GREETINGS EARTHLINGS – ACCOUNT OF AN ALIEN IN SOUTHPORT

I am having an amazing time hanging out in Southport in the Imagining Autism Space environment. Earth is great, although
it’s really hard to see the sea from the beach here even with my long alien legs.
I heard someone say the sea has gotten further away over the years
which might be something to do with the environment and global warming?
It’s
very warm on my planet in Outer Space. I hear the earthlings describe
it as magical when they visit. They like the stars and planets on the
shadow screen, playing with the multi coloured moon rocks, climbing
over the boulders,
meeting the little alien in the cave and seeing the space storms we
sometimes experience here on the planet they visit. I never know when
they are coming as they always arrive in a crash landing. They are on
their way to the moon but something happens to the
rocket and they land somewhere else. I call it planet Nowhere because
it is always in the now and here in my time, a continuous present, if
that makes sense. I am programmed to be in the moment with whoever
arrives….

I have met so many creative, friendly Earthling kids this week
in our base at the Atkinson centre. My mission was to
befriend
the Earthling children and not to frighten them! I don’t speak the
Earthling language, but we manage to communicate anyway. I use my body
and gesture and my own language which they seem to connect with so we
get along ok.
Sometimes they like to touch me, especially my hands and face. That
took a bit of getting used to but it’s ok now. I need to
collect as many space rocks as I can, as I am constantly hungry.
All the kids have been helpful to me and fed me rocks even though I only
like some of them,
dependent on their colours and as the orange ones are yucky.
I spit those out and the Earthlings seem to find that funny.
Too many oranges and I get a tummy ache!  I am meeting very different
Earthlings. Sometimes they are very small, sometimes they don’t talk at
all, but they still play. Sometimes they are as tall as I am and they
come in with cameras and talk about making a
film and can tell me what to do or sometimes pretend to be me!

I am not sure how long these day trippers
will be coming with Captain Faultless who is the person that brings
them. He has lots of money and his own space ship for taking tourists to
the moon. I don’t think it is a good idea as he
disturbs our peaceful planet and it can be very disruptive and tiring.
We also sometimes have other people visiting the planet later at night
which can be pretty tiring. I feel as if I am being looked at and it
makes me self-conscious. Also the grown up Earthlings
don’t play as well as the child earthlings. And they can leave coffee
cups on our nice clean planet…

On
Wednesday and Thursday there were two groups of visitors, but on Friday
there were four! The first group was all
girls, which was great as most of the times, girls are outnumbered, in
the groups that come to visit me on the planet whoo whoo (I named it
myself and as I don’t speak earthling this is as close a translation as
you can get).
Sometimes the children give the planet a
name…Plant Bill (the name of our Robot), Planet “Dank” and Little white
planet are some of the names I’ve heard.
We had three 13-14 year olds on
Friday and I was told that they would talk a bit and knew a little bit
about their interests and sensory needs which are pretty similar to
mine. It helps me to know when they are coming so that
I can prepare myself and to know a bit about them. One of the
earthlings wore ear protectors as she was sensitive to noise. I was told
they had many interests such as build a bear (apparently, this is a
kind of manufacturing factory that creates bears
dressed as human earthlings?) going to coffee shops, painting and
Shakespeare (an Earthling writer).
Earthling G was really bubbly and friendly and wanted to try me
on for size, so my handler Annette Foster (very nice earthling) helped
her try on the alien puppet, (me- I know this is getting confusing,
right?
Annette Foster is my Earthling identity! I sometimes feel as if I am two people, but that’s why I like drama)
Annette helped her figure out
how to make an alien voice and how to move the alien
head and body. Earthling G was a natural puppeteer and was so
good at being the Alien that I forgot it wasn’t me. Earthling M went
with Robot Bill and helped her control the space ship, including the
lighting and sound effects. Earthling J was the cinematographer
and got some great film of me being very alien.

The next group was all boys who were a little bit younger,  aged twelve and
they didn’t speak as much, which was fine with me. These earthling boys were very friendly
and loved things such as trains,
bubble wrap (a fantastic sheet of plastic with air in it, that you can
pop with your fingers) and fixing things. Earthling C didn’t like things
broken but he loved Bill the Robot and liked
to take out her circuits so that she malfunctioned. He especially liked
to pull out the circuit that made her head shake back and forth really
fast. Earthling C also had a go at sound and lighting and especially
liked fading the lights in and out. Earthling
L was very boisterous and loved to move about in space, he especially
liked to jump on the trampoline and climb in the space cave. Earthling M
loved me and all alien kind on the planet, he was especially good at
feeding me green rocks and held my hand. Annette
my handler had a lovely moment with Earthling M where they held hands
and had sustained eye contact.

Sometimes
I see myself in what is called a live feed, which makes it look as if I
am in a space bubble
with the Earthlings or their teachers. There is often a point when the
moon rocks collapse on Captain Faultless during one of our space storms.
He doesn’t move, everything is still and the Earthlings take over,
deciding what will happen next. One day they
even took my back to earth with them! The storm can be quite exciting
as the colours change and there is some haze, but it doesn’t always
happen like that. It depends on the passengers in space..towards the
end, Bill the Robot tells everyone they are running
out of fuel and need to go back to planet Earth. I often feel a bit sad
to say goodbye but it is also nice to have some time to myself again
and get the planet tidied up and ready for the next visitors.
I hope to have many more adventures with these young earthlings in my space pod in the next few days.