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.