AUTISTIC LINCS: Meltdowns And Me-Time
Hello there! Callum Brazzo here, continuing to make Autistic Lincs.
Let me start by saying that I have another layer of appreciation for this platform because last week I really had to get some thoughts and feelings out into the open.
But change is afoot as we steady ourselves for the next open mic at Sergi's Tapas Bar on May 30.
It is set to be a fabulous, intimate evening with music, poetry and readings from Spalding's community of creatives.
Being the project lead for Autistic Led, the autistic adult support group, means that you support others but it is vital to help yourself to help others and that's what I did last week. I am not afraid to be vulnerable and neither should you be.
Now onto some news from the past week.
An act of discrimination occurred in Crewe, due to a previous complaint about inclusivity, and left an autistic colleague and friend of mine, Agony Autie, in meltdown.
A really distressing watch but I will share the video below so people have a better understanding on some of the misunderstandings and subsequent injustices that persist in everyday autistic life.
Nothing much else needs to be mentioned until you watch the video as Agony Autie AKA Sara Jane Harvey does a remarkable job of detailing her journey.
If you cannot get online, know that travelling for the autistic activist and her family continues this week and I for one send love and solidarity to them all.
In light of this trauma, The Autistic Lens is an autistic photographer's Facebook page which recently posted 'Sensory Overload, Meltdown, and Shutdown; In Picture.' Vibrant portrayals of our kaleidoscopic minds and worth a look, especially considering that many of us look from the outside of what a meltdown is.
From flawed support on trains to fledgling support in regards to a new centre in Staffordshire.
An £18m centre for autistic children is being built on the Keele University site this year.
I cannot deny that it seems amazing and, if done effectively, serves a crucial need to support the autistic community. Encouragingly, the official website's article says: "Out of desperation, many parents turn to the internet, accepting misleading or unverified advice or signing up to unproven, costly therapies."
However, annoyingly to some perhaps, I cast a spoonful of cynicism onto it, when I read on the official Cauldwell Children website, a statement from the chairman and founder John Cauldwell: "I have been deeply affected by the families I’ve met whose lives have been devastated by autism, and rebuilt thanks to the support of the charity."
It is the part in italics that spikes my radar but words are only words here and I will wait for the actions to speak louder.
Sorry to put a downer on it.
Alongside Crewe, Staffordshire and indeed the entire UK, we are all on journeys with stops, starts and ultimate destinations.
And where we've been determines where we can go.
Finally, I leave you with this.
If we meltdown or need a moment of me-time, in our mental health or otherwise, we have to demonstrate compassion, connect with them on their terms... and build each other back up.
Further Reading And Events:
Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes book, writing about climate activist Greta Thunberg:
Open Letter: Dear 'Autism Parent' by Janine Booth:
Project Bubbly Radio Show based in Sleaford:
Walk For Autism Pride in Sleaford:
Agony Autie TRIGGER WARNING:
Autistic Lincs Facebook Page:
Autistic Led, autistic adult support group:
Contact me via Facebook @CallumBrazzo, Twitter @CallumBrazzo and through Letters To The Editor.
Ciao for now!