Why I take pride in my Autism and you should too

Good day to you all

I’m writing to you all from sunny Crete on my first full day of holiday. My first abroad in two years. It gorgeous. I am writing this after lunch so sorry if it not as long as usual.

Right to business 🧐

Today the 18th June is Autism Pride day.

A day for Autistic people to celebrate their Autism and identity.

Starting in 2018 this day is influenced by the main pride event. Autism is something no one should have to hide. Many Autistic people mask meaning to repress their traits and appear neurotypical. This is wrong. We all have the right to be ourselves to express ourself. My own autism gives me a sense of empathy and compassion. I often overprocess and overthink. I find adapting hard. So I try to treat other with kindness and empathy.

We’re all different 

Famous Autism advocate Chris Packham says there is no typical Autistic person and it’s true we are all unique. Don’t try to put us in boxes let us process and think in our own ways. 

I can genuinely say that my autism is something I would not change. Even if it were possible I’d be offended. I hear from many people who are diagnosed later in life I was lucky to be diagnosed at a fairly young age as my parents worked very hard to do so. I literally have always been aware of my autism. It’s as much a part of me as my taste’s in food or my hair colour. It gives me strength. In a odd way even the things that cause me anxiety such as having trouble asserting myself and needing more processing time and misreading social cues have had their good side. Yes these things are not nice. They do make me empathetic though. I try to be patient and kind with others to show empathy because I understand myself how they feel. For example recently I got a string of private messages of someone followed by one after I replied saying sorry got carried away. Most people might not have been nice here I get it. I do the same.

People often remark how mature I am. I have to laugh. In a way it’s true. On a good day I’m very sensible I come across well. On a bad day….I still find myself overwhelmed at times over processing. I worry, worry should I do that, could that have been better? Should I go back and do that again. I’m constantly re-assuring myself your a nice guy your doing good. But my brain is determined to find a fault in what I do. On a good day I keep busy I can squash bad thoughts. I keep busy. On a bad day it can be anything. A late bus,a bad nights sleep a rude person. Little things can cause major ripples in my mood. These are days when I’m triggered more. I can cope with changes to my routine but if they come on a day when I’m already feeling self conscious that when I find it harder. On those days I mumble and mutter to myself fidget with my hair. I often need to take a walk listen to something clear my head .

It’s days like this I’m tempted to over eat. Food solves all problems for five minutes. Then shame why did I do that?

The reason I’m telling you all this is on a good day you would think I had not a care in the world. Autism is a Hidden Disability never forget that.

Even everything I’ve told you about my inner anxieties you may ask am I really proud to be autistic? Yes 100% Without my autism I’d be less kind. Less compassionate. Less curious. I’d never do the extra bit to help. Plus on a slightly selfish note it makes me appreciate things more. I love reading and writing. I could not read till I was eight or nine. Would a love of reading still be true for me without the effort? Perhaps. But I think not.

Most importantly I am proud of me. My autism is part of me. It’s not a separate thing. I’m proud of myself. You should be too. 

To those with autism reading this. I would like to offer you all some advice. Some Autistic people find certain things harder. It does not mean we are incapable. In a ideal world we’d all be treated with consideration. As we know that is not the case. I’m sure you have all heard “This might not be right fit you” as a way to shoot down a idea or “this means” presuming a lack of knowledge without asking. People like this or everywhere. Neighbour, teachers. People who think they are experts. Not that I’m adverse to good advice and guidance. But that isn’t this. It’s more like “ hush I know your mind better than you” these people are infuriating. I know it’s hard but try not to waste anger on them. Easier said than done. Most of my teachers were lovely. With one exception one teacher wanted everyone to learn in the same way. Haters me asking questions. Made me doubt myself. Feel stupid. I do not like this person. I have done so much since then though. Why should I think of them?

Life is to short and we have much better things to do. What you should do is not listen to them. Prove them wrong persevere. Believe in yourself. Of course it won’t always be easy but you need to try.  If your lucky you will have a a good support network of family and friends

If not I believe in you, be yourself . Remember the people who put you down are petty and small. They want to feel big. Ultimately they don’t matter. You do.

If I might be just a bit pretentious. (Sorry it’s my blog) I’d like to share a poem I wrote last year. This explains a bit more what I’m trying to say. By the way poetry is what some people said I could not do. 

A poem for Autism Pride day

Unique:

I am Autistic 

I’m not a statistic 

I am not a way for you  to score a point 

I am not a novelty 

Don’t ask me constantly if I understand 

Don’t assume what I know or what I’ll be able 

to do

Get to know me and you’ll see

Let me tell YOU about me

I am imaginative. Bold and kind 

I always get the last word (ok that might be just in my mind)

I am creative

I see things a different way

That doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a say

We’re all people at the end of the day 

Thank you all for reading. 

Learn more about autism pride day here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autistic_Pride_Day

and here

Learn about the language of Autism here

#autisticpride

How I destress a late post for Mental Health Awareness week



Good evening last week was Mental Health awareness week. The theme this week was loneliness.
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

I have the utmost sympathy for those that feel acute loneliness and isolation. I will not try to speak for them as I can’t. I hope I would be able to talk to and emphasise though.

Even if it’s not as acute I think we all feel this to some extent. We all  have times where we feel we’re losing touch with people we used to be close too or that we are not understood. 

These things happen life is busy.  We all have things going on. It’s easy to hurt without even meaning too.

Which is why I try to have time for people. It’s not always easy. I’m human too sometimes I’m tired or in a bad mood myself. Sometimes I want some me time. I try though to be available and kind. 

It’s important to look after your own mental health. One of the ways I do this is by having things to focus on. Not things you have to do like work or doing housework. Stuff you enjoy.

Like listening to music. Playing sports. Online gaming. Artwork. Everyone is different.

It’s important to have interests. It may sound simple and I know not everyone has the luxury of time. If you can try and carve out at least hour a week for yourself. It may not be much but we all work hard. 

I’m going to share two ways I calm myself:

Writhