Aaron Williams: Neurodivergency & Me

Part 1: Opening Up

I’m Aaron the founding member of the ND Neuro News something which I decided with the help from others in the neurodivergent community was inspired to create. I’ve been for a while sharing my thoughts candidly on twitter of my experiences of being autistic and dyspraxic in ways I never thought it has given me the platform to be open and honest and to reflect and learn from others in the community that have shared experiences.

In the past Ive not always been that open and honest as previously in a neurotypical world haven’t always felt I had the space to find out what my autistic and dyspraxic self meant which has been challenging. Especially when I tried to study at university which didn’t go quite to plan (blog post on that coming soon).

So now have found myself at a period trying to find out what this means to me and found with twitter this has helped me understand more about what autism and dyspraxia means to me.

The first time I told anyone outside of my family that I was both autistic and dyspraxic was mid way through sixth form I privately messaged a few people that I was in comprehensive school and sixth form with I felt anxious and overwhelmed but I found it a freeing experience with years of hiding my diagnoses of fear of what others might say I had a kind and welcoming response. It helped me to begin talking about it on social media include it in my bio. I’ve found it a weight of my shoulders as quite a few agave me a space to talk . Found it was so helpful for myself to open up. Especially at the end of Sixth form got overwhelmed heading to prom feeling anxious and in a loud and atmosphere many were helpful trying to help me relax in an anxious state, then became to calm down. At the end of the night got voted Prom King was over the moon.

Although I’m find I’m always working to understand my true autistic self, learn about myself and trying to find comfort in opening up which the idea of this blog is trying to find a sense of confidence within myself, to own my autism and dyspraxia to enable chances to listen and learn for others and trying to find a world where we don’t feel the need to mask which trying to do with #StimPrideSunday.

@autisticlyaaron Aaron Williams

Rethink: Allow Neurodivergents the space to think outside the box

Monday 07 December, 2020. @autisticlyaaron (Wills Word)

Paige Layle, Autistic Social Media Influencer and Adovocste

One of the virtuous attributes and characteristics of an neurodivergent person (Autistic, ADHD, Dyspraxic, Dyslexic etc.) can be a sense of being able to think creatively and pick question things in a different way, the ability to think different. This is no means a special ability or something that all people with conditions listed above would state as personal qualities. However, being neurodivergent meaning having a different means of thinking and processing information from what by the majority view seen as the ‘typical’ means of thinking. Can attribute fo ability to think beyond or not grasp the consept to social constructs or having alternative views on such matters.

Yes autism is a disability and not a special ability. I loath the word special as it often when used to describe disabled people people with learning difficulties or disabilities as special when our needs are the same. However, we do require different adjustments and support for example due to sensory and social differences which is key of what makes autism a disability. Many preferring the social construct of disability rather than the medical construct. Most of the autistic community like myself proud and openly state we are disabled but to much of the challenges we find in society the inequalities, the inaccessibilities and ableism we face.

Being Neurodivergent makes me divergent from social norms and what is seem as the ‘typical’ way of thinking making us reflect on social constructs and ideals in different means. Paige Layla the autistic queen of Tik-Tok has become viral for a recent video she has made on the concept of money and gender. One of the challenges some autistic people face Thunberg the young autistic climate activist has been under mind and her knowledge has been criticised for engaging on in frank and honest discussions on climate change waging for radical action and stating governments enough. With opposition mainly from right-leaning cis gendered elder males via social media assuming she knew little about the environment and that she has been controlled to say the words of others, forced into activism.

When Greta’s story is far from that reality her family and her self speak of a period of the teenage activists period of ill health due to climate anxiety with concerns about her health once she stopped talking or eating a worrying period for her and her families mental health. Scared with the worlds worry on her shoulder. It can be common that quite a few of us autistics feel intense overwhelming emotions when seeing injustices occurring leading can lead to feelings of anxiety.

Greta Thunberg, Climate Activist

Its a common myth that autistic people are lacking empathy when it’s rather the opposite we can feel intense empathy but feel an intense wave of emotion and can find it challenging to witness and process injustices. This misconception comes from an inability to process ones emotions or and senses in the same way as most often. Experiencing burnout, shutdowns, panic attacks and moments of being unable to communicate due to the overwhelming sense of emotion.

Being divergent from social norms from personal observation. I understand that many of us don’t feel the desire to attach ourselves with social identity norms with from what I seen quite a few in the community identity as LBTQIA+ or as gender-fluid snd non-binary. From my personal observations seem more likely to accept socially liberal ideals.

