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Sometimes, on the days where positives are hard to find, I forget how far I’ve come. I’ve been reminded of that recently, it was after a telephone conversation with the principal of the special needs school I went to.

We talked about scripting, and how I remembered singing “Leave me alone” by Michael Jackson, as a response to a staff member. That at the time it was the only reference I had that I could use, that I could script. It truly was a difficult conversation, discussing my childhood and time at the school. Especially as I was open about the experiences that I had at that time. I also explained that scripting gave me a very limited way to communicate. I’d been through loads of therapies there. Like learning to hold a fork (knife, pen etc) correctly, as was said at the time.

Unfortunately this meant that when I unmasked and my natural traits came back, I had to learn how to pick things up with clenched hands again, like I did as a child. Some of my traits were so deeply masked that I don’t remember having them before. That said I’m sure they were there (arms reacting to sounds etc), I just don’t remember them. The call ended after about an hour, but I do think it helped me, to reduce the impact of those memories. I must admit, he didn’t dismiss my experiences, and actually said he was in awe of what I’ve accomplished.

In my teens and early twenties I spent most of my time trying to find friendships, relationships and work. All of which were pretty hard to find. By the time I met my wife I was almost completely shut down. Only really interacting with a handful of people, and was silent for long periods.

Unmasking and learning to communicate without scripting was a battle. You are fighting against your instincts, which caused you to mask in the first place. I’ve still a lot of figure out, some thing’s I probably should have learnt a long time ago, but, I also have to recognise how far I’ve come.

All our best and love

Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern

mylifeautistic

Written by – Ross Fraser

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Discrimination is something that too many people face in their daily lives. The extreme level of discrimination that transgender people deal with worldwide, can, and has, cost lives. I will never truly understand what it’s like to be transgender, I won’t pretend I can. I know what it’s like to feel completely separate from the world, and that was tough enough.

Our hope is that this post helps someone feel seen. Helps someone that has been rejected for being them, feel included and accepted. Jeni and I, identify as human rights activists because we believe in human rights for all. A level of protection for all people, regardless of skin colour, religion, personal identity, background or birth gender.

Today is the International Transgender Day of Visibility. A day for transgender people to feel seen and accepted for the individuals they are. It’s a hard road, I have absolutely no doubt, but if you can ... be true to you.

There is a quote that says “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to never have been in love at all”. I think it should be “It’s better to fight for a life you love, than never to find that life at all”.

We see you ❤️🫂❤️

Image description: Three people on a balcony overlooking a nature themed background. The colours of the people represent the colours of the transgender pride flag. The text “International Transgender Day of Visibility” is also representing the colours of the pride flag.

All our best and love

Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern

Mylifeautistic

Written by – Ross Fraser

7 views1 comment

Updated: Mar 13

I am going to start this post with the image description, as it’s required to explain this post. In the image is a piece of lined paper with a pen at the bottom. Four of the lines have been highlighted and numbered (1 to 4), with the words “MY NAME” in the middle. The top three rows are used for vowels and the bottom three for consonants.

I stated before that my ability to read and write was so limited, that I had to learn again from scratch aged 32-35. What I haven’t done is explain how I learned to read and write. I went to the library to take out loads of picture books. I would then copy the text over on to lined paper, but written in the format above. What this does is it visually separates the consonants and the vowels. Dyslexic people can go off pattern recognition, the words shape, rather than the individual letters. Plus some letters/numbers can look like others which doesn’t always help. For example, Q, O and 0, or b, p, and d, which is the same symbol, but just in different positions.

What the format above does, is to adjust for the way our minds can read the words. It breaks up the consonants and vowels, in a way that can be quicker and easier to read. Plus it’s a technique that doesn’t take long to pick up and apply. Vowels go at the top ¾ of the line, consonants go at the bottom ¾. I used four lines in this image for clarity. Personally I found that this was a lot more effective, and it made reading and writing, not only quicker, but clearer too because I wasn’t missing words.

All our best and love

Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern

mylifeautistic

Written by – Ross Fraser

7 views1 comment
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