My Theory about Autism and Repetitive Movement

Autism_Awareness_Ribbon

I came up with a little theory about Autism that I wish to share.

Sometimes I get asked “why do you like Thomas?” My answer is usually “I just do.”

It’s a known fact that people with Autism have strong interests in machines or vehicles. We tend to be fascinated with vehicles like trains, cars, tractors, planes and helicopters. In my Mum’s school there are people with Autism who have been intrigued by fans, umbrella, drainage system etc. The question remains, why are we fascinated with things that move?

My personal belief is that we become hypnotised by the repetitive and steady movement of certain objects.

It’s not like being hypnotised by a magician for instance. It’s more like being mesmerised by repetitive movement. You could say it’s similar to someone being engrossed in a good film. However, instead of people with Autism being engrossed by films etc we become fixated with moving objects.

With toy trains, for example, if you put the rails in the circle that train will move around continually. That and trains, in my opinion, are majestic to look at. They are glossy and stylish.

That’s where Thomas the Tank Engine comes in.

You have an interesting vehicle, a train, which has us Autistic people engaged. However, give that train a face, a paint job and a personality that children can relate to and we are officially hypnotised with Thomas the Tank Engine.

I genuinely believed that Thomas could have been real. With cartoons, we couldn’t touch them or see them in person as they were on paper. However, with Thomas, you could actually go to the studio and watch him and physically touch him as he was a model. In that aspect, he felt real.

Not only was I fascinated and hypnotised by a train, I was fascinated and hypnotised by a train who has a human face and a human personality. To this day my enthusiasm for Thomas has never weathered and as I have mentioned many times before I owe him a lot. If it wasn’t for Thomas I’m not even sure I would be able to talk and socialise let alone type this up for a WordPress blog.

What do you think? What’s your opinion? I will be interested to hear your views.

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

My Acupuncture Experience

Acupuncture

Recently I went to have Acupuncture to treat an on-going back problem

I have to admit and say that I really enjoy it. I can somewhat feel the needles as they enter my body. If I were to describe it, I would say that it’s like a magnetic/electric wave spreading through my body. However, once they settle down I can’t feel them.

It really does work, I feel, as I tend to be pain free for a few days afterwards. If there’s a downside I would say that I feel very lethargic a good while. Tiredness is not necessarily a bad thing.

I didn’t really have the energy to talk much when I went to my brother’s Eurovision gathering. I went as the UK/England as there’s no country that I would rather represent then my own.

Thanks for Reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Applying For a Passport

UK Passport Cover

Last Monday I went to an interview to apply for a British Passport.

I was a little nervous as I got the letter back from the Passport people saying that I was required to have an interview, which was not really a problem. It was my first time that I ever went for a passport interview. It was going to be a completely new experience, however, on the leaflet it says that if you have a disability and you need someone to be in the interview with you, please let them know. Mum came with me as I don’t travel by myself and in case I got anxious and didn’t understand the procedure.

As is so happens I totally forgot about the arrangement and only remembered the day before. Haha. So, the anticipation build up wasn’t as bad as it usually was. I can probably handle situations better when I don’t have too long to think about it.

I didn’t really know where this place was but I enjoyed having a good walk around in the warm sun. We found the place eventually and I went into the reception area with my parents.

We actually learned, there and then, that nobody was allowed in the booth with me. I started to get nervous at that point. The problem wasn’t me going in on my own it was the lack of understanding shown by the receptionists. This did not fill me with confidence. She was also rude to my Mum and was a little patronising towards her.

My Mum tried to explain why she would go in with me, not to speak on my behalf but to re-word questions if I didn’t understand them. This is a big occurrence in my life where I don’t always understand what people say, especially when they generalise. However, the receptionist wasn’t really listening or rather she was too busy enforcing the rules.

So far I wasn’t impressed with how unwelcoming the passport people were. If the receptionist was not very accommodating then how accommodating would the interviewer be? I started to lose confidence in the fact that they weren’t going to consider my needs. It seems like they don’t really cater for people with Learning Difficulties or Autism.

