autistic spectrum disorder

If Disney Princesses Had SPD/ASD

In all Disney movies, the “Disney princess” faces various, complicated obstacles. However, I cannot think of a single princess that has faced a real-life disability or disease. Then I thought, what if Disney Princesses had Sensory Processing Disorder? What if they were on the autistic spectrum?

The following is my prediction of what Disney princesses (and their stories) would be like if they had SPD/ASD.

(Also, for the first time ever, I did not draw any original illustrations for this post. Instead, I added my own bits to Disney pictures. I hope you enjoy it anyway.)

 

Cinderella

Ok, I’m skipping right to the part in the story where Cinderella goes to the Ball. Logically, if Cinderella had sensory issues, this would never work. Sure she could give it a good effort, but in the end, a meltdown is likely to ensue. No sensory sensitive princess leaves untouched after a large royal gathering.

We all know how that ends.

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Belle

The most glaring problem here is the fact that Belle is in a relationship with an unstable beast. Belle would find herself overstimulated, unsupported and for lack of a better word, really turned-off by the beast’s intense personality.

Additionally, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that Belle could have soared around the library on that freaking bookshelf ladder.

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Pocahontas

While she does live in the peacefulness of nature, Pocahontas would most likely not be flinging herself over waterfalls and just around the river bend. Hello! This is too much to ask of any sensory sensitive princess’s motor skills.

Not to mention, she has to deal with a bunch of gun-wielding maniacs who want to destroy the Earth and Grandmother Willow. Talk about stress! Better hope a girl’s got some sensory tools in that longhouse of hers.

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Merida & Rapunzel

All I can say is: HAIR.

I’m still adjusting to my shoulder length hair after years of having short hair. Of course, Merida and Rapunzel may find their excessive hair very soothing, but to imagine having the hair of either of these ladies is beyond my comprehension. The only exception would be that scene where Rapunzel wraps herself tightly in her hair after rolling down a hill. She’s got her own personal deep pressure device.

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Jasmine

When I look at Jasmine, the first thing that pops into my mind are those ginormous earrings. Alright, so she’s royalty and gold earrings are traditional attire for your basic princess, still, Jasmine appears to have two heavy triangular-shaped fruits hanging by her face, smacking into her whenever she turns her head too quickly. The sensation of those ALONE would be enough to make any princess lose it.

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Jasmine is lucky however, because she has a large tiger friend to provide her with lots of sensory tactile relief. I need a large animal to squish me and stuff.

 

Ariel

This one’s pretty obvious: SHELL BRA.

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No further comments.

 

Mulan

I’ll admit that I’m kinda biased here because Mulan is my most favorite Disney Princess. Not only did she sneak her way into the Chinese military, but she defeated the vicious Huns and saved an entire country with some uncoordinated soldiers, the Eddie Murphy dragon, and a cricket.

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If Mulan had sensory issues, China would have been overtaken by the Huns and everything would be terrible. Yes I said it.  She’s trying to save an entire country – I’m certain she would have no time to take sensory breaks. Even if she survived the military training, I do not think her sensory stamina would hold out for that entire duration. I’m talking about that scene where she shoots the rocket into the mountain and causes an avalanche, miraculously survives, and then goes to the city to fight the Huns with her gang of loonies. AND WINS.

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The Emperor’s chaotic celebration ALONE would be a solid nope.

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Dory

Technically Dory is not a princess. She is a blue fish who helped Marlin find his son. I’m including her in my list because, from my observations, Dory might have sensory/autism issues. We know that Dory has complications with short term memory, but aside from that, she’s got quirks much like those with sensory problems or autism.

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Although she is friendly, she struggles with social situations, including lack of awareness of danger. Dory enjoys things like talking to whales and bouncing off jelly fish. I can only conclude Dory is a sensory-seeker. She is very sensitive, as she spends much of her time comforting others and generally being optimistic about the state of things even if the world looks bleak. She is a curious adventurer, and despite her peculiar behavior, Nemo would never have been found without Dory’s help. Perhaps things would have gone a bit smoother if Dory had brushed her fins with a sensory brush that morning.

