About "Us"

Howdy do?

My name is Lawrence, and I am a 44-year-old father of five amazingly beautiful girls (inside and out), husband to a wonderfully complicated wife (but no less beautiful), who is going through a crisis (and not just the typical middle-aged flavor).   

Recently, I was diagnosed as Autistic (a few years ago it would be called "Asperger's"), with ADHD, an anxiety disorder, and a recurring depressive disorder. While this brings some very real context and peace, it also uncovered everything hidden in my brain: all the things I did not want to see (or admit to because it was "wrong").   

So here I am, laying it all out for the world to see: my personal journey from child to “adult” and the very real cognitive struggles I have never spoken of (except for very few, and still, there is a new context there to explore).   

I have always felt like a paradoxical person: an anomaly. Something that did not belong but existed just the same. Something always caught in-between a war of logic and feeling. Like a werewolf who could not control his transformation or the brilliant Dr. Jekyll and the beast-like Mr. Hyde.   

That's right. Deep down, I thought that I was a monster, and sometimes I am (Spoiler: we all are sometimes). And no matter what I did, no matter what everyone told me to do, that never changed.  

So now I have a context, a way to forgive myself, but I am not there yet.   

Unmasking autism has been one of the hardest struggles of my life (certainly my adult life), but maybe now there can be some peace. And maybe we can be honest with each other and help each other when the chips are down.   

Taking this mantle of "The Autist Fool" is me learning to take my life back, but oh my friends, this is a struggle and a very real breakdown on many levels. Throw into this fun mix the loss of some cognitive functions that have to be relearned, and I honestly feel like Charlie in Keye's Flowers for Algernon.   

But no more pretending to understand the things I do not and never have. No more forcing a doctrine that does not work for me and mine because I was told it was right. No more hiding the struggles.  

This is me, and I can't be anyone else.   

Want to join my merry band of misfits, freethinkers, and dreamers, and climb upon the Ship of Fools?  

Welcome aboard! 

The Mission (If You Choose to Accept It):

Rethinking the term "autist":

Throughout history, the term "autist" has often been used as a derogatory label for individuals with autism. However, an inspirational change has occurred. Author Jasun Horsley has reclaimed and redefined "autist" to represent someone who is both autistic and an artist - an "autist." This redefinition aims to challenge the negative stigma and embrace the unique creativity and artistic potential that individuals with autism possess.

"The Autist Fool's Digest" combines two intriguing ideas - "autist" and the wise fool archetype. Let's break it down:

Autist as an artist:

By incorporating "autist" in the title, we seek to highlight the splendid artistic abilities and alternative perspectives of individuals with autism. It's a celebration of their exceptional ways of experiencing and expressing the world around them. 

The wise fool:

Adding "fool" to the mix invokes the concept of the wise fool, a figure found in various cultures and literary works. Wise fools might appear foolish on the surface, but they possess hidden wisdom or use their apparent foolishness to bring about positive change and truth. It's a thought-provoking dynamic that challenges societal norms and inspires introspection. 

Let's engage in some reflection together:

1️⃣ How does redefining "autist" as someone who is both autistic and an artist reshape our understanding of individuals with autism?

2️⃣ Can you think of any real-life examples where someone assumed the role of the wise fool to challenge norms or bring about positive change?

"The Autist Fool's Digest" combines the empowering redefinition of "autist" with the intriguing concept of the wise fool. Its purpose is to spark discussions, foster understanding, and provide a platform for the empowerment and creativity of individuals with autism. Join us on this thought-provoking journey! Let compassion, open-mindedness, and artistic expression guide us.

Let's do something crazy! Let's stop buying into the trap we helped make for ourselves, and forgive each other and ourselves, and try for something better for all of us (and not just a select few).