Several months ago I posted an article called “When Is It Acceptable To Ask About My Asperger’s?” explaining that I’m happy to answer questions about how autism affects me when at work, blogging and doing training sessions and public speaking. However, when I’m out minding my own buisness and a stranger walks up to me and asks what my sunglasses are for or why I flap my hands… that’s not ok. It makes me feel vulnerable, singled out, scrutinised and well, just plain weird. Still, I’m aware that everyone has questions, so I’ve decided to collect them for a Q and A article. Is there anything you want to know about Autism Spectrum Disorder, or related disorders like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), Dyspraxia or PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)? Have you ever seen someone acting “strangely”, and wondered if it might have been autism but been polite enough not to ask? If so, then submit your questions in the comments section, and I’ll try to answer them all in my Q and A article. I have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and Dyspraxia, plus I work with autistic children on all points of the spectrum, so I’m fairly well-equipped to answer your questions. Perhaps you know plenty about autism but have some questions about Seeing Double, or what inspired me to start blogging? As long as they’re not too personal, I’m happy to answer those too.
Just to get you started, here are the questions I’m usually asked:
Why are you wearing sunglasses when it’s not sunny?
Do you wear sunglasses to avoid eye contact?
Why are you wearing ear defenders? Can I try them on?
If you have autism, why don’t you say everything that comes into your head like [blank] who’s autistic?
Do your sensory perceptions go up and down?
Why don’t you go on nights out?
How would you describe autism?
The last question seems simple, but it’s probably the most difficult one on the list. I’ve spent so long writing in depth articles and delivering training sessions on every aspect of autism that it’s hard to condense what I know into one simple answer. Besides, every persons experience of autism is unique, and it’s bound to affect others differently to how it affects me.
You have until Friday (21/08/15) to submit any questions for the Q and A article.
If there’s a question you want to ask me, but would rather do so anonymously without other bloggers seeing it in the comments section, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.