Many of us don’t mince our words or speak more radically, Greta Thunberg’s famous words “How dare you!” ring true with this making the bold claim that her childhood is being ripped away with the urgency before it’s too late to call on world. Denying to being a leader of the fight back against climate change has inspired a generation of young people to come out in acts of rebellion to take strike action from school. Something without herd autism she might’ve not even thought about or even felt she had the audacity to do. To become the worlds most iconic teenager, the worlds most iconic activist and the person who could bring autistic women and girls into the spotlight.

Greta Thunberg, herself has described her autism as a superpower which I know would have mixed feelings in the community. Since often when non autistic people refer to autistic people as having superpowers and special abilities crosses over and has paradoxes with ableist inspirational porn and patronising autistic people. However, what Thunberg has done without her activism has highlighted and hopefully resonated with many autistic people and autistic women and girls. As an autistic person myself to have TIME Person of The Year being Greta filled me with a sense of pride. That a young autistic woman has found the her platform though has been talked down and over by nay-sayers including the president Donald Trump with which she had disdain for after he told her to chill out with some old movies with friends.

Thunberg and Layla to me represent a tour de force in the generation of young autistic people. Who are finding their platform to speak ideas outside the box. Neurodivergent people need a space where we can excel to the best of our abilities.

When I watched Layle’s viral Tik-Tok on whilst understanding the concept of what value of currency of economics. She made a point that she didn’t she sense in how different cash notes are different by the value and question why we can’t produce more money. Reason being if for example the Bank of England were to print more bank notes than what is in circulation to funnel money into the economy the value of the pound would decrease. Some saw her video as a sign of that she knew nothing about economics and others saw she had a compelling argument. One no different than profoundly questioning human made social constructs than when Hobbs and Rawls created hypothetical social contracts to answer the question why are we governed. From engaging in the autistic community many autistic people have many closely held strong views and opinions but willing to ask big questions. Harnessing skills as lateral critical thinking what to some could be an ignorant of the concept of economics. It seemed Layla made a juxtaposition and saw if I could imply the inequality that is in the current economic and system of money.

Economics is flawed. Often much of business and economy discriminates against disabled people U.K. National Autistic Society has stated 16% of autistic people are in work and 77% of those unemployed would wish to enter the world of work (BBC Work Life 101, Oct 2019). The coronavirus sees an employment crisis the biggest seen in a generation. Rebuilding the economy must answer this question how can work be accessible for disabled people. Harvard University and BIMA have reportedly shown in research that employing neurodivergent people attribute skills that most workplaces require especially when faced with the challenges our society faced today. Research has proven hiring neurodivergent people have the skills of problem solving and innovation.

So why aren’t companies hiring more Neurodivergent people? Is what needs to be answered the industries that are likely to grow beyond the economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic are likely to be technology and digital, pharmaceutical and green industries. The pandemic has proven many reasonable adjustments for disabled people can be put in place working from home where possible, flexible hours and using technology to aid in productivity. The future of the world of work is to be diverse and inclusive if we are to grow to be an accessible society. In diversity in the workplace cognitive which includes diverse genders, race and age this in hiring must include disability and Neurodivergency to think beyond the box.

Something I want to advocate for if we are to achieve outside of the box thinking. Neurodivergent people deserve to be heard and must be heard in positions of power. As voices like Thunberg and Layle are leading this generation and hopefully this will be a moment where the door is opened for neurodivergents to be heard

More in this series of blogs to follow exploring access to democracy and our voice in politics in the rethink series

‘Music’ Doesn’t Sound Like it should, the film hasn’t hit the screen and yet Sia has found herself swinging from an ableist chandelier

The Sia Movie that cause quite a stir before the pop stars movie hits the screens setting the twittersphere alight

The pop star known for songs like ‘Chandelier’ a chart topping hit which made her a household name, much to her recognisable appearance. But not a recognisable face, an artist who has reached fame but at the same time scurried away behind the mammoth curtained wig symbolic with they artists identity. Rarely, photographed with out the wig. has she confronted a challenge she is in denial to recognise.

The collaborator with artists like Diplo, Labrinth and Sean Paul has caused quite a storm over her latest project ‘Music’ a movie the artist claims to inspired by her friend with special abilities. Depicting a non-speaking character played by an abled actress with the only evidence of research seems to be from a so-called autism charity ‘Autism Speaks’ a charity which has been widely condemned by the community for its ableist practices of trying to aim for autistic people to be more like their non autistic counterparts and has been deemed ableist for their work on research for a cure rather than aiding autistic causing harm to the community. Many questioned how after she claimed that she never saw how polarising the organisation was after supposedly researching the topic for three years. This has become a disappointment for many in the community like myself, who’ve found her music motivational.

Personally, I’ve found myself taken by her comments from a pop star who has a chronic illness herself to be so ignorant and in denial of ableist content and to be so outrage if people aren’t as warm in their responses. I admit I’d be find it pretty difficult dealing with such criticism for a project you’ve been creating and ready to realise to the world as a a gift for a friend and their child.

