Wow! Just wow. What can I say? This is so mind-blowing and overwhelming for me. I mean – I do know what I mean and know what I want to say. Just as an afterthought knowing now that there are many others like me but may experience life as an Autistic more different to me. Every Autistic I know or have spoken to will have a different story to share with their experiences and so much more. While I am sitting here right now, I never thought I would write this down in my journal of my thoughts but today, here I am. Ready and am about to share it with you all.
Words cannot describe how much I wanted to write (and someday) spread this message; it’s something I should’ve done years ago; especially now, when the world is changing. It changes every day and it’s going so quickly. And, within these changes that comes into play and or effect that comes with our everyday challenges that we face no matter what it is – big or small.
I never knew why Autism could be complicated, misunderstood or frustrating for so many of us who has been diagnosed with this. I am so surprised about how it is acceptable to be discriminated, stigmatized, stereotyped or for somebody to say to any of us, ‘You don’t look autistic enough to have Autism’. Yes, we may have heard this so many times before of this from others that are lacking of knowledge, understanding and more. It is sometimes out of curiosity or just plain straight out ignorance not wanting to know or be aware that this is real and does exist. It is impossible to deny how Autism can affect so many, even today. A long time ago, Autism Awareness was miles away and everything we have now didn’t exist. I can’t imagine to life in a world with no awareness in the present day. I believe that with the quote I shared just recently in my last post that I wrote that “The first step towards change is awareness and the second step is acceptance”.
Still, Autism can be seen in a different light; this case – its words; written or verbal communication.
When I was researching the term for Autism, I found that according to the Oxford Dictionary, Autism is a mental condition which can include having difficulties of communicating and forming relationships. (Scrunch or tear a piece of paper containing that fact.) I mean, come on.
The Oxford Dictionary doesn’t tell us how people see Autism.
An online dictionary defines Autism as,
“A developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behaviour”. Needless to say again, every Autistic that has been diagnosed will develop different traits and characteristics of it.
Autism is something that cannot be written or read. It can be seen as a jigsaw piece, where it can fit within in us. Every piece we place becomes a person – not a label but a gift we were born to have. Yet, many others will view Autism again differently. From an article I read from: https://themighty.com/2018/04/what-is-autism-like/
The responses from many autistic adults varies and their responses when they discussed it with The Mighty writers when they answered the questions of, “How do you see the world differently from neurotypical individuals? What do you want people to know about the strengths of your unique perspective?”
These were their responses:
1. “I see the world the way Zacchaeus in the Bible did when Jesus made his triumphant return to Jerusalem. While everyone else was crowding around the gates and along the path he was taking, pushing and shoving and so on, Zacchaeus decided to climb a tree and watch from there, out of harms way. It gave him a unique vantage point. Without intending to, he drew attention to himself and got mocked by the crowds for it, but Jesus befriended him. Basically, Jesus respected his unique point of view. Just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.” — Susan E.
2. “I have this capacity for joy that others don’t seem to have, at least not in quite the same way. I don’t always express that joy on the outside very well, and it can be quieter than the way it would look in other people, but it’s there inside of me and I think people see it if they look hard enough. No matter what I am going through, I am able to separate it from the joys in life and I can still find deep, wondrous joy even in the darkest of times. The sunlight shining through bare branches and making patterns on freshly fallen snow is beautiful to me, even in April. The feeling of a purring cat on my lap, the first sip of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, a happy little chickadee at the bird feeder, all these little tiny joys throughout my day, being experienced and cherished as fully as possible, even through grief and pain. Don’t get me wrong, it can be harder to reach sometimes, but I still try and I almost always succeed. I don’t know if it’s because I experience things more intensely or if it’s that detail oriented part of my brain that picks up on those small details, or maybe it’s both. I just know that people are often surprised when they hear about how much I am enduring with my health and loss and other life troubles and they often comment on my positive attitude and my strength. It seems to be something unique to me that a lot of other people have more trouble achieving. I can’t quite put it into words, I just know it is because of my autism, and because of that one little — but very big thing — I wouldn’t trade my autism for anything.” — Jennifer K.RESOURCES FROM AUTISM TALK
3. “Its loud, bright, flashy and it hurts, but I can’t get away from it. Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s not. I’ve learned where my personal limits are, but I can’t always tell people I’m at that limit. that my life. I wish sometimes I had a “Waldon cabin” but I don’t. And please, for the love of god, stop calling my genetic makeup a disease! My suffering isn’t from a virus. [Autism] is in my literal fiber, it’s genetic.” — Yvonne T.
