Today kicks off the inaugural day of the Not in the Stars Blog Hop. We will be at The Novel Approach, Sid Love's and Dawn's Reading Nook. Stop by, read some posts, enter the contest for our prizes, and most of all, enjoy as we celebrate the Fourth Mischief Corner Anthology. (Time flies, doesn't it?)
Autism Fact: "People with autism often find understanding and communicating with others particularly difficult, which can leave them feeling isolated."
Comment (with an email) to win all four MCB Anthologies. Contest open until April 20th (central time).
In a Room Full of People
You know the times you're in a room full of people? Some you know. Some you may not. But there is lots and lots of noise, not to mention different points of focus and interest. For some the chaos is fun and exciting. Others, not so much. For someone with Aspergers Syndrome, or another level of autism, it can be overwhelming, stressful, and hard to understand what's going on. Finding the right moment to enter the conversation, conversing about what everyone else finds fascinating but you not so much, cracking a joke you find hilarious when everyone just stares back at you, or being frustrated because you're in a room full of people and don't actually want to be there. Interacting with people can be hard, but sometimes it has to be done and there are times it results in hurt feelings and misunderstandings on both sides.
You can find yourself eagerly discussing your favorite topic—like dinosaurs, World War II, horses, squirrels—and not realize the conversation has moved on without you. It creates an awkward moment when you realize no one wants to be having the conversation you are. At the same time, for a younger child, it creates tension that can have less than stellar outcomes because they don't know how else to process what's happening. The simplest thing—a bump, a misspoken word, or having someone completely ignore you—can be taken as an insult or slight leading to a meltdown which in turn has its own consequences.
Meltdowns can bring a lot of attention where more can create problems. Some people will try to help, others will be quite to judge and start talking about the inconvenience it is to have the person there, and others will just ignore the situation. More attention is often worse for a meltdown. The pressure to pull oneself together, to have everyone watching them when it's easier to have no one around, brings the stress of the social interaction to a whole new level. It also makes it harder to want to interact with people again, because you know you're doing it wrong somehow. You feel the judgement of others—depending on the function level of the autistic person—but if there is awareness, there is a sense of not belonging, of never being able to figure it out. Sometimes, the best gift people could give is understanding. It doesn't mean we want a hug or a protective circle, but a chance to pull ourselves together, to not have people hovering or judging us.
Because the truth is, not just people with autism or aspergers have meltdowns, regular people have them too. Everyone can have a bad day, and in the wrong situation, have a bad moment. To have other people not be so quick to judgement, to give space or encouragement as needed, is a truly wonderful gift. To not knock us when we're trying to work with the room full of people. Or to wait until we can get past our "Stop". Everyone, parent, child, the adult who doesn't quite fit, we'd all appreciate a little more understanding and less judgement. Because you never know how someone's day has gone and we could all use a little compassion.
Thank you for stopping by, you can find info on MCB's latest release below. Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win all four MCB anthologies. In addition, there are many other authors taking part of RJ's Autism Blog Hop. You can find the list HERE.
Since the dawn of human expression, man has gazed up at the heavens in wonder, inspired by the wheeling of the stars to explain his surroundings. While our perception of those surroundings have changed, from thinking of the Earth as a flat, stable plane to realizing we’re falling through space in a tiny atmospheric bubble, our wonder remains constant.
Space stations, alien races, far-flung planets—join the Mischief Corner authors as they explore the possibilities the stars might offer. The catch? Returning to mundane old Earth might be harder than you think.
Finding Connor: The Borillian Twist, Book 1 - Toni Griffin
Mark, a RAAF fighter pilot, is on leave for the first time since the aliens decided to say 'Hello'. He meets Connor, a numbers man for a casino, at a gay bar and danced the night away. Their one night together changes their entire lives and what people think they know about life on Earth.
The Usual Conventions: Unconventional Romances 1 - Mathilde Watson
When Chris meets the alien—man—of his dreams, "Ensign Brodeich Geinn" aka actor Brody Gates, it's as one of the coordinators for the first annual OBX Science Fiction Convention in North Carolina. To his delight, Brody seems to return his interest, albeit in typical alien "Brodeich" fashion. Awkward alien or not, Chris is more than willing to play out any sexual fantasy for his SciFi crush, especially when Brody fumbles over the simplest of human conventions.
Feel Me - Freddy MacKay
One terrorist blast changed Master Tobias Zimmer's entire existence, relegating him to being nothing more than just a "Coppies" because of the metal replacing his flesh. As the once future Shogun of moon colony Orion 1, he now idles his time away keeping tabs on the Loyalists while his father and brother broker negotiations with the Earth Consortium.
A confrontation with his childhood enemy, Dr. Thorsten Nordenfelt, sets into motion events that cannot be undone and puts Tobias's sheltered heart at the center of the colony's attempts to free itself from the repressive Earth's rule.
Shax's War: Brimstone 3 - Angel Martinez
The boys desperately need a vacation. With the not-quite-ill-gotten gains from the Frog incident, Shax takes the Brimstone's crew to the exclusive resort planet, Opal. What could possibly go wrong there?