I have, over the years, come to terms with the fact that damnit, my calling in life is to paint small cute animals.
This was sometimes difficult for me, because I always clung to dreams of someday being a Real Artist, with…y’know…the seriousness and the artiness and whatnot. And I can occasionally manage something somber or cryptic or beautiful, and that’s fine. But left to my own devices, I default inevitably to small cute animals doing occasionally weird things, like Hallmark cards designed by an employee who knows they’re leaving at the end of the week and has already cashed the severance check.
Well. Such is life.
There’s a downside to this, however. And the downside is that I, like any red-blooded artist, occasionally get this twitch to do erotica, and when your basic visual metaphor is hamsters wearing fezzes…well… complications arise. I suspect the reason I get this twitch is often because of the terribly nice people who write to tell me about the childlike innocence of my work, a statement flattering and appreciated and I know very well meant, and which is unfortunately guaranteed to make me want to start painting strap-ons on every canvas in the house (or possibly dismembered somethings. Smoking cigarettes. Drinking tequila. Voting. Something unchildlike.)
T’other day, when I was at this peculiar party for Certain Adult Novelty Items, one of the items in question was the illustrated Kama Sutra, and I thought, as I always think when this volume crosses my consciousness, “Man, it’d be funny as hell to illustrate that with hamsters.”
Discussions with friends of maple-scented thingies somehow led to the question of whether or not maple trees have dryads and whether they object to being bled for maple syrup, and then to my having a horrible RPG campaign idea where PCs are hired by a corrupt confectionery industry to go forth and slay maple dryads for the annual Waffle Festival. You could get a really grisly and surreal scene of captive dryads being bled, like bears for bile, but for tasty waffle toppings! And then the PCs must save the poor tormented syrup dryads, depending on the moral leanings of the party in question.
This also led to the question of whether dryads into body-modification would bonsai themselves, but that may be beyond the scope of my brain at this hour.
vaultdwellerofficial said: Are formal diagnoses essential for (for lack of a better word) identifying as being on the autism spectrum? Like if someone can't afford to go get diagnosed but is 99.99% sure they have Aspergers can they say that or is that not okay
We are supportive of informed self dx.
Unfortunately that doesn’t get us the support we need.
That was not the asker’s question.
There are lots of reasons people self DX. Money is a big one- it can be an exorbitant process between direct costs and indirect like travel to someone who has experience diagnosing adults. Things like race, gender, and other disabilities (to name just a few) can make finding someone who will be willing to consider giving a DX an option even more difficult. And none of that even gets into the fact that there are people who have been harmed or traumatized by the current system who can’t access formal DX because of how intertwined it is in a system that harmed them.
Another is safety. Discrimination against people with disabilities is a very real, very horrible thing. We’ve heard from people in abusive environments for whom a DX could result in people using it against them in both verbal and legal manners. We’ve also heard from people who chose not to get a formal DX because of child custody issues- it’s actually not uncommon for someone to use a formal DX as grounds to deny custody or “prove” someone is an unfit parent.
And then there are the issues around employment. Some people decide that when they look at the costs of currently hostile to disabilities work place vs the personal costs of self accommodating and possibly burn out, they would rather not deal with the hostility. In many cases, leaving for a more friendly work environment is a bit of a day dream either financially or because of the job market. Additionally all the same reasons someone might chose not to disclose a DX to an employer can also apply here.
And those are just a few reasons people Self DX.
We are working on ALL of these issues and more, both for people with and without a formal DX. The resources we produce and the efforts we make aren’t just for any one type of autistic- they are for, in the long run, all of us. Some of it might have to be adapted to specific situations- either because of legalities around ADA protections being complex when it comes to self dx, or because you have additional support needs that will also need addressed, or any number of reasons- but that is true of most resources out there.