4. “I see the world as a confusing and huge place. Because of it, I take everything in all at once and as a result, I don’t always like being at social gatherings. I would like people to know that people with autism are just like everyone else and despite the level or whatever, we’re human. We’re not a disease, not a experiment for science, and lastly, not the people media portray us as, like “Rainman” and “Atypical.” We grow and progress just like everyone else, we don’t stay the same like the media portrays. I want to see the real person, not what media portrays. I’m done with misconceptions, end of story.” — Brookelyn R.
5. “For many years the only way I could make sense of my different experience was having the belief that life was a play, and everyone but me had the script… I was an experiment… that offered some comfort as I saw everyone else managing things so easily that I struggled with.” — Katy K.
6. “I see the world as if I were an alien from another world. I observe the people and my surroundings learning from them, at the same time unaware of what’s going on around me. I’m there, but I feel isolated as if for some reason I don’t belong and have trouble connecting to this strange planet and don’t understand a lot of what is said and done. I’m curious to become involved, but at the same time, keep my distance so they don’t see the things that make me different from them.”– Jay P.
1 in every 150 people in the world has been diagnosed with Autism: that’s about 0.667% of the world’s population.
Autism can be challenging for many individuals, their families and friends. Every day, they have to go through situations like meltdowns, unexpected sudden changes, and diversions; over-sensitive to noise, sight, smell or touch; or travelling by themselves.
Turning a blind eye on Autism is just cruel and it can cause so much judgement, isolation and fear. This can lead to sadness and guilt about one’s self-identity.
An identity is important for everybody and every identity tells a story. Stories are vulnerable and valuable to everyone; they shouldn’t been shut away from the world, they shouldn’t be discriminated and nor should they shouldn’t be stereotyped. Every page needs to turn; so all of us need to be respected.
So, why am I thinking about this now? Why am I so passionate about this? Well, I just want to let go of my past. I want to let go of all the things that have hurt me and my loved ones too. I never had the strength to write about my feelings or tell anyone about them. Now that I have, I can finally say I am going to let everything go. All the guilt and doubt was all there – but not for long.
At the moment, I’m trying out an idea. I’m unsure how it’ll work out but I hope it’ll help me to be and feel confident. The next I feel sad or guilty; I’m going to stop and start to think. When I think, I’m going to imagine a spell out:
A: is for Acceptance: is the world accepting me? If not, why not?
U: is for Understand: does the world understand Autism? Does the world understand me?
T: is for Trust: does the world trust me and allow me to try?
I: is for Identity: What’s the story behind me? Have people seen me or do I only see myself?
S: is for Say: say how you feel. What’s the one thing I can change about today?
M: is for Mighty: Remind yourself how you strong you are. You are mighty – and you can do anything.
And it’s true – anyone can do anything to make a possible change in this world- Big or small.
Although I’ve been called weird, a kid or stupid, I’m going to start to think about me; sure, I’m different but I am special. I don’t care what people think of me anymore; they’re just to have to learn to deal with it. I know who I am and I can take away from all forms of negativity. I’m not alone because I feel accepted by the people I love. My world is going to be inclusive and when it will, I will promise to treasure everything you have and remember that life is just the start of a new beginning.
With the world continuing to change, why not start sharing our stories? Why not start pushing yourself and why not start to raise your voice for what you believe in. Always stand up for what you believe in.
Changing the world doesn’t happen with a tap of a pen or reading a book, it’s about taking action. We all have the power to raise our voice and coming out of our comfort zone. It’s easier than you think.
We prove people wrong by letting the good things in; they can only happen if we do something. I’ve proved people countless times but that doesn’t mean I should stop.
I may be insecure but deep down, I’m more than that. I know that I’m more than that.
I was born to be Autistic for a reason. I was born to be Autistic so I could change the world. I never realised that until now but I’m glad that I manage to figure it out before it was too late. I’m going to push myself; I’m going to make friends with those who see me for who I am but – most importantly – I’m going to be me. Me, myself and I; and when I die, I’ll die, knowing that I have changed the world to make it inclusive for all. Until then, I’ll continue to do what I do – however, I will say this. I recognize and accept my story and although it’s not finished, I know that I’ll continue to shine like the sun. I maybe Autistic but I’m proud of everything I do. I’m proud to be alive, to have love for Autism and to have a voice to say: I’m Autistic and I am proud.