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An Insider Voice for the Autism Community

…Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet David, saying: “The King of Isræl was pretty impressive today, exposing himself in the sight of his female slaves like a shameless dullard!”| And David replied to Michal: “It was to praise the Enduring One, who chose me above your father and his whole household, to set me as ruler over His people Isræl, that I frolicked before Him;| and I will debase myself all the more, thinking nothing of my repute—and the female slaves you’ve mentioned will honour me for it.”

—cf. JT:2 Samuel 6.20-22

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Why the weird name?

The name Chinisa Innukshopa derives from the Choctaw (USA First Nation, originally from part of what is now Mississippi) language for “he fears the striped one”.

Why have you chosen it?

Back in the early to mid CE1960’s, I was diagnosed in grade school with Childhood Schizophrenia under the then-current original edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  Under newer editions of the manual I might have been diagnosed a bit closer to Asperger’s Syndrome (DSM-IV) or to a level 1 Autism Spectrum Condition (DSM-5).

Because of this condition, I had developed a number of emotional issues and phobias, one of the least sensible involving the (now relatively obscure) Disney characters Chip + Dale—a phobia only compounded by the teasing of family and peers as I was growing up.  For starters, their high pitch-shifted voices grated on my nerves, especially when they had their periodic arguments in an incomprehensible mile-a-minute chatter that probably left me dreading losing my own ability to communicate (such as it was); and all the arguments I heard that the characters were not “real” did nothing to alleviate the pain.  It was only much later, in early March of CE2017, that I was able to face my issues (at least by proxy) by braving up to a local event mascot.  By then, of course, I was old enough to realise that the mascot was, if not strictly “real”, at least both real enough and perhaps sympathetic enough to help me exorcise some of my personal dæmons.  At about the same time, I explained to the mascot’s co-host, who was also a professional music therapist, that I was on the spectrum.  Even though I expected both hosts to put their best feet forward as professionals, I feel that, for my case, they went well above and beyond.  While I can’t make any promises as to how other event mascots would react to my fellow autistics, I feel particularly blessed that the mascot to whom I confessed was professional enough to receive my confession as he did and hope the like for others dealing with my issues..

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