May 23, 2020

Embrace ASD Podcast #01 – Rees Finlay

We talk with Rees Finlay, author, public speaker, and illustrator based in the UK, who has done official artworks for Star Wars, Stranger Things, and AMC’s The Walking Dead, among other things.

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Topics of discussion:

00:56 Rees’ diagnosis and the difficulty of receiving post-diagnosis support
04:32 Rees’ moral quandary at work
05:18 Interests in comics and first professional comics gigs
08:21 Why Rees wrote his novel
12:55 Neurodiversity and conceptions of autism
15:50 The banality of evil of everyday life
17:00 Avoiding dogma and political tribalism in the neurodiversity movement
21:00 Dating while autistic
24:00 Autism research, empathy, alexithymia, and common perceptions of autism
28:20 Neurodiversity wars: Tribalism within the autism community, and tolerating neurotypicals
34:50 Rees’ coming out
35:20 Autistic experiences and self-actualization
41:40 Autistic super powers and kryptonites
44:20 Coronavirus and postponed live show
49:21 Autism dark web
50:35 Belittling of autistic people
52:33 Hedwig the Owl in real life
55:50 Punching up: When jokes about NTs go too far
56:44 NHS autism services: Inadequate but necessary
01:02:26 FDA finally bans the use of electric shock devices administered to autistics
01:04:10 Autistic accountability and media presentations of autism
01:08:10 The vicious cycle of oppression and trauma
01:11:00 Jerks as friends: Rees’ experience with social manipulation
01:15:38 Integrating a future of great possibility after serious suicidal ideation
01:16:21 Rees’ revelations as an artist and autism advocate
01:17:25 The delicate balance between pleasing people and making real change
01:18:00 Twitter wars and the burden of celebrity
01:20:55 Punished for altruism: Hiding selfless acts
01:23:30 Learning from mistakes: What Rees has learned from failure
01:24:33 Rees’ social media

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