Halloween pierogi (and autism specific communication skills presented by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen)

So, first of all, we don’t celebrate Halloween in Poland, although I did hear young people nowadays started to pick up this tradition slowly. Instead of that, on 1st of November we go to the cemetery for the mass and to light a candle on family graves. It is a serious and sad celebration and Halloween seems so different, although I believe they both have the same origin.

That’s why, when I mentioned ‘Halloween pierogi’ it was meant to be a joke. Pierogi is a type of traditional stuffed pasta that can be eaten straight after cooking or warmed up on the frying pan or even in the microwave. Traditional fillings are: curd cheese mixed with mashed potatoes and fried onions, meat, sauerkraut with mushrooms or curd cheese with sultanas (sweet version). There are obviously loads of novelty recipes online and one of my favourites were made of buckwheat, sauerkraut and meat that me and my mum cooked together like 20 years ago to use up leftovers.

I always feel so sad when I see various new food items available in shops when I go to Poland and I know those won’t be available in Polish shops here so when I saw those, I thought, I needed to get them, even though the packet was £4 (a standard filling is approx £1.5) and I’m on benefits. I thought they would be great for lunch for me and The Boyfriend, and in fact he did like them.

For the surprise dinner yesterday (as you may remember from this post https://autisticandme.com/2021/10/13/surprise-surprise I discovered a while ago that, instead of agreeing with The Boyfriend in advance what we will be eating for dinner it’s much better to tell him I’m going to serve a surprise) I served barley groats with fried sausage, fried mushrooms and sauted red onions. The Boyfriend absolutely loved it. I think it was the first time he ate barely groats. This product is virtually unknown in the UK, which I think is a big mistake as it’s delicious, although it has long cooking time, so I now cook it in the slow cooker on low for 4h. I’d really recommend everyone to try it, it’s absolutely awesome and I even prefer it to rice with curries, although it’s not traditional Indian obviously.

The Boyfriend came for dinner yesterday and left after an early lunch today. That is our standard arrangement and also, when he’s here, we both spend significant amount of time on our mobiles, which works perfectly well for us. If I didn’t know we’re autistics, I’d make an effort to behave ‘like other couples’ believing this is a secret to happiness and lasting love, but instead we’d likely end up overwhelmed and fed up. During the night The Boyfriend wants to give me constant hugs though and he’s disturbing my sleep this way, while it seems it doesn’t affect his sleep at all.

When he came over yesterday I realised why I didn’t really feel like I wanted to see him earlier on: it seemed like I shouldn’t be having the same routine now, when my family dynamic changed so much. My mum will never leave the care home, and I’m here enjoying my time like I used to: that felt so wrong.

As this is meant to be blog about living with autism I guess I should mention here the little email exchange I had with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. I did mention him on my blog a few times already, I think: a few months ago I started a petition (I don’t even know what happened to it by now) about improving access to post diagnostic support for autistics and I asked Professor Baron-Cohen to share it and he said he would but he didn’t. I mentioned something about it on my old blog (this post hasn’t been transferred, unfortunately) and then, magically, his assistant emailed me to say that hopefully I understand that Professor is very busy.

It was quite a few days, possibly two weeks, between me contacting Professor Simon Baron-Cohen regarding the petition and his assistant telling me he’s too busy to do that and it looked very weird, like if the assistant only contacted me because they saw the post on my blog, that ultimately was not extremely friendly. It did look like Professor is a bit obsessed about what is being said about him online (he can’t be that busy then, can he?)

Anyway, he shouldn’t have been promising me something that he wasn’t planning on doing. It’s not good to do that to anyone, let alone an autistic person, and he is an autism researcher so he should have known better.

Since that time I emailed him quite a few times and mostly I’m being ignored. On Friday, however, I was contacted by his assistant first and then by Professor himself – twice. So basically, Professor advised me to go to change a surgery and find a GP ‘who understands autism’ to sort out my Home Group issue (how is this supposed to help I don’t really know). He also finished his second email with ‘I wish you all the best’ for which I couldn’t help myself but had to ask if what he meant was ‘go away’.

I believe that’s how that phrase is being used by neurotypicals but I can’t work out whether it’s meant like that every single time or only in certain circumstances and, quite frankly, being autism researcher he should have known I won’t be able to get it. Very unwise of him. Anyway, he didn’t respond. But that was Friday afternoon so possibly he still will and he’d explain what he meant.

In the meantime, however, I’ll go offline to quietly reflect on the state of autism research not only in this country but probably in the entire world.

Ps. Will of course post a link to this post to Professor. Hopefully he’ll take me this bit more seriously after that.

6 responses to “Halloween pierogi (and autism specific communication skills presented by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen)”

  1. The fact that your mum is in a difficult situation isn’t changeable. If you were to decrease your own enjoyment in life, that wouldn’t bring her greater enjoyment; it would just mean two people lacking enjoyment rather than one.

    Regarding „I wish you all the best”, I think some people are sincere when they say it and others are not, but it’s usually a signal to end that topic of conversation.


    1. Usually, but not always? That’s all very confusing!

      I also used to believe that ‘we’re still interviewing’ said at the end of an interview while looking away from the candidate face means ‘you didn’t get that job’. Yet, it happened to me recently and then, just a few hours later I received a phone call from them as they wanted to offer me a job.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think for me what would determine the connotations of „wishing you all the best” would be whether or not assistance was being asked for. If I asked someone for help with something, and their response was „wishing you all the best”, I would interpret that as an indicator that they’re not going to help me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, ok. I’ll try to remember that although I must say that makes things even more confusing.

        What now makes me think an autism researcher shouldn’t be talking this way to an autistic person.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My guess would be that he’s trying to be polite and not come out and say he won’t help. He may research autistic people, but that wouldn’t stop him from thinking like a neurotypical. And as a neurotypical, it would seem rude to say „stop bugging me” or whatever it is that he’s actually thinking.


      4. But I see it as very impolite when I now have to be guessing what he meant and ‘stop bugging me’ or ‘go away’ comes to my mind anyway.

        This type of focusing on trying to guess what people mean, what happened and what may happen as a result is exactly what caused both my psychotic episodes.

        Liked by 1 person

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