But, when you aim to show characters as ‘non verbal who are on the spectrum with special abilities’ it’s more than just representing one person. As you are representing a group which has since time been shut out of the arts and when represented have been inaccurate depictions which are from the eyes of abled people not disabled people.

Autism is a complex thing to understand I admit since no autistic person is the same that’s why I personally questioned who were the actually autistic people she employed? Who were the autistic people she talked to? Definitely doesn’t seem like many or anyone with from an account with clocking up almost four million followers to be so patronising belittling and anguished in her comments choosing the choice of colourful expletives.

The disabled community, say nothing about us without us this seems yet another manufactured project which has heard the sound of silence from the words of autistic people when have been more than clear we want a space in the arts. A real slap in the face for many autistics to see the Hamm someone with such a large following having such damaging consequences on many autistics mental health. Insulting an autistic actor said that they could’ve acted in the film in short noticed, as simply as a bad actor without seeing them act.

She quoted to have said that she did try to employ an actress for the main role, who was autistic but due to distress of the actress acting in a role and then diverting to hire an abled actress. Movies with disability as the fore front should have disabled people working in all areas of film production to ensure inclusivity and accessibility. As much as well accuracy and to add judgment of thought.

Until this nothing will suffice the disabled community with the continuation of disabled inspirational porn which isn’t it. Again, I’ll say nothing about us, without us.

This article was written by Autisticly Aaron originally published on their medium blog


So, Why I haven’t been blogging recently?

What I’ve been finding in the past month is a sense of procrastination a challenge to try to be productive on stuff such like the podcast. Annoyingly, I had every intent to return to recording more additions of the podcasts, this hiatus from blogging on here recording the podcasts hasn’t been something I planned or intended. As, I had plans to record a dyspraxia awareness week special and stuff on ADHD and more on sexuality diversity in autism highlighting asexuality in the community.

One thing I’ve been finding difficult is to find the energy or spoons to do such things its been a challenge as been feeling burnt out and tired something which I find quite common as the clocks fall back and the night gets darker. I personally found with the uncertainty and anxiety of as we hit a second wave of the pandemic something which has been a burden on my mental health something I had to take day by day something for an autistic and dyspraxic person is a lot to process.

During this period, what I’ve found to help is to engage of means of self care for me it had been to engage of areas of personal interests something that has aided and filled a gap in the day where I still have been unsure what to do. Throughout, pandemic I noticed my ability to concentrate less feeling less focused which I’ve find is a challenge for those trying to work from home. Its been a struggle as recently not had much of a routine and felt the energy to write record and edit a podcast.

What I have found helpful for me in self care is to do something productive and creative for me that is are love to paint and sketch. Recently, found the means of meeting that with other areas of interests politics and music. Ive found helpful to rediscover my love of listening to music and finding new music to listen to also to explore areas of interest with listening to podcasts.

Found, the uncertainty and the gloom of the second lockdown has had an affect of getting around to writing and recording podcasts but I aim to start by writing some blog posts, more soon. To start by typing out notes from my chats with Sarah Boon and Christa Holmans. Hopefully will look to drafting and edit a short return episode of the podcast in coming weeks.

Thanks for patience, especially to Rach with ADHD, Billy from Dyspraxic Help 4 U and Charli Clements who did arrange recordings with. But due to feeling not ready to record delayed recording.

So thanks to their patience and yours,

Autisticly Aaron

Autisticly Aaron’s Mental Health Matters Diary: Looking after your mental wellbeing

Neurodivergency & Mental Health and Me

With this post there maybe few minor spelling or grammar errors

Introducing a new part of the blog a new segment that I wanted to blog about. Especially, since this is a significant thing that neurodivergents may find challenges with especially since the coronvirus pandemic has being a challenge on all of our mental healths leaving more with traits and feelings of anxiety, depression, stress and loneliness. An uncertain time and something which I’ve found extremely challenging the past year with more stress and anxiety of the uncertaintly after sixth form, whats the best step forward. Didn’t know and don’t quite know still what I wanted to do feeling unable to mask no longer. I fell in a period of depression. Since finding university isn’t for me or at least not know not yet anyway. Then came the coronavirus the pandemic that at a pointy has seemed to be a distraction from the stress and anxiety of don’t know whats to do next after the lows of the autumn winter season of 2019 to 2020.

With the coronavirus been like riding a wave some days feel fine, some days it feels surreal, some days it becomes over consuming, somedays you think i’d even be sqwabbling over Brexit than this not knowing how to feel some days can be quite lonely some days as said can be quite fine.

Lately, I have definetly not doing to much finding a state of exhausted still. With the darker winter days looming heading into autumn the seasonal affective change has been overconsuming and becoming something that has been affecting my mood. Especially, with more restrictions and local lockdowns inpending a winter second wave of the virus.

