Monday, March 11, 2019
My name’s Breanna Brown, and I’m 27 years old. I was diagnosed with autism when I was 17. So, growing up, I had no resources to help me, just my ability to pick up social cues from observing people, or watching TV and movies. When I reached my last year of high school in the fall of 2008, I suddenly noticed these books lying around the house with a term I’d never heard of before: Asperger’s Syndrome. I peeked into basic information about it, and I realized... That’s me! It wasn’t official until my parents sent me for a neurological test. They didn’t even tell me what it was for. I was so busy with homework and a competitive marching band that I never asked, either! Turns out, they didn’t want to worry me if I didn’t wind up having Asperger’s, which I definitely understand. I remember being asked to bring my favorite item. Well, being a total bookworm, I picked the first Harry Potter book. Maybe it sounds cliche, but I always knew something was different with me. I was talking to myself, not knowing when to stop talking, and other times, completely freezing up around people. It was so confusing! Thankfully, I was never bullied physically, but we all know there’s more than one kind of bullying. I don’t remember horrible words as much as I remember being laughed at or just plain ignored by my classmates. I remember crying over small things that I knew weren’t important (I still do, of course). Every day, I would think, “What the heck is wrong with me?” Putting a name to it helped me understand that I wasn’t broken. The answer was pretty simple: I had/have a lifelong, neurological condition. I see life through a strange lens. It can hold me back, but mostly, it allows me to see what matters. I’d rather have one meaningful friendship than several friends who only pretend to like me. As far as romantic relationships go, I don’t mind being single because I don’t want just any man (no thank you, online dating!). I put my heart and soul into the things I love: being a supportive family member and Christian, reading, writing and music. I love writing so much that I’ve spent seven years on and off writing my debut novel. Yes, seven! When it does release into the world, I hope people will be left thinking about the themes inside for a long time afterwards. Maybe they can take life lessons from it. This year, I started a blog called The Aspie Realm. Feel free to follow me on Facebook or Twitter. I post about so many things related to autism and my own experiences. My goal is to be a good influence on my fellow autistic people as well as a resource for our neurotypical loved ones. If autism affects your life in some way, don’t be ashamed of it. God made us special for a reason. Be proud!!!