The interview lady eventually called me in and she was actually really nice and friendly. By the way that she was talking it seemed like she was more than familiar with people with special needs. She was very open-minded and she did seem experience when it came to communicating with people like me. All the interview questions were very simple to understand so I didn’t have any trouble answering her questions.

I spent about 25 minutes in there and I felt actually ok by the end of it. I was somewhat surprised how well I handled the situation, especially when the receptionist dropped the bombshell that I wasn’t allowed to bring someone in with me. I could have buzzed Mum to come in if I wanted but I was doing ok by myself.

I handled that situation really well actually but I was disappointed with the lack of consideration that the staff did show. It stresses in the leaflet that if you have Learning Difficulties and you need someone to come in with you then to let the passport people know. In a way, I did find this misleading. If it was clear that I wasn’t allowed to have support in my interview, then that would have been fine. But if it’s not ok, why mention it in the leaflet in first place?

I was more disappointed and bewildered by the principal of the staff not accommodating my needs, rather than going in by myself for the interview. However, it’s all done and finished now and I’m certainly losing no sleep over it. =)

THANKS FOR READING

Bell and Aiz Artwork Endcard

All I just have to do now is play the waiting game… by reading the rest of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Light Novel Volume 2. =D That’s such an awesome book and anime and I’m really enjoying it. For all I know the passport people might refuse my application but I’m pretty confident that they’ll accept it. =)

Thanks for Reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan.

Triage X Episode Six Thoughts

Triage X anime

I can’t help but wonder if the comedy parts were inappropriate in this episode. I do always appreciate comedy moments, especially when they involve Oriha. However, I do think some of them moments did undermine the seriousness of the overall situation. Especially when you consider the fact that many people died and one of Oriha’s good friends, Aya, was shot and killed at point blank range. I’m glad she managed to avenge Aya’s death with the help of Mikoto and Arashi. I’m glad there were comedy moments but it probably would be more appropriate to leave them out of this episode.

That Wild Hunt person has a unique ability when it comes to hearing heartbeats. I’ll refer her as she as she was a lady but spoke with a man’s voice… it seems like she can mimic people’s voices and read their minds as well. I was correct with my guess that she was aware of the Black Label and was certainly aware of Oriha’s presence. Perhaps she wanted to use Oriha as bait to lure the rest of Black Label so she could take them all out.

I’m glad all the idols and the lady in the bunny outfit escaped death. It was somewhat humorous when the rest of the girls called her a ‘Grandma.’ I did enjoy that bit but I still think that too detracted from the seriousness of the situation. In that situation I would have thought that the other girls would be more desperate rather than being annoyed and name calling.

We find out at the end that Wild Hunt and the rest of the evil people were there to actually distract Black Label. This must mean that something bigger and more dangerous is going on.

Oh dear, that ending where it looks like Mikoto gets shot. Fingers crossed that she makes it out.

Thanks for Reading. =)
Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part Three)

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On this very day, at this very time, exactly four years ago, I self-starred in the auto-bio play “Ryan’s World.”

If you fancy reading the other parts, you can see the links underneath.^^/

https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-acting-world-autobiography-play-part-one/ 

https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/the-acting-world-autobiography-play-part-two/

  1. DECISION

Choosing the right songs and implementing them into the show was tricky. However, Mr P and Mum suggested certain songs for me to use.

For the intro, and the audience coming in and settle their bums to the floor, I opted to use Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful.” We all thought that this would be an ideal way to start the performance as that song is about individuality and self-confidence. For good measure I added a picture of me when I was 5 holding a Thomas the Tank Engine train. Whilst I was incredibly embarrassed I wanted to give everyone an idea what I looked like when I was young. That and I think it adds to the realism of the performance.

I was behind the stage of the intro and the first video scene. Nerves started to grow up inside me, but I felt myself getting into the moment of my youth. The first video scene is the doctor diagnosing my condition and explained to my Mum (the character) what to expect of me in the future. It would be highly unlikely that I would ever come out of my own bubble. Listening to this really helped me to get into the moment as it set as a reminder of what I was like when I was young.