So, recently i’ve been wanting with pacing my output of stuff on social meida blogs and podcast episodes. I do after, recent mental health awareness day the other day. Think, how can I transform these platforms into something positive. Something I can get something back from, helping myself while helping others.

Recently a started a recent self care and self help blog series on mental health and wellbeing how can look after self. This week i’ll have a list of stuff I’ve started to do to at least try to help me throughout the winter seasons.

What with the blog I will start doing is to higlight some of the resources out there to help people with mental health conditions with a mental health wellbeing support section of the blog with links and resources on different support that is available. Recently been inspired by with the twitter account being able to see the different mental health support there is available. I’ll be providing links to different articles and advice.

Recently, on the weekend felt in a period of burnout and sensory overload finding wanting quiet i’ll also on this blog explore more sensory aids and what helps in terms of burnout.

Thanks for reading more on this soon –

Autisticly Aaron @autisticlyaaron on twitter @autisticlynbaaron on instagram

ND Neuro News – @NDNeuroNews Twitter/instagram/facebook

Autisticly Aaron’s Self Care Tips Part One.

I want to start a series of different stuff that I do that is good for the mind look to expand this soon with other peoples recommendations.

For me when self care like many autistics comes from spending time with doing areas of interests or key hobbies for me. I enjoy listening to audio that is radio, podcasting music or audio books. For me listening to audio what ever it maybe sometimes can give a relaxing and calming feeling for a while I’ve been interested and enjoyed listening to music and radio. For me it can both give a sense of escapism whilst giving a greater understanding of the world. Sometimes like to listen to something I can laugh to something I can learn from. I find for me radio, podcasts audio books can be companionship especially times when can become overwhelmed and challenged with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

So I thought or wanted to in one of these blog posts to share some podcasts that I like that maybe that the readers of this blog might enjoy

  1. Walking The Dog – Emily Dean (Times and Sunday Times)

The first podcast I want to recommend is a podcast by the broadcaster and journalist Emily Dean. Dean on her podcast joined comic and broadcasters like Rob Beckett, Adam Hills and Lee Mack to leading legendary broadcasters like Emma Barnett, Emily Maitlis and Lorrain Kelly. Simply enjoy it for its pure escapism Dean talking to her guest on the podcast about all areas of life childhood and up-bringing, fame, well-being having candid conversations about family and therapy exploring the conversations needed to be had around mental and physical health on the podcast she has talked to Emma Barnett about her experiences with Endometriosis to Lee Mack’s ADHD. Dean uses her podcast to chat to her guests also about what makes them happy and what methods of self care and relaxation helps them

2. Adulting – Oenone Forbat

Described by the presenter as the podcast trying to figure out all the lessons you never were taught at school. Forbat, eight series deep and going has talked on an wide variety of different topics and some inspired by this years lockdown whether its journalists, advocates, activists or politicians Oenone has had them on her podcast. Exploring different issues that would be of interest to a socially liberal youthful millenial or Gen Z demographic. What I appreciate about Forbat with the creation of her platform is how purposeful she has made this podcast in exploring and engaging with topics she wants to learn more on. Guests featuring Blair’s former spin doctor Alistair Campbell, Novara Media’s Ash Shakar, Sarah O’Brein from Ambitious about autism. So far the topics Forbat has covered have been expansive whether its self care, neurodiversity and autism, racism, intersexionality, body image etc. It maybe the podcast you may need unwinding from a long exhausting day and want something insightful yet light to de-stress. A podcast you will feel better for tuning into

3. Out with Suzi Ruffel (Keep It Light Media)

In this podcast Suzi hare hears from guests who’ve wmailed in about their stories about them coming out coming out within the umbrella of the LGBTQIA+ community. Ruffel with her podcasts talks to superstar comedians who share the same platform as her with the likes of also pop star chart topper MNEK. The comedians she has already had in the hot-seat list from the likes of Alan Carr, Tom Allen, Sophie Duker and Joe Lycett. other guests including Baroness Ruth Hunt formerly head of the Stonewall LGBTQ charity organisation, Steph McGovern TV Broadcaster Presenter of the day time chat show for Channel 4 ‘Steph’s Packed Lunch’ formerly presenter on BBC’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘Breakfast’. A wholesome and communal podcast sharing inspired stories celebrating LGBTQIA+ sexual identities.

So Wait! What does Dyspraxia mean? Part One

Since its dyspraxia awareness week I have wanted to do a blog or start a series on the blog and podcast on dyspraxia. I labelled part one as don’t want to waffle on and want to explore what dyspraxia means different sharing different tweets, graphics, podcast episodes or youtube videos to make it interactive and diverse in the offering of content to give wide range of sources and making information more accessible. Will be collating on the topic collating a portfolio of what dyspraxia means in definition, how it affects myself but how it affects others.

