Tuesday, October 15, 2019
I'm 21 from Idaho and I love being in Idaho it's a pretty great community. People often times are surprised when they find out that I have had points in my life were I've been nonverbal. My biggest accomplishment I feel so far is my Instagram page were I advocate for both autism and Dyspraxia. I want to try to help other autistics young or grown to feel accepted and less alone. I wish Neurotypicals knew what it's like to be constantly trying to be like them out of fear of being rejected and I wish they knew how much it hurts when organizations try to cure us or force us to be "less Autistic". Growing up my mother didn't get many recourses for me and I didn't get a diagnosis till I was 20. Recourses I use today are things like talk therapies for my mental health. My biggest thing I want to share with other autistics is that they are not alone and that it's ok to be different and to be them selves. I was a little surprised when I received my diagnosis but it was also freeing for me and I was no longer ashamed of the "quirks" I had. Not being diagnosed when I was young made a lot of things hard for me especially school. Highschool was one of the hardest things my Dyspraxia made it so I couldn't really write and I was nonverbal through out most of it. Teachers and other students bullied me and it was hard. My mother helped me in many ways to overcome a lot of that and I realize that I'm lucky I had a loving mother there to help me. I believe being autistic is part of what makes me , me and my mother has always been supportive of that for me and my other autistic siblings.
50 Yrs old...Alberta Canada What I do for a living: Sell my artwork from home ...also on disability....Love being my own boss.. People would be surprised to know that I am the only one in my family of 5 who is NOT a malignant narcissist.
My biggest accomplishment thus far is being happily married for 21 years. I live by the motto ...Be the change you want to see in the world...So I am a positive...respectful...accepting person. I wish fellow autistics to know that: Don't mask...just be your glorious autistic self...live autistically
I wish those who were not autistic knew To learn how to recognize and respect our processes....don't mess with my process and we are good. Things that have helped is me is watching videos of Temple Grandin...Speech therapy...seeing a therapist. Signs that indicated that I am autistic: I rock and finger pinch...avoid eye contact....usually when stressed...my first therapist has an autistic son and recognized my stims...my speech patterns...she said she suspected I was autistic...got a new therapist...she just finished working with autistic adults in her last job...recommended to my doc to be set up for further testing...2 years ago...just got my official diagnosis yesterday. Clarity to the extreme once I first received a diagnosis..I have always felt like I was missing something all my life...is why I relate to the puzzle piece...is like all my life doing a puzzle and always missing one piece....my dx was that missing piece. I have Chron's and an illiostomy...short gut syndrome...a severe muscle disorder...OCD..ADHD...CPTSD..Severe social anxiety....have had 21 surgeries...was raised by 2 malignant narcissists...both my siblings are malignant narcissists...these are the obstacles...pure determination to rise above....I removed all the toxic people from my life completely...I stopped masking...I have a plethora of coping tools...ranging from deep breathing exercises....meditations...visualizations...herbs...I push through my anxieties by being mindful and assessing my surroundings....distractions....creativity....
I am 19 and from Queensland, Australia.
I’m actually currently unemployed and have never worked before. I would need somebody by my side to help me as I get confused and meltdown easily. I hope to one day work with cats though! I would love to open my own cattery or work in an existing one. A lot of people find it quite surprising to know that I’m very educated on geography and some fragments of history. This isn’t an overly big deal within the autistic community as we all have our own special interests, but to the non-autistic people who don’t personally know me, they become rather impressed with my extensive knowledge. My biggest accomplishment so far was getting my driver’s license! I need somebody in the car with me when driving but this was a really big step for me personally. It’s still scary and sometimes I can’t believe that I am actually a licensed driver. It feels refreshing and amazing. I would love for the world to be more mindful of autistic and neurodiverse people and to be more accommodating. I have just started to run a blog in the hopes of teaching non-autistic people what it is like to be me and what autistic people want them to know. I have had to make big changes for myself personally so that I am able to function in this allistic-built kingdom; sunglasses to help shield my eyes from the harsh every-day lights and noise-cancelling headphones to provide myself with relief from background and loud noises. I wish body language and eye contact were not as important during job interviews and that children were not expected to be born Neurotypical. I wish Neurotypicals understood that autism is not a scale, rather it is a big, colourful spectrum that depends on the individual. Just because I was deemed “more functioning” and “clever” does not mean I don’t require help a lot of the time. I can’t be myself in public, have frequent meltdowns, engage in self-harming behaviours but am verbal, can hold eye contact for short periods of a time and present Neurotypical for the most part. I wish non-autistics knew that functioning labels are harmful and that we do not need or want a cure.
