Sunday, August 25, 2019

I am 18 years old, and I grew up in upstate New York.
I am still a student as of now, but I just finished a summer job at the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library. I liked it a lot because I had quite a few projects I could work on at any given time, most of which were quiet and solitary. Plus, my coworkers were very supportive, and I got to work with computers, which I absolutely love. Last year, I had an internship with my school district's assistive technology department. That was a great experience; it reinforced my desire to help other people with disabilities and gave me the chance to try out a lot of revolutionary technology.
Something people would be surprised to know about me is that I can pretty much recite all of "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" from memory.

My biggest accomplishment I think that getting accepted to Wellesley College has been my biggest accomplishment because it was a culmination of many of my previous achievements
How I want to change the world: One day, I want to build augmentative and alternative communication devices that can help others who find it difficult to speak. (There are some in existence now, but not many are accessible to people with vision impairments.) I'd also like to help develop the artificial intelligence algorithms behind Aira, which is a service that provides descriptions of visuals for people who are blind. Finally, I would love to make the world a more accepting, informed, and inclusive place for neurodivergent individuals.
Something I wish Neurotypicals knew about autism is how infinitely diverse the autism spectrum is. It's called a spectrum, and not a continuum, because there is literally an infinite number of ways that autism can present. Every single autistic person has a unique personality and a unique combination of autistic traits. When you interact with us, it would mean the world if you remember that we are individuals, each with our own abilities, challenges, interests, and goals. Too often, autistic people are placed into categories: low or high functioning, intellectually disabled or genius, in need of support or relatively independent... the list goes on. But our potential cannot be summed up in a list of labels, and we usually don't fit neatly into categories. In truth, we want what everyone else wants: to be accepted and valued for who we are as individuals.

To any autistic people reading this, whether you are diagnosed or not: I want you to know that you don't have to hide your uniqueness. I tried that for 16 years, and all it accomplished was making me feel broken, out-of-place, and not good enough. If you find it hard to speak, try an alternative communication method like sign language or typing. If you're overloaded by sensory input, stim. (Granted, you will have to hold back at times, like in job interviews for example, but those times should be rare.) Your true friends will stand by you and support you in being your true self. It will be tough at first. I am still struggling to be myself. But for me, it has been 100% worth the difficulty, because I am learning to work with my brain instead of molding it into something it's not.