What Is Dyspraxia?

Known commonly as Developmental Co-ordernation Disorder term used in diagnoses. A disorder, why many of us dyspraxics try to advocate for and raise awareness of the disorder there seems to be still few people who know what the disorder is. Although it could affect approximately 6-10% population according to medical news today reporting that only affecting 2% of the population severly. Although its worth mentioning that how it affects individuals in different ways and no individual with dyspraxia is affected the same. Famous people who are dyspraxic include Florence Welch (Singer from the band ‘Florence and the Machine’), Daniel Radcliffe (Actor in ‘Harry Potter’ and TV Seires ‘Miracle Workers’), Harriet Kemsley (Comedian seen on Comedy Central ‘Roast Battle’, ‘Bobby & Harriet Get Married’, Channel 4’s ‘8 of 10 cats does countdown’. Aswell as Rav Wilding (BBC Broadcaster and Former Strictly Come Dancing UK contestant)

Many of us dyspraxics have co-occuring neurodivergent conditions learning difficulties and other disorders such as ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia etc. aswell as mental health conditions such as Depression, Anxiety or OCD. Some also may have diagnoses of a hypermobile, chronic fatigue disorder or Elhers Danlos syndrome being common amongst dyspraxics. I for one are dyspraxic, autistic and have diagnoses of high anxiety and have had recently had periods of depression with some sensory processing challenges .

Dyspraxia is a greek term which means ‘bad at doing’ the dyspraxia presents with many attributes as well as many challenges. Affecting movement and carrying out practical tasks. Higlighting some syntoms that NHS UK, it references that the traits of dyspraxia can include:

What are the traits of Dyspraxia?:

For this I will list some of the traits and give more of a detailed explaination of how it affects myself:

Fine and Gross Motor Skills

Fine Motor Skill challenges: this can include challenges with tying up shoelaces since it affects me serverly. although. there is the case that labels like ‘servere’ or ‘mild’ are unhelpful due to the functional issues and problems that stem from that (discuss in a later posts.) I for one maybe like someother dyspraxics have never at the age of 20 have yet to tie my own shoe laces. Fine motor skills can be difficult for us to master, just how we need to do them often missing out steps. Some other fine motor skills for a dyspraxic person might include handwriting and typing challenges. Dyspraxics are often known to have difficulties handwriting this can mean using a pen or pencil is difficult. Not knowing which is the best way to hold it. Too much handwriting whilst starting a sentance maybe legible. After a while from handwriting like many other tasks using a pen, pencil or many other utensils can be come fatiguing the concerntration but the task of doing it. Thats why some times for reasonable adjustments using a computer to type work is offered to dyspraxic people in studies. For person like myself can become very messy and my quality of writing peaked few years ago but at times when trying to put our ideas on to the page it can become a sloppy mess and can at times be difficult for us to read withhand becoming painful. Due to the fatiguing challenges of carrying out fine motor skilled tasks breaks are essential to prevent fatigue and potential migraines from conserntrating on such task. However, personally when tried using a laptop in school for assessment work and exams, you aren’t allowed spell-check. The issue with typing is sometimes with brain thinking faster than you can type pressing the wrong keys with little controls of what you writing due to the pace of it and not noticing if have time to read back at the end of what I was writing or not having enough energy to concerntrating on reading on at the end. When tuyping can become difficult for acadmeic work to proof read or stay focused and for me my work was littered with spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes. Thats why I want to make clear when reading it back that there maybe some spelling some spelling erros at the end sometimes, unable to recall how to spell the word.

Gross Motor Skills: challenges for a dyspraxic person challneges with gross motor skills can affect ability with certain tasks such as

  • Standing
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Sitting (posture of sitting upright being affected
  • Balancing (due to the sensory and coordernation challenged with dyspraxia it makes balancing very difficult)
  • Climbing
  • Jumping
  • Swimming (something I have challenges with)
  • Catching and Kicking a ball
  • Riding a bike (something I’m yet to do at least without stablisers made difficult with balancing issues)

The Challenges with Gross motor skills makes to some dyspraxia seem like a disorder seen typically as being clumsy or accident prone person when it isn’t the case. Dyspraxia for these things make it difficult to learn new skills and make team sports physical education and different physical activities less willing to particpate in or feeling invloved and due to these challenges when it comes to sport and other practical areas can lead to more lack of confidnece and self esteem.

This is the end of the first part of the series and have more coming soon higlighting more of the executive functioning, emotional challenges aswell as the attributes and the benefits of being dyspraxic.

do email or tweet to let me know what you think

Podcast Update

I’m yet to work on the scripts of the Sarah Boon and Christa Holmans chat the write up of the recordings I done of the podcast but do have the notes of the links. To weite them up manually takes a bit of effort I admit.

