As a child of the 60s exuberance was probably not welcomed outside the family home. En famille (from the evidence before me) it looks as though I was loved, no to say indulged for it. I suspect this is the secret of my resilience as a late diagnosed autistic human.
Author Archives: soniaboue
Sharing practice as an ‘autistic artist’ – some personal observations on ableism.
A great deal of what I encounter in my mentoring and consultancy practice is a gaping hole around ‘mindfulness’ where diverse neurologies intersect. I’m not talking about a buzzword version of mindfulness. I’m referring to slowing down to a speed at which we can ALL process more effectively. I ‘m talking about (where we can) controlling the parameters of our engagement. This is my ambition for my cohort.
What does inclusion look like?
In my day job I am a visual artist with my own practice, but I’m also a community artist, mentor, trainer, and consultant. I work on various community arts projects as a freelancer, and I also lead my own project over on The Museum for Object Research. I’m writing to share some of my findingsContinue reading “What does inclusion look like?”
I am an artist. I am also an autistic person. I live in sensory peril.
The sensory torture of a hospital environment became my reality a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been forced to reflect how much activity must be sacrificed to manage sensory stress in my life.
This is my admission to myself and to the world. Mainly, I manage my life, I am happy and I am loved. But it is very hard indeed when I am out of my bubble.
Giving is getting: the social ‘cure’ for autism (the power dynamics exposed).
As I write, a vast clump of anti-welcomes forms before my eyes, like a scrap metal tower teetering up into the sky. I tilt my neck, but I cannot see the top.
It sounds like an exaggeration – I wish it was. The truth is that the current neurological hegemony practices daily micro-aggressions in which autistic people are not welcomed. They’re also barred from giving in the mainstream of life.
Some of us experience just enough welcome (important to acknowledge a relative privilege) and gain the tools with which to carve a niche. But too many don’t. Every human needs a baseline of welcome, and access to the power of giving.
Sanctuary – finding a place of safety online #actuallyautistic
This blog feels like the place to be right now. I can be quiet. I can think my own thoughts more clearly. But when I think about the need for sanctuary my heart stops.
A Delicate Dance #masking #actuallyautistic
In writing this I realise that so much of the anxiety of unmasking is in the reception we receive – and that’s the bit we fear most because it can be dangerous (and or humiliating) for us and that is unpredictable. SO privileged am I in my unmasking today that I often forget the deep deep root of my social conditioning in the playgrounds and playing fields of school. I forget that for many autistics, especially where other minority status’ intersect, unmaking is unsafe and not an option. I plan to work much harder to remember – and to coordinate the project with this at the forefront of my mind.
The art world is Social
Some of us can’t prove we’re ‘decent’ because the Social world disables us. So although it wasn’t intended that way, this is ableist and a worrying sign that autistic artists are still not visible in disability arts.
Autism, masking and ageing. A personal view.
I’m on the cusp, in the run up to a brave new decade. Contemporary culture demands I declare it the new something. Always something younger than, always more energetic than, and ever more ‘positive’ than before!
I simply feel old. This is desperately, desperately unfashionable. I do know this. I should be scaling mountains and learning to yodel.
Not thinking in pictures; autism and a possible sub-diagnosis of aphantasia.
It’s been a curious time – one of transitions, I guess. Spring weather and lighter nights coincide with reaching beyond the 2 year anniversary of my diagnosis of autism. A decisive diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome came as a surprise, I expected equivocation and maybes’. Hidden disability is a tricky rogue, adept at fooling evenContinue reading “Not thinking in pictures; autism and a possible sub-diagnosis of aphantasia.”