Resources that benefited me: In addition to being autistic, I am almost completely blind due to a genetic retinal condition. Because of this, I had a series of paraprofessionals throughout my school years even though my autism went undiagnosed until the age of 16. All I can say about that is that finding the right paraprofessional is INCREDIBLY important. Since a student and para will be working closely together, often over multiple years, it is vital to make sure that it is a good match. I personally experienced both a supportive paraprofessional who worked with me to accomplish my goals (both inside and outside of my IEP), and one who put me down and convinced me that my struggles were all in my head/my fault. That being said, the former type can make a world of difference in the life of an autistic person. It certainly did for me. I also received occupational therapy at a young age due to some motor difficulties. I found it very engaging and helpful; it gave me a safe place to experience new sensory stimuli and practice skills like using scissors, tying shoes, and even brushing my teeth (I always had trouble with toothpaste tubes). I have a counselor who I see almost every week. She helps me manage my anxiety and learn how to handle social situations.
Finally, the most valuable resource I have ever encountered is other autistic people. It might seem unnecessary or even counterproductive, but helping an autistic person get in touch with people who have similar challenges and strengths is one of the best things you can do for him/her. When I joined online support groups and started communicating with fellow autistic people, it opened up a whole new way of thinking for me. It showed me that I wasn't alone or crazy or an alien pretending to be human, and that I can do almost anything if I work WITH my unique brain instead of against it.
Silly awkward fact about me: I have never been good at small talk. When someone asks "How is your day going?", I usually can't tell whether it is a genuine query or a social nicety. If the conversation turns to the weather, I am likely to end it by pulling out my phone and rattling off the forecast. Also, I am definitely not a morning person. So it isn't hard to imagine how I felt every morning when I walked into the library to start work. Although I knew that people were simply trying to be friendly, every casual "What's up?" or "How was your night?" felt like a quiz I hadn't prepared for.
One morning, after a particularly exhausting walk into the building (my sense of direction isn't exactly wonderful either), a coworker came up to me and asked the dreaded question: "How are you doing?" I froze for a moment, mouth hanging open as I struggled for words. Finally, I did what any socially savvy teenager would do: blurted out a fun fact. "There are 525,600 minutes in a year!" I announced before running off to my workstation. Though it was not a typical response, I think everyone enjoyed it. In my opinion, it's good to give people a break from the rhythm of "normal" social interaction anyway.
Signs/symptoms that indicated I was autistic: I always had sensory processing issues, but in middle school, I became very light-sensitive, to the point where I had to wear sunglasses almost all the time. When that eventually faded, it was replaced with strong sound sensitivity. Plus, I absolutely LOVED bouncing, rocking, and playing with handheld fidget toys like tangles and spinners, which I first mistook for hyperactivity instead of sensory stimming. I had no idea that sensory preferences could change overtime, so I sought medical help for these differences as they arose.
I have always had trouble making friends, but in elementary school, I received a lot of support with social interaction. That went away in middle school, and no matter what I tried in order to make friends, nothing seemed to work. I could no longer use the strategies I had learned in elementary school; there were no longer clear rules to follow and people said things they didn't really mean or meant/implied things they never said. While my peers were able to navigate this minefield with only a few explosions, I was completely left behind. Things only worsened in high school, to the point where I refused to get out of bed some mornings because I simply could not take any more confusion or isolation. I had many strong interests as a kid, usually obsessions with particular books. For instance, after reading the Ramona series, I wanted everyone to call me Ramona, wanted my hair cut like Ramona, visited Ramona's website frequently to read all about her, and constantly brought her up (to the point where my teacher had to set a limit on the number of times I could talk about Ramona). Now, I am very interested in disability rights, robotics, and science fiction.
I loved to repeat things others said, particularly my mother. Most people got upset and thought I was mocking them, and only later did I learn that it was harmless echolalia. Finally, I have problems with executive functioning, which means that I have trouble planning out a task and staying focused on it. On low-energy/high-distraction days, it can take me hours to write a five-sentence paragraph, even though I am a strong writer according to standardized tests. Many of these traits were attributed to my blindness when I was younger, simply because the people around me had never interacted with a blind person and thought that my struggles were typical for kids with visual impairments. I, however, suspected that something else was going on. When I met a fellow autistic person at a science camp in 2017, everything began to make sense.
When I was finally diagnosed with ASD, I felt so relieved that I started crying, and the nurse practitioner who told me gave me a hug because she thought I was sad. All my life, I had believed I was broken or an alien, and my diagnosis was a definitive explanation for many of my differences. I no longer had to feel ashamed or like a freak; I could be myself and be proud. Best of all, my diagnosis showed me that I am not alone, and for the first time in years, I finally made friends who understood . I guess it was a little like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter must have felt after learning that she was a witch; she had grown up in a world that did not understand her, and she was finally told why and shown that her struggles could be managed and her differences were wonderful.
How I feel about my diagnosis now: When I was first diagnosed, I pretty much thought about it all the time, and told anyone who would listen. It was a huge revelation to me, and I wanted to share. But I soon found that most people didn't understand why it was good news. Some denied that I was on the spectrum at all, which hurt because it felt like they were trying to take away the answers I had found (even though they were not intentionally doing so). I was very defensive in those early months.
Now, I am learning how and when to disclose my diagnosis. I'm learning to give just enough information for people to understand and help me, but not so much that they become uncomfortable. In short, I have settled down somewhat, and my diagnosis is more integrated into my life than it was before, when it was novel.

