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Purim and the autistic spectrum - Jews with Disabilities

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March 1st, 2010

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07:03 pm - Purim and the autistic spectrum
As you all know, it was Purim yesterday. While I did do something for Purim - I sang at a Purim concert at an old people's home with the synagogue choir - I didn't actually go to the Megillah reading, because I cannot hack it. I have Aspergers Syndrome, and when I went last year, I had to leave within 10 minutes because I just could not cope with the noise. I know it's expected, but I still find it really difficult because it sent me into sensory overload. I feel really guilty cos I know it's a mitzvah to hear the Megillah being read, but sitting through a lot of people shouting and setting off airhorns and stuff is absolute hell for me, plus there are a lot of kids there and I don't want to freak them out by having a meltdown.
Those of you who are autistic or have Aspergers Syndrome, how do you cope with Purim?

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 1st, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
I have AS and I was worried about that this year, as I was planning on going to a party where it would be read. I got earplugs to wear during the noise, but I ended up being too tired to go and just stayed home and ate hamantaschen.
[User Picture]
Date:March 2nd, 2010 10:04 am (UTC)
Good heavens, you don't need to feel that you ought to torture yourself. Going into sensory overload is not a mitzvah, and Judaism is very strong on prioritising health. I'm not autistic, but I have severe ME/CFIDS which has a few overlapping symptoms, including sensory overload, and there's absolutely no way anyone would ever expect me to put myself through the hell of airhorns, shouting and so on.

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