Author Archives: Trudy A. Goold

Let’s Talk About: Not A Compliment

First of all, I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything in the last year-plus. See Update & Devastating Last 6 Weeks on my Other Blog for some of the details.

Onto the topic of conversation: why “I would never have known you were autistic if you hadn’t told me” is most emphatically not a compliment.

So, some of you (any who have read the aforementioned post, definitely) will know that I broke my ankle in April. Yesterday was my last appointment at the Orthopedic Clinic (it’s well-healed). I was talking to doctor there and happened to mention that I was autistic, and the above paragraph mentions what she told me in response.

This is definitely not a compliment. This is, in fact, a summary of just how badly our culture/society regards autism/treats autistics.

Continue on….

April Publicity: Newspaper Article & AutismBC Interview

It’s April again, which tends to be a difficult month for most autistics. Not sure if it’s worse or better this year, with the world working on staying under cover due to COVID-19. But so far, it’s actually been a fairly good month for me, in terms of advocacy. (And Twitter giving the neurodiverse ribbon to the #AutismAcceptance hashtag!)

So far, I’ve had two pieces of excellent publicity this month. The first was part of a series of articles about autistics in the Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador) by freelance journalist Colin Hodd, which was published on April 2nd (World Autism Day). Here’s the link from the local newpaper (The Telegram) to the article focusing on me: ‘It’s just the way my brain works’: Adult autism spectrum diagnosis offers insight, relief to Newfoundland woman. (It’s a full page spread in the paper version!)

The article was restricted to 1,000 words, which isn’t very much… but Colin managed to really get across what I was hoping he would. Thanks again, Colin!

Of the other two articles, I’m familiar with Hugh and Ally Garber, who appear in the article about autistic children (though I haven’t yet met Hugh): ‘Autism makes me good’: Looking at autism through the eyes of a child in Atlantic Canada. I don’t know anyone in the teen/young adult article, but that’s also quite a good one: Autism through the eyes of East Coast teens and young adults.

The second one just aired last night at 19:30 Pacific Time; I had an interview with Corey Walker of AutismBC (whom I’ve worked with before on the CAPP) about being autistic and what my advocacy journey has been like. It’s up on AutismBC’s Facebook at: Trudy Goold Interview with AutismBC. AutismBC has devoted this month to amplifying autistic voices, for which we thank them a lot. 🙂 I had an excellent time chatting with the people involved (Julia Boyle, the CEO; Selina Lim, the social media guru; Brock Sheppard, the tech guy and program director; and of course Corey).

I had a great time chatting throughout the interview, and even got a link from Brock while Corey was busy with something: a website that’s working to compile and promote sensory friendly locations and programs – Sensory Friendly Solutions. It’s run by someone in New Brunswick who has sensory issues herself. Pop by and check it out, and provide feedback!

So, that’s been my month so far. What about yours?

🙂 tagÂûght

The very well-printed back of the business card of the Geeks Public House in St. John's; "Games, Comradery, Drinks"

Review: Geeks Public House, St. John’s, NL

So, last night (Dec. 28th) my youngest sister and I went to the pub owned by a friend of hers, the Geeks Public House on Duckworth St. in St. John’s.

As many of you probably know, bars and pubs can be nightmares for autistics, between the screens, the lighting, the volume of the music (whether live, on TV, or from CDs or the radio). However, Geeks Public House is specifically designed by the owner to be a quiet, accessible space – essentially a board game café that’s actually a bar rather than a café. (And unfortunately, given it’s in what was an old house on Duckworth Street, it doesn’t have the greatest physical accessibility; there are no ramps, and the stairs can be a bit steep.)

I was rather looking forward to it (especially after being at Ben’s Bar in Churchill Square the night before for a cousins’ night, and having live music played there; the songs were ones I like, but the volume was horrendous and the only reason I stayed past the first few minutes was that I wanted to spend time with my cousins). Said youngest sister (aka the SLP sister rather than the teacher sister) had promised to “kidnap” me there sometime while she was down here for the Christmas/winter holidays.

Continue for Full Review and Pictures!

#SensoryAssault at the Avalon Mall

…And we’re not talking about the holiday shopping crowd or even the people smoking in places that are specifically marked as non-smoking (though I consider that a sensory assault and a health hazard as well).