Struggles with a LATE Diagnosis: My life was very difficult before receiving my diagnosis, mainly because I didn't understand myself. For example, I have always had trouble getting words out verbally in overloading, fast-paced, and/or otherwise stressful situations. When I couldn't get words out, I would do my best to force them, and I usually wouldn't say what I needed or wanted to say. My parents and teachers, who simply did not understand my struggle with speech, thought I was just tired or cranky or being rude. But after my diagnosis, I discovered UrVoice and Proloquo4Text, two iOS apps that allow me to type what I want to say and have it spoken out loud by my iPad or phone. Finally, I could communicate what I intended instead of an abbreviation or approximation. It took the people in my life awhile to understand why I suddenly began typing in stressful situations, but now most of them are just relieved that they can understand me better in those instances, and that I am not trying to be rude or ignore them. My sensory processing differences were harder before my diagnosis as well. I was always told that my light sensitivity was due to my retinal condition and my sound sensitivity due to anxiety. In addition, I was discouraged from rocking, spinning, bouncing, and other stims because, in the blindness community, stims do not have positive effects on people and so are suppressed to make it easier to fit in. After learning that I am on the spectrum, I had to teach myself to stim again. I learned which stims help me when I am overloading due to light or sound (in my case, rocking, listening to music, and squeezing a tiny spiky ball I carry in my pocket).
My ASD diagnosis provided opportunities for me to learn more social skills, too; I had always been expected to pick them up intuitively as most neurotypicals do, but now I feel better about asking specific questions of trusted friends and family members so I can learn the unwritten rules. I also see a counselor now who is helpful and explains them in logical language. Specifically, I never understood why people got upset when they received an honest answer to a question they asked. Pre-diagnosis, I assumed I had given the wrong answer somehow and tried to keep my mistake a secret. Now, I explain the situation to someone I trust ("Mom, my friend just asked me if her story was good, and I told her that the characters were interesting but the pacing was inconsistent. Why did she get mad?") and that person will do his/her best to explain ("She was looking for support, not the actual answer."). This has made me feel MUCH more confident in social situations.
Finally, knowing that I have trouble focusing due to executive dysfunction and not laziness has allowed me to be gentler with myself and actively work toward being able to manage my time. Now, I make to-do lists so I don't forget the things I have to finish, organize my files to the best of my ability so I don't get overwhelmed looking for something, and ask for help when I need it. I like to set a timer and work on one task until it goes off, instead of staring into space and wondering why I can't just snap out of it and work like everybody else.
Obstacles I have overcome: High school was VERY difficult for me. Between the giant building I always got lost in, the sea of students all making noise and behaving unpredictably, the fast-paced classes that were impossible to focus during because of all the potential distractions, and my lack of self-awareness at the time, freshman year was the worst year of my life. Things got so bad that the guidance office helped me transfer into a smaller program that focused on self-directed learning, projects, and team-building. That was a much better fit for me, as I only had a small handful of teachers, students, and classrooms to keep track of and I could pursue my interests while also completing the high school curriculum. In that case, I overcame the obstacle by switching my environment to better suit my needs. I have also had to adapt to my environment to get around obstacles. For example, I got around the problem of getting lost frequently by carrying cards with directions on them that I can check whenever I am uncertain.
I think that my disabilities have helped me solve problems and consider them from many angles. With my detail-oriented mind, I am often able to notice solutions that others miss.

I didn’t actively pursue any information about autism until my daughter was two. I’d begun to wonder about myself a few years prior to her birth, but it wasn’t until I started to see all the ways I had reacted to certain stimuli as a child reflected in her responses to similar things like noise and social situations, that I began to look more closely at the diagnostics for ASD. I tested as a gifted student in elementary school and was placed in a TAG program but failed out when I entered middle school because I couldn’t handle both the academic and social demands, and I was so tired of feeling lonely and weird that I devoted all of my energy to learning how to mask to fit in.
As an adolescent and well into adulthood, I worked jobs that were so poorly matched for my neurology that I would often have daily meltdowns and bouts of intense anxiety that would keep from achieving much of anything outside of showing up and doing the job I was paid to do. The level of masking required to work as a server in a restaurant is otherworldly. I failed out of college at one point because I couldn’t balance work and school, and the times I managed to hang on in a traditional four-year setting were terribly overwhelming and interwoven with periods of debilitating burnout. The first job I ever had that fit my brain was a research assistant position I applied for during my sophomore year of undergrad. I convinced a microbiology professor I was perfect for it with literally no previous experience or even the science knowledge necessary, through impressive masking that I’d cultivated since middle school. I spend days (sometimes weeks) recovering from masking that encompassing, but I can do it when necessary. I then gained a graduate level understanding of microbiology in just a few months time through the autistic super powers of special interest and hyper-focus.
When I was 31 and newly a mother, my ex-told me that he had always assumed I was Aspie during our relationship but what had convinced him was an entry he found in an old notebook I’d kept for my studies at a fine dining restaurant. The entry was a full page about asparagus, but it wasn’t ways to cook/store asparagus -it was the detailed culinary history of asparagus.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

23, Kentucky I am a masters student in special education. Professionally I have been contracted as an actor, public speaker, peer mentor, and mental health worker.
Something people would be surprised to know about me is that I am trans masculine
My biggest accomplishment thus far in my opinion is, Coming up from being in foster care with no money (living in a house with a bunch of guys ) to finishing my degree, putting myself through school, paying for my own education, food and housing all on my own. Now I am working on my masters and still completely self supportive
I want to promote autistic acceptance. My goal is to open a theatre school open to autistics and people with other disabilities.
I wish those who were not autistic knew about autism is that what you see on the outside isn’t the same as whats going on on the inside.

