I don’t normally talk openly about touchy subjects such as religion, but since we are currently in the midst of Holy Week, one of the most religious weeks of the year, I thought that now would be a good time for me to reflect and talk about it, and in my case, specifically, about Catholicism.
This week, all the way until Easter Sunday on April 1,2018, Catholics all around the world will be celebrating Holy Week. Aside from Christmas, this is one of those annual celebrations in which religion does come to the forefront of our everyday activities.
I am pretty sure that this particular week is celebrated with its own particular traditions around the world, but in the Philippines, Holy Week is a time in which many do practice age old traditions and it is also a week which is commemorated and celebrated with family. I mean, as soon as Holy Monday hits, many will be on their way back to their home provinces, and there is usually no work from Holy Wednesday to Good Friday.
More often than not, those who have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), may have difficulties with movement or have poor motor skills. Discovering this made things make so much sense for me, as I always wondered why I was so clumsy and why seemingly simple things such as tying my hair up or unbuttoning a button can sometimes be tiring. In this post, I hope to be able to make sense of why motor skills are important and the difficulties and challenges those on the spectrum face with regards to this, and how it affects us.
As an extrovert, I do love being around others. However, because of unpleasant past experiences and as I face several challenges when it comes to being social, going out and actually socializing is pretty hard for me. Every year, I do set several “social challenges” for myself, but usually never get to keep them, except for going to fan conventions, which I do attend every year. However, I think that I will be able to get out of my comfort zone and actually be more social this year, and all of this thanks to attending the Best Buddies Manila March 2018 Dance Night last Saturday night, March 17, 2018, at the De La Salle Zobel School.
Social anxiety is no laughing matter, and unfortunately, this may end up developing in those with high functioning autism or those with Asperger’s Syndrome. I’m not saying that everyone who is like that will develop it, but there are a lot who do end up developing it due to past experiences. In my last post, I finally opened up and talked about how social anxiety affects those on the spectrum, and what goes on in our heads, or at least, my head, when my social anxiety rears its ugly head. So, in line with that, I decided to list down how I cope with social anxiety at parties and events.
Whenever I know that I’ll be going to an event, whether it will be held at my house or at a different venue, and regardless of whether or not I will be going with a friend or if I know people there, I always have the same sinking feeling of dread that settles down to the pit of my stomach and refuses to leave until after the event is finally over. As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, it is not surprising that I have developed a little something called social anxiety or social phobia. Now, having this isn’t a marker of having Asperger’s Syndrome, but is something that I think ends up developing naturally as the years go by based on all the experiences a person accumulates over time.
Compared to before, there has been a lot of progress when it comes to women empowerment and equality, even though there is still a lot of work to be done in those regards. Today, women have more of a voice, and stand up for their own rights, as seen by recent movements such as #Time’sUp and #MeToo, which has become a big thing lately, especially in Hollywood. However, I do feel that there’s still a long way to go for progress with the inclusion of neurodiversity, and in particular, for female autistics to feel empowered as well. So, for this year’s International Women’s Day, I decided to reflect a little bit about my thoughts as a female autistic, and how I feel as one living in a country such as the Philippines, where there is still a long way to go for those who live on the spectrum and are high functioning.