Do hope to be able to share the written notes with you later on in the week as want to be more productive on the podcast and blogging this week as think it will be very helpful without as saying to see this as such a chore but something I can enjoy.

As stated on the podcast will try to record an episode on dyspraxia for dyspraxia awareness week and will do a blog on that. Explaining what dyspraxia is might try to ask to get some YouTube videos to link into the blog so it can be that little bit shorter but wanting to keep it more interactive these blogs and offer bits with pictures, audio and video to keep it more accessible and interactive if anyone has an ideas and preferences or links or visual stuff I could share that would be amazing. As definately want to #PassTheMegaphone so to speak.

Want to try to slowly grow the audience of these blogs and podcasts. Realising it is something I should be patient with but want to make this such a positive thing that can connect wider with people.

The podcasts with both Christa and Sarah are going to be linked below but if want to get in touch on those episodes do email nd.neuronews@gmail.com

The Gender Expression One, Autisticly Aaron Chats with Lyric Holmans (NeuroRebel) NeuroCast By Autisticly Aaron For ND Neuro News

Autisticly Aaron In this weeks episode, chats with Lyric Holmans a gender fluid neurodivergent advocate known to many as the neurodivergent rebel a leader in the conversation on neurodivergent rights. This episode sees Aaron confronts how gender expression is much a neurodivergent issue as it is a femininist one. Autisticly Aaron also has Fen from Stimolgy in the Stim Pride Show Case and your weekly neuro news desk breifing  — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/neurocastbyautisticlyaaro/message
  1. The Gender Expression One, Autisticly Aaron Chats with Lyric Holmans (NeuroRebel)
  2. Sarah Boon On Zoom and Chewigem Stim Pride Showcase
  3. Autisticly Aaron’s Neurodiversity & Me Part 1
  4. The First One, Neurodivergency & Us: Autisticly Aarons chat with Sophie Lavender
  5. NeuroCast is Neuro Fresh: Coming Soon

The episodes both feature new features:

#StimPrideShowcase championing businesses and services providing stim and sensory aids

First in the #StimPrideShowcase segment of the podcast I had the pleasure of havign Lorraine from Chewigem a company which sells chewing and variety of oral stimming and sensory aids for autistic and neurodivergent people. Lorraine shared how she came to make her company, how she stims and what stimming is. The link to the website is:


Second in the ‘#StimPrideShowcase’ hotseat was Fen from Stimology a UK based start-up which ahas only been open since the end of september this year you can find stimology on instagram and twitter:


My Guest Sarah Boon on self diagnoses and how she discovered her autism and ADHD and why she wanted a diagnoses. Now available to listen back with scribed notes coming later this week. Sarah like me has a blog you can follow and read right here on wordpress


Sarah’s online shop NeuroPride:


Christa Holmans, aka. Neuro Rebel or QueerNeuro their episode that they recorded with me has been put out today now can find via spotify, apple podcasts and pocketcasts. They talked to me about being non binary, pansexual as well as their busy work adovacating for the rights for other autistics now working independently consulting on autism.

Their blog:


Their latest video updating on their new ventures and big projects

You can find the links to Christa’s consultancy services below:

Neurodivergency & Me Autisticly Aaron’s Diary

4th October 2020

I like usual listening to Oenone Forbat’s Adulting Podcast. I’m a lover of audio, podcasting and radio one of my obsessions. But listening to her podcast, is something I recommend. Her chat with Dawn O’Porter give me inspiration of how I can approach this platform in a way that suits me.

I for one self confessed twitter addict like many. Much of my generation are used to living our lives online as much of good it provides as it prod ideas a sense of community and culture. But, do I when on twitter use it in the best way healthily and what makes me happy.

I definately like the sense of community and connection it does brings me closer with the neurodivergent community. Like Many see the much negative the increasingly ideological dogmatic side of things social media can become this polarising and heated vacuous endless rabbit hole. Of what? Memes, arguements. The doom and gloom of the world that is in 2020.

Ive spoken that this October I want to take time to self care to become more productive on creating blogs, podcasts and create a nitche of my own. There maybe value of turning this blog into something I Can add to with an audience that values it. I habitually share my thoughts and feelings on twitter. Does my audience value it?

Well I see that journaling on this blog could be valuable to not trying to engage into the void that is twitter. But to give myself the breathing space a sense of calm and sense of me. I’ll try to make it habitual to blog at the end of the day (maybe)

I dont want to labour myself to treat this as a chore. But, something I can love and enjoy something that I feel I get something out of.

I know I’ve already been finding the winter months. Although, only October feel that the darker nights drawing. Always loathed the dark winter nights had great affection my mood increases my anxiety than that in the summer seasons. I also in winter months become exhausted.