I wish those that are autistic to know that You are not alone, it may seem like people don’t understand you, but you can continue to just be you, because there is nothing wrong with that.

My biggest resource for me has been a supportive community of like minded people.
Signs that indicated I was on the spectrum were Social cues and awkward tendencies. A lack of boundaries. Confusion with social norms. I worked with autistic kids and I saw a lot myself in them.
When I first received my diagnosis I felt it was comforting. Like everything made sense. I was diagnosed a year ago, by the way. Life was difficult not having a diagnosis til much later in life because I thought something was wrong with me or I was weird for 22 years until diagnosis. I wasnt diagnosed until much later in life because I had other medical and social issues during childhood. Also, getting a diagnosis is a costly thing to do.

Obstacles I have overcame was a lot (abuse, foster care, coming out as trans, family problems, etc.) Just keep pushing through.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Hello my name is Robert Butler and I am age 56. I was diagnosed by TEACCH at age 40. I'm proud to say I am the first person who got a diagnosis of autism from a (self referral) at TEACCH in Chapel Hill, NC USA University of North Carolina -- yes, where Michael Jordan went to college.

I am legally disabled since 2004. I currently live in a very nice low-income apartment building with 37 residents. I am content with my life although since December of 2017 my health has been poor due to aspirating stomach fluids into my lungs which more of less killed me. I ended up on life-support and in an induced coma. After I awoke I was told I was a miracle since it was a miracle . My family was planning to take me off life-support and even took my "last picture".

You might be surprised I traveled on my own in the United States east of the Mississippi River and in Texas, Arkansas, and Canada from Toronto, Niagara Falls east to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia..

My biggest accomplishment has to be graduating college with Magna Cum Laude honors in Therapeutic Recreation. While in college I was involved in the Student Senate one year as their Events Board Coordinator.

I don't know about changing the world but I hope I can make a difference in people's lives now a an Autistic Advocate..

What I hope NT's and Autistics to know is that other than to protect our children from self-abuse and the harm to others our autistic children have the right to grow in this world without being told to stop being different or even made to be different (ABA).

Getting help :: Well other than the autistic support group which I started I have never been given help although I had a Personal Assistant who made me feel more comfortable socializing than anybody ever has. Growing up I wish I had speech therapy because I am monotone, have a flat affect, and lack body language.

I have had many silly/awkward events. The first silly event that ever happen to me was at the Boy Scout Halloween Costume Party. I don't know what got into me but for some reason I let loose and without a question was the funniest I have ever been in my entire life. Yes, I won the funniest award that night. .... Awkward? This is probably not my most awkward moment but I always remember it. One day riding my bike a saw a pretty girl walking towards me. When we passed each other I continued looking back at her. Before I knew it I rode right into a telephone pole..

 I don't need to be an advocate to hope you all learn to become content (to have peace of mind). Most of my life I was angry and depressed. I even felt I needed to feel this way because it made me feel that what was done to me was wrong and I had the right to feel angry and depressed. Well finally I don't know if I learned this was only harming me or my body got to the point of being so stressed that it just gave up itself..

 The only person who thought I was "Special" was my supervisor at my last full-time job.

After my diagnoses? I got into a car accident the next day on my way to work. No one was hurt..As to compare with others after my diagnosis. Heck, I went around telling everyone I am autistic. It was the others who didn't believe me. Initially some things were hard yet my life was hard before my diagnosis and ever since. I have learned to be content. I no longer beat myself up about everything.

