So I’m autistic, now what? I’m working through an online thingy called ‘psycho education’. It doesn’t really do a lot for me since I suspected autism for quite a while and read a lot. What does work for me are the biweekly phone conversations with a professional. This lady, let’s call her Olivia, is quite awesome. She is the young, eager professional that still gives a .. rats ass 😉 She actually teaches me a lot every time we talk.
I always thought that being around people was supposed to be exhausting. I’m an extrovert, I’m social, I like people but my god are they exhausting creatures. That part of autisme I really didn’t have much of a grasp on, because it’s always been that way for me. Let’s be honest, when we think of autism, we think of someone that is not social, can’t make eye contact and doesn’t understand subtext or sarcasm AT ALL. While that might be true for some autistic people (often of the male variety) it’s not at all what most woman with autism ‘look like’. Of course I can only speak for myself, but I was taught at a really young age that not looking at people when they speak to you is rude! Nobody wants to be labeled rude especially as a child so you look people in the eye. I didn’t realise for a long time it takes a lot of effort and makes me really uncomfortable.
Loud noises, itchy clothes, food that has a weird structure, bright lights.. who does like these things? I have learned that even though most people dislike them, they can deal quite easily and even if they can’t they will be able to block it out. For a very long time I operated under the impression that I was normal, but just a little sensitive. Now it turns out that I’m not a little sensitive, I’m very sensitive and my brain works different than most peoples brain.
Olivia is teaching me the difference between what is indeed normal for most people and what is normal for people with autism. Turns out I’m not as flawed a human as I thought, I’m autistic! It gives me some peace to know that some things just aren’t as easy for me as they might be for others. It’s not an excuse to throw around to stop evolving but sometimes it is nice to be able to say to myself: It’s ok, it’s just harder for you because of your autism.
I learn a lot about myself, my childhood, why things are not always easy, about my relationships with other people and so on. Autism has a lot of awesome perks as well. I’ll know how you feel the minute you’re near me, which can be really awesome when a friend needs me. Pets and children are often fond of me, because I’m like them in a way. I’ll say what I mean and mean what I say.
It’s been a journey; I even almost forgot about my blog. I’d like to try and write more often again. I think it would be really cool if people understood autism a little better. I’ve actually been laughed at when I told people I have autism. Like I’m not autistic enough for their taste or to social and autistic people are anti-social right? It would be nice for people to know that is so much more than what you see on TV. Like with asthma, on TV they always whip out their inhaler and are instantly all better. That’s not how it works unfortunately.
Autism is so much more. Please also keep in mind; When you’ve met a person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. Everybody is different and autisme presents differently in everybody.