Sparrow Rose Jones

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Sparrow Rose JonesSparrow Rose Jones is an Autistic author, speaker, composer, and artist,  who blogs at Unstrange Mind. Sparrow has two published books: No You Don't: Essays from and Unstrange Mind (2013) and the upcoming ABCs of Autism Acceptance (2016), as well as several published essays in various anthologies, journals, etc.

For me, childhood was a struggle with dysgraphia (handwriting was painful and the results were illegible), bullying and lack of friendship, misunderstandings and punishments from teachers and other authorities for behaviors I didn't yet have the "tools" to control, and general confusion about the world I had found myself in and what it expected of me. Coming of age was a struggle with the inability to get and keep jobs, friendships, relationships, even a roof over my head. But a developmental delay is not the same thing as a developmental halt and one of the gifts of autism is continual growth and development throughout the lifespan.

Now I am middle-aged and I continue regularly to learn new skills for coping with strong emotions, making and keeping friends, expressing my overwhelming love and empathy in ways that others can relate to, increasing my education, and learning better how to complete the basic tasks of daily living. Despite being forced to drop out of university due to lack of funding, I maintain a deep love of learning and continue to self-educate on many topics. You can review my education - formal and informal, guided and autodidactic - at Degreed.com

One hallmark of autism is something called "uneven development" and I most definitely experience that. I can explain the second law of thermodynamics, integrate an equation, calculate the approximate mass of the Milky Way Galaxy . . . but I still struggle to understand what is expected of me in very basic social situations. I struggle to keep myself fed, between anxiety and depression keeping me from the grocery, a lack of connection between my mental awareness and my body's physical signals, (such as hunger), being prone to being easily distracted (to the point of getting up and walking off in the middle of a meal before I have finished eating), and executive function issues that have caused me to destroy more meals than I want to count (and I even made my stove explode last year!)

On this portfolio site, I have links to my writing, my art, and my music -- accomplishments of which I am very proud. But do not be fooled into thinking that the skills I demonstrate in one area mean that I have high skills in all areas. Like many Autistic people, I struggle every day with many things that other people take for granted. I hope that my work, and my life, will help raise greater awareness and acceptance of the autistic life. We are all different from one another, but we still share many traits and experiences in common. I long for a world where we are better understood and accommodated because we Autistics have so much to offer the world.

I am prominently featured in an article about circadian rhythms and circadian rhythm disorders:
Scientific American Mind, September/October 2015:
Out of Sync by Emily Laber-Warren, pp. 31-9.