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.

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