Sunday, March 10, 2019

Age: 25

Q: What in your opinion is your biggest accomplishment thus far? -

A: It's hard to judge, I feel like I've had a lot of accomplishments that are difficult to measure against each other. Some academic, such as embarking on my psychology degree, others more personal such as managing to recover from harmful situations (particularly high school, and some rather unhealthy relationships). I feel like fighting for my daughter to get help that was never available to me as a child is also an accomplishment, although this is ongoing. If I'm honest, some days I feel like just making it through til bedtime is an accomplishment!

Q: What’s something you wish neurotypicals knew about autism? -
A: where do I even begin? I think the main thing would be that I wish people knew it's not "bad" or "undesirable" to be autistic, but at the same time I'd like our different needs to be heard and understood. I wish people knew that autistic people are the experts on the autistic experience. That not everyone is "a little bit autistic" and that autism presents on more ways than that one autistic character they saw on TV one time.

Q: What resources do you think most benefitted you ? Aba, speech therapy, having a note taker, or a para professional are some examples, if any ?

A: Honestly, I think my own adjustments that I've made by having an understanding of what I need as an individual have been the most beneficial. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 22 so received no support at school. After my diagnosis I was finally able to understand myself better, that I wasn't broken, just different. Realising that I don't actually have to do things the way society expects them to be done was a pivotal moment for me. We are an unconventional family, but we do things that benefit us. Most people probably don't have their own sensory garden, but we do, because we are ausome and unconventional.

Q: What’s something you want to tell to the rest of the people on the spectrum? Any advice or kind words? -

A: Basically just what I said above - find a way to do things that fits for you and your family rather than trying to cram yourself into a box that wasn't designed to fit you in 🙂 find things that work for you. Indulge in your special interest as often as you can and don't be afraid to stim in public! 🙂

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