Autism is a bigger word than its three syllables imply. It means a different world for someone under its umbrella, a world that really isn’t as kind as it should be. People fear the stigmas and difficulties that can come with it more than many a viral disease.
It is not a word to fear. Autism.
As some background: for most of my life, my mom worked with young adults with developmental disabilities. A lot of diagnoses fall under that category and autism is one of them. Often it is comorbid with other mental health conditions.
As I was growing up my mom subtly beat into me: humans are humans. Disability only means they need different things, not that they are less.
In recent years, and because of the advent of social media (namely TikTok) many have started wonder if their quirks are actually autism. I'm not here to tell you if you're right or not, but if you have this feeling - listen to this podcast. The Loudest Girl in The World is giving the world a personal perspective on autism, the diagnosis, and what it means overall. Host Lauren Ober takes us through finding the word and consequently a new world for herself.
From Pushkin Industries, the first two episodes released today make this a sort of Release Day Review. Hooray! Thanks to GreatPods for the heads up for this one. Link to GreatPods Here
Podlink for The Loudest Girl Here
Production-wise, this podcast is great. We have high quality, great storytelling, and an infectious joy for the topic. The production style is a little different than what I normally like. Sure, it follows a narrative but there are sound effects that track under some of the moments that were slightly off-putting. Sound effects versus sound scapes are often too dissonant for me to enjoy them. Here, there’s a warmth and playful attempt at a connection to the dissonance that feels intentional to the topic. You can’t fully explain what it’s like to be autistic, and the audio feels like it’s playing with a concept of connecting to an explanation in different ways. This also could be me thinking the blue curtains mean sadness. Let’s be real, criticism is an imperfect art.
Overall, the tone within these two episodes is warm and curious. We all wonder if there’s a thing that makes us different than others, and sometimes it’s mental illness sometimes it’s a developmental disorder (hint that’s autism) and sometimes it’s something else. For these 30-minute episodes, we are taken on a step of the journey from childhood to a sudden pandemic in adulthood. It’s easy to ingest with just enough of a cliffhanger on each episode to make you beg for the next installment and some sort of positive resolution for the child that was forced into a literal box as punishment. It is heartbreaking and hilarious, it is creative and fun. Lauren Ober brings us into her world and says "this is who I am and you are welcome to be a part of it".
For the record: I want the imaginary doctor to come back as a regular segment. More importantly, I want people to take a deep breath and experience at least one episode of this podcast. Shake up your idea of the word, and of the world.
I must say the perspective of this podcast makes it not for a parent seeking a diagnosis for their child. Rather, this podcast might be for someone who wants to have hope for their child's future, but mostly for those who want a potential roadmap for themselves.
As we talk about these neurodivergences more, more people are going to go down their own journeys and will need paths to look at for their own. Having a podcast that outlines a story, hopefully, will give more stories a door to walk through and say “hey I’m here too”.
The diagnosis of autism is one full of stereotypes and The Loudest Girl in The World gives us a clear approach to an existence that isn’t drowning in the fear of stereotypes. It's an existence that just has different needs. I need glasses, and some people need an extremely structured routine. It is what it is and we need to have grace when faced with it.
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