I want other autistics to know and understand that their lives are worth every achievement, meltdown and struggle. Some days are going to be super tough but try to remember that there will be other days where you feel empowered and inspired. Be proud of your neurotype — we are unique individuals with different wants and needs.
My Mum has told me that she suspected I was on the spectrum since a very young age. My delayed speech, poor balance and overall motor skills were big signs. Behaviour wise I was a very shy and awkward kid and teenager. My social cutoff was thirteen. I would fixate on certain subjects but also struggle significantly in school. I was actually diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder at around the age of thirteen and had trouble understanding what people were saying to me. I would only understand clearly if they talked slow and there was no background noise. My meltdowns were frequent and my parents couldn’t understand why I was acting like I was all of the time.
Because I was diagnosed in adulthood, I did not receive a lot of professional help such as speech therapy. I experienced delayed speech as a child but my parents did not want to push for a diagnosis. I was however granted the opportunity to participate in therapy for my mental state and that has helped a lot. As an adult but with my parents’ help I now plan on seeing a hearing specialist for Auditory Processing Disorder, receiving physiotherapy in the hopes to correct my poor posture and then OT. I struggle daily with poor muscle tone which I have discovered a lot of autistics have. Funny story about me: When I was around the age of twelve, my family and I went to the local park for a day out and I decided to bring along my skates and a clipboard with paper. I was pretty social at the age and took it upon myself to skate around the park with my clipboard to ask all of these strangers whether or not they litter. I don’t know why I was so fixated on that certain issue at the age but my family brings it up today and we still laugh at me being a dork. At first I absolutely wanted to deny my diagnosis. Before I was educated and enlightened on autism I always thought of it as this terrible thing that needed to be eradicated. I feel more than bad about that now because now I know that autism is not bad and that it’s a different neurotype that can not possibly be cured. I thought a lot of terrible things before my diagnosis and I regret every misconception I had. When I understood what autism was and I connected with other auties I was then relieved with my diagnosis. I now know why I am the way I am and I couldn’t be happier. I love who I am and wouldn’t change my neurotype for anything. Today I feel happy. I feel relieved that I am not alone and that I can finally experience freedom from masking. It is taking me a while.
I'm 26 from st Louis, Missouri
I'm working on being a video editor/ youtuber and working on a book of poem
I think people would be surprised i write poems.
My biggest accomplishment is that I turned out to be a good person.
I wish people would like themselves more.
I wish the neurotypical people would understand that just because some is diagnosed with autism, aspergers, or pdd that its not a death sentence and we are our own person with great personalities.
To the rest of the people on the spectrum id say its ok to be weird. most people respect the fact you are being yourself and will give you the time of the day.
I went to a special ed middle school (the Miriam school). They gave speech therapy, fine motor skills help and a lot i can never repay them for. Miriam helped my social skills tremendously.
Funny story about me: One of the first friends in 2nd grade I made was by him throwing a ball at my head and basically saying play with me.
I was diagnosed with OCD at 5, ADHD at 6 and Aspergers at 7 so i didn't think much of it until i got older. when i got older i started resenting it and myself. I wouldn't tell anyone i have it and I distanced myself from people with the same or similar disabilities as me.
My views changed toward my disorder. It just happened gradually. Probably started when I started talking to my middle school friends again.
I went through the typical things. being bullied, not knowing how to stand up for myself and lots of switching schools. Also had a hard time making friends. I'm decent at making friends now. people just tend to like me. The only reason I've made it through has been my family, i have a great support system.
I do believe my diagnosis is a strength. it gives me a perspective most people dont have.
A poem I've written:
If only this could be a fable but Im mentally unstable, its like when an earthquake hits but you're on top of the table. I have aspergers, so whenever i do something social im awkward and it happens like Clockwork. Im living with adhd and a coat with a phd is prescribing me concerta or adderall. I just want to be better yall. I wish i could stay on one topic but my mind is like a ball pit that a bomb went off in. And next comes ocd. It makes my brain go woe is me. I wish i didnt perseverate on things that devestate my mental state. I wish i didnt have to be depressed, i just want to be content. Everything i want to do gets suppressed but i guess thats just a side effect. I never planned on trying to waste my self but I've been in the psych ward so many times that i pace around with my laces out, and ive never been chased around but I've seen someone try to hang themselves. Im mentally unstable and someday i hope to be under the table.
I'm 34 and currently live in Northern CA
I'm a mom. I both love and tire of it (though never hate it)
I make chainmail jewelry for fun
My biggest accomplishment thus far is recovering from a mental breakdown by the age of 17 and no longer being institutionalized, as predicted.
