If you’re autistic and need advice on working shitty food service or retail jobs, I’m your man

seriously I’ve had most of them and can probably give you a fair idea of what to expect, esp. if it’s your first job. I have sensory issues out the ass and had some pretty fucking severe social problems until I was about 15…moderate social problems between 25-30. Dyspraxia, prosopagnosia (that’s a fucking doozie for retail, let me tell ya), and intermittent visual agnosia and loss of speech.

For additional flavor, I also have anxiety and panic disorder, PTSD, depression, and agoraphobia so bad I was a shut-in for between 5 and 8 years.

So if you need tips on how to smile at strangers when triggered and depersonalizing, or how to run a cash register when you can’t read the keys, please feel free to ask.

This also applies to people recently getting out of an abusive situation, maybe homeless, underage, or otherwise discommoded. I also am slightly conversant with the labor laws of a handful of states, OSHA and EEOC guidelines, FMLA law, and a smattering of ADA.

I like to put this out there from time to time because there’s a lack of specific, realistic information out there for people who are “in the shit”, so to speak. Also, I mutually follow quite a few autistic people who are currently working retail and/or food service with same/similar issues.

Dear followers (and non-followers, and people who don’t read this blog)…

autisticeagle:

I challenge you to talk to someone new. 

New in this case doesn’t necessarily mean previously unknown to you, just someone you don’t speak to, let’s say, more frequently than once a week.

Your challenge is very flexible. It can be for as long as you like, with the only length rule being that it cannot purely consist of “hi” or similar. At least 2 sentences, however short they are.

Again, it has to be someone you don’t speak to more than once a week. 

Maybe it’s the guy who lives in the flat next door, or that girl who sits in front of you in class, or a teacher who teaches a subject you don’t take. It doesn’t matter.

I set you this challenge in the hopes that you’ll take it, maybe make a new friend, maybe not, maybe learn some new things about people, or maybe that you’ll just get to practise your eye contact skills or your tones of voice.

You definitely don’t have to do this, it’s just an idea, and it’s a pretty big deal for a lot of you (believe me, I know).

—-

Finally, if you want to, do submit an ask or submission talking for however long you like about what you did, who you talked to and how it went.

Have fun, and remember that you’re not alone!

— Sam

something about this post really, really bothers me. I’m not sure what it is…maybe the sort of unquestioned assumption that talking to someone new is like, a good thing? And that it’s a good thing because it goes against autistic inclinations…

It’s like…there are several layers to this.

Anyway reading this made me angry.

Maybe also because it seems like the point of this is to

1. encourage me to “make a new friend” assuming I need or want one

and

2. practice “passing” skills like eye contact and tones of voice

which I’m already too good at and the constant unconscious-subconscious-automatic reinforcing of which causes me a great deal of daily stress.

Also, I’ve had countless well-meaning people say shit like this to me my entire fucking life and I’m kind of sick and tired of it. I’m tired of people assuming i want to change the way I am or the way I interact with people, and that they ways in which i interact with people are inherently flawed and will always somehow need improvement.

Ohio And Florida Public Schools Lock Mentally Disabled Children In Closets
To discipline misbehaving students, public schools in Ohio and Florida regularly send children to “seclusion” — isolation in a locked cell-like room, old office, or closet, NPR’s State Impact reports. Many of these children are special needs students and their parents are not always told of this disciplinary practice.
Ohio schools — where seclusion is almost completely unregulated — sent students to seclusion rooms 4,236 times in the 2009-2010 school year. Sixty percent of these students had disabilities.
Florida schools secluded students 4,637 times in 2010-2011 and 4,193 in 2011-2012. 42 percent of seclusions were for pre-K through 3rd graders. In the 2011-2012 school year, 300 seclusions lasted more than an hour. The state has just three stipulations for using seclusion rooms: teachers may not choke or suffocate students, the room must be approved by a fire marshal, and the lights must be left on.

A joint report by StateImpact and Columbus Dispatch report found rampant abuse and lack of training of the punishment, which is meant as a last resort to deal with violent children:

But last school year, one Pickerington special-education teacher sent children to a seclusion room more than 60 times, district records show. In nearly all of those incidents, the children were not violent. Often, they were sent to the seclusion room for being “mouthy,” or whining about their school work.
Pickerington Special Education Director Bob Blackburn said the teacher in that classroom was new and that someone in the district has now taught her the right way to use the seclusion room.
Other Pickerington teachers misused the rooms, too, though. In another classroom, children were secluded more than 30 times last school year. Two-thirds of those instances involved misbehavior and not violence, district records show.

Far from benefiting violent or rowdy students, seclusion has been found to be deeply traumatizing, sometimes leading children to hurt or kill themselves. In one special education school in Georgia, a 13-year-old boy hung himself in a seclusion room in November 2004.

“Unfortunately there have been some cases throughout Florida where mostly children with disabilities, autistic kids in particular, have been restrained,” Rep. Ari Porth told StateImpact Florida’s Sarah Gonzalez earlier this year. “I’ve heard on some occasions (students) put in storage closets because the administrator or teacher just doesn’t know how to appropriately handle them.”
Hialeah state Rep. Eddy Gonzalez, a Democrat, introduced a bill this year that would have prohibited schools from secluding students. The bill also limited schools to physically restraining students with disability only when there is “imminent risk of serious injury or death to student or others.”
Only school officials trained to restrain students would be allowed to do so, according to the bill.
The bill died in subcommittee in March.
There are no rules regulating restraint and seclusion in Ohio.

