An Exploration of Self-Protection Responses in the Autism Spectrum and Beyond
Exposure anxiety is increasingly understood as a crippling condition affecting a high proportion of people on the autism spectrum. To many it is an invisible cage, leaving the person suffering from it aware, but buried alive in their own involuntary responses and isolation. Exposure Anxiety: The Invisible Cage describes the condition and its underlying physiological causes, and presents a range of approaches and strategies that can be used to combat it. Based on personal experience, the book shows how people with autism can be shown how to emerge from the stranglehold of exposure anxiety and develop their individuality. It progressively shapes the individual torn between experiencing it as the sanctuary and the prison. Exposure Anxiety makes it hard to stand noticing you are noticing. It can make love a form of torture, repel you from the sound of your own voice, make you meaning deaf to your own words and those of others and compel you to avoid, divert from or retaliate against the very things that which most have the power to reach you. Exposure Anxiety progressively co-opts the identity of the person as separate to the condition or it leaves them aware but buried alive in their own involuntary responses and isolation. Exposure Anxiety is the involuntary social-emotional self-protection response that needs no enemy. It turns the world upside-down, makes no yes and yes no and co-opts and defies conventional, non-autistic teaching techniques. Exposure Anxiety has many faces. By defeating it at its own game, Donna demonstrates how the person can progressively be inspired to fight for themselves and attempt to emerge, from the undercurrent, as the tide.