Sunday, June 23, 2019

I'm 23 years old. I was born and raised in San Diego, California, but moved to Oregon with my mother at age 20 in 2016. In my opinion is my biggest accomplishment thus far is being able to live independently. Bills, balancing budgets, and keeping up a house are all very difficult for me. I thought I would always have to live with my mom, but with time and help from my friends and family I have been able to learn how to be independent. something I wish neurotypicals (those with not autism others) knew about autism is that Autism is not a horrible, disabling condition. Nonverbal Autistics have a lot to say, even if they can't use their mouths to say it. Autistic adults have full, happy lives with marriage and getting jobs and having children and families. We need support and acceptance, not pity or attempts to change who we are. Autism is also known to be comorbid with conditions like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which causes chronic pain, and some Autistic people also have Sensory Processing Disorder related amplified pain. Listen to us when we say things hurt or feel weird in our bodies. Something I want to tell to the rest of the people on the spectrum is that we need to support each other and uplift the voices of the most vulnerable & marginalized members of our community. Autistic people of color, nonverbal Autistic people, trans Autistic people, and more. We are all Autistic and an injury to one is an injury to all! I was first reading about Autism in a science class book when I was 13. I remember thinking all of the traits sounded like me, but the book said Autism was diagnosed by age 18months so I thought it couldn't be possible. Then I learned that lots of people go undiagnosed and I talked to diagnosed Autistic people and it really felt like everything made sense. When I was first diagnosed I felt relief, and like I finally felt seen after being ignored for so long
I wasn't diagnosed until after I was out of school, so I went all those years without any tools to help me. I did well in elementary school but as soon as middle school happened I really struggled but didn't get any help.

38 next week. I live in Las Vegas, NV I used to work in healthcare. I did that for 15 years but was starting to get burnt out and my last manager really pushed me over the edge by retaliating against his employees anytime they needed time off. He was also very difficult in getting accommodations for my autism. I currently do part-time work with instacart and I like that I can make my own schedule and don't have to work with anybody. People are usually surprised to find out I have 11 tattoos, have lots of experience in music and in professional editing and proofreading. They are also surprised by the fact that I am Hispanic LOL. I don't usually look at any successes as big accomplishments but I guess if I had to pick it would be having designed books with my name in the credits, working with a music producer, and finding out I make a great comedian how i would want to change myself I would like to learn how to better understand the world around me. How I want to change the world, I want to educate people on autism in its different forms because it would make it easier for autistic people to communicate if people understood. Something I wish neurotypicals (those with not autism others) knew about autism is if you don't communicate directly, there is a good chance I won't understand what you are saying. If I ask questions it doesn't mean I'm stupid. It means I'm trying to understand Something I want to tell to the rest of the people on the spectrum- just be yourself. Honestly it is too complicated to try to cover up your struggles or things you don't understand. There's nothing wrong with you. We are just uniquely designed and the rest of the world hasn't caught up yet.
- I got diagnosed late in life so the only sing I've had is therapy. I'm still learning what resources are available to me. It is different and much more difficult when you are diagnosed late in life.
an employee therapist had suggested I get checked for sensory perception disorder because I explained to her the problem I had was loud noises and light. I also explained to her my extreme boredom at work. My nephew is autistic so the more I compared what I saw in him to myself, the more I wondered.
it was liberating and sad all at once when I first got diagnosed. In a way of validated why I have felt a certain way my whole life, but I also knew things were going to change and it wouldn't be easy. Today, I am definitely more verbal about it. I want people to be educated about autism so I try to to be an advocate. I don't look for sympathy but rather for understanding. I've accepted this is who I am and I like who I am! There are things I still struggle with but I am learning. When you are not diagnosed early on, you learn ways of covering up your struggles because you know you don't fit in and you feel like something is wrong with you but you are scared about it. So you learn to do your best to fit in and be like everyone else, but the reality is it's painful inside when you do this. My therapist told me I was very good at hiding the things I struggled with. I've had to learn to undo some of the coping mechanisms that were doing more harm than good and now I am trying to learn better ways but it is challenging. Also, people are so used to you being one way that when things start to change they have an issue with it. I find that people still expect me to be who I was before my diagnosis when I am not able to do that any longer. Getting my diagnosis allowed me to be authentic and allowed me to bring my struggles to light. I wouldn't know how to go back if I tried nor do I want to. But this creates a very lonely existence because people don't understand. I get told often that it doesn't seem like I have autism or that what I'm experiencing is not my autism because other people experience those things too. I'm not good at explaining exactly what I experienced so I know that when I explain it to people it sounds generic.