As with all malls, there are a large number of stores in the Avalon Mall, and three (or four) have been problematic, sensory-wise, until about a few months ago (when some were added, see below). Bath and Body Works – in the section between CIBC and Scotiabank, and the escalators; Saje – second floor between the cinema and Lawtons; and The Body Shop – across from Saje, all have very distinct and strong smells coming from them, that can be rather aggravating for anyone with hypersensitive smell, or a sensitivity to particular types of fragrances. As you probably know from other posts on my blog, I’m both. Sephora, as a makeup store, can also have problematic smells at times.

There have also been complaints about the new restaurant/entertainment section, The Rec Room, in terms of the light and noise, but I haven’t yet gone into that section, so can’t say anything from my own experience yet.

But now there’s a (sort of) new store, set right in the open area where the Santa Claus is, next to Laura Secord (of all things!), called Lush.

Lush has a wonderful reputation in their home country of Great Britain for being environmentally aware and focused on products that are healthy as well as beautiful – I made a new friend through doing NaNoWriMo this year who just immigrated from England, and she uses their products exclusively. There were a number of articles about their opening the store in the Avalon Mall.

Unfortunately, walking anywhere near the Lush store is a nightmare – I used the term sensory assault for good reason.

Click for Details
"You Do You": You do you,/Even if it's blue,/Even if it's green,/Go ahead & be seen./Want to wear yellow,/Awesome, my fellow!/Or maybe red, instead./Feeling BOLD? Go gold!/To make them go woah!/Embrace the Rainbow./You do you. —Patricia George-Zwicker Editor, Autistics Aloud

Blue and Red: Shaming in April #ActuallyAutistic

So, this past week I was in Ottawa, at the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance Leadership Summit (as those of you who follow me on Twitter probably already know!). Unlike the previous two years (though I didn’t write any blog posts for the 2017 summit), I wasn’t speaking at a panel, but I still wanted to go for the contacts and to meet new autistic advocates (there were thirty-four who expressed interest this year, as CASDA received a grant specifically to invite those with first person lived experience, and they had keynote speakers each day with lived experience).

Now, I say that up front… because this isn’t the post about the summit. (That’s coming later.) This is about something else, that got raised in a panel and in talking to one of my close friends (Patricia) the first day of the summit (which happened to be April 2nd – yes, that’s on purpose).

Every year in April, since I first started learning about Light It Up Blue and Autism Speaks, I have consciously chosen to not wear blue (unless I’m going to be at home all day). I have encouraged friends and relatives to not wear blue on April 2nd (and preferably wear red or taupe instead). And that is my personal choice.

Read on about the problems with shaming.

Female Autistic Traits

So, in my last post I talked about mimicking, and how it’s one of the common traits of female autistics that helps mask the fact that we’re autistic. A couple of days ago, my sister (the SLP one, not the teacher) found a post on Facebook that contained a wonderful poster/infographic (see below; designed by Karen Baker, a graphic designer in the UK) about the traits of autism in females, and shared it. Read on, please!

To Mimic Is Human

Have you ever found yourself listening to the way you speak, or paying attention to the way you move, and suddenly realize that you’re imitating someone else?

I certainly have, the most recent of which was about five minutes before I started writing this post!

Read on, do! 🙂

Update: Life and #AutismPresentation (Help?)

So, it’s been a while since my last update. Not as long as some intervals, but definitely a while. In that while, a lot of things have happened.

My middle sister got married (yay!). (It was lovely, small ceremony.) I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (answers, at last, to the pain and inflammation!). I joined the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre of Applied Health Research Autism Research Exchange Group (as well as two other Research Exchange Groups). I applied for and became a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Autism Action Council (which will be working on the provincial Autism Action Plan – let’s hope it has better final results than CAPP did!).

Today’s post is about a presentation that I’m doing on Thursday to the Autism Research Exchange Group, on sensory issues.

Continue reading

Link

So. Here is the preliminary video of the autistic advocates’ panel at the CASDA 2018 Summit. This is not the official video, which CASDA is working on getting professionally edited; this is basically the raw footage with a few edits (title and removing the final remarks of the day) by me. Once the official video goes up, I will remove mine and put a link on this post to the new one.

CONTENT WARNING: The video is just over an hour long, and as I state up front, there are some very difficult and painful things to hear (including mentions of suicide and filicide).

Comments are welcome.

😐 tagÂûght