Sensory Trauma

Undercover Autism

I’m sat at my desk at work. Outside the lorries have been reversing non-stop since 8am. Each “beep beep beep” sends an arrow of pain and shock straight into my chest whilst simultaneously burning my eyes and ears. I can hear my colleagues laughing and joking in the corridor outside, completely oblivious to my pain and to the lorries. I don’t want to go and see them because the tsunami of perfume and aftershave mixed with the sudden change in brightness when I leave my dark room for the fluorescently lit corridor will hit me so hard it will almost wind me. And their voices will get even louder, and the laughter will hurt my ears and make me jump and sound like someone chucking a bag full of spanners into a washing machine on spin cycle.

But it’s ok. I stay where I am, hyperalert and shivering at the…

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The Five Neurodivergent Love Languages

Ryan Boren

I love this fun tweet on the five neurodivergent love languages from the always insightful Myth.

I’ll expand on each with selected quotes.

Infodumping

SpIns and Infodumps

I don’t know who invented the phrase “special interest.” Probably some researcher. Autistic people don’t really love the term because the term “special” has become tied so closely with terms like “special needs,”which we resent.

Nevertheless, somewhere down the line “special interest,” commonly shortened to SpIn (“spin”), became the term for the characteristically-autistic tendency to develop…

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Afghanistan: The End of the Occupation

Anne Bonny Pirate

Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale write: A lot of nonsense about Afghanistan is being written in Britain and the United States. Most of this nonsense hides a number of important truths.

First, the Taliban have defeated the United States.

Second, the Taliban have won because they have more popular support.

Third, this is not because most Afghans love the Taliban. It is because the American occupation has been unbearably cruel and corrupt.

Fourth, the War on Terror has also been politically defeated in the United States. The majority of Americans are now in favor of withdrawal from Afghanistan and against any more foreign wars.

Fifth, this is a turning point in world history. The greatest military power in the world has been defeated by the people of a small, desperately poor country. This will weaken the power of the American empire all over the world.

Sixth, the rhetoric of saving…

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Communication, Sex, and Kink

Modern Non-thiestic Witchcraft

This article was originally written as a guest post and can be found here: https://atheopaganism.wordpress.com/

Information about and illustrations of heterosexual cisgender vanilla sex are all many of us have in regards to formal education about sex. It is touted by some as the only sex one “should” be having unless they are at the very least a “pervert”. This hetero-cis-vanilla language we are given with which to explore our needs and desires leaves many of us feeling unwelcome and without a voice. The pressure we are under from cultural norms that disregard some sensations as valid forms of pleasure has been longstanding and influenced by history’s major religions.

Attitudes are changing, however, and people are beginning to see beyond their own narrow experiences. Only now are schools starting to educate students about LGBTQI relationships. But normalizing different sensations, wants and needs in sexual and nonsexual activity is still a…

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The Virtue of Pride

Modern Non-thiestic Witchcraft

Aristotle said that a person is proud if he both is and thinks himself to be worthy of great things. If he both is and thinks himself to be worthy of small things, he is not proud but temperate. On the other hand, if he thinks himself worthy of great things when he is unworthy of them, he is vain; and if he thinks himself worthy of less than he is worthy of, he is pusillanimous or timid. People often mistake pride with vanity or arrogance.

When you think yourself worthy of great things and ARE worthy of great things, it’s pride, not vanity. If you are worthy of great things, but downplay them you are being unduly humble. And that’s a vice in much the same way that vanity is a vice. Pride is the equalizer of balance between the two extremes are vanity and mock/undue humility.

Pride is…

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Paradise Lost as interpreted by a Non-academic

Modern Non-thiestic Witchcraft

Alexandra Palmer

Paradise Lost by John Milton has been perceived as one of the more difficult epic poems to decipher and relate to. “In more than 10,000 lines of blank verse, it tells the story of the war for heaven and of man’s expulsion from Eden. Its dozen sections are an ambitious attempt to comprehend the loss of paradise – from the perspectives of the fallen angel Satan and of man, fallen from grace. Even to readers in a secular age, the poem is a powerful meditation on rebellion, longing and the desire for redemption.”

devil red angry vector illustration design
Picture of red devil

Humans struggle to find meaning when confronted with loss. I suppose that is where I find myself as I sit at the doorstep of Paradise Lost. Milton was battling with grief as he wrote this epic; he had lost his wife, his political party, his sight, essentially his paradise. Milton’s Paradise…

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New Research Suggests Social Issues are Down to Neurotypicals more than Autistics

Critical Neurodiversity

colorful-brains-560 Picture by Joan M. Mas

Autism is seen, in popular representations, largely as a social and communication disorder. Formerly framed as stemming from an autistic lack of a “social instinct”, the current dominant idea is that something is deficient or missing in autistic social cognition. Often referred to as a cognitive deficit in “empathy” or “theory of mind”, much research on autistic social issues has focused on trying to clarify and detect this inside autistic brains and minds. The search for an elusive broken “theory of mind module” or “empathy mechanism” in the brain, and its ensuing cognitive manifestations, however, has led to conflicting results – with some scientists even concluding that autistic people feel too much empathy rather than too little.

Another view is that this is not simply an individual neuro-cognitive issue, but rather a wider social problem. Against the idea that autistic people have too much or…

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Reparations, Leveling the Playing Field

Bad Atheist

The idea of reparations to blacks whose ancestors were slaves is once again in the air.  This month, for the first time ever, and after having been introduced in every Congress since 1989, HR 40 cleared the committee and headed towards the House floor for consideration.  HR 40 is titled “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act”.  Its purpose is to do just as the title suggested – set up a commission to study reparations proposals for African Americans. 

“This bill establishes the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans. The commission shall examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.

The commission shall identify (1) the role of the federal and state governments in supporting the institution of slavery, (2) forms of discrimination in the public and private sectors…

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When the ancestors answer “Well, shit.”

mainer74

It is a ritual I have done a number of times, a source of aid I have turned to enough times that I had somehow managed to forget that “the ancestors” were people, and while as a collective entity possess wisdom beyond their living limits, our ability as a species to create truly new and epic problems is one of the reasons the gods themselves haven’t grown bored with us and found a new game.

I had a question. It’s a family thing and honestly none of anyone else’s business so I shan’t be sharing its particulars right now. What is important is that it was a bit of a sticky question, the sort of thing that I could honestly have used some direction on.

I turned to the ancestors for their wisdom, and I got it, but what I got was not what I had hoped for. What I…

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I Had Thought Us Better Than This. But Then History Spoke.

Bad Atheist

I had expected better of America, of us, of our society. Although the selection of trump as Republican nominee should have been my red flag moment signaling that my thoughts about America were not as well founded as I had thought.

Despite his ignorance, his proud claim to never read; despite his mocking of the disabled, of war heroes, and of all who opposed him or annoyed him; despite his treatment of women, his grabbing of pussies and walking in on teens undressed, and his many accusers testifying to sexual harassment and rape; despite his narcissism and constant claims of being the best and knowing more than anyone about stocks, economy, computers, military, building and infrastructure, science and disease and anything and everything; despite his treatment of contractors, his stiffing of good and hard workers, his businesses that failed and collapsed; despite his charities that were merely scams devoid of…

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