Meet Julia

Apr. 14th, 2017 12:28 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Sesame Street has introduced Julia, a Muppet with autism.  For a while now she has appeared in some of the background materials, but recently made her first appearance on the show proper.  Read about Julia and watch part of the first episode.

I think they did about as well as neurotypical people can do on a first attempt.  What I would really like to see is people sending in examples of what autism means for them, or how  they/their kids have interacted with autistic friends.  Using that to inspire Julia's character development and plot dynamics would help her authenticity.  But even in this first clip, I see a lot of things that I recognize.  :D 3q3q3q!!!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-14 05:58 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
... and today I have learnt a new emoticon/proword.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-14 09:53 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
... that's what that is!


Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 12:55 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Agreed. :)3q3q3q

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 05:16 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
COOL! 3q3q3q :D

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-15 02:39 am (UTC)
mirrorofsmoke: Text icon: I can't believe we're still protesting this shit. (Default)
From: [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke
BEST emote ever!

Also, Julia's adorable and has her own page on the Muppet wiki. They explained how they built her puppet with two sets of arms, one set of which allows her to flap.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 02:48 am (UTC)
mirrorofsmoke: Text icon: I can't believe we're still protesting this shit. (Default)
From: [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke
Can you explain handflapping to me? I understand the reasons why people do it, but not how it's done, and if I ever write a character who does, I'd like to write about it respectfully.


Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 03:41 am (UTC)
mirrorofsmoke: Text icon: I can't believe we're still protesting this shit. (Default)
From: [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke
WHEEEE! Down the rabbit hole we dive!

I'm not sure if you knew, but a lot of blind people stim too. Some of us rock or headbob for instance.

We tend to spin in a circle to music to ground and recharge ourselves and have since we could walk.


Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 03:52 am (UTC)
beasts_of_homeworld: Deep in an ancient forest where green moss covers all, little glowing balls of coloured light float about in the mist. (Any - Forest)
From: [personal profile] beasts_of_homeworld
hi Scott! :D it's great to see you! ^_^ <3

if you're interested in not-the-person-you-asked answers also, we wrote a big comment here about how our ways of handflapping physically work, with a few mentions of different ways other people might do it and translations for our personal handflapping 'accent'. but if you'd rather not read, you're welcome to stop here and skip the rest of this comment if you want to and can.

there many different ways to handflap. most people who do it instinctively have a few natural styles that express different emotions and experiences, but their styles will often be personal to them. so there isn't just one way to handflap for happy, for example. everyone usually has their own 'accent' and people can flap very differently to each other for the same meanings.

one of the main styles we instinctively use with this body goes like this:

we usually have our arms folded sort of raptor style so that our elbows are tucked against our ribs but our hands are in front of our chest, with the palms flat facing down or towards our body, and the fingers of each hand together and pointing towards the opposite hand. we flap our hands up and down from the wrist like a child's bye-bye whole-hand wave, only our hands are waving at each other in front of us. this style expresses things like delight and excitement and joy. usually in this flap our hands move in time with each other and very fast - the faster our hands flap, the more intense the feeling we're expressing, often our hands can literally become a blur.

if we flap the same way but slower, and maybe with our hands moving out of sync with each other sometimes, that usually just means we're thinking nice cosy reassuring thoughts, or we're supporting and/or comforting each other/ourselves.

we use a lot of variations on that style too, like having everything the same except our hands are turned to point the fingers in towards us and upwards a bit, so that they're effectively fanning our face when we flap them, instead of each one flapping at the other hand. when we do this face-fan style flap it's usually an expression of humour - we found something extremely hilarious. it's like saying "omg too funny, dying!"

that flapping style we do also has a more social mode, where we still hold our hands in front of our chest and keep our elbows against our sides, but reach with our hands forward a little way, and flap them towards another person. like we're fanning them instead. this is usually expressing affection and appreciation of what the other person just said or did - it can be praise or compliment or the visual version of calling someone a pet name or calling them cute, or it can be more like "you're impossible and we love it." it always includes the subtext that we care about this person.

another social form is very like that but instead of flapping both hands at the other person, we have one hand pressed flat to our chest, and our other arm reached out to them flapping just one hand at them. we're also usually grinning and turning our face away, and our flappy-arm's elbow doesn't stay against our ribs for this one. this one means somebody gave us a compliment we really liked or otherwise did something that made us feel very touched and affectionate but also embarrassed. or alternatively it can just mean they did something we find very attractive. *grin*

there are other ways we handflap too, each with their own meanings. we don't even always know the meanings ourselves, because when we flap we're just expressing ourselves naturally and not paying attention to what exactly it is we're doing with our hands. but someone in another body who hangs out in person with us a lot would pick up on the different flaps and their meanings quicker, and be able to tell us if we asked them. it's like not knowing exactly how your own smile looks without a mirror, or not realising you laugh a certain way until someone mentions it.

