Friday, 26 April 2013

The Autistic Eagle Survey

Autistic Eagle has this survey this survey over on tumblr right now.  In my effort to share all things me and my amazing Autistic self here, I'm posting my responses. 

1. Are you autistic?

2. Do you know autistic people socially?
Yes.  I knew many Autistic kids in middle school when I went to a school specifically for kids on the autism spectrum, and I have known other Autistics through various social skills groups and other activities.  I also have a few Autistic friends I've just met along the way.

3. When did you get your diagnosis?
Age 9.  Then again at age 11 by a "leading specialist" in ASD.

4. What is your genetic gender?

5. What gender do you identify as?

6. What sexual orientation label do you apply to yourself?
Heterosexual, at the moment, although that has evolved from asexual, which I identified as for most of my teen years.

7. Have you ever experienced depression that was not linked directly to autism?
Probably.  I've had anxiety and depression my whole life but always assumed they were related to my ASD diagnosis, although depression (particularly bi-polar / manic depression) runs in my family, so I wouldn't be quite sure whether it's totally ASD-related or whether there is a genetic component.

8. Have you ever had a meltdown in a public place that was almost entirely or entirely populated by strangers?
Yep.  Shopping malls are (still to this day) a big source of anxiety for me and definitely have triggered their fair share of meltdowns, especially in recent years.  Meltdowns in university classes aren't particularly fun, either.

9. Did you ever attend a school for children with mental conditions?
Yes.  I was in the special education stream in a "regular" elementary school from grade 3-6 and then attended a school for kids with autism spectrum disorders from grade 7-8.  I was mainstreamed in high school.

10. Do your parents/grandparents have any mental conditions?
Bi-polar disorder/manic depression and unipolar depression run in the family.  Other than that, nothing has been diagnosed.  

11. What is your favorite food? 
Probably a combination of chips and Diet Coke.  Or pizza with feta cheese.  Or a falafel sandwich.  

12. What is your favorite season?
Winter, because it's regimented.  I hate "free time."

13. What are your special interests and when did you pick them up as special interests?
Names.  I picked up a fascination with names when I was probably 2 or 3 years old and nearly 20 years later, my name obsession is something unmatched by any of my Autistic peers' interests.  (I'll post about this one day).  
Television.  I know every storyline from every episode of all the shows I enjoy.  I can tell you exactly what happened in any given episode and that episode's title.  My friends think this one's an interesting talent.
I used to have a "thing" for shapes.  I'm getting over that one though.
Multisyllabic words are no longer something I "collect," but they're definitely calming for me.  When I'm stressed out, I repeat "La Guardia" to myself and it always calms me down.  I've been doing that since I was six or seven years old.

14. Have you ever collected something?
Rocks, coins, little knick-knacks, and inspirational quotations.  Probably a lot of other things over the years, but that's all I have left.

15. What is the longest time you have ever spent on the internet, and what were you doing in that time?
Reading, probably, or watching television.  Or playing Tetris.  Or Bejeweled.