Sunday, May 12, 2019

I’m Allison but my friends call me Ramona, I’m 30 & I live in Missouri.

I was named Allison from thesong Alison by Elvis Costello, my dad is a huge fan of his . I got the nickname Ramona from the song Ramona by the Ramones. "Hey, you kids in the crowd, You know you like it when the music's loud,Sweet sweet little Ramona. She always wants to come over."  More specifically, that line from the song. I love loud music from mid 60's-90's, and I am a curious being who always ready to explore or go visit people. 
I don’t think my biggest achievement has yet to come, I feel like I will always be beating down walls of misjudgment on autism. As of now though, other than creating this project I have 3 college degrees. I have a Bachelors in Psychology, a Bachelors in Social work & a Master’s in Social work. I was diagnosed at 3 or 4 years old right when autism hit the DSM in the 1990’s. I was very fortunate in that regards. Common signs I showed was lack of eye contact, love of repetition, and struggles in fine motor control such as opening doors. Something most people don’t know about me? My favorite color is lime green because it’s so obnoxiously bright. However, I prefer wearing dark clothing strictly as a sensory preference. I have a photographic memory & can recall random unimportant things easily. Only 3 years ago did I start to embrace my autism & proudly shout out to the world so openly that I’m autistic. I got so tired of pretending to not be autistic & trying to fit In. But ,You know what? Being so open about my autism has made a world of difference with a huge anvil lifted off my shoulders. If people are going to treat me negatively for me being me, they are not worth my time nor yours. Be Unashamed & be you. What I would tell my autism community today- don’t give up. Keep pushing. Don’t let people determine your worth. Don’t let a mishap stop you from what you really want to do. If you don’t know what you want, that’s okay also. Just don’t let people stand in your way. Break the wheel & change the game. Learn to advocate for yourself & be your own voice. One of my biggest struggles is my fine hand motor movement/hand eye coordination. My brain signals to my hands is a bit delayed. So things like playing tennis, jump rope, writing in cursive, video games, steering a steering wheel when driving & etc, are really tough for me. People make all those tasks seem so easy & for me it’s not so easy. That struggle in particular makes it so hard to hide my autism from society without appearing very odd & awkward. I accept that trying to complete those type of tasks will be much harder work for me compared to others who can do it so naturally. My memorization & my eye for color patterns are skills that are natural to me that others have to work hard to equal up to me. I have just as many talents that are natural to me as I do with struggles. One unique quirk about me that I’m most proud of is my resiliency. I’m one of those people who will fall down but will find a way to get back up one way or another. I’m very loud, rebellious, resilient & stubborn. There are many occasions I am these traits in the best of times & in the worst of times when I need to stay quiet & walk away. I definitely struggle distinguishing when are the best & worst times, but i am learning :).

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