says is quite true. I’ve been a victim of misunderstandings many, many times. It was frustrating because I was unable to explain my ‘quirks’. Nowadays I tell you my thoughts as I can socialise much better, however, there’s still many Autistic people out there who are unable to explain their ‘quirks’. That is why World Autism Awareness Day exists, today, in order to promote the awareness of Autism.

 

Today’s society is a lot more aware of what Autism is, but, there are still a good number of people who remain ignorant. But, it’s important to bear in mind that it’s not necessarily their fault. Most of it is due to lack of awareness. I remember doing an Auto-Biography Performance about my life with Autism and you will be surprised how much knowledge ‘normal’ people will gain if you give them the appropriate information.

 

Minds can be open, even if they are narrow. =)

 

Good Day.^^/

Ryan