Tuesday, October 15, 2019

I'm 21 from Idaho and I love being in Idaho it's a pretty great community. People often times are surprised when they find out that I have had points in my life were I've been nonverbal. My biggest accomplishment I feel so far is my Instagram page were I advocate for both autism and Dyspraxia. I want to try to help other autistics young or grown to feel accepted and less alone. I wish Neurotypicals knew what it's like to be constantly trying to be like them out of fear of being rejected and I wish they knew how much it hurts when organizations try to cure us or force us to be "less Autistic". Growing up my mother didn't get many recourses for me and I didn't get a diagnosis till I was 20. Recourses I use today are things like talk therapies for my mental health. My biggest thing I want to share with other autistics is that they are not alone and that it's ok to be different and to be them selves. I was a little surprised when I received my diagnosis but it was also freeing for me and I was no longer ashamed of the "quirks" I had. Not being diagnosed when I was young made a lot of things hard for me especially school. Highschool was one of the hardest things my Dyspraxia made it so I couldn't really write and I was nonverbal through out most of it. Teachers and other students bullied me and it was hard. My mother helped me in many ways to overcome a lot of that and I realize that I'm lucky I had a loving mother there to help me. I believe being autistic is part of what makes me , me and my mother has always been supportive of that for me and my other autistic siblings.

50 Yrs old...Alberta Canada What I do for a living: Sell my artwork from home ...also on disability....Love being my own boss.. People would be surprised to know that I am the only one in my family of 5 who is NOT a malignant narcissist.
My biggest accomplishment thus far is being happily married for 21 years. I live by the motto ...Be the change you want to see in the world...So I am a positive...respectful...accepting person. I wish fellow autistics to know that: Don't mask...just be your glorious autistic self...live autistically

I wish those who were not autistic knew To learn how to recognize and respect our processes....don't mess with my process and we are good. Things that have helped is me is watching videos of Temple Grandin...Speech therapy...seeing a therapist. Signs that indicated that I am autistic: I rock and finger pinch...avoid eye contact....usually when stressed...my first therapist has an autistic son and recognized my stims...my speech patterns...she said she suspected I was autistic...got a new therapist...she just finished working with autistic adults in her last job...recommended to my doc to be set up for further testing...2 years ago...just got my official diagnosis yesterday. Clarity to the extreme once I first received a diagnosis..I have always felt like I was missing something all my life...is why I relate to the puzzle piece...is like all my life doing a puzzle and always missing one piece....my dx was that missing piece. I have Chron's and an illiostomy...short gut syndrome...a severe muscle disorder...OCD..ADHD...CPTSD..Severe social anxiety....have had 21 surgeries...was raised by 2 malignant narcissists...both my siblings are malignant narcissists...these are the obstacles...pure determination to rise above....I removed all the toxic people from my life completely...I stopped masking...I have a plethora of coping tools...ranging from deep breathing exercises....meditations...visualizations...herbs...I push through my anxieties by being mindful and assessing my surroundings....distractions....creativity....

Anonymous 10

Age 19
Queensland, Australia

I've never been employed. I think I would need a lot of close assistance on the job because I am prone to confusion and meltdowns. I would really like to open my own cattery or work in an existing one.

Some people find it quite surprising to know that I'm very educated in geography. It wouldn't surprise autistics, but neurotypicals would be impressed with my knowledge.

My biggest accomplishment so far was getting my driver’s license! Though I need somebody in the car with me when driving, this is a very big step for me, and it feels amazing.

I have had to make big changes for myself in order to function; sunglasses to and noise-canceling headphones to shield my eyes and ears. I wish body language and eye contact were not as important during job interviews and that children were not expected to be born neurotypical.

My Mum has told me that she suspected I was on the spectrum from a very young age, though I wasn't diagnosed until I was an adult. My delayed speech, poor balance, and overall motor skills were big signs, and I was very awkward as a kid and teenager. I didn't get speech therapy because I was not diagnosed until I was an adult, but I do get mental health support now. My social cutoff was thirteen. I was also diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder at this time, and I had trouble understanding people unless there was no background noise. I had frequent meltdowns and my parents didn't understand it.