Find with the pandemic still going on the possibility of a stricter lockdown. I yearn for a time when I feel like I’m better connected a world that doesnt feel surreal distant from reality. Realised it has been six months since this madness has started. Maybe six more.

I’ve been thinking how to manage my mental health as I’ve really been unsure how I’m feeling. Been thinking of how I can self care through the isolation or create a sense of mental wellness.

Ive recently purchased an exercise bike which has been quite the good purchase something. Ive began to use with little walks at the moment due to the soggy rain which is a welsh October. Makes it less motivated to pop out for a walk. An excellent purchase.

So this October I’m aiming to do more journaling or blogging to keep track of who I’m feeling (even though i dont always quite know what I’m feeling although can be challenging to be frank with others about my true feelings) more trying to get out for a walk or two as find popping out is good gives me space to recalibrate. May try to stay less away from twitter. Nothings a promise but try to atleast reduce some of my activity on there continue to produce and plan the podcast as well as listening to many.

Sometimes I tend to listen to politics and current affairs ones due to politics is quite the special interest of mine. Which at times I know it is helpful from that Sphere to take time out to rejoin the conversation.

I want to with this blog and journaling want to work on producing self pride and self care lists of what helps me self care, stay well and what I am proud of of myself. Like many within the neurodivergent community from what seen on twitter an instagram many see the need to share three positives from their day. I might try to aim for something like that. What ever that can work on putting a smile on what has been difficult times.

I Know today I’m proud that with the new bike i managed to motivate myself to have a shower which for me in winter seasons can be tough to do due to the cold to hot transfer. Find have poor circulation in the cold. From time to time, due to periods of ‘dip downs’ in moods it hard to motivate to do key features in daily routines.

I’m also pleased I’ve managed to have a cycle on my exercise bike and produced a podcast that will share tommorow. I find this might help as need to find the positives and the what helps in the day found myself quite busy.

In times where recently I’ve struggled to fill the void not in work nor in education and theres a pandemic. But finding or atleast finding things to help fill the days. Finding these blogs will help process and contextualise my thoughts at moments when it seems I want to be able to process or find the means of expressing what I’m feeling.

Neurodivergency & Me Six More Months

Autisticly Aaron’s Diary 26 September 2020.

This week I’ve as expressed in the previous blog post feeling before lack of motivation and drive to return to blogging and podcasting. Yet here I am writing another one. I mean who can blame me. Being without a clear direction of where things are heading I haven’t been busy. Lately since the summer seems to have drawn to a close although recently until the last few days it has mainly been a warm September. Ive been trying to go for a walk down the beach or just around. Yesterday venturing out was a challenge. Some days during the hazy days of this pandemic the crisis this is. some how has been able to inhabit all aspects of of our life.

Going out to the shops or just for a walk it is the conundrum of my forgetful dyspraxic state of mind that new found question in 2019 would’ve sounded bizarre “Wheres My Mask? Where’s My Mask?!’ I think to myself or ask my mother or sister. the stress of going out is real. The anxiety of knowing where to walk through a shop is real. Now is a maze.

Its overwhelming to think six more months of this. As said thats why delay in release in content. Seeing the fact that this virus isn’t going away not for another six anyway. Exhausting times seeing an impending second wave is seems at more time to process whats going on. With reports of stock piling tissues, pasta what ever else, hand sanitiser?

Reason why I dread the idea of a second national lockdown already seeing the stress and anxiety this has caused to many, the impact on everyones mental health. Wanting all of this all over, this dystopian year. My own mental health has been affected like many good days, bad days. Swings and Roundabouts. Like groundhog day at least that what the days of the first lockdown of spring felt like where only way I felt a sense of where the weeks and days are going was on Thurday’s seeing people on their doorsteps clapping for those healthworkers. For an autistic person the feeling of uncertainty and sensory processing through this pandemic has been incredibly challenging.

Without doing much in a day maybe listening to the radio, podcasts, scrolling mindlessly through twitter, Watching TV. As a means of distraction yes was boring but at the same time exhausting with the feeling like you not quite adjusted to the new alien world of keeping your distance, feeling to anxious if people come to close and being taking in some of the information, the raft of information still give sense of sensory overload. not knowing one minute to the next, How i’m doing?

With this blog series ‘Neurodivergency & Me’ acts as my own diary admittedly something I wish I started throughout the early days of lockdown. However I didn’t think then iI would’ve been in the state of mind to do these blogs as still adjusting to the new world order and not long after the period of adjusting to the fact university is for me. Not sure what is. Corona has been a distraction to that. Not thinking too much about what comes next maybe one of the positives that has come next with the pandemic. There’s a pandemic on, a jobs crisis. So something I shouldn’t fret about now.

