48, Hertfordshire England .
I was diagnosed this year with autistic spectrum disorder. I didn’t know what Autism was until my eldest son who is now 21 was diagnosed at around 14. My youngest son was diagnosed at 3 he is now 11. They have different fathers so that kind of gave me an idea it came from my side of the family. I recognized a lot of there behaviors in myself. So with my newly diagnosis I feel this has really helped me in so many ways! Some of these ways have been to understand myself more and be a better parent to my boys.
I have never lasted in jobs. Relationships have been very difficult for me and again don’t last. I have always struggled to fit in and as a child I was at school always labeled as “naughty” and put on report and given detentions.
Things I struggle with are the fact that I fall out with friends often and will go weeks without speaking to them as I don’t always want to. I just really don’t like to socialize at all, and it’s nothing personal.
I also say things that seem to upset people and I find it difficult to see why or how I have upset them. I started getting into trouble at work as I would say things as it is and not think before I spoke it would just come out my mouth.
A year ago I decided to go for a driving job driving a minibus taking children with similar conditions to and from school.
I have to travel with a PA and I find her to be annoying as she talks non-stop. This drives me mad to the point I have had the passanger seat removed from the front of the vehicle so I don’t have to listen to her.
This is probably my biggest achievement so far as I have held this job down now for a year and love driving and I get a long great with the kids.
Even though we are all on the spectrum we are all different from each other. I have learnt strategies to use in work to help me cope. I find visuals help me a great deal. I think without my diagnosis I would of lost my job definitely and still would not totally understand myself as I used to get so cross with myself for the way I was and question why I was the way I am.
I wish people who are NOT autistic understood what struggles we go through daily and didn’t just judge. Struggles as I mentioned earlier of socialization, monitoring what I say, & visualizations as a way of learning.
Something else that irritates me is when I tell people I have autism some say “we are all on the spectrum somewhere” if they lived a day in life on the spectrum they would not say that.
I would like to say to others who are autistic to NOT give up! just keep going and learn about yourself as well as find strategies that help you! Those little strategies can make daily life that bit easier.
I am proud of myself for holding down this job and something I thought I couldn’t do but I was not going to let my Autism stop me.
Be proud of who you are we are unique and should be proud.
If people don’t except me for who I am then they can stay away