Update from 04/06/2022: The podcast is returning! Listen out for an official announcement on 14th June.
This message was kindly provided by my friend, John Rayment. You can find him on Twitter here.
Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.
I am not Ariel Goodbody. I’m Ariel’s friend, John. I’m recording this message for Ariel, because he’s unable to speak at the moment.
So here’s what Ariel has to say:
‘Hello, everyone. Some of you may know that I’m autistic. I talked about it earlier this year, when I did the pre-intermediate version of The Little Frog with the Big Mouth.
‘Basically, it means that my brain works a bit differently to most people’s. I am more sensitive to bright lights, loud sounds and strong smells. I don’t talk or act like most people do, so I often mask. Masking is when an autistic person “puts on a mask”, basically pretends to be like everyone else.
‘Because of these things, being autistic can be very tiring. It’s very hard for us to just exist in the world, because the world is full of bright lights, loud sounds and strong smells, and people want us to pretend we’re different to who we actually are.
‘So often, when things are too difficult for us, we shut down. This is when your body says, “No more!” Sometimes, it just means being alone in a room for a long time and resting.
‘But this year, I’ve been having more serious shutdowns. I’ve started going non-verbal—losing the ability to speak. As I’m writing this message, I’ve been non-verbal for 12 days. As well as this, I’ve also had movement difficulties, and I can’t easily do lots of things that I was able to do before, like travelling or shopping.
‘I’m telling you all this because, obviously, if I can’t talk, I can’t record Easy Stories in English. I really hate not being able to do the podcast, but right now, my body needs to rest. I don’t know how long it will be for, and to be honest, I don’t know how reliable my voice will be in the future. I’ve done some research into what’s happening to me, and I seem to have a health problem called autistic catatonia. There isn’t much research on it, and it’s difficult to treat, but I’m trying my best.
‘I want to thank you all for your support. I already talked about this on Patreon and in my email newsletter, and so many of you sent kind messages. I’m sorry I couldn’t respond to them all. I have found it very hard to keep up with emails.
‘So, for now, I will have to take a break from the podcast. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start again in the new year. I hope you all have wonderful holidays, if you do celebrate holidays around this time of year.
‘Thank you for listening, and hopefully I’ll see you soon.’