 

Elsa

Unlike our favorite fish Dory, I imagine Elsa is a sensory-avoider. I almost hate to include Elsa because she has become the “celebrity” Disney princess. She has made this list, however, because Elsa displays the closest thing to what a princess would be like if she had SPD/ASD.

Although Elsa has learned to control her ice powers, her behavior and life has been drastically shaped by her condition. The same thing can be said for those of us impacted by SPD/ASD.

Elsa’s parents responded to the difficulty of their child by locking her in her room. Obviously, this was never a good idea. Elsa grew isolated and depressed.

After having a meltdown in front of basically the entire town, she ran away into the snowy mountains and built herself a fortress of ice. In the sensory world, this would be similar to you coming home after an overstimulating trip to Target and building a couch fort with blankets and pillows, and trapping yourself in the safety of the sensory-controlled space surrounded by all your favorite fidgets.

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It is only until Elsa learns how to channel and manage her ice powers does her life improve. She becomes Queen, sends the bad guys home, and restores order to Arendelle. Similarly, when those of us with SPD/ASD learn to manage our various issues, we could become royals, defeat bad guys, and restore order to an entire Kingdom.

Or, we could just manage basic life skills and that would be a big freakin’ achievement too. 

I may not be a Disney princess, and neither may you, but I like to dream that one day Disney will create an animated film about a princess (or prince!) with Sensory Processing Disorder or Autism. Not only will this character be most awesomesauce in every possible way, but the film will accurately portray the reality of these disorders. It will surpass Frozen and The Lion King in profits, and become the most beloved Disney film of all time ever in the history of mankind. No, my expectations are not too high. DISNEY CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN.

 

There you have it.

Are you (or your child) a wannabe Disney hero with SPD/ASD or something else? Tell to me in the comments and maybe Disney will see it and make a film about you.

 

xo kelly

I’d like to buy a mattress

I recently went mattress shopping. Yes, I took advantage of the president’s day mattress sales at Sleepy’s.

I knew I wanted a FIRM mattress, and I knew this because I do some of my best sleeping on the floor. I’m letting my SPD take the complete blame for this one. The hardness of the floor pushing against my body feels super awesome.

Unfortunately, my family frequently has to poke me to make sure I’m not dead. I’m fairly certain it’s an unsettling experience for them.

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Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, THE MATTRESS STORE. Once inside, I was greeted by an overly-friendly man in pink. He had intense eyebrows

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The dilemma occured to me quickly. I had a near IMPOSSIBLE time finding the difference from one mattress to the next.  ALL the mattresses felt EXACTLY THE SAME. Was this my sensory processing disorder? Could my body have an inability to distinguish different types of pressures? I don’t know.

I DO know that it made the whole experience very daunting.

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I was instructed to lay on the mattresses for approximately 3-5 minutes. Eyebrow man said it was because it needed to conform to my body. What a load of crapsauce. There was no way I was gonna sit on each mattress for up to five minutes. I had stuff to do! Like, buy a mattress, for instance. It never seemed to end.

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I was a lost soul, wandering hopelessly and without a destination through the outer reaches of the mattress solar system.

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It became quickly overwhelming. I did what my body told me to do, which was to go to each and every mattress in the store and pick up the little flap at the bottom and read the information about the specific mattress. I did this for about 50 mattresses. Luckily for me, eyebrow man was distracted with other customers, so everything sorted itself out.

 

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At one point, I tried a super expensive mattress that nearly sucked me into the underworld.

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In the end, I went for a firm mattress with a pillow top. I also upgraded from a twin to a FULL SIZE bed. (GET ON MY LEVEL).

The tag on my mattress said this, roughly:

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And so, I essentially purchased a very expensive boulder. I most likely could’ve chosen any mattress and it would have felt like the same damn mattress to me. What matters, however, was the experience. I’ve slept on my new rock-hard mattress for a few days now, and let me tell you, I don’t want to leave my bed. You should be impressed that I reached my computer to even make this post. Even now, I can hear my new mattress calling my name.

