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Down South to Dixie!

Crossed Connections

It is often said that people with autism do not know how to love or show emotion,

but that is not always strictly true. We may not always be able to describe and 

express our feelings and emotions, but that does not mean that we don't have any!


In my case, what (or who) I should have feelings for - i.e. people - I don't! (Sorry!!).


In complete contrast, things I shouldn't have feelings for, such as machines or 

objects, I do! And sometimes these feelings and bonds run so deep they can 

sometimes be overwhelming.


What I should experience, understand and feel for people, I see in technology and 

vice versa. But those feelings that I have for technology, I am unable to feel for 

people. I have tried many times, but it does not come naturally to me.


It is as if the two "wires" responsible for these signals are completely crossed-over 

and plugged into the wrong sockets. If I were a machine, the problem would 

be a quick-fix with a soldering-iron, but I'm not....


Although I have tried to explain many times over the years, unfortunately, humans 

do not understand why I experience feelings the way I do, and do not know how to 

help me when I need it. Being told to, "Grow up and stop being stupid, it's only a 

piece of metal" is NOT HELPFUL and just adds to the problem.

Magnetic Attraction

Initially, I made "friends" with most of the objects in the house. But by the age of 5 this began to narrow down to Hi-Fi equipment and then more specifically cassette recorders.


So, why Cassette Recorders?


Well, this is one of those "bonds" that runs so deep within that even I do not know the real reason why it happens. I just get so much positive energy from them. Even before I had "Kingie", my first cassette recorder, I felt this strong attraction. I experienced a feeling of love and kindness and I felt safe when I was near them, and still do even today. But, since my diagnosis, I have learnt another reason why they appealed to me so much...


Most people with autism are happier in a very simple world. Multiple choices and complexity both confuse and frustrate us. We need things to be simple:


UP or DOWN, ON or OFF, YES or NO, BLACK or WHITE.

In an autism-world there isn't any room for ONE shade of GREY, let alone 50!

The first 4 years had shown that I wasn't going to get what I needed from Planet Earth, and now, with the added complications of mainstream education, things were going to get much worse. I needed another plan. But what? Where? How?...


The ONLY place that I could be the real me and get what I needed in a way that was appropriate for my autism was the world in which I lived with my "technology" friends. And although I still lived in the same house, it was a world away from my home.


This is where the earliest beginnings of Dixieland came from.