Those of you who’ve visited my blog before will remember it as Married, With Aspergers and you might be wondering what’s happened. It’s still me writing, all the older posts are still here. But the old title no longer felt relevant to the direction my life is taking now.
I identify as autistic and use identity-first language when referring to myself, so it was out with the “With Aspergers” for a start. And although I’m technically still married that relationship is over. My previous post explains about that. So anyway, that meant “Married” had to go as well.
I spent a lot of time thinking of a new title. It had to reference autism because that’s the main topic in my writing. I thought about loading it with references to stuff I’m a fan of, such as Doctor Who, Firefly, Star Trek, Discworld and so on. But that would have made it long and unwieldy.
Finally this afternoon it came to me: My Autistic Dance. It’s short, the majority of its letters form the word “Autistic”. And the Dance part, well that’s something I enjoy. Indeed, along with hand flapping it’s what my body does when I’m happy or excited. And I’ve been feeling like that a lot recently. So my happy dance happens quite often.
Dancing for me is stimmy. The rhythmic movement naturally regulates my sensory processing when I’m in the throes of emotion. Because emotions bring a whole host of physical sensations: that’s usually how I recognise them. More than that, though, dancing is pleasurable. I love music, and my body just responds to it.
So this blog is now called My Autistic Dance. It’s got a new theme too with a warmer colour scheme. I don’t know about you but the old one felt a bit cold to me, lacking in emotional warmth. It certainly didn’t reflect the positive feelings I have about my current situation and the way I am growing as a person.
I’m getting more involved than I used to. You won’t only find me behind a keyboard on this blog and Facebook now:
- I was very proud to have an essay included in Autism Women’s Network’s wonderful anthology What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew.
- I travelled to Ireland to join Fiona O’Leary and others (including at the last minute Emma Dalmayne) in protesting against the showing of anti-vaccine propaganda film Vaxxed in Dublin.
- I accepted an invitation from Emma Dalmayne to join the committee of her South-east London-based community group, Autistic Inclusive Meets.
- I volunteered to present one of the monthly “Lunch & Learn” sessions where I work. My talk will be called Understanding Autism.
There’s more to come, I’m sure, and I’m so excited to see where opportunities like these might take me. I hope you will be there with me and we can all dance together.
Image “dancing in the rain” by Hank Hession. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.