Obstacles? First was school and socializing with these strange kids, then my parents divorce, years of sexual abuse as a pre-teen, imprisonment during my teen years, to live as an outcast once I returned home, my attempt at suicide living with a mean step-parent, using alcohol and finally drugs to cope, gaining lots of weight during my college years, being alone here in Raleigh because my cousin who told me to come stay with him and his family until I find a place complete flipped and told me minutes before I traveled from my home state of Maine to North Carolina where he lived. Once here in Raleigh, NC I struggled holding jobs because I always start out slow anywhere I go but once I settle down I actually tend to accomplish much more than the average co-worker. Unfortunately "my first impression" causes my boss and others to carry a negative impression of me and that is despite any good I would go onto do. That has lead me to get a judge to claim me legally disabled. Since then life has continued to be hard yet thank God I am content now.........................Since December of 2017 my health has been very poor yet I give thanks and praise to God that no matter how much people have used me and abused me my true identity has never changed.......I am that strong!
27, from UK I’m coming to the end of a masters degree. Yes, I enjoy it though it’s a lot of work. Something someone would be surprised to know about me: I’m not sure. I taught food security over in India for a month several years ago and loved it. In my opinion my biggest accomplishment thus far is:Completing my undergraduate degree with a first, dancing on stage with others… There’s plenty I want to change about myself! I don’t think there would be enough paper to cover all that! Changing the world – I think I’d want more peace, more acceptance of others, more respect. I wish others NOT on the spectrum would understand That what you see isn’t always what you get. Not to write people off based on what you perceive or observe about them. That sometimes you need to listen in different ways. That communication isn’t always verbal. That difference is okay. That autistic people are not less than or stupid, they have their own talents and strengths. Biggest supports were: People taking the time to listen to me and having the patience to stand by me. Often autistic individuals have been through a lot of trauma, so will be naturally more defensive. People that stuck by me and showed me that I could trust others have probably helped the most. Practically, those who have taken an individual, person-centred approach – thinking outside the box – have worked best. Those who work with me, around me, not just with the system. Also, acknowledging that me not attending, say, lectures, wasn’t due to laziness or because I was skiving and sending me notes etc, giving me an equal opportunity to learn. What I want to tell fellow autistics: It is okay to like yourself and don’t see yourself as being defective. Embrace difference. Like (or even love) yourself. I know autism comes with a whole host of stresses – and the world does through lack of understanding etc – but stick with it. You deserve compassion, understanding and kindness. My social worker suspected I was on the spectrum when I was 22/23. I mean, at 14 I ended up in hospital and it says “social difficulties” or something on my notes/discharge letter but autism wasn’t suspected. Perhaps it wasn’t known about in my ways of presentation back then. I think my social worker suggested it because she realised that there was something additional to trauma that was going on. If she was late calling me, for example, even by a minute, I would become extremely distressed. Change was difficult for me, I over-thought in every social situation and I had high levels of fatigue. I also had eating difficulties that didn’t fit the ED-services mould. When I first received my diagnosis I felt: It was a lengthy process. There were feelings of grief, anger towards others that I was missed, anger and hurt at all that I’d gone through and how understanding could have changed my life. I suppose I’m replying with hindsight… but I think initially I thought that having the diagnosis was proof I was defective or deficient or wrong in some way. Today I feel about my diagnosis: That perhaps I’m not evil. I still feel useless and defective sometimes, but I’ve come a long way. I am more assertive now and surround myself with healthier people, which helps me not see myself as so ‘wrong’. Sometimes I am glad of being autistic, sometimes I wish I wasn’t. I still feel grief and anger, but perhaps less than I did. I’m not sure if being diagnosed would make a difference if people still didn’t understand. I self-harmed and attempted suicide due to feeling evil and knowing I was wrong. I tried to change everything about myself to ‘fit in’ – starvation, purging, speaking certain ways, wearing certain things. Maybe I’d have accepted myself a bit more had I have known. Maybe my friendships would have been more successful as I had mental health issues as a result of being invisible and neglected in the system. Maybe professionals would have been less likely to get frustrated or tell me everything was my fault (the world told me that) and would have just helped me with my different way of processing everything. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so tired and had a burnout for so many years due to the strain I was under for so long. Obstacles I overcame: Quite a few! I don’t really want to go into anything too personal because those experiences are mine but I have been through different experiences of trauma. I became very defensive, suspicious of others and I had anxiety/panic attacks and flashback effects as a consequence. I self-harmed in order to cope. This is less now, though I am not immune to these things. Now, I try to dance or run or go for a walk to help. I am more pro-active in my responses. I make better choices in people I surround myself with. I am beginning to accept they might like me for who I am. This is a long process. Just having someone – and I have had a few people – believe in me, made such a massive difference. I was lucky to have that.