I have just opened a neurodiversity blog with hopes that it will educate others about neurodiversity. I wish neurotypicals understood that autism is not a scale, rather it is a big, colourful spectrum that depends on the individual. Just because I was deemed “more functioning” and “clever” does not mean I don’t require help a lot of the time. I can’t be myself in public, have frequent meltdowns, engage in self-harming behaviour. However, I am verbal, can hold eye contact for short periods of a time and present neurotypical for the most part. I believe that functioning labels are harmful and that we do not need or want a cure.

I was in denial about my diagnosis at first. I believed that it was this terrible thing that needed to be eradicated. I believe this was due to a lack of understanding of the condition. I later began connecting with other autistic people and began to feel good about myself. I love who I am and wouldn’t change my neurotype for anything. I want other autistics to know and understand that their lives are worth every achievement, meltdown, and struggle. Some days are going to be super tough but try to remember that there will be other days where you feel empowered and inspired. I feel relieved that I am not alone and that I can finally stop masking.

Funny story about me: When I was around the age of twelve, my family and I went to the local park for a day out and I decided to bring along my skates and a clipboard with paper. I was fairly social at that age, and I took it upon myself to skate around the park with my clipboard to ask all of these strangers whether or not they litter. I don’t know why I was so fixated on that certain issue at the age, but my family brings it up today and we still have a good laugh about it.

Anonymous 9

St. Louis, Missouri, US

I'm working on becoming a YouTuber/video editor and writing a book with my poems.
I think people would be surprised I write poems.
My biggest accomplishment is that I turned out to be a good person.
I wish people liked themselves more.
I wish the neurotypical people would understand that just because some is diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s, or PDD that it is not a death sentence. We are our own people with great personalities. To the rest of the people on the spectrum, I’d say its ok to be weird. Most people respect the fact you are being yourself and will give you the time of the day.
I went to a special education middle school, The Miriam School, where I had tremendous support learning social skills. I also received speech therapy, fine motor skills support, and a lot more that I could never repay them for.
Here’s a funny story: I made one of my first friends in second grade when he threw a ball at my head and said “play with me.”
I was diagnosed with OCD at 5, ADHD at 6, and Asperger’s at 7. I didn't think much of it until I got older, and then I started resenting it and myself. I wouldn't tell anyone I have it and I distanced myself from people with the same or similar disabilities as me. Gradually, my views about my disorder changed, probably as a result of reconnecting with my middle school friends.
I went through things I believe are pretty common: Being bullied, not knowing how to stand up for myself, and switching schools frequently. I had a hard time making friends, though I’m decent at it now, people just tend to like me. I have a great support system. The only reason I've made it through has been my family. I do believe my diagnosis is a strength, it gives me a perspective most people don’t have.

Here’s a poem I wrote:
If only this could be a fable but I’m mentally unstable, it’s like when an earthquake hits but you're on top of the table. I have Asperger’s, so whenever I do something social I’m awkward and it happens like clockwork. I’m living with ADHD and a coat with a PhD is prescribing me Concerta or Adderall. I just want to be better y’all. I wish I could stay on one topic but my mind is like a ball pit that a bomb went off in. And next comes OCD. It makes my brain go woe is me. I wish I didn’t perseverate on things that devastate my mental state. I wish I didn’t have to be depressed, I just want to be content. Everything I want to do gets suppressed but I guess that’s just a side effect. I never planned on trying to waste myself but I've been in the psych ward so many times that I pace around with my laces out, and I’ve never been chased around but I've seen someone try to hang themselves. I’m mentally unstable and someday I hope to be under the table.

I'm 34 and currently live in Northern CA

I'm a mom. I both love and tire of it (though never hate it)
I make chainmail jewelry for fun

My biggest accomplishment thus far is recovering from a mental breakdown by the age of 17 and no longer being institutionalized, as predicted.

How I want to change myself is, I want to be less angry, show more love, so that I can model that for my children

I want those who are not autistic to know: It's not a horrible thing, but it is something that requires a different way of handling things but that doesn't make the autistic person bad or deficient

I want those who are also autistic to know: Keep trying. Keep breathing. The more we know about ourselves and can share it, the easier it gets.

Resources that have helped me: I had speech therapy as a kid, I don't know how my speech would be now without it.

