BY ROSIE OLIVER
Hi there! My name is Rosie, I go by she/her and I have been a participant with RRR since October. For World Autism Awareness Day, I was asked to share my personal experiences of being an autistic/neurodiverse female and being part of RRR so that’s what I’m gonna do!
Autism, being on the spectrum or neurodiversity is best described from my perspective as experiencing and processing the world or “neurotypical” world in a different way. Everyone experiences Autism differently and therefore is incredibly diverse. When talking between a neurodiverse and neurotypical person, each has their own language in a way so you both have to create one to communicate and connect.
I am very chatty, love to inspire/ encourage people, and always full to the brim of ideas! As a result of having to process and filter not only all that sensory, social, and cognitive information but all that in everyday life 24/7, it takes me time to answer somebody, why I don’t make eye contact all time and carry out tasks to name a few. I do things and take in the world at my own pace. Filtering information for me is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I can’t go straight to the needle but know it’s there so I have to sift through all the hay to get to that needle (piece of information I need).
I am currently recovering from autistic burnout which is a result of masking or camouflaging. This is when we (especially females), hide their “autistic traits” all the time as a result of stigma, judgment, and feel we must mask to be accepted in a neurotypical world…
This is where RRR finally comes in lol! I received an email about RRR’s head and heart festival back in October when I was starting to connect with people online through platforms such as Twitch and Discord. I am passionate about art and mental health and thought why not!
So I attended and at first, I kept my camera off but after about half an hour I felt comfortable and safe enough to turn my camera on and join in some of the conversations. All I can say is I absolutely loved it and when they were asking for interest for their arts and wellbeing group, I jumped at the chance! Since joining their group I have not only felt comfortable and safe to share my experiences but also supported, included and accepted.
I am starting an artistic journey on what it means to be an autistic female artist, firstly through learning to be my authentic self and share my art within the group.
I’m so excited to have an opportunity to make contacts, explore and do it at my own pace. Thanks Clodagh for giving me the opportunity to share my experience!