• Noah Seback

Routines and structure are beneficial to everybody to one degree or another. Who doesn’t like some stable predictability in life? It keeps us calm when expectations are met and we can navigate our day without a steady stream of unforeseen surprises.

For many of us on the autism spectrum, or at least me, the ‘to one degree or another’ is key. To me, a seemingly minuscule switch (in the mind of a neurotypical) can literally rock my world. It just does. Sometimes I can handle it better than others. We are all more susceptible to our own personal kryptonite

depending on what else is going on.

Of course it follows that keeping structure in place helps me move through the day more easily. Obvious and simple solution, right? Right. Until it’s not. Let me explain. For me a routine that’s adhered to regularly becomes a LOOP. A loop is when my body becomes so accustomed to doing something in a certain way that it is unable to NOT do it that way. It causes distress and anxiety not to adhere. The problem is that life is fluid and deviation is necessary. What happens when my loop is interrupted? My emotions react and my body follows. Often it’s not pretty. I can’t control it though. This frequently gets called being obsessive or compulsive. There are, I think, some similarities, but it’s a different animal.

Why do I bring this up now? Because COVID-19 is upending everything. Routines big and small are shattered. My inflexibility is showing. This is to say there are those of us out here that are extremely sensitive to structure crumbling. Be aware.

I could talk loops and breaking them for days and probably will at some point. Not today. Today I’m getting some real time practice in, courtesy of my Mom: Master Loop Breaker. Seriously.

  • Noah Seback

Hello all.

I have been missing in action for many moons now working on some intense issues privately. It’s quite a shift to be stuck in your head for years and then have the opportunity to express yourself to many. Quite a great opportunity, but yet I’m not a reality show.

I’m just a guy, a non speaker trying to navigate a world that denied me and continues to deny me. I have a message of hope and healing to share after taking an even deeper dive into the trauma not being presumed competent and not having a voice has caused. I’ve had to process in private before showing up for all the world to see my wounds and scars-some of which were buried so deep that a peeling away of layers had to occur.

I’m sure this is the same for neurotypicals but a big but is: I COULDN’T call foul on any wrongdoing. I COULDN’T ask for help. I was thought to be impervious to all the things that hurt humans. I COULDN’T deal with anything or anyone outside of my own head. And there were many anythings and anyones: lost opportunities, discrimination, injustice, bullying, shame, ugly words, no hope for a future. I could go on and on. Again the takeaway here is although many people have experienced these things, non speakers without communication can alert no one.

So what do we do? We might fight as our bodies whack out at the constant assault on our humanness We are then treated even worse and the cycle spins. The cycle need to stop and I am one voice who seeks to stop it.

This is me Noah and I’ll be around.

  • Noah Seback

Updated: Mar 29, 2019

It’s a simple, straight forward sentiment: don’t worry, be happy. Simple but not easy. It’s true too. We all struggle with what if’s, uncertainties in the future, and potential pitfalls to what we have planned. We spend our entire present not being present but trying to secure our future.

It’s interesting that before I could spell to communicate, my future was already determined and it wasn’t a pleasant one. Why cry-or worry-over spilled milk they say.? And my spilled milk was soured, dried up and crusted over. I didn’t need to stress over my future because I already knew what it held: more nothingness, more unrealized potential and a big dose of a wasted, purposeless life. I had years to get comfortable with an ongoing, constant level of frustration and anxiety that became a part of who I am.

In a way it’s easier to worry now that I have a voice and hope for a future. Before, there were no potential pitfalls or obstacles, just certain ones. I had a constant level of anxiety, but now I have a constant level with sky high spikes because I have sky high hopes. It’s miraculous to have access to learning, relationships, communication, but there is a nagging that sits in the back of my brain whispering each time a door is shut and a mind is unaccepting of my abilities. It tells me ‘You still aren’t going anywhere. Society will never accept you. Forget about being embraced or valued.’ This is a lie, but my body chemistry gets tricked every single time. My rational thinking is overwhelmed by the wave of my emotions and the accompanying physiological response. Fight or flight when threatened? I fight.

So who says autistics don’t have emotions? The same people who complain about our ‘behaviors’. I hope you can sense my sarcastic tone because I beg to differ. We have emotions alright, big ones that manifest in big, weird ways sometimes. Our bodies aren’t always able to cope with them or handle them as discreetly as neurotypicals. We can’t help it, try as we might. Instead we get labeled and stigmatized and punished and isolated. But not supported like we need to be: we need profile specific support in anticipation of each of our unique body reactions. We also need access to communication to help guide this support and to give feedback when situations are misinterpreted. We deserve to speak into our own lives, just as every other human can.

I thought we’re all about diversity and tolerance these days? Why should I be discriminated against because my brain and body were created differently? I can strive to be my best me. Why can’t you give me the support and grace to help me do that? We preach equality based on skin color, gender, age, ethnicity, but not neurodiversity? NOT COOL.

Neurodiversity: it’s a thing.