My name is Christopher Whelan, age 27, and I am an autistic social worker in Fort McMurray, Alberta.  I am the founder/director of Autistics United Fort McMurray - Cree, Dene, Dane-zaa, & Metis Territory, as well as the founder/director of Neurodiversity YMM.

My interest in neurodiversity began in November 2018, a year into my social work career when I was wondering what my place within the social justice movement would be.  I am autistic, but at the time I did not see myself as part of a marginalized social location; I saw myself as a person living with a mental illness that needed to be acknowledged.  Once I was introduced to the world of neurodiversity by an online friend, I read as much as I could about it. I began to see autistic people as a global community, sharing a unique culture, creative expression, communication style, and norms.  I saw that my depression, social anxiety, discomfort in leaving my home, were not mental illness itself but the long term stress of trying to fit into a world that was not made for people like me. My seemingly neurotic interest in areas such as military history, classical philosophy, and Japanese cooking styles, is what we would call “special interests”, and autistic people taking an interest in something considered unconsequential or too niche to be profitable is a shared experience across the autistic world.

In developing my neurodiversity justice agencies and my self-advocacy work there is a desire to make a world where autistic people do not feel strange or sick, and where autistic people can achieve everything that neurotypical people can achieve with a comparable amount of effort.  I want to create spaces where autistic people can be as autistic as they want to be, and where that will be considered normal.

I am 18 and I’m from Kentucky, USA.

I’m currently a college student studying neonatology.

I love to help people, play my musical instruments and watch tv/YouTube.

I like my current lifestyle right now and would not like it to change.

Most people don’t know that I’ve been gifted in music vocally and instrumentally since I was around 7.

My biggest accomplishment is making it through high school. I really struggled with bullying, grades and more so to finish high school was a big deal to me. I would like to be able to focus harder on subjects that I struggle with and be more organised.

I wish people without autism knew that it doesn’t change who I am. Just because I gained this diagnosis doesn’t mean I’ve changed. It doesn’t make me stupid or “special” it makes up my personality.

I’ve benefited from speech therapy ( before I even had a diagnosis), physical therapy( also before I had a diagnosis), and occupational therapy.

My most awkward and silly story is the time I did not like this one boy in elementary school so me and my mum agreed that I should change schools because he would distract me and the teachers didn’t seem to care about that. I went to this new school the next year super nervous and the first person I see when I walk in is the said boy who would distract me. Apparently he didn’t want to hear me complaining about him distracting me any longer so him and his mum decided he would move schools.

My words to anyone else on the spectrum is that don’t see it as a major problem in your life, see it as just something that makes you stronger. It has personally made me have to try harder at certain things so I tend not to take things for granted.

My parents knew that I struggled with playing with other kids because I didn’t want to be near the other kids to share other them my belongings and it made me anxious. Towards my early teen years I started to have personality problems because of masking for so long which caused me into a state of depression. I knew something was up personally but I didn’t want to have a hovering title above my head at all times. My friends started to notice burnouts frequently and I decided on my own to see a school psychiatrist. The school psych at first thought it was just anxiety but that is because I didn’t notice that I was masking. Then he gave me a test after me continuing to struggle day to day to figure out what’s up. It came up that I have Aspergers. We were both surprised. At first I thought it was a mistake so we went over my answers again and when reading it allowed I kind of had an epiphany that I actually do have Aspergers. For a whole week I didn’t want to accept it because I didn’t know much about it except the stereotypes. But after watching a ton of videos I realised that it’s true and that I need to tell someone else.

I’m happy I know my diagnosis now because now family and friends know that meltdowns aren’t me being spoiled ( what they told me after I got diagnosed), they also know that burnouts when with people isn’t me not wanting to be with them it’s just been a lot for me to deal with. If I didn’t have my diagnosis I could possibly still be struggling majorly with my personality issues and even with suicidal tendencies. Going through my whole childhood without my diagnosis makes me often wonder how others can go 20-50 or more years without knowing.

I struggled just with my childhood not knowing so I struggle to believe that there could still be people in there 40’s even that don’t know they’ve got autism. I’ve faced many obstacles in my life. Some of them are suicidal tendencies, extreme anxiety, meltdowns galore, and personality issues( not understanding who I even am anymore). I would love to change the worlds beliefs that all autistic people are the same and that females can’t have it too. I would also love to stop the horrible autistic kid memes.