It has been difficult throughout all this to find reasons to be optimistic. Since there’s sixth more months of this which I’ve been finding has caused to been a factor in how I how I normally refer to being ‘a dip down in my mood’ as well with the changing of the seasons I love the seasons spring and summer because the brighter days, lighter nights. Winter does affect my mood. I’m trying to do with this blog, podcast, social accounts want to work on finding the positives over the next few months.

Whilst hoping for a close to usual Christmas as usual which is difficult to say what the next months hold. Which for me is a challenge as like structure, routine, predictability. I will be exploring different means of self care recently been getting back into art at the moment trying to do some art inspired by the times and events of this year trying to connect and emote a release from the feelings it instills (also might do some landscapes I as previously blogged about like doing paintings of landscapes purely through the sense of calmness and tranquility)

The next few months I continue to write put fingers to keyboards on my feelings of as a Neurodivergent what impact the winter seasons of living through this pandemic as a Dyspraxic, Autistic with high anxiety. I know for me pacing as understand through out the few months to come likely to have the good days and the bad. Think these blogs could be good as a means of tracking my feelings and experiences in ways I might not normally. Bizarrely, I loathed the idea of expressing my thoughts and feelings in some form of a journal or diary but find this helps. I hope at least people are interested in reading this will continue. Know will need to pace myself but might’ve said this before that it is quite the challenge still feeling the burnout and shutdown of still adjusting post lockdown entering shops and public spaces.

Found being away from such places is more draining since. As the other day, when went out shopping wore a mask although due to sensory difficulties and challenges would be able to be exempt from wearing one. with feeling to anxious about breaking the rules or catching the virus. I decide to wear one but found when out on rather warm day the mask was wearing became discomforting feeling the tightness of it. Rather uncomfortable.

Look forward to continue these blogs series over the coming months feel like this entry is ended abruptly

Getting Back to It

Ive noticed have not updated the blog recently. Nor, the podcast. Finding I want to try to get back to it as already have one recording of the podcast in the bank and ready to go out with a few bits of editing to do for it. Thought I should come on and give a bit of reasoning why been delayed in content. It’s not that Ive found myself incredibly busy with anything although do have some planned podcast ideas and blogs to get around to.

but recently found myself with the changing of the seasons which can be a challenge. never quite like the time where the darker nights and colder days loom more rainy and gloomy weather. But, with the year unlike any 2020 the whole pandemic, social distancing. Find trying to process what has gone on this year has become at times overwhelming and fatiguing leaving me at times a sense of unsure of my emotions what i’m feeling think it sometimes is called alexithymia if i’m right. know many other autistic experience such thing sense of emotional comfusion of your own emotions. I’m hope this is understanding it right.

Find, some of the events and uncertainties of the last year have felt like riding a wave where at many occasions its like experiencing emotional fog or sensory fog. as processing too much or too much happening around can become overwhelming. So once asked whether. How I am? Ive answered I don’t know not that because trying to avoid stating the truth. But because I feel I simply don’t have the answer.

Feel like I’ve needed to have few weeks break or short break for recording podcasts and blog posts because don’t have the energy or in the frame of mind to be productive in creating content. I guess with the uncertainty of my mood has made me not to have the drive or spoons as some may say to create content. Which at times has been frustrating not having the energy to feel able to want to go out or about or converse as sometimes I do.

With not making content recently it maybe from a sense of sensory overload and not ready to put fingers to keyboard or mouth to mic.

As stated previously opening up about my emotions, feelings, vulnerabilities isn’t easy for me. Had to find the words to write or what to say or being comfortable to share. Found bit of rest and break is needed from the sense that feels the state of the virus crisis is going backwards than forwards. With second wave looming and more restrictions incoming and sometimes seeing it plastered all over social media, tv radio etc. Has been quite draining when you wish it would all be over and when it doesn’t quite feel real.

Many times I felt this year has felt like some weird hazy fever dream a dystopian world where every headline feels surreal and does not make sense. Probably wont ever make sense of this year. holding out for hope that 2021 is better year for things. Personally find it has been a whirlwind of emotions and still only in September already seen San Fransico look like a scene out of blade runner.

So I’m hoping to gradually start back the blogs and podcasts as need something I at least can work on and progress with but will pace it and gradually should have more episodes of the podcast out soon. Much about trying to practice self care and try to pace rhe podcasting and blogging as something I atleast have passion for just got to egnite much of the drive and motivation. So hopefully shortly have the episode with Sarah Boon out and planning to record with Christa Neuro Rebel after the interview has been delayed and also chatting with Raach with ADHD on ADHD in adulthood.

So thanks for the support can already see on twitter I’m up to 430 plus followers which am thankful for anyones support so far and to those who have streamed the first episodes of the podcast.

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