Tiffany D Joseph

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Autism… Many perspectives

Location Gaithersburg, MD Washington, D.C.
Country United States of America
Member Since DECEMBER 13, 2020
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Social Audience 13K
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nigh.functioning.autism 11K Last Month Last 3 Months
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Highlights

Repost from January 2019: " Something about me has always made people feel unliked or even unloved by me. I know have flat facial expressions or unmatching facial expressions. I also don't speak about feelings because most of the time I am not aware of my feelings or if I am, there is no way to describe them. At times, without rhyme nor reason, my voice is monotone, or my inflection is off-beat. People will always say to me that they thought I didn't like them. I am working with my therapist to get better here, but I don't feel like I should have to fake my reactions. It literally hurts my face. I exaggerate movements, gestures, and my smile to show gratitude but people say it sounds forced. That's why I hate opening gifts in front of someone. I don't know the exact proper reaction. I also don't want to seem ungrateful if I don't fake it. I see people like me getting made fun of in the media. Like when people call Mark Zuckerberg a robot, or when there is a suspected killer on a show, they were suspects merely because they didn't "seem to be grieving". If you can't tell where you stand with someone with neuro-differences or conditions, ask. And when they answer, believe them despite their body language or other outwardly shows. It is depressing to be constantly misunderstood and people never ask me how I feel. They just assume I don't like them or I am mad at them. Communication is ALWAYS TWO WAYS yet somehow, we are always seen as the ones responsible for the breakdown." . . [Image description:1- purple background with dark purple frame, "Repost, I explain why I don't really like Christmas or birthday gifts" 2-violet background with tan letters reads, "People that I adore think I don't like them. 😔"]. . . #AutismAcceptance #AutismAwareness #AutismAwarness#ausome #AutismMoms #AutismMom #autismdad #autismdads #actuallyautistic #alwaysmisunderstood #dontassume #flataffect #monotone #autisticproblems #thisisautism #girlsonthespectrum #autisticmom #autisticmother #autisticcommunication #autismfamily #blackautismawareness #blackandautistic #autisticBlackPride #blacksandautism #asdspectrum #justaskme #autismtherapy #autismisreal #facialexpressions

I don't understand most of what people call guilt. I just don't have the ability to feel guilty about something I know I didn't do or didn't know. The closest I come to that is feeling regret. But feeling like I did something wrong when I know I had no control over something in my parenting is beyond me. However, I was discussing with @dirtyminivan_mom about our shared guilt over different sides of the same issue: toe-walking. I had the braces, orthotics, therapies, and every now and then, I find myself for weeks or months going back to toe-walking. It makes me feel guilty about the money my family spent and the time. I remember being told it would cause permanent problems and pain and every time I catch myself, all those thoughts are in my head. But it is hard to notice and even harder to stop. Same with eating issues. I notice how my parents talk about those times. My mom still looks traumatized whenever that is brought up. She still feels bad. I don't understand why because there no way possible that she or my dad could have gotten me to eat more than I did. How can they put that on themselves? I have a similar eater in my household. It's frustrating AF because he isn't growing, much like I didn't. But for me to feel like I am not doing something right? I don't come anywhere close to feeling like that. I know that there's nothing more I can do. Sensory issues and eating are beyond my control. Are there things that you feel guilty about? Comment below if you do and what makes you feel like that. {Image text: 1- Guilt: I hear about parental guilt all of the time 2-Autistic and Disabled people feel guilty about how our struggles affect our families too 3-I remember the therapies and work my parents put in to help me 4-Whenever I falter, I feel like I wasted my parent's time and money }