Obstacles I have overcome- I have experienced abusive relationships, being low income, I also have fibromyalgia, I am very sensitive to sound and sometimes light. I have trouble with large crowds and feel very awkward in social situations. I have experienced health problems not related to my autism, lots of judgemental people who don't understand how autism works. I have experienced adversity and I was also diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I don't have much of a support system. I just do my best to push through each day and try to find things that I enjoy or things that will calm my mind

I'm turning 40 this year. All my life I've felt I'm an oddball. When my son was 3 he got diagnosed with ASD. Reading and learning about it each day made me feel like solving not only his mystery but also my own. Originally I'm from Latvia, a small Baltic state that been in the USSR till 1991. And you can believe me when I say there were no disabled people in USSR. It was a great shame to be a non-contributing member of the society. If a family had a disabled member they hid him/her well. As a child if I mentioned to my mom that I'm not like other children, that I don't really understand what's going around me most of the time or have strange moments when I'm not exactly myself, all I would hear in response is: "do you really want to be put into a funny house? You are normal, you are like everybody else". Nevertheless each time I behaved not in an appropriate way, as I couldn't read the situation most of the time, I'd be called a weirdo. By my mom. After that she would not talk to me for a day or two as i have had embarrassed her. And being embarrassed was what my mom hated the most. Most strikingly I felt I'm "different" during my teenage years. Everybody in my class seemed to be able to make sense of what is going with them and around them. I did not. I did not have any friends left suddenly. They all found interests that was strange to me. My only interest was reading. I tried to learn about the world from books. I tried to learn from books why people would behave the way they did. I tried to act like people in books and made to look myself as even a bigger oddball. When I was about 20 years old I learned that autism is not only the rainman. I started to suspect that I was autistic too. But there was not much information and my mom laughed the matter off. So I really looked into it after my son's diagnosis.

How I learned to look people in the eyes. When I was about 11years old one of my classmates asked why I never look in the eyes of the person I'm talking too? Why indeed? So I started to make an effort to always stare the opponent in the eye. On multiple occasions after that I've been asked not to, as it freaked everybody out

I don't know how to make friends. That is an absolute mystery to me. If I get a new acquaintance and I like that person I never know how to develop friendship and become obsessed with that person. In result I scare people away. I don't know where to draw a line and what's appropriate and what's not.

I have hard time recognising people out of the usual situations. If I'm used to see a person at certain place and meet him/her in a different place my mind will not register that. A person comes and greets me but I have no idea who he/she is. I mostly recognise people by their shapes and gestures than by their faces. To me almost all the faces look very similar. Unless there's something very unusual about the face I can't recognise it. Family members are different: I can vaguely see their faces in my mind's eye.

My mother still doesn't believe I have autism. She believes my son will grow out of it occasionally too.

I have bachelors degree in analytical economics and masters degree in marketing. But I'm not interested in either much. It's just that number are friendly.

I'm a full time mum. I struggle a lot to be the mum I'd want to be. I'm not a social being so taking kids to busy places is hard. I can't strike conversations with other parents so my kids don't have any playmates. I still try my best and take them to different activities in hope they'll do better then I.

I am 20 years old, born in Leicester but grew up in Derby.

I work as a support worker for young people and adults with disabilities and i love it.

Some people might be surprised to know that I'm the youngest of 4 children and I'm a twin with both of us being on the spectrum.

So far my biggest accomplishment so far is actually carrying on with my life despite loads of mental health issues and managing to stay in school/college/university as well as getting a job as no one thought it would happen. I would love to have my own charity for young people with mental health issues either in the UK or in another country.
I wish neurotypicals knew that just because you are high functioning doesn't mean that life is any easier, there are still many difficulties faced that people don't acknowledge or realise because we look 'normal'. I think one worker i had from CAMHS was the one thing that helped me, I saw her for for 4 years and I can honestly say I wouldn't be here if I didn't see her every week. My family and myself knew that i was different from others, i always did things in a particular way due to my OCD as well, i struggled making friends in school and still do now, I am very literal and 'brutally honest' as my mum puts it. But no one realised my autism until late on in school when i was in a psychiatric unit where they picked it up.