Ohio And Florida Public Schools Lock Mentally Disabled Children In Closets

To discipline misbehaving students, public schools in Ohio and Florida regularly send children to “seclusion” — isolation in a locked cell-like room, old office, or closet, NPR’s State Impact reports. Many of these children are special needs students and their parents are not always told of this disciplinary practice.

Ohio schools — where seclusion is almost completely unregulated — sent students to seclusion rooms 4,236 times in the 2009-2010 school year. Sixty percent of these students had disabilities.

Florida schools secluded students 4,637 times in 2010-2011 and 4,193 in 2011-2012. 42 percent of seclusions were for pre-K through 3rd graders. In the 2011-2012 school year, 300 seclusions lasted more than an hour. The state has just three stipulations for using seclusion rooms: teachers may not choke or suffocate students, the room must be approved by a fire marshal, and the lights must be left on.

Brady Spencer sits with her son Brendon. Brendon has Aspergers, ADHD, and mood disorders. A few years ago she decided to take him out of his Mantua, Ohio public school, where he would often be sent to the hallway or a spare office during class. He now goes to a charter school for special needs kids.

A joint report by StateImpact and Columbus Dispatch report found rampant abuse and lack of training of the punishment, which is meant as a last resort to deal with violent children:

But last school year, one Pickerington special-education teacher sent children to a seclusion room more than 60 times, district records show. In nearly all of those incidents, the children were not violent. Often, they were sent to the seclusion room for being “mouthy,” or whining about their school work.

Pickerington Special Education Director Bob Blackburn said the teacher in that classroom was new and that someone in the district has now taught her the right way to use the seclusion room.

Other Pickerington teachers misused the rooms, too, though. In another classroom, children were secluded more than 30 times last school year. Two-thirds of those instances involved misbehavior and not violence, district records show.

Far from benefiting violent or rowdy students, seclusion has been found to be deeply traumatizing, sometimes leading children to hurt or kill themselves. In one special education school in Georgia, a 13-year-old boy hung himself in a seclusion room in November 2004.

“Unfortunately there have been some cases throughout Florida where mostly children with disabilities, autistic kids in particular, have been restrained,” Rep. Ari Porth told StateImpact Florida’s Sarah Gonzalez earlier this year. “I’ve heard on some occasions (students) put in storage closets because the administrator or teacher just doesn’t know how to appropriately handle them.

Hialeah state Rep. Eddy Gonzalez, a Democrat, introduced a bill this year that would have prohibited schools from secluding students. The bill also limited schools to physically restraining students with disability only when there is “imminent risk of serious injury or death to student or others.”

Only school officials trained to restrain students would be allowed to do so, according to the bill.

The bill died in subcommittee in March.

There are no rules regulating restraint and seclusion in Ohio.

lookoutpinkie:

girljanitor:

lookoutpinkie:

girljanitor:

draggle:

lookoutpinkie:

I was thinking about how having a clear way to label Autistic people who are verbal from those who are non verbal, or non communicative is necessary. People who have Autism that can speak may not be able to tolerate the behaviors of people more affected by Autism, like those that yell out…

Those aren’t functioning labels, though, unless I’m misunderstanding you.  Those are communicative “labels”.  Not to mention that nonverbal people aren’t necessarily able to tolerate the behaviors of a number of other autistic people, either.

That’s the weakest defense for functioning labels I’ve heard in a while. Also, I’m pretty sure you just differentiated autistic people who are verbal and those who are non-verbal rather easily through that entire piece of text. I’ve known quite a few verbal autistic people who are much louder than I can tolerate or I just generally find overwhelming. If you’ve been expecting to get along with autistic people just because they’re autistic, well, that’s your bad. We’re all individuals and there are no guarantees you’re gonna get along with people in life.

Perhaps you didn’t notice, this was posted by someone with Autism. So I think I know something of what I’m talking about okay? When you’re nearly assaulted by an Autistic person, and feel helpless because you fear their parents will lash out or blame you, then you can take issue with this.

Perhaps you didn’t notice, but I am an autistic person, and I think I know what I’m talking about, okay?

And I’m also an autistic person that hangs out with, has gone to college with, done activism and advocacy with/for, attended support groups and events with, and currently works with Autistic people.

I’ll take issue with whatever I damn well please.

I HAVE BEEN assaulted by autistic people more than once.

That shit happens. Autistic people aren’t usually violent, but it happens.

And you know, I wasn’t even gonna call it until you got all persnickety with me, but you know what? ASD folks who advocate for functioning labels are nothing more than Aspie supremacists who don’t want to be associated with autistic people who embarrass them.

I’m embarrassed to be associated with you. Why don’t you go hang out with John Michael Carley and his campaign against the DSM 5 changes. I ain’t got no sympathy for you here.