Since people keep asking this... My handle name came out of my incessant need to make puns that actually mean something more than a play on words. So, I absolutely do not like 'functioning' labels. And at the same time I was creating this account, I was always called a 'high functioning' Autistic person, but my family, friends, and therapists could tell you that I absolutely wasn't at a 'functioning' level other adults were. I wasn't able to work, live alone, or take care of myself. I was an anxious mess that never slept, was having hundreds of silent seizures a day that I was unaware of. I was increasingly losing my ability to speak, read, and had to quit working as an EMT and quit my Masters degree in Biotechnology. I was in a bad relationship and couldn't understand why everything around me was failing. I was in my second life burnout (regression) and that time led to my ASD diagnosis. Then I learned that I was having seizures and got treated for those and subsequently left a bad marriage. So, now I am MUCH better. I'm no longer so anxious that I can't leave the house, make calls, check mail, or email, or go anywhere. I know my epilepsy better and I have treatments and adaptations of medicine, cannabis, AAC, tinted lenses, ear protection, and other ways I have adapted my life to work best for me, thank goodness! So that's my story about how my handle came about and how my life has changed for the best in just a few years. I have noticed very many different handles on Instagram. What does your handle mean and why did you choose it? {Image text: "Why the handle name? Aren't you opposed to functioning labels?"} . . . . . . #ActuallyAutistic #ig_autism #Autismo #Autisme #Autista #OrgulloAutista #OrgullaAutista #AutismCommunity #AutismLife #AutisticWoman #AutisticAdult #CommunicationDevice #AACDevice #AACAwareness #AutismJoy #AnxietyMemes #EpilepsyWarrior #EpilepsyAwareness #Epileptic #IgHandle #HighFunctioningAutism #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs #BlackDisabledLivesMatter #BlackAutisticLivesMatter #DisabledAndCute #DifferentNotLess #AutismSupport #AutismParents

#sponsored I am so happy to have partnered with AUTISM ADVOCATE Parenting Magazine to giveaway to our community multiple FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS! Two more days to enter the contest! Odds are incredible 1 in 20 will WIN! To enter follow the 2 simple steps below: 1. Comment #autism below 2. Follow @autismadvocateparentingmag on instagram OR like their FB Page here: https://www.facebook.com/autismadvocatemagazine 3.Tag others who would want to win No purchase necessary. Void in Quebec and where prohibited. Subject to Official rules at: https://autismadvocatemagazine.com/contest-rules-ig-only/. Contest starts December 2, 2020 and ends December 20, 2020. Open to legal residents in Canada (excluding Quebec) or the 50 United States (and District of Columbia), of the age of majority at the time of entry. Limit: 1 Entry/person. Prize: a one-year subscription to AUTISM ADVOCATE Parenting Magazine (ARV $60USD). Random draw to be held on or five days after Contest End Date. Odds of winning are 1 in 20 entries received. Selected entrant must be confirmed, including, for Canadian residents only, by correctly answering a mathematical skill testing question. Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram or Facebook. Instagram and Facebook are completely released from all liability by each participant in this Contest. #ASDDad #Autism #AutismAwareness #AutismMom #AutismAcceptance #AutismFamily #AutismParent #AutismSupport #AutismParents #AutismSpectrumDisorder #AutismSpectrum #autismoms #AutismAdvocate #AutismDad #AutismDads #AutismeEducation #AutismParenting #AutismAdvocateParentingMagazine #AAPM #AutismAdvocateMagazine #ASDMom #AutismCommunity #AutismJourney #AutismAcceptance #ILoveSomeoneWithAutism #SupportAutism #youmightbeanautismparentif #AutismLove #AutismLife #AutismHelp

Are you forgetting to do this? So very often, too often, I talk to parents and carers and I notice they are not asking enough questions. They just do. This most often happens to people with small kids or nonspeaking loved ones. But I don't know why that makes a difference. Questions aren't just for getting spoken answers. They can make someone think of something in new ways or think of something they never would have before. If people that speak are the only ones getting asked things, how can others gauge reactions of those that can't answer BEFORE something happens to them? How can they participate socially or otherwise? How does one feel their views are considered? You don't have to expect an answer in a verbal way (written, signed, spoken, etc)... These answers you seek may come later but you should still ask. Don't know how your loved one feels? Ask. Are you doing a good job taking care of them? Ask them. What do they want to do in life? ASK! We all have conversations in our head and asking someone something can lead to them questioning themselves and figuring things out too. What are some things you are going to ask your loved one today? Share with someone who needs a reminder. {Text: 1-The power of questions: Good questions can plant a mental seed, help communication, enhance social participation and decision-making. 2-Planting Seeds: Ask something you don't need the answer to right now but want your loved one to think about 3-Communication: If nobody ever asked you questions, would you have anything to answer? Would you feel like anyone cared enough to hear you out? 4-Enhance Social Participation and Decision-making: Asking something allows you to notice your loved one's reaction. And that's how someone can be included in your decisions. 5- The bottom line is to never just do. Always ask. You may not get an answer and you don't need to expect one... Now. But you will eventually get an answer}