Signs that indicated I am on the spectrum are: Meltdowns, inability to handle variety of situations, need for quiet, alone time, retreat spaces, stim behaviors

I didn't get formally dx'ed, but when I came to the personal realization it felt like a weight was lifted. It hasn't been long. I still feel lighter. Wish I'd known as a child.

Life would have been easier if I was diagnosed in childhood. I think if I'd known there wasn't something wrong, that it wasn't my fault, I would have had an easier time living and wouldn't have spent the first 16 years of my life constantly trying to end it.

Obstacles I have overcame: Institutionalization as a teen, repeated suicide attempts, fibromyalgia, chronic pain. How is a whole other matter that I don't even know how to start on.

What indicated to me that I am on the spectrum is from a book I read, I don't remember the title it was ten years ago. The author was/is autistic and her descriptions of her life were just so... Close to what I remember. My mom discounted it, and I forgot about it for ten years, until we started exploring my son's neurology. I think I never got a diagnosis was because
I was fairly "high functioning" I guess. I wanted desperately to fit in, so a lot of my 'weird' behaviors weren't noticed. I think maybe my mom just thought all kids were like me?

25, Southern Tier New York. Employment is debt collection, it’s a means to get by and I’m making the best of it. I talk on the phone, which I am better at than talking in person. My dream job is being a Doctor if Osteopathic Medicine. The knowledge I have gained on healing the body is the biggest achievement I have accomplished thus far. I want to bring about acute awareness and thoroughness when it comes to healing people. I wish more people who are not autistic understood sensory problems and stimming. I haven’t sought a diagnosis. Unfortunately I went unseen. I knew I was different and unique but I did a very good job blending in even though it was torturous to my mental wellbeing. A few teachers suspected ADHD, but it never got seriously addressed, my “issues” got put on the back-burner because my brother’s were more “in their face”. My ability (and the expectation) to blend in was also another reason I was unseen.

What originally made me think that I might be autistic? First, I am fascinated with psychology and healing the body (including the mind), so I have done thorough research on many, many conditions: autism being one. A lot of things started piecing together when I was reading about little girls and women with autism. I have faced many and mostly by myself with no guidance. Most recently I went to an interview, and the score I received on the written portion of the hiring process was very high, but I didn’t get hired because when they asked me questions face to face I couldn’t think or respond barely and I was staring out the window. (Lesson learned, if I interview now I prepare what I am going to say beforehand and completely memorize the dialogue.) I cannot reasonably function when put on the spot, it’s like my brain shuts off. So another obstacle I have thought of, one that is a huge factor in my life, is being overwhelmed with my children constantly touching/talking etc when I am trying to complete a task (dishes, phone call, etc) I have to grit my teeth to prevent myself from lashing out (and sometimes I don’t do a great job of holding back my irritation) they don’t mean to overwhelm me, and I don’t mean to lash out and I always feel guilty if I do (I’m working on EXPLAINING rather than EXPRESSING) When I am playing with them or intending on talking with or being touched it is totally fine, but it seems in every other instance I am overwhelmed with my inability to focus in peace on a task and constantly being interrupted really triggers me. Another thing is with my significant other (who has PTSD from his childhood) triggers me to becomes emotionally overwhelmed sometimes to the point I just want to smash my head (and actually do sometimes) because the feelings I get are just too much and too frustrating... he generally doesn’t do this on purpose, and it’s generally when he had a ptsd episode himself. It can be difficult at times in our relationship especially because he doesn’t recognize my own personal struggles or that is how it feels at least. So I feel misunderstood which sucks in general... this is to extend on the “what I wish people understood” — stimming is something I do when I’m really happy or really overwhelmed with an emotion that I literally can’t stand it so I kinda shake my hands and scrunch my face together and rub my hands together... which I’m afraid makes me look “weird” ... so I try not to do it but it truly is something I prefer to be able to do and I wish there were more resources so I could maybe get an actual diagnosis, but I have stigma against doctors and professionals because my personal experience with them has been less than good. Every time I have gone to a doctor or mental health professional or psychiatrist, etc... I go in with an open mind but I always end up knowing more about things and seeing connections that they don’t see, so I feel discouraged about seeking any type of help like that. I do wish I could find somebody compatible with me intellectually and emotionally that would suit and be helpful but I think it’s next to impossible...