MJ,

What a wonderfully upbeat story about being Autistic/Aspie and being different.

You know, I had to laugh a little bit about myself throughout the read because some of the things that you wrote about just parallel some of the things in my life that I have done that other people are amused by.

It’s the literal thinking that gets me most of the time, and other times it’s just because of the natural inherent, and sometimes hilarious honesty, that I have in being Autistic.

The most recent thing that happened made a police officer laugh when I was in a little minor fender bender of an accident on my own street while going about 8 mph.

As soon as it happened, I pulled over into the grass of a neighbor’s yard and began to Meltdown like crazy.

I knew the right thing to do was to call the Police and let them know that I was in an accident

While I was on the phone, I made it a point to tell the operator that I am Autistic, because I know that if I didn’t, my Autistic behavior might be misinterpreted by the police officers, and perhaps, lead them to believe that I could possibly be a threat or on drugs or something like that, and that is never is a good outcome for an Autistic person when engaging with the Police…

I read the news, and I’ve seen videos of too many Autistic people being shot and killed by police for just exhibiting Autistic behavior. That would make for a very bad day.

To get back to my story, when the Police Officer arrived and came up to my window of my Jeep, I was in total disarray, and I had a resistance band tied around me which I use for deep pressure during Meltdowns, and I was still kind of cognitively challenged due to the Meltdown, and he said something about my retrieving my registration and driver’s license and my first instinct always when encountering with the Police is to hand them my First Responder Cards, and I have to do that because I certainly do not want to be killed by the police accidentally.

As he read my First Responder Cards, I again heard him ask for my registration and driver’s license, which I then retrieved, and handed to him.

He then said to me, “I’m going to run your license right now. I’ll be right back.”

Well, being my literal Autistic self, I took him for the exact words he said, and I replied with a question, which was, “So, you are going to run somewhere with my license? Why would you do that? I need my license.”

He chuckled to himself and he said, “No, Ms Lees, I am not going to run anywhere with your license, I am just going to go back to my Police Cruiser and run your license through the computer system.

I did not realize how ridiculous that sounded until much later, and now finally, I can laugh at myself about it.

But you’re right, do your own thing and then share it.

I think for those of us with Autism that it’s not that we just think outside of the box, but it is more that we question whether or not there is a box to begin with.

There is an old saying in the Medical Community in regard to how to think when trying to decide what a person has for a diagnosis:

“When you hear hoofbeats in the hallway, don’t think Zebras, think Horses.”

This is meant to say, don’t look for the unusual and rare disorders when diagnosing a patient, because likely the chance of that is very rare and it is more likely to be something common that is the cause of the problem that they are experiencing.

Now, to an Autistic person the answer to that question is, “Why can’t it be Zebras?”

Also I really like your ideas for inventing things and I do the same thing.

There is a book that my son gave me called “Daily Rituals," and it is written by Mason Curry. In the book Mason writes about a famous person, of whose name I do not remember, but this famous person he is describing once had the idea of creating a bed that raised itself in the morning so that he would wake up earlier, very much like the way that you had an idea for raising a bed in order to prevent acid reflux!

The book is a great read and there are so many famous people throughout history people that are either authors, philosophers, scientists, composers, playwrights, composers, painters, and you name it, and their daily habits (think routines) of these people, that many of them must have been Autistic and just never knew it.

And by the way, I just love the idea for gluten-free pão com choriço (sausage bread!) I am gluten free and I love choricos!

Sincerely,

Keira Fulton-Lees

Arfully Autistic Advocate for Autism

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Artfully Autistic Advocate for Autism, Writer, Editor, Artist, Musician, Owner of the Medium Publication: Artfully Autistic: https://medium.com/artfullyautistic

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Keira Fulton-Lees

Keira Fulton-Lees

Artfully Autistic Advocate for Autism, Writer, Editor, Artist, Musician, Owner of the Medium Publication: Artfully Autistic: https://medium.com/artfullyautistic