It's really confusing to me. People say they don't want their kids abused and they don't want their loved ones treated poorly... But they still think it's okay to upload photos and videos of their children having meltdowns and having violent reactions to extreme stress. What do you think is the end result of that? Why do you think we have been saying that's harmful?? Because it is the cause of actual physical, mental, emotional, and DEADLY harm. You don't understand what we mean because it isn't happening TO YOU. We know from intimate experience it leads to but abuse from the general public. It leads to the worst treatment and people thinking we don't have feelings and somehow deserve what they dole out. Don't even get me started on how I see these videos of YOUR KIDS melting down while people on 4Chan laugh and make fun of them or use the stills for dank memes. There's a seedy underbelly of the Internet you feed with these videos too. None of that should be the point though. The point should be to respect the privacy and dignity of the person you are supposed to love. Nobody who didn't decide themselves to be the subject of that type of "autism awareness" should be the subject at their expense. Please let's work together on REAL solutions. We don't have to show outsiders to this community anything. We don't realize how much power we have within to make these changes. We do need help. But we have politicians within the community, celebrities, funding etc... So why are we giving up our power to outsiders? Ugh. We control the narrative, right? If there is a good reason to have people who need help be made fun or have an entire neurotype be stereotyped in the name of rawness or realness, please let me know what I am missing. . . . {Image description in alt-text}

If someone doesn't have ADHD, autism, or a similar way of being, they wouldn't understand the internal battle that is constantly going on. I can tell by the way neurotypical people try to teach, reprimand, or punish "bad behaviors" that they are not experiencing that fight. I mean, most of us naturally calm down over the years, so why force and rush the issue? It's mental anguish (not even being exaggerative) to not only have to fight your body but then have people punish your "behaviors" when they have no clue how well you thought you were doing. And if we continue to move? What's wrong with that? Parents are always worried their kids are not sitting still to learn and pay attention in school settings. I need to know who wrote these rules that say that sitting still means someone is paying attention or that one has to be still to take in concepts? Nobody questions that maybe, that's the BEST way for some to learn and the only way for others? Does anyone else learn best in atypical ways? {Image text: 1- Why is it a requirement that people have to learn sitting down?? 2-Why can't we learn while climbing, jumping, dancing, running, sliding, etc? 3-Why is society always trying to get kids to sit still and rewarding that type of masking? 4-Make no mistake, it is masking or pretending when someone is doing everything in their power to not move a body that wants to the more they try to suppress that urge 5-It makes no sense when, those people cannot learn AND keep their bodies still}

It seems like all of my high school friends either became doctors or teachers. Invariably, they all ask me about autism when they need help. So in an effort to stop repeating myself, here is what I tell teachers a lot. Sensory is EVERYTHING! It can make a great student behave in ways that may seem like purposeful misbehavior. It's anything but. Every teacher of an Autistic student should KNOW that student's sensory needs and challenges. Obviously, this will take a lot of time to learn. So get this information within the first week or sooner if you can so you start the student off right. Keep in mind, many parents especially of young kids do not know this information and some have never even heard of it. It definitely helps to have them fill out something with those questions because that will help them to understand as well. Some things that look like bad behavior: another student's voice hurts their ears, there could be a subtle smell from staff or peers, they could hear adjacent classrooms, they didn't sleep well as many Autistic kids do, they didn't eat well for the same reason, they could be having silent seizures, etc etc etc. It could be anything. Before getting angry, investigate. I know I say that like you don't have a zillion other things to do. But it is worth doing more in the beginning to have a more peaceful school year. I am not a proponent of changing someone's natural play. And I hear people tell me their kids don't play, but they always unwittingly mean their kids don't play in typical ways. Whatever that student does in their free time and enjoys, is play. Look to that to see how they learn the best. Do they love letters and numbers? Teach them through that. Are they humming and pacing around? Movement and music. However, I see a lot of schools, teachers, and parents that think because their older kids love cartoons, or shows preschoolers watch, that it's okay to still teach preschool basics in that same format. 😳 Because someone can't show you how much they have learned does not mean to keep them from advances subjects. I love the retort, "but some people need to learn that way".... (cont in comments)