When i received my diagnosis I was happy that i knew why i was different to everyone but i also hated it as i was desperate to be like everyone and wanted to be the same and i didn't accept my diagnosis.Not having a diagnosis until the age of 15 was harder as school labelled me as disruptive although despite my problems at school i was a high achiever. If anyone noticed i may have recieved helped before going into a psychiatric unit for 4 months and multiple suicide attempts/hospital visits for self harm etc. If i was diagnosed early i would have recieved the help before my mental health became unmanagable to the point where i wasn't in school for months. My main obsticle has been my feelings towards my diagnosis as i still do not accept it and would still get rid of it if i could to be more normal. I have been having counselling for a while now and im starting to accept myself more and manage myself more so obsticles are becoming less.

Friday, June 7, 2019

I'm 54 and I was diagnosed at 52

I'm from Carnforth, but I was born in Manchester and I moved around the country as a child, so it's a bit of a difficult question

I'm an accountant. I enjoy the work but get anxious a lot so I can't say I look forward to going to work all the time.

People would be surprise to know that: I did zoology at university, that was my passion but I couldn't get a job in that field so I had to leave that behind.

In my opinion my biggest achievement is having two lovely boys (both aspies), although that's not just my achievement - they contributed greatly to where we three are now.

One thing I would want to change about the world or myself is I want our priorities to change. Happiness should be the aim and sustainability, not GDP and money.

I wish neurotypicals knew how wide the range of autism is. And that everyone (including us) were more inclusive.

Something I want fellow tribe members on the spectrum is everyone has their own problems. Normal is a Hollywood story and I've never met anyone who fits that definition. Keep working on yourself and looking after yourself so you can do the best you can with what you have.

I haven't had any resources because I was diagnosed 2 years ago, there is no help for people at my age except what you do for yourself.

I went for diagnosis after getting my eldest son diagnosed as so many of the questions seemed to relate to me. I suspect there is a lot of autistics in my family so I wasn't picked up as more than shy. Even though I went for the diagnosis, I was actually surprised to be diagnosed. I still wonder if they got it wrong sometimes and then I'll look at my lack of friends and limited social battery. It's hard to was a relief to be able to stop beating myself up for things I can't help, that was good. And I now feel ok saying no to big gatherings.

Today how I feel about my autism: I don't think I've settled yet.

I wonder if I'd know who I am or who I would be if I'd been diagnosed earlier, I change depending on where I am and who I'm with and I'm tired all the time.

Obstacles I have overcame: I've had one major nervous breakdown, a few periods of depression, two toxic relationships and I'm still here. I think I'm stubborn and I love learning so I'm always looking for answers

22, Arlington Heights, IL . Currently I work at a music store and I like it very much people would be surprised to know that I’m actually on the spectrum. It’s not something I regularly share with people, as usually it comes with negative associations where I’m from. So far I’d say my biggest accomplishment is earning my Bachelor’s Degree. One thing I would like to change about myself is that I’d literally do anything to be neurotypical. I wish that neurotypicals knew that just because my autism effects my social skills does not mean I am stupid, immature, or incompetent. My advice to fellow autistics: The world is extremely cruel towards people like us. Find a close knit bunch of friends and stay close to them. To this day, not a single soul “suspects” I’m on the spectrum. The only way people know that I’m even autistic is if I tell them. I had my own suspicions when I realized people were ignoring me when I was talking, people weren’t interested in being social with me, me struggling to contribute to conversation, etc When I first received my diagnosis I felt it was shocking. It cleared up a lot of questions I had, but it changed the way I see myself and my abilities forever. Today I have mixed feelings about it. Sometimes I’m glad I know, other times I absolutely despise it. I was diagnosed at age 2, but I wasn't officially told by my parents until I was 17, so I went 15 years without even knowing. Obstacles I have overcome are anything social related. Making friends, maintaining friends are the two biggest.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

I am 45 years old and from North Carolina. I was diagnosed with autism at 42 years old.
I also have depression, anxiety, OCD, & PTSD.

