Cody Clark, Magician/autistic self-advocate brought a great show and an even greater message to Indy Style today. During the pandemic, Clark has been keeping busy by performing virtual magic shows. Today he gave us a preview, performing a few tricks. He also shared some tips for other autistic people and their families coping during the Covid-19 crisis. Here’s his message:
1. It’s okay to grieve the loss of structure and routines.
Autistic people are known for their reliance on structure. Ironically, the best structures that work for us are structures we’ve created for ourselves (hence my desire to be a self-employed magician). We’ve worked hard over these past few years developing our own structures we’ve followed rigidly, only to have them be rendered useless overnight. It’s only natural for us to be upset about that.
2. Don’t Throw Out Your Schedule. Instead, Make Substitutions
Given the loss of structure I’ve referred to above, it’s tempting to throw out our old schedules and live in a state of “schedule anarchy”, not knowing what to do when. But in most cases, I’ve found that you can maintain quite a bit of your schedule as long as you substitute activities you can’t do because of this pandemic for activities you can still do which help you reach your goals. For me, since a lot of my clients are closed for business and I can’t contact them to book gigs, I’ve been focusing on developing routines for virtual magic shows and setting up my new home studio.
3. Just Do Something
Autistic people can also be perfectionists. We were often the straight-A students in school, juggling way too many things on our plate and accomplishing more than most because of our tendency to become absorbed in our passions. But not only has this pandemic restricted our ability to complete certain tasks, but the “fog” from the shock of this pandemic has reduced most people’s work ethic to some extent. So I say that, instead of fixating on how much you used to be able to accomplish, that it’s better to accomplish one goal and be excited about it!
The most important thing above all is JUST DON’T SHUT DOWN! Keep on living the best life you can!
Learn more about Cody’s magic and advocacy at codyclarkmagic.com.