  1. SCENES YOUNGER THAN TEN

I walked into the open space and parked myself on the outer edge of the gazebo. I used the gazebo for the purpose of holding up the screen which showed the videos. I was very conscious that I was going to knock the whole thing down so I took great care not to bump into it. Haha.

These few scenes were all about me when I was a toddler. The video showed scenes whilst I held up phrases on the cards to show what I was thinking at that time. I couldn’t explain myself at that time but I was aware what was happening. I held up a cue card that said “I know you’re talking about me, I’m not stupid.” I also held up a few sad faces to show the audience that I was feeling sad in certain moments.

On stage I kept my face and body language neutral to reinforce how I would have been feeling at the time. However, I did feel trickles of tears running down my face. “That’s not supposed to happen,” I thought. That was the first time ever that I genuinely cried during a performance. I cringed every time I heard myself scream or cry out. It felt like a stab in the heart. I wanted to hide my face behind the big cards as I didn’t really want the audience to see tears running down my face. Haha. I spontaneously took a few deep breaths to regain my composure.

I did receive a few laughs when I got kissed with a lipstick in the video and when I showed my sad face for the first time. I think everyone laughed at first probably because they thought the face was drawn in a funny way. I put up a smiling face when the lady at the school residential read me a Thomas story.

I think the audience were very touched by this. I even added the song “Thomas, You’re the Leader.” I felt this was very appropriate as I was trying to tell the audience that Thomas was my saviour in many unhappy moments.

Eventually, I went off stage, gearing myself up to reappear in a certain scene.

  1. SCENES OLDER THAN TEN

On the video it showed the actual footage of me being the mascot for Charlton Athletic when they played Bolton in 2000.

I came onto the stage feeling excited as I gained confidence and started to understand the surroundings outside my bubble.

I spoke only basic words at that time. In hindsight I wonder if I should have spoken in a monotone voice because I used to be expressionless with my words. However, in the live performance I was representing my thoughts. So I figured it would be appropriate to speak with emotion.

The most important scene involves the Football School. I was pretty nervous about this. It was important to get this right. We filmed the parts where all the lads were making fun of me and showed a huge lack of understanding. The coach was no different. I was too meek and polite to not stick up for myself as I didn’t want to “upset” anyone. It went to the point where I started to get changed in front of the other lads, something which I was very uncomfortable with.

On the video I actually did get changed but my back was to the audience so only my back was visible. Haha. That was another big moment as I don’t like getting changed in front of other people. I think if the scene wasn’t so serious the audience would have had a good chuckle at this.

The video was pretty emotional as I kept on making mistakes and kept on being the victim of “being different.” I tried to be strong and be tough but I kept on making mistakes, especially when I missed the penalty and ran the full length of the pitch to score an own goal… My spirit eventually wavered and I broke down in the middle of the pitch, all alone… On cue- Girls Aloud’s cover of “I’ll Stand by You,” plays as the video zooms out and fades.

This was definitely challenging to perform on film. I was caught up in the emotion of that part of my life. The Football scene and hanging out with “normal people” was the main reason why I started to become insecure about being Autistic. Was it ok to be different? I made my feelings known at that very moment how I felt about the world.

“I hate normal people. I hate special needs… and I hate myself.”

And it was at that very moment that I started to become insecure about myself. I had a long string that kept me from the audience. When my confidence grew, I’d pull the string back, allowing the audience nearer. If my confidence was knocked, I would push the string back and push the audience away. The strings were held up by three stools. When I said “I hate special needs…” I started to push the stools back.

However, I managed to compose myself enough not to charge into Mr Ian who was right behind the stool that I was pushing. This was quite reassuring as I’ve never felt this emotional during a performance. It showed me that even though I was in the zone I was still aware of my surroundings. That was quite a proud moment. =)

  1. INDIVIDUALITY

From that moment on I tried to fight for individuality and to be accepted for whom I was and I tried this tactic in different situations. I bought a Thomas DVD at school but my teacher disapproved as she thought that it was “too childish” and so she took it back. Why wasn’t I allowed to express the things I like? Why couldn’t I get the things I like? What was wrong with being myself?

