Saturday, April 20, 2019

Hello, my name is Phoenix; I'm 27 years old and I'm from the Seattle area. I am currently in between jobs though I would love to make a living off of my art. Some of my passions, or as they sometimes get called, special interests are psychology, Pokémon, linguistics, RPGs, and game design. I didn't talk right away and got sent to a special ed preschool for a couple of years but since I ended up talking they decided I was fine. I didn't get diagnosed until about one or two years ago. Getting my diagnosis sooner would have helped me succeed in college where I dropped out because of difficulties I didn't know the cause of. My parents pulled me out of elementary school and begun homeschooling me because I didn't fit in and between my undiagnosed Autism and ADHD it led to a lot of educational neglect that I've only been able to get past some of due to a sheer desire for knowledge and stubbornness. Most of my trouble in social situations was blamed on the neglect, emotional abuse, and isolation I endured during my childhood. I now embrace being autistic and allow myself to stim and step out of situations that are over stimulating which helps me avoid burning out and having shutdowns. It's allowing me to learn what I need and what helps. Another thing I plan on doing is learning sign language for times when I just can't get words out. Some days it's easier to function in the way that allistics expect than others. If I had to point to one thing that's helped me the most it would be LARP. Getting to slip into different characters and interact with them has boosted my confidence and allowed me to strengthen my social skills. I'm still "odd" as an autistic but I understand social a bit better now and I've met some amazing and supportive players in the mean time. Including my partner who loves me and wouldn't have me any other way. To all of the other autistics who are out there who feel like a freak and an outsider because of how society teaches us: There are people out there who will love and cherish you, autism and all. To families of autistics: Don't let people dehumanize us. Stand with us as we tell the world what we need. Don't try to fit us in the same mold as everyone else. Let us stim. Let us be us. We don't need a cure, we need people to work with us. People are a beautifully diverse species, let's embrace that.

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