other people flap in lots of different ways as well. some people flap with their fingers spread apart, while we usually flap with them together. some people flap with their hands facing outward from around the area of their shoulders/upper arms (we do this sometimes), some people flap with their hands down in their lap or by their hips, some people flap with their hands in front of their face (we do this sometimes too). most handflapping we're familiar with is usually the forward-and-backward from the wrist, whole hand flap version we do, but we've also seen people who flap by waving their hands side-to-side from the wrist instead of forwards-and-backwards, and some who do it by sort of shimmying their hands, twisting their wrists back and forth quickly so that their hands move more like the 'jazz hands' or sign language applause gestures, sort of turning in place instead of flopping up and down or waving side to side.

there's a lot of ways to express yourself with handflapping, and we love how much variation there is! if we didn't cover all of what you wanted to know, or you have any other questions or just want to hear more, you're welcome to let us know! we hope we managed to explain and describe things in ways that work for you, but feel free to say if not! <3

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 04:30 am (UTC)
beasts_of_homeworld: Deep in an ancient forest where green moss covers all, little glowing balls of coloured light float about in the mist. (Any - Forest)
From: [personal profile] beasts_of_homeworld
>> You are awesome. I love my audience. :D Thank you so much for sharing. <<

aww, you're welcome! that's a wonderful thing to hear, and you're awesome too, so thank you right back! <3

>> May I add a link to this comment from my reference page on autism and science fiction? <<

oh! wow, thankyou~ <3

yes, feel free to link the comment. we're flattered that you'd like to add us to your references! ^_^~ (happy touched face)

we realised since commenting that there's a lot of other variations and styles and such we didn't even mention, but as we were mostly here to talk about our own styles we guess that's okay. just so long as people know we're not giving a complete view. ^_^ (easygoing happy face)

your responses are always so encouraging and validating. it's part of why we feel this relaxed about sharing so freely here. thankyou for making an awesome space where we can do that. <3

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 06:43 am (UTC)
beasts_of_homeworld: Deep in an ancient forest where green moss covers all, little glowing balls of coloured light float about in the mist. (Any - Forest)
From: [personal profile] beasts_of_homeworld
:D <3 (delighted face, heart)

>> I really want to use resources from the people who have the trait they're talking about, as much as possible. <<

yess, always best practise, in our opinion. we appreciate that you do this, and it shows in the quality of your work.

it's interesting - we realised academically that of course you would be interested in the words of autistic hand-flappy people about hand-flappy things. but that didn't stop it feeling really surprising to us, and like someone was doing something amazing. it's because we're too used to a world where discussions of marginalised experiences are the province of non-marginalised 'experts' and nobody wants to listen to us or value our input. you and our other friends are helping change that.

we may never reach a point where we expect people to listen to us on the subject of us, and stop expecting to be dismissed or overruled. but honestly, that's because how we feel now is an accurate expectation for us to have in this world, for the most part. it's part of our survival skills. maybe we'll change the world, instead. *grin*

>> In some areas, those are really hard to find, so I've made gather pages. <<

yeah it can be really hard to find ways to hear people whose voices society doesn't want you to hear. especially when it's often been dangerous for them to speak about that thing. gather pages are a great solution!

if there's any other things you look for more first-hand discussion of, and that we experience, you're welcome ask us about them. we trust you with this sort of thing, and are happy to share. we can list things we are/we experience if desired.

>> I don't think there can be a complete guide to flapping, any more than for any other type of body language. But one can make a good start! <<

yes, very true!

we managed to work out the other thing we were feeling a bit off about in our original comment - our wording got a bit mixed up in the penultimate paragraph when we changed around the specifics of what we were saying.

so what we meant was more like:

most flapping we've seen is from the wrist. a lot of that is side to side, a lot of it is up and down or forward and back, and some of it is the twisty-turny shimmy we described.

the way we re-worded things in the first comment ended up implying a 'most' that excluded things that belonged inside it. *grin*

also, all the kinds of flapping are awesome and wonderful! ^_^ (happy face)

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 05:18 am (UTC)
mirrorofsmoke: Text icon: I can't believe we're still protesting this shit. (Default)
From: [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke
Hello there, Gentlebeasts! <3

I'm glad to see you all, too and found your answer to be wonderful.

I don't understand why nonautistic people think hand flapping is a bad thing.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 06:11 pm (UTC)
beasts_of_homeworld: Deep in an ancient forest where green moss covers all, little glowing balls of coloured light float about in the mist. (Any - Forest)
From: [personal profile] beasts_of_homeworld
yay! :D <3 (delighted face, heart)

we're really glad our answer was helpful to you!