  1. REACHING COLLEGE

I had the option of attending two different colleges. One was my local college and the other was the college that I eventually went to. I was very determined not to go to this certain college as I knew that I would have to start in the Supported Learning Department. I really, really didn’t want that to happen.

I expressed my anger and stubbornness thoughts to the audience. Was it fate that I would never progress? On the video it showed the letter that I would be in the SLD department. It also said in the letter how it would have been “too much for me” to be in the actual Performing Arts course with the “normal” mainstream students.

It turns out that college has treated me very kindly and the SLD department was actually a good stepping stone for me to study and perform with the “normal” mainstream students. I went from expressing my anger on stage feeling to expressing my pride and happiness.

  1. I AM RYAN

On film, I spoke about the overview of my time on the course. I learned that my biggest achievement from this University Course wasn’t the high marks on paper. It was learning how to be myself. In those last couple of months I completely let myself go and allowed everyone to get to know the real me and who I really was.

I’m not Autistic, I’m Ryan who just so happens to have Autism.

Being Ryan was my identity. After this revelation I stopped acting at this point and I was genuinely myself. It was definitely natural as I completely forgot my line at that moment. Haha!

I changed clothes into a more casual outfit, cut the tap and invited the audience into “my space”. This was to signify that I now felt more comfortable with how I was. I personally am not comfortable with physical contact but it’s my way of letting everyone know that I’m opening myself up to them.

At this moment I walked out of the room and the video of me, wearing the same casual outfit, came up. This was the scene where I said my “THANKYOUS” to all my friends, colleagues and tutors for treating me kindly for all these years. I would be too embarrassed to say it to their faces so I coped out and made them watch the video instead. Haha. Ironically, this was actually the very first thing that I and Mr P did, shooting this video of “THANKYOUS.”

In this video I played the soundtrack “The Island Song” and “I Believe I Can Fly.” These songs are very poignant to me as I used to severely dislike music. However, these were the very first songs that I liked and they were the platform for me to open myself up to all kinds of music. Now, whilst I still don’t like noise, I can handle music better and I’m very open-minded about it. Once again, Thomas the Tank Engine helped as The Island Song was actually a soundtrack from Thomas the Tank Engine. Haha.

  1. POST SHOW

I came out and took a bow. I was a little bit overwhelmed by the loud clapping and I literally couldn’t look at any of them in the face. After the bow I ran as fast as I could so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I was a little caught up in the moment. Well, that’s a fib. I was VERY caught up in the moment. Haha.

I actually get very embarrassed when I’m the centre of attention or if everyone is looking at me, which is among the reasons why I ran off. If I had spoken to people straightaway I probably would have been too caught up and cried and I really didn’t want that to happen.

After calming down I spoke with my friends one by one and had a good chin-wag with all of them. It was a strange moment as I was talking with them as if I had never performed the piece. It felt natural, very natural. I really did like that feeling and it was at that moment that I realised that all my Uni friends were actually my friends.

By revealing my autism to everyone has turned out to be one of the best moments in my life. I can now say that I have autism without feeling ashamed or insecure.

THANKS FOR READING

Thomas and Gordon 2

Since this day, four years ago, life has been great and for the first time I felt free of doubt. I have never looked back… and I never will.

Thanks for reading. =)

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Triage X Episode Five Thoughts

Triage X anime

This was quite an intense episode. When I read the episode title “Idol Sacrifice” I assumed that something was going to happen to Oriha, but it turns out that it’s more than one idol being sacrificed.

I had some weird vibes from those mascots. From the get go I had a feeling that they were using their costumes as criminal disguises rather than fun props. Then, those disturbing scenes happened when those mascots killed that innocent man. It was a quite upsetting when that pretty girl got shot too.