#sponsored Who would like a 1-Year FREE SUBSCRIPTION to AUTISM ADVOCATE Parenting Magazine? They are giving away multiple subscriptions to our community! Thank you AAPM! 1 in 20 WINS! To enter, follow the 2 simple steps below: 1. Comment #autism below 2. Follow @autismadvocateparentingmag on Instagram OR like their FB Page here: https://www.facebook.com/autismadvocatemagazine No purchase necessary. Void in Quebec and where prohibited. Subject to Official rules at: https://autismadvocatemagazine.com/contest-rules-ig-only/ Contest starts December 2, 2020 and ends December 16, 2020. Open to legal residents in Canada (excluding Quebec) or the 50 United States (and District of Columbia), of the age of majority at the time of entry. Limit: 1 Entry/person. Prize: a one-year subscription to AUTISM ADVOCATE Parenting Magazine (ARV $60USD). Random draw to be held on or five days after Contest End Date. Odds of winning are 1 in 20 entries received. Selected entrant must be confirmed, including, for Canadian residents only, by correctly answering a mathematical skill testing question. Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram or Facebook. Instagram and Facebook are completely released from all liability by each participant in this Contest. #autism #autismawareness #autismmom #autismacceptance #autismfamily #autismparent #autismsupport #autismparents #autismspectrumdisorder #autismspectrum #autismoms #autismadvocate #autismdad #autismdads, #autismeducation #autismparenting #autismadvocateparentingmagazine #AAPM #autismadvocatemagazine #asddad #asdmom #autismcommunity #autismjourney #autismacceptance #ilovesomeonewithautism #supportautism #youmightbeanautismparentif #autismlove #autismlife #autismhelp {Image description in alt-text}

I remember when I was four or five years old watching a movie with my mom. One of the main characters died and my mom was behind me on the couch, bawling. I started to tear up and looked back at her and she told me it was okay to cry. But, as soon as I turned and she said that, it's like my body tensed up. Emotions felt really bad. Strong emotions feel so foreign to me. Well, feelings in general were hard then and are just now getting easier. I am almost four decades in this life, and I'm just learning how to describe AND feel my emotions. I physically run away from people crying or expressing too much happiness. I didn't know this about myself until 2017 when my best friend, who is neurotypical, started fake crying in our conversation and said, "Oh no, don't run away like you always do when someone cries." Wow. Imagine being in your 30's and realizing that is something you do but didn't notice. In fact, I didn't believe her until later that week when my mom met up with her sister she hadn't seen in 30 years. As they cried, I was physically backing up until I bumped into the window and hit myself. A combination of alexythymia, dyspraxia, and autism maybe are why I am like this. I used to think I was just emotionally immature. I wondered, why can't I talk about, show, or understand my feelings like my friends and classmates. Even my younger siblings could do that. I have been in therapy for quite a while now and it's really helpful to not have to deal with holding everything in. Thoughts used to bounce around me and had no escape. They only made my anxiety grow. I couldn't tell people how much I was scared, or sad, or in pain. Even happiness squeezed out of me at a small percentage of what I actually felt. Who else has this problem? Do your loved ones? {Image text: "Emotions: My family and friends have told me they thought I didn't have feelings ▪️I cant express them ▪️I can't name them in words▪️I can't always identify what I feel or why ▪️My body and facial muscles doesn't show emotions even if I want to ▪️Even if I feel something, can name it, express it with my face and body... I honestly don't know how to share that with someone else"}

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