>> I don't understand why nonautistic people think hand flapping is a bad thing. <<

thankyou. <3 (heart) it's really good to hear people say things like that.

you saying that helps to combat all of the negative messages and silencing and other oppressive and abusive crap society tries to drown us in. having someone who's maybe more towards the neurotypical or allistic areas challenge the negativity is really validating.

we'll never honestly understand it either, even though we know academically why it happens. the logic is there and it makes sense, but it's just a ridiculous thing to us, just doesn't fit into the types of behaviour our brain can interface with and properly empathise with. we feel like maybe that's a good thing. or at least, an appropriate-for-being-us thing.

you're awesome. <3 (heart)

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 06:47 pm (UTC)
beasts_of_homeworld: Deep in an ancient forest where green moss covers all, little glowing balls of coloured light float about in the mist. (Any - Forest)
From: [personal profile] beasts_of_homeworld
haha, yes! XD (delighted laugh)

although we're still usually just as vulnerable as anyone else to things like indoctrination and abuse, internalised oppression, and such. we don't always see through the bullshit, but we do often seem to be more aware of or less comfortable with it than most allistics.

social customs do have value though, and autistic communities develop our own social customs and often have rich cultures. as we're sure you know with your Army Of One series, among other things. it's just when the custom is to hurt people, or when it's something that just isn't suitable to this individual but they're expected to adhere to it anyway. that's generally when we object or refuse to comply, we find.

like small talk. we've heard you mention how that one doesn't work for you either, and we really empathise with you on that, so we picked that example.

small talk is a great way for allistics to reassure one another that they're not currently a threat, because it's easy for them to participate in and it involves a social dance with predetermined responses to gauge how co-operative someone is right now. but for us it's draining, stressful and annoying so it doesn't fulfil its purpose and isn't an appropriate way for people to check whether we're a threat to them right now. you can't get an accurate read on how co-operative someone is by asking them to stab themself repeatedly with a pencil and seeing if they do it. that's not checking for co-operation, it's checking for submissive masochism.

a better custom with people for whom small talk doesn't work is often an honesty check or a compatability check instead of a co-operation check. asking about something the person actually cares about and wanting to hear their honest response, or exploring/searching for a common interest. just something to get a social connection going that's easy and light, like small talk does between allistics. other good options include things like learning to recognise nonverbal communications of nonthreateningness or camaraderie, like autistic peaceful bodylanguage and exchanging items/gifting/passing things.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

I use the "raptor fold" on my non-dominant side when there's a lot of stuff going on and I'm concentrating on something while using my dominant tends to indicate task saturation.

happy flaps for me are elbows tucked tight to ribs, hands out in "airplane/bird flight" and rapid hummingbird like flippyflaps

agitated flaps involve elbows up from ribs, forearms out in front hands relaxed at wrists with palms facing back toward the body, that flap makes my hands shake and stims a lot of the deep nerves of the hands and forearms, it looks like someone vigorously shaking water from their hands

angry flaps look like I'm trying to take off, but my wingspan is too small

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-04-15 05:26 pm (UTC)
beasts_of_homeworld: Deep in an ancient forest where green moss covers all, little glowing balls of coloured light float about in the mist. (Any - Forest)
From: [personal profile] beasts_of_homeworld
:D (delighted face) awesome! yeah those are all cool flaps that we've seen before, they make a lot of sense to us and we do the hummingbird flippyflaps too sometimes.

the ways you flap are gorgeous and natural, and they're excellent forms of self expression, self care and communication. highly appropriate! ^_^ (happy face)

we're still actually re-learning how to let ourselves flap naturally instead of suppressing it, so we tend to flap more in situations that come up when we're by ourselves or with close loved ones. it's also harder for us to be aware of our body and what's happening when we're stressed or upset or concentrating, too. as a result most of our flaps we know about are happy sociable ones, haha.

removed discussion of pain/urgency flap because we managed to figure out that it's probably TMI - our brain usually takes at least a week to process the social appropriateness of something (by allistic/neurotypical standards). also because we discovered we hadn't remembered how it goes entirely accurately anyway.
end edit.

if we're alone we generally respond to anger vocally, by making a sudden loud noise that sounds sort of in between a lion's roar and a bull's bellow. we might eventually re-learn how to flap when we're angry as well, which would definitely be helpful for our health, but the bellow is a good, healthy expression too. we just want to have more options.

if we get angry when there are non-beasties around (people in other bodies), we generally just shut down instead and hold still inside, all knotted up and frozen. that's because of abuse, though, it's not a healthy reaction. we're making progress working on it, which is good! ^_^ (happy face) your angry flaps are a great response, very healthy and socially appropriate! they're awesome because they express how you feel without targeting anyone. <3 (heart)
Edited (brain catching up on allistic social appropriatness) Date: 2017-04-20 12:27 am (UTC)


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