You think Autistic men have a right to punch girls? Is that okay with you? Can someone please explain to me how my having Autism, means I should be okay and. Understanding when another Autistic person tries to put me in a hospital? Seriously, I was considering curling up into a fetal position right now. If I called the police, they’d say there’s nothing they could do, he’s Autistic.

HA HA HA HA

Since when has autism kept the cops from shooting autistic people dead on sight?

Maybe we should ask the COPS if THEY’RE the ones okay with punching girls in the fucking FACE?

Seriously, you can do whatever the fuck you want. Don’t hang around other autistic people, if that’s what you want. I don’t care.

But saying what basically amounts to “Those parents tricked me into hanging out with those r******! And one of them tried to punch me!” and then using THAT as a reason to employ bullshit functioning labels is wrong, wrong, wrong.

I’m sick and tired of this shit.

(via lookoutpinkie-deactivated201210)

lookoutpinkie:

girljanitor:

draggle:

lookoutpinkie:

I was thinking about how having a clear way to label Autistic people who are verbal from those who are non verbal, or non communicative is necessary. People who have Autism that can speak may not be able to tolerate the behaviors of people more affected by Autism, like those that yell out…

Those aren’t functioning labels, though, unless I’m misunderstanding you.  Those are communicative “labels”.  Not to mention that nonverbal people aren’t necessarily able to tolerate the behaviors of a number of other autistic people, either.

That’s the weakest defense for functioning labels I’ve heard in a while. Also, I’m pretty sure you just differentiated autistic people who are verbal and those who are non-verbal rather easily through that entire piece of text. I’ve known quite a few verbal autistic people who are much louder than I can tolerate or I just generally find overwhelming. If you’ve been expecting to get along with autistic people just because they’re autistic, well, that’s your bad. We’re all individuals and there are no guarantees you’re gonna get along with people in life.

Perhaps you didn’t notice, this was posted by someone with Autism. So I think I know something of what I’m talking about okay? When you’re nearly assaulted by an Autistic person, and feel helpless because you fear their parents will lash out or blame you, then you can take issue with this.

Perhaps you didn’t notice, but I am an autistic person, and I think I know what I’m talking about, okay?

And I’m also an autistic person that hangs out with, has gone to college with, done activism and advocacy with/for, attended support groups and events with, and currently works with Autistic people.

I’ll take issue with whatever I damn well please.

I HAVE BEEN assaulted by autistic people more than once.

That shit happens. Autistic people aren’t usually violent, but it happens.

And you know, I wasn’t even gonna call it until you got all persnickety with me, but you know what? ASD folks who advocate for functioning labels are nothing more than Aspie supremacists who don’t want to be associated with autistic people who embarrass them.

I’m embarrassed to be associated with you. Why don’t you go hang out with John Michael Carley and his campaign against the DSM 5 changes. I ain’t got no sympathy for you here.

(via lookoutpinkie-deactivated201210)

"

You have to cheat. Ask for as many extensions on papers as you possibly can. Pretend your computer is broken. Use your charm if you have any. If you’re going to cry, don’t wait until you’re out of the room—do it where the people in power can see you. Eat the same food every day if you can’t think of anything else to make. Put other things ahead of taking a shower, even if your mom said you have to take a shower every two days. Sometimes people won’t notice you’re cheating but even if they do and are annoyed you might still get by.


My mom goes to workshops for people with ASD and then gives me the really long printouts that go along with them. The printouts tell me to sit down and make a list of everything I have to do. When I am anxious, as I have been this year, it’s hard to think about these things so I hold on to the printouts out of guilt but don’t actually read them. Then my mom finds them and gets upset that I haven’t read them and says that I’m not ready to live on my own.


But I am ready to live on my own. Badly. Just like I can hold down a full-time job. Badly. Just like I am getting my homework done. Badly. And I forget to balance my checkbook, which none of my non-disabled friends do because you can get it online, and my mom says, “Well it’s different for you because they would be able to do it if they needed to, but you wouldn’t, so you have to do it.” Theoretically I understand this is true, but my checkbook remains unbalanced.


Which is bad. And I feel bad. I do! At this rate I’ll never be able to go to college. But I do go to college. At this rate I’ll never be able to have any friends. But I do have friends. I just don’t do everything right with them all the time.


For people whose lives are controlled by executive dysfunction, I firmly believe the difference between getting stuff done and not getting stuff done is not caring about doing things right. You cannot always make a list all the time and be early for everything. You just can’t. Hopefully you’re good-looking or funny or you remind someone of their niece. Exploit all opportunities. Do not do what people who are not disabled tell you to do (unless you want to, of course).


All too often I find myself waiting for the day when I can do shit properly, which more or less amounts to waiting until I’m not disabled anymore. Then I can feel good enough to deserve everything I want. Well my cure is slow in arriving, so I’m just going to do everything I want now, if that’s okay with you.

"

from I’m Somewhere Else, “Max is a Miracle”

The best advice I’ve heard on how to get through college with a developmental disability when there are zero accommodations for executive dysfunction. You can’t let anyone else try to live your life for you, and you cannot worry about “doing things right”. Also: none of the things described here as “cheating” are ACTUALLY cheating.