“kelly………..come lay with me……kelly…..”

I should get going. I have to lay in my bed and stare at my ceiling.

xo kelly

I did a podcast!

Good afternoon, gorgeous people of the internet!

I want to share a quick post about a very exciting thing I did recently – I was beyond honored to be featured as a guest speaker, if you will, for an organization known as SPD Parent Zone. I was interviewed by the lovely Kelly Jurecko, president and co-founder. This organization is a superb resource for anyone who needs support and info about SPD.

In the podcast, I talk about my life, my blog, my artwork, and most importantly, sensory processing disorder!

Click the link below to listen to my voice – I’m more than just a quirky illustration! Believe it or not…

http://www.spdparentzone.org/episode-14-with-kelly-dillon/

Here’s the link for the home page of SPD Parent Zone http://www.spdparentzone.org/

 

ALSO! I’ve created Facebook (here) and Twitter (here) pages for this blog – now you can follow me through social media. That’s what people do, right?

xo kelly

 

Food Shopping Part 2: Big Decisions

I recently had another ridiculous food shopping experience. Afterward, I realized it would make an absolutely marvelous blog post. So ladies and gents, here we go:

After shopping with momsy for what seemed like several hours in preparation for a BBQ, we finally reach the frozen food aisle in the grocery store. We decided to pick a frozen meal to have for lunch because:

a. We never have frozen meals, therefor it would be different and exciting

b. We were tired and hungry and the frozen food is for the lazy.

Momsy quickly selects her frozen lunch. Some chicken pot pie thinger-whatever. Good for her, I thought to myself. Now it was my turn.

Let me remind everyone that again, this was the END of long day of shopping all over town, and if you have read my first post about food shopping (click here to read it) you will remember that food shopping can be a somewhat very extreme sensory nightmare.

So there I was, surrounded by freezers with dozens, if not HUNDREDS of options for what to have for lunch. I was overstimulated, COLD, tired, and very hungry.

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I had to make a decision.

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The task at hand was not really complicated: Choose a frozen meal to have for lunch. But it felt so much more intense:

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(If you’re interested, the choices on the wheel are: lava, darkness, sword, chocolate, sharks, ice, puppies, poo, spider, knife, water, snow, fire, bugs, snakes, and bieber…whose name I spelled incorrectly. Go me).

Neurotypical people, like momsy, for instance, make decisions based on the fact that their brain does not struggle to process sensory information. All that comes naturally, so when they are in an overstimulating environment, their brain can focus on important decisions….like what to have for lunch.

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Then there are people like me, whose SPD brain – when pushed to the brink – experiences difficulty when having to process anything other than sensory info because it’s so darn busy trying to process basic sensory info that it LITERALLY doesn’t have time for anything else. My brain was like:

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When deciding on what frozen thing I wanted, my brain would only respond by stating what it could process at the time:

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GENIUS. UGHHHH

I remember standing in the aisle, pacing back and forth in front of the freezers and nothing was making sense. It felt like forever.

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I couldn’t stand myself! How could I have possible graduated with honors from my university just months ago, yet I couldn’t pick a frozen lunch from a freezer? WTF, you guys. To hell with my SPD brain, I was hungry and incapable!

Luckily, my lady in waiting, momsy, was there and she recognized that I was overstimulated.

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(Note: someone please make this frozen meal a reality. I don’t know about you, but I would buy Mr. Miyagi’s Kung Pow In Your Face Super Asian Noodles with SAUCE.)

And with that, all was ok. My brain accepted this box of asian cuisine and I was thankful that my decision making nightmare was over. I realized I had pushed myself too much all day, and my frozen meal meltdown – a seemingly random event –  was actually the product of too much overstimulation. I WAS SO OVERSTIMULATED THAT I COULDN’T RECOGNIZE THAT I WAS OVERSTIMULATED. Oh the irony!

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xo kelly