Seriously, what that was about I really don’t know! I felt I need to post about that as soon as possible and that I need my caramel coretto for that, to feel a bit better, especially after what happened in the morning with CEO of Home Group. So I’m just sitting in my favourite cafe.
So basically, a few days ago one of the comments mentioned Joanna Ławicka, Polish autism researcher who is autistic herself. I love Poland, you know, but I’m not very familiar with what is happening there with their autism strategy. To be honest I’m not very familiar with what is happening in the UK either. I don’t agree with a lot of it and trying to follow autism news often upsets me.
On that occasion I thought, however, it would be good to find something out about Joanna so I did Google search and read an interview with her. The interview mentioned a little girl who needed to be explained by the teacher what is going to happen at the beginning of every day or she would get very distressed. And I thought, wait a minute, I was never like that, and possibly that was because I was brought up far away in a village with no landline so if someone wanted to visit us they just turned up. And, how it usually is when people visit families with children, they would bring some sweets, a toy or at least a bit of cake. So I learned that unexpected events can be positive, while now positive events are usually always planned and negative are unexpected. So my theory was that possibly the little girl learned to make false connection (we’re experts on that) and assumes that something is going to be negative only because it’s unexpected.
It was just a theory – I do not know if it was true and, because we don’t have easy access to our thought process and are not great communicators, especially when we are little, there would be no point in asking the girl about it.
But I thought I’d share that with Joanna.
Out of every single of our traits I really think this one is what demands assistance the most, and by assistance I do not mean giving us what we think we want but supporting us to learn coping strategies. Everything else can be dealt with somehow by other people, if they are willing to: your husband switches off when you become emotional about problem with a colleague? Talk to a friend instead. He doesn’t clarify details when you talk about important issues? Make sure you do that. Write things down.
But if you have home made pizza every Thursday and it’s Thursday afternoon and your oven just broke and the husband refuses to eat anything else and is swearing at you, then I am sorry but what you can do about that? Keep a spare oven in the garage, just in case? And then how many other things that can go wrong every day? Unexpected events are part of life. We need to be able to deal with them.
So that’s what I wrote to Joanna, although my email was more gentle and less descriptive.
At first she didn’t reply and I even forgot about that.
She responded today when I was at the gym. She started with telling me that she has no time to discuss that, but she didn’t finish there. Her email had 5 paragraphs where she was basically attacking me. That’s what she was doing, she wasn’t discussing anything, she completely ignored my suggestion and was just attacking me for not understanding autistic people.
Maybe I don’t? I don’t know. But then, I am also autistic and she is autism researcher. So did she mean that those ‘other’ autistic people need to be understood but I don’t?
I got so terribly upset after reading her email, you have no idea!
I responded immediately.
Thank you for your email – I wrote. – I’m really glad you have no time to discuss that issue now.
That’s all I said. And I was really glad with myself. A year ago I’d argue back. I really hope Joanna got the sarcasm though.
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