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  • Community Contributor

The #ActuallyAutistic Culture and Identity Project S9

Name, and/or twitter handle: Rosemarie Carreiro

Pronouns: I prefer she/her/they. I am gender fluid. Presenting as a female.

Parent/non-parent: I am parent to 4 adult children. Three of the four are neurodivergents.

Age when you selfdx/were diagnosed autistic: I self-diagnosed back in 2015. I then went on to get a “formal” diagnosis in 2017.

1.Did you feel you were different from others as a child?

I knew I was different but I thought it was that I was “defaulted” I could see that others struggled much less with everyday situations. Others seemed to be able to grasp instructions much faster. I was also a loner because my peer’s interests seemed odd to me and my interests were not of interest to my peers.

2.Are your parents supportive of you as an autistic individual?

My Dad died many years ago. Our relationship was strained and I wished he could have understood who I am. My mother is supportive, in the sense that she never has dismissed my neurology but other than that, she has no idea how to support me. She has self-dx autistic since my diagnosis.

3. How did you determine your ethical system?

By being empathetic and logical. I think I need more info please.

4.In which way does your private self differ from your outward facing front?

I am much less constraint when I am alone. I openly stim and I self-care when I need. Publically I am still not able to do that without feeling embarrassment or shame. I often will accompany my youngest child, when they unmask in public, so that they don’t feel odd….but for me I am still not there.

5.Do you enjoy finding mistakes/errors in the production of films and television...continuity etc.? It’s a double edged sword. I like finding mistakes but then I can’t unsee it and it can become a trigger.

6.What are the top 3 traits you look for in a friend? My friends all seem to be funny, caring and brave. Those three traits have been a source of spoons for as long as I can remember.

7.What are the top 3 traits you perceive as negative but are willing to overlook in a friend?

Close-minded, mean and selfish are my three negatives….thing is, I can’t overlook them.

8.What are the top traits you look for in a partner/traits your partner possesses?

Same as for being my friend. I see my partner as a friend first, lover after.

9.What would you do with your life if you had unlimited funds?

I would have a ranch on many acres where I would grow food and have animals who are in need of fostering. I would open it up for neurodivergents who would like some quiet time, some new experiences or need a place to live.

10. What does freedom mean to you. What does it entail?

For me freedom is being who you are without worrying for your safety. Being able to voice your beliefs without worry. To be truly seen and accepted.

11.What does success mean to you?

Doing what you love and making a living with it. Having people who love and care about you. Living in a place that is secure. Making a place in the world and leaving it better than when you arrived.

12.Are you more stable/happier/productive within the structure of a relationship...partner/good friend/long-term roommate?

Yes, I have never lived alone and have always said that I would not do well by myself. I need structure that comes from having other people around (school, work, appointments, mealtime)

13.Do you find it stressful to be around other parents at school functions?

I usually focus on myself and whomever is animated. I am not comfortable around people I don’t know and I am there for a specific reason and mingling is not it. I have become friends with parents but outside the school system.

14.How often do you pretend to not see people you know if you don’t want to talk?

I have poor vision and I usually keep my eyes on the floor. I often pass people without seeing them. If I do see them and they are someone I enjoy speaking to (a friend) then I will talk. Other than that, I stick to myself.

15.In which areas do you identify the most with other autistic people?

Being accused of being blunt when in truth I was just answering normally. Not looking at people. Not understanding unwritten cues. Becoming overwhelming in busy public places. Sensory challenges. Lack of work. Lack of support.

16.What are the most stressful aspects of parenting an autistic child as an autistic caregiver?

My biggest stress was if my non-verbal child got lost or wandered. Then it was getting the school system to give him a chance and stop discriminating. Finding activities that he could be included in. Fight for every single thing he needed every single time.

17.What are the top 5 things you want your children to know about the world and why?

That people are often misinformed. That not many people will give you a chance if you don’t ask for it. That there are good descent people out there and finding them is important. That he has a place and he has rights even if others don’t think so and he can always count on his family.

18.Does living off the grid appeal to you and why/why not?

OH YES!!! It is what I call heaven on Earth

19.What is your favorite style of architecture and why?

I love them all. Each has something that just speaks to me. I like the Modern, International and Deconstructivism the least, they are too boring or chaotic for me. Goth and Victorian are my favorites, I love the patterns.

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