How I want to change myself is, I want to be less angry, show more love, so that I can model that for my children
I want those who are not autistic to know: It's not a horrible thing, but it is something that requires a different way of handling things but that doesn't make the autistic person bad or deficient
I want those who are also autistic to know: Keep trying. Keep breathing. The more we know about ourselves and can share it, the easier it gets.
Resources that have helped me: I had speech therapy as a kid, I don't know how my speech would be now without it.
Signs that indicated I am on the spectrum are: Meltdowns, inability to handle variety of situations, need for quiet, alone time, retreat spaces, stim behaviors
I didn't get formally dx'ed, but when I came to the personal realization it felt like a weight was lifted. It hasn't been long. I still feel lighter. Wish I'd known as a child.
Life would have been easier if I was diagnosed in childhood. I think if I'd known there wasn't something wrong, that it wasn't my fault, I would have had an easier time living and wouldn't have spent the first 16 years of my life constantly trying to end it.
Obstacles I have overcame: Institutionalization as a teen, repeated suicide attempts, fibromyalgia, chronic pain. How is a whole other matter that I don't even know how to start on.
What indicated to me that I am on the spectrum is from a book I read, I don't remember the title it was ten years ago. The author was/is autistic and her descriptions of her life were just so... Close to what I remember. My mom discounted it, and I forgot about it for ten years, until we started exploring my son's neurology. I think I never got a diagnosis was because
I was fairly "high functioning" I guess. I wanted desperately to fit in, so a lot of my 'weird' behaviors weren't noticed. I think maybe my mom just thought all kids were like me?
25, Southern Tier New York. Employment is debt collection, it’s a means to get by and I’m making the best of it. I talk on the phone, which I am better at than talking in person. My dream job is being a Doctor if Osteopathic Medicine. The knowledge I have gained on healing the body is the biggest achievement I have accomplished thus far. I want to bring about acute awareness and thoroughness when it comes to healing people. I wish more people who are not autistic understood sensory problems and stimming. I haven’t sought a diagnosis. Unfortunately I went unseen. I knew I was different and unique but I did a very good job blending in even though it was torturous to my mental wellbeing. A few teachers suspected ADHD, but it never got seriously addressed, my “issues” got put on the back-burner because my brother’s were more “in their face”. My ability (and the expectation) to blend in was also another reason I was unseen.
What originally made me think that I might be autistic? First, I am fascinated with psychology and healing the body (including the mind), so I have done thorough research on many, many conditions: autism being one. A lot of things started piecing together when I was reading about little girls and women with autism. I have faced many and mostly by myself with no guidance. Most recently I went to an interview, and the score I received on the written portion of the hiring process was very high, but I didn’t get hired because when they asked me questions face to face I couldn’t think or respond barely and I was staring out the window. (Lesson learned, if I interview now I prepare what I am going to say beforehand and completely memorize the dialogue.) I cannot reasonably function when put on the spot, it’s like my brain shuts off. So another obstacle I have thought of, one that is a huge factor in my life, is being overwhelmed with my children constantly touching/talking etc when I am trying to complete a task (dishes, phone call, etc) I have to grit my teeth to prevent myself from lashing out (and sometimes I don’t do a great job of holding back my irritation) they don’t mean to overwhelm me, and I don’t mean to lash out and I always feel guilty if I do (I’m working on EXPLAINING rather than EXPRESSING) When I am playing with them or intending on talking with or being touched it is totally fine, but it seems in every other instance I am overwhelmed with my inability to focus in peace on a task and constantly being interrupted really triggers me. Another thing is with my significant other (who has PTSD from his childhood) triggers me to becomes emotionally overwhelmed sometimes to the point I just want to smash my head (and actually do sometimes) because the feelings I get are just too much and too frustrating... he generally doesn’t do this on purpose, and it’s generally when he had a ptsd episode himself. It can be difficult at times in our relationship especially because he doesn’t recognize my own personal struggles or that is how it feels at least. So I feel misunderstood which sucks in general... this is to extend on the “what I wish people understood” — stimming is something I do when I’m really happy or really overwhelmed with an emotion that I literally can’t stand it so I kinda shake my hands and scrunch my face together and rub my hands together... which I’m afraid makes me look “weird” ... so I try not to do it but it truly is something I prefer to be able to do and I wish there were more resources so I could maybe get an actual diagnosis, but I have stigma against doctors and professionals because my personal experience with them has been less than good. Every time I have gone to a doctor or mental health professional or psychiatrist, etc... I go in with an open mind but I always end up knowing more about things and seeing connections that they don’t see, so I feel discouraged about seeking any type of help like that. I do wish I could find somebody compatible with me intellectually and emotionally that would suit and be helpful but I think it’s next to impossible...
