Saturday, September 21, 2013

Note To All Of My Prospective Caregivers

This post was originally written by me on September 10, 2013.....

Hello, my name is Melissa, and i am an Autistic adult. I am asking you into my home because there are many things i cannot do for myself anymore either because of my physical limitations or because my sensory issues make doing these things too difficult or impossible. It is not that i mean to be demanding or a diva, it is that my sensory issues are very real and i am in all levels of pain and agony when people don't listen to me and respect my boundaries and space. It is because my brain works differently than yours does....i process things much differently than i need lots and lots of patience and understanding. 

For all who do not know, Autism is a neurological disorder. It is not a virus or disease that can be caught...nor is it something anyone can scold me for, or yell away or belittle me for. Nor is it something to laugh at and make fun of. Autism cannot be cured or fixed, and i do not desire to be cured or fixed. Neither do any of my friends. I am proud to call myself Autistic.

I have a great deal of rituals, quirks, and routines......please learn what my rituals, routines and quirks are and try to be respectful and mindful of these things.
Again, i need lots in the way of patience, so please also be patient with me.
You do not have to talk loudly when in my prescence; i hear just fine, and i am intelligent, and i even have a sense of humor, and i also even have a heart and compassion and empathy for others, just like neurotypical (normal) people do.
I am not mean, and i am not a diva, nor do i set out to be those things, but respect for my boundaries and space is a must if you work for me, because like i said before, with Autism, a person's brain is wired differently, and the things you may be able to handle, we cannot handle.
Our brains process things alot differently than you, so please be mindful of that.  
If you have questions, please feel free to ask me, and then give me the time to explain. Please do not try to rush me, as this will overwhelm me, and i will meltdown.
If i do get upset, say things that reaffirm and reassure me, and that make me fel validated. If you say things like "Oh, well, i'm sorry, but sometimes i'm gonna do things you don't like. You just have to get over it, or deal with it." Those kinds of things are rude, dismissive, and insensitive, and will put me on guard with you in a heartbeat. I am easily sared off by rough talk, and by people not being sensitive to me.
Please also try to not talk to me machine-gun fast, as i only process so much at one time. Please try to talk plainly and clearly to me...if you talk softly or mumble, and meld all your words together, i can't hear or process what you are saying, and that is also a trigger for me.

Please know that i see things differently than you do. 
I hear things more certain tones, noises, tones of voice.
I am hyper-sensitive to alot of certain textures of food, clothing, the way my spoons are put in the utensil drawer, etc.
I like my house to be neat and orderly. If things go too much out of place or are done messily and sloppily, it throws me into a state of chaos and tells me you don't respect me and my home.
If you use my bathroom, please leave it neat and clean.
When you clean, please don't leave water spots, or stains or streaks.
If you cook, please wash all of my dishes and utensils with hot water and dish soap.
And leave the stove and counters clean.
Please do not hate on my music or what i watch on TV, or read, or make fun of it.
I see things more clearly.
I smell things more strongly.
I feel things you don't.
I taste things differently.
I respond very well to hugs, in fact, i love a nice warm hug, but not kisses, i cannot stand kisses or to be touched on the face. I like to have my personal body space, so please don't stand or hover over me....or touch me on the lower arms or tap me on my leg....unless you are bathing me, then it is okay.
When you shop for me, i like certain brands, and for good reason, because i know these brands last long, and work for me the best.
I can tell if you don't like me, or want to be here. So please give me your full attention when you are here. 
Please do not talk on your cell phone or be on the internet while here. Because that will tell me you are not all here for me.
You can use your phone for important stuff, but chit-chatting with family and friends is off limits. Again, i want your all...or i will feel like i am less-than.
And by all means, if you need to take a break, or time-out, i will understand.

Please know that i do yell when there is street noise. Loud shrill sirens really send me over the edge, as do louder than loud motorcycles, and loud souped-up cars, trucks, etc......and loud car horns....when people lay on their horns. I live across from an auto shop where the employees know my situation, and they bully me on an almost daily basis.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I just need to know you want to work with me, and i hope you will be with me for a long time. Peace, love, light, and blessings.

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