I dont work...I'm legally blind... I go online to a lot of autistic support groups on Facebook & I really enjoy those...

A random fact about me that people would be surprised to know is that I am passionate about reading about WW2.
In my opinion my biggest accomplishment is being able to lead several panels in regards to Autism and various other disabilities.

I want to change the world by having more autism awareness and acceptance.

a resource that really benefited me was having a note-taker when I was in college.

29 Years old, Connecticut, USA
In my opinion my biggest accomplishments are Being independent, being a father, a husband, and a well-respected person in my field. I never graduated highschool, but now I have a masters and 14 Certifications in my field. Since I was diagnosed I have decided to focus my efforts specifically on helping others with ASD. (You don’t need to advertise it, buts its (Website is not fully done)

I wish neurotypicals (those with not autism others) knew about autism
That there is no such thing as being a “little on the spectrum”. Having swollen ankles does not mean you are a “little bit pregnant”. What you might see is only a fraction of what we experience every day. Some of us may not even be able to describe it to you, since it is our normal. Anxiety is our normal state of being. You may not notice our sensory issues or adherence to routines, and the effort we need just to get through a day.

I would say the best resource, and anyone who is involved with autism in anyway should read “From Anxiety to Meltdown” By Deborah Lipsky. Not a single thing helped me or the people around me understand myself better. The cover and the intro do not do the rest of the book justice on how amazingly helpful this book us. I also think having a good partner and someone to talk to, and therapists who truly understand ASD and can help. A Dark Room, Tinted Glasses, Weighted blanket all have helped.

something I want to tell to the rest of the people on the spectrum:
Be yourself, and be kind to yourself. Realize what your strengths are and try and find a way to make those valuable. I really think there should be more entrepreneurship for those on the spectrum. I think we undervalue ourselves and our ability to help others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accommodations. We act very different when talking about our special interests then other things. I say surround yourself by people who are as passionate as you.

Honestly I had all the “typical” signs that were there. I just did not put together that I was. Since nobody really knew “all” my symptoms. Passion for my job and my area of special interest overshadowed challenges I had in other areas. I remember talking to my spouse and said, “I don’t have a strict routine right?” and she thought of was joking and almost fell off her chair.

I got diagnosed when I was going through a particular rough time. At first I almost did not believe it. I had an idea of what “autism” was, and that was not how I thought I was. Once I learned more I felt relieved. Not only did I have an explanation into so many things and myself, Even better, I had real things I could do to make myself better.

Today feel so much more comfortable with myself and who I am. There is no doubt in my mind that the correct diagnosis was made. I don’t suffer through things at my expense. I take care of myself and my needs in order to be more productive. I have no shame in staying away from clothing that is uncomfortable, or keeping my office as dark as a bat cave. I don’t feel guilty about being myself.

My childhood was very rough, I was diagnosed with just about everything except ASD. I became a ward of the state, attempted Suicide many times. I just thought that what I was doing was wrong, and that normal people didn’t act like this. I was not aware of the things that caused me anxiety and the correct ways to handle them. I also had decent communication at my job(special interest) but communication outside of that was horrible. One thing that sounds almost unbelieve is I almost never finished sentences outloud and finished them in my head. The people around me started to finish the sentences for me. So I left a conversation thinking I had expressed myself when I actually had not!

Age: 33 From: Canada Employment: I'm technically unemployed, but I do a comic strip about living life on the spectrum. I enjoy it very much. People seem surprised when I say that I'm on the spectrum because of how well I can socialize. My biggest accomplishment, I think, is finally getting my comic online, and what has come from that. Mostly helping my fans either simply from my comic, or from them contacting me directly for support, or my opinion. I want to change the way the world sees autism. I want to help people realize that autistic people can, and should be the loudest voices when it comes to issues facing autistic people. I wish those who are not autistic knew: That we don't need a cure. That we aren't suffering because of our autism. I truly believe that most (not all) people who see themselves as suffering from autism are actually suffering from societies view, and treatment of them.
I want to tell my fellow autistics: There's nothing wrong with you. You're not broken. Your issues with fitting in with society is not your short coming: it's society's.
The resource that benefited me the most would be disability. I can't work outside of my home, and it help me financially support myself as I learned skills that would help me find a job that I could do at home, as well as start my comic. Heart warming story about me: When I first met my husband we spent the entire day together with other friends. The entire time he was flirting with me, and the entire time it flew over my head. Every time we hung out together after that he gave up on flirting, and was content with just being my friend. Later I was told by a friend that he had been flirting with me the entire time that first day. I was honestly surprised. Later that day I asked him he wanted to be my boyfriend. We've been together for almost 10 years now. Signs that indicated I am autistic: I fixated, and obsessed over things. I was also pretty socially awkward, and had trouble talking about things that I was not currently fixating on. By the time I was diagnosed my parents had pulled me out of school for my own mental well-being. Had it been known that I had Asperger's there may have been more resources available to me to help me get through school.