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
’m 40 years old by human quantification. I am proudly from Atlanna or ATL or Atlanta, Georgia. I am a Mom, an artist, and an empath. Music has always been my obsession; houseplants are my newest one and when I was young, it was dinosaurs, art & reading. I realized that I am Autie recently when I was searching on Agony Autie’s YouTube channel for videos on how to better support my son, who is 4.5 years old and Autistic. He was diagnosed when he was almost 2 or shortly thereafter. I watched her Live Chat video- ‘My Autistic Diagnosis’-on how she was diagnosed as an adult. Watching the first hour of it I cried the whole time because I had never in my life heard someone echo my experiences from my earliest memories into being a young adult. It made my life make total sense and I was scared and relieved at the same time. I knew that Autism was genetic at this point already, so, it wasn’t so hard to question if I was but when I heard her say “You don’t identify with something you’re not...you don’t identify with...something you’re not aligned with” it was validating and really drove it home for me. It made me feel less crazy. I had a lot of questions and have a great Autie friend who helped me realize and is patient with me. I still have imposter syndrome on the regs. I think I wasn’t diagnosed as a child b/c honestly my Mom was dealing with my Dads alcoholism and behavior and trying to raise me and support us. I also think I fell thru the cracks b/c I was/am a girl/woman & have learned how to “be” around different groups of friends & people. I knew I slipped thru the cracks now looking back. Also b/c I grew up in the 80s. Even though I’ve always been my own person & rebelled against society I would have to prepare mentally to get thru and over some anxiety before socializing. I always felt like an outsider looking in. I knew I was different from the beginning. The barriers I face with my diagnosis are the cost of testing & the skill of the person giving the test...I highly doubt my insurance pays for it. I just got a hold of some specialized doctors who test adults last week...I think also my history of all my other mental diagnoses will probably be either a distraction or an “asset” in diagnosis. I have had depression since I can remember, suicidal ideation, and only just realized at 38 that I’ve had anxiety as well. I have Trich & Derm, PTSD, and my psychiatrist has me worked up as OCD. Plus, I’m female. I am currently unemployed. I’ve been in healthcare as a surgical tech in the Operating Room of some major hospitals here in the South. You name the surgery, I’ve seen it and helped. From birthing babies to organ donation. I was in healthcare for the last 23 years aside from the 2.5 years I spent as a stay-at-home Mom to my twins & my oldest son. Its been a blessing being jobless, in a way, b/c I have had time to heal from my divorce/life and really think about what I want to do that will make me happy that will also pay the bills. Something that I think people will be surprised to know about me is that I’m self-diagnosed Autie. I have only told my psych/therapist and a few (3) people & my Mom that I think I am. I feel I’m pretty much you get what you get from me once I let you in. I don’t have any special tricks. I hate water. I cant dive, ski or rollerblade. Nope. My biggest fear is the ocean and huge waves of water. The only thing is that I can “feel & see” at the same time people’s feelings & thoughts even before they say it. Its usually a transparent orb of grey in their abdomen section. How do I want to change the world? If I change myself I can help change the world. Its an inside job. If it is to be, it must begin with me. The only “saying” I can get right. I’m terrible with those and always screw them up. They make no sense. If I am part of this world, I can change it by changing myself and doing my part. I get very frustrated when people don’t do right-lately it’s how fast people drive and there’s no regard for life on the road from drivers. So I would make everyone slow down and notice that there’s a billion people around them. Life is beautiful. It must be noticed. The obstacles I have faced in life: seem like many. I feel like I’m an alumni and student at the same time at the School of Hard Knocks. My whole life has been an obstacle. Peers always told me I was weird and now I just feel even more so...like an alien on Earth. It feels like I am terminally unique. I come from an alcoholic/codependent/divorced family.When I got married it went downhill quick. I realized toward the middle that he was an alcoholic. I ended up leaving one night out of the blue b/c I was suicidal and just at rock bottom. He never asked me if I needed help. Its ok now with me b/c he was in no shape to help me anyways now that I look back. I dont even know that person I was then anymore. I have worked hard to get where I am at. I have actually been happy (???) the past couple months..
I don’t trust that feeling. I joined Al Anon, a support group for families/friends of alcoholics. It has changed my life and how I interact with people. I go to therapy regularly. I take my meds. I love my kids. That’s what I do know. Life will be ok. I guess I’ll add one more thing to digest. Being Autistic. Its ok with me. It has answered a lot of questions for me