It turns out that those evil mascot people are somehow connected with Ogawa Makoto and wanted to avenge him. I’m not sure if they know that Black Label is responsible but I get the feeling that they knew that Oriha was on the scene. That means that they probably knew as well that Oriha was going to be at that building in the evening and took the opportunity to try and take her down… maybe. That Wild Hunt dude, the evil leader, said that they’ve already accomplished his plan. What is that plan? Maybe he knew about the existence of Black Label after all and everything he’s doing is his way of sending a message. Or maybe he knew that Oriha was in the building after all and he shot the girl, Aya, as bait to draw her out.

I’m certainly interested to see what Oriha is capable of without her bombs. She managed to hold her own against that white haired man. I think it might have been a bit much of Oriha and Sumire to ask of Haron to do a karate move there and then, especially since she was frightened. I think Oriha will confront Wild Hunt and they will both have a brawl. In the meantime I think the police should now get a parachute so they can catch the idols when they’re forced to jump from the eighteenth floor.

On a side note, it was nice seeing Hinako again. It was great that Arashi took the time to go to Hinako’s restaurant and dine there, although not so great as Mikoto ended up being jealous. Haha.

THANKS FOR READING

Avengers Age of Ultron

I went to watch the last showing of Avengers: Age of Ultron tonight. As it was Election Day I assumed a lot of people would be out casting their votes. Luckily, it was a small crowd. I thought the film was amazing and the action was literally none stop. You will hear my views of the film in a day or two. =)

Thanks for Reading. =)
Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

The Acting World: Autobiography Play (Part Two)

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  1. DECISION

Right! I’m now going to do this Autobio play starring as myself, but… what on earth do I do? How do I execute this piece? How do I act it? How do I direct it? What parts of my life are most significant and what might people be interested in? Do I do live or film or a mixture of both?

I discussed the key parts of my life with my co-director Mr P as well as my family. After much discussion we decided that my life before Uni was the way to go. Obviously, people at Uni only knew me as I was then. They had no idea about my life prior to the Uni course.

At that point I had a rough idea how I was going to perform this piece. I decided to make this mostly live theatre but to include multimedia and film. I felt that I could express my thoughts live but portray certain aspects on film. To me that was the most practical and sensible solution. Realistically speaking, I don’t think there was any way I could have done it. Mr Ian came up with great artistic ideas but I needed to do what I was comfortable with. Well… everything I was doing at that point was far from comfortable! Haha.

I decided what scenes I was going to film, what characters to use and who I would ask to play those parts.

With the cast chosen I then had to think about which scenes I would film and which I would perform live.

  1. OVER-ACTING

In the first two weeks I did find it difficult to play my character. I learned that I kept holding back when I was rehearsing so I decided to stop rehearsing altogether, choosing to act and improvise when I was being filmed.

I did this one scene where I was playing with my biro trains and Thomas trains where I would scream and get upset if my brother tried to join in the fun. I think I was ok but I wasn’t natural… I was extremely uncomfortable and I think because of this I started to over-act. It’s not easy when you’re 22 and you’re trying to act as you did when you were 4.

Acting as my younger self playing with my trains was probably the most difficult part of the whole performance. The scene wasn’t really done right. I couldn’t rehearse it as it was a challenge to keep it up. If I was going to do this then I had to do it in one take. My family members watched my scene back and they felt that I wasn’t being natural either. They watched me grow up so they could remember how I acted and behaved.

With much reluctance but being sensible, I decided that I should do this scene again, but in a more natural setting…I chose to do this, for the second time, at my sister’s house.

  1. EPIPHANY

There was a period where my confidence was low. I did start to doubt myself and my capabilities of being able to pull this off. Could I do it? I needed an inspiration from somewhere…

My university is actually based in a college. The correct term of studying that I did was Foundation Degree. Basically, you do two years of university work at a college but you do the final third year at an actual university. The third year is only optional though. I decided to take a look at my local university, with the thought of carrying on the third year, to obtain my full degree. It sounded ideal to me at that time. So, I went along to the open day and spoke to one of the course tutors with my Mum. We explained to her about my individual needs and what my strengths and needs were.