When I first received my diagnosis I was confused. I had never even heard the word “Asperger's”. Keep in mind that this was back in 2003, and people still weren't sure if Asperger's was connected to autism in anyway. So I wasn't told that I was on the autism spectrum, I was told that I had Asperger's. Now that I know full well that Asperger's is I'm a lot less confused, but I'm also much more sure of myself. I hate not knowing why something is happening, and my diagnosis, now that I understand it, has given me the reason for why I am the way I am. I've gone through many obstacles, such as not finishing school (I eventually got a high school equivalency), and not being able to work outside of the home without breaking down to the point of self harm, but the biggest obstacle I have ever faced was actually a person. I had a very toxic friend who would use my aspie behaviour against me. She took advantage of my naivete, and trusting nature, as well as my fear of confrontation to force me to do whatever she wanted me to do. She emotionally, and mentally abused me to the point where I felt that I was worthless. She did this for nearly 20 years before I met two people who were willing to stand in my corner. They helped me get the courage to cut her out of my life forever, and are still helping me build up my self-esteem. I now have a spine, and am usually strong enough to stand up for myself, and not tolerate abusive behaviour towards me, or towards those that I care about.

48, born in Geneva NY, currently live in Horseheads NY and work in Corning NY I’m a CPA (tax accountant), currently self employed, I dont like taxes (too much of a commodity because so many people prepare taxes, plus they dont help people other than fulfilling an obligation) but I like helping small business owners with their financial books Something someone might be surprised to know about me is that I do a lot of impressions, mostly of Muppets and cartoon characters. My biggest accomplishment in my opinion is professionally it would be starting my own business, but personally it is being a good dad to my son.

I’m only recently diagnosed with autism, and I want to help spread awareness and acceptance of adults with autism. I haven’t really utilized any assistance yet. But I’m also fairly high functioning and self sufficient, so I probably wont need much outside help, other than with my severe impairment in social interactions. I’ve struggled a lot with social interactions, and have always felt awkward. But it wasnt until a fellow Aspie friend of mine suggested that I might be one also that I started looking into it.
When I first received my diagnosis It was a great relief. I was about 99% convinced that I was before I sought out a professional diagnosis, but I hadn’t trusted my instincts in recent years after I severely misread a situation a few years prior. So hearing that professional confirmation felt so good to my psyche. Knowing that I’m autistic helps explain so much of my life that it’s hard to put into words just how good I feel now.

My life was very difficult prior to my diagnosis. I have battled severe depression and anxiety since puberty, largely due to struggling so much with social interactions, leading to few friendships and few relationships. But now the clouds have lifted and I truly can see things a lot clearer now, knowing there is a good reason why I’ve always felt so awkward. I’ve been on several different prescriptions for antidepressants and anti-anxiety, along with several years of counseling, but none of those helped long-term, if they helped at all. But now that I know I’m autistic, I’ve started therapy with a professional who has worked with autistic adults, so she knows the types of things that can help me, as an autistic adult. I finally have some optimism in my life!
I wish more people knew that lots of people have autism and while we have a lot of similarities, we are all different. For instance, I can be quite sarcastic, whereas a lot of autistic folks dont get sarcasm. But I struggle mightily with social interactions, like many other autistics.
I want to tell my fellow autistics: Don’t let anyone tell you that there’s something wrong with you. Autism is merely a different way of looking at the world from most others; it’s not the wrong way to see things. Lots of autistic people have made great contributions to society. We just need to spread awareness of how widespread autism really is, and that it isn’t something to be demonized like the anti-vaxxers want us to believe. We are all good people and just as worthy as any neurotypicals.