Her reaction to everything that we said was quite peculiar. She pulled a lot of funny faces and she especially made a quirky face when I said that I don’t understand generalisation. From that moment she started to discourage me from the course as she didn’t think I could handle it. There were going to be many social gatherings and she didn’t think that I could adapt enough to meet the course requirements. I was rather speechless at that moment…

I was a bit shocked on how quickly she discouraged me, and even went so far to suggest a writing course as no social interaction was required. Haha… I decided from that moment that I was not going to go on that course as the tutor didn’t seem open-minded and she did not understand people like me. Even if I did join the course I think I would have dropped out because of her. I was unimpressed with her attitude, and to be honest, I was unimpressed with the SLD facilities that that particular university had to offer.

After I spoke about my thoughts to my family and I had the chance for all this to sink in…a fire started to ignite in my stomach. I started to get annoyed that someone would pre-judge me and my capabilities without even getting the time to know me first. There have been people in my life who have doubted my capabilities, and I was always determined to prove those people wrong.

The only people who doubted me were the people who did not know me. They just judged my capabilities through papers, reports and assessments and probably what they’ve researched about autism on the internet. I wasn’t going to let anyone doubt me ever again. I was going to prove to everyone that I shouldn’t limit my capabilities just because of pre-judgement. I especially was going to prove to everyone and to myself that I shouldn’t limit my capabilities just because I’m Autistic.

I was angry. I was determined. I was motivated.

This was the answer. This was the epiphany that I was looking for. The confidence that I had lost came back and it was stronger than ever before.

And now, back to the Performance.

  1. NEW FOUND CONFIDENCE

I asked the National Certificate group to paint me a wall of a mountain that represents my personal journey. Me and Mr P went to their class and explained what we were looking for. At that moment Mrs V turned to me and said, “Are you going to tell everyone about you?” and I was like “oh my…”

I was so focus on proving a point to my doubters and to myself that I completely forgot that I was going to share with everyone about my Autism. Was this going to be a first time? Initially, I was very hesitant. I’ve never openly told this side of me to anyone, only a close group of people. I knew the National Certificates by their faces but I didn’t know any of them personally. How would they react? I took a deep breath and said, “I am autistic.”

I got a positive response. I was asked a lot of questions regarding Autism and how I cope with autism. It really warmed my heart and boosted my confidence. I even got a round of applauds.

It boosted my morale even more and for the first time in my life I wasn’t afraid to say that I have autism. I became much more open about myself and I generally became chattier with people who I didn’t know very well, which used to be an enormous challenge for me.

  1. FILMING THE SCENES

What was initially daunting turned out to be a lot of fun.

The football guys were wonderful to work with. I explained to them what my condition was and how I cope with it. Coincidentally, they were doing a course about bullying so I was actually called into that class to talk about being different. I never thought I would speak about my autism in front a bunch of strangers! And like the National Certificates, I got a positive response.

The football students acted out their parts very well but I must say that Chris, the tutor, was particularly outstanding. His sister has learning difficulties so I think he was able to relate to my problems to some degree.

I decided to include some of my family/family friends in certain film scenes. They were fun to work with.

The scene I did with Nat and Mr Andy was not very loud on film so I went to Mr M, who is a record producer that I know and a good friend. He had a studio so offered to help with the sound on the film. He was kind enough to help me out so I went over to his house and did the over dubbing. What should have taken a few hours took all night. We worked on it from 4 O’clock in the afternoon until 5 O’clock in the morning! It took me 58 goes to get the speech pattern right! Haha! We experienced all kinds of emotions that night but it was definitely an amazing night and one of the best that I’ve experienced. =)

  1. SHOW TIME

There was a lot that I wanted to talk about as this had been a really good experience. I had a lot of fun with many people during the filming. I decided to only talk about significant parts of the rehearsals and filming and how I over-came problems.

Next time, I will share my thoughts with you about going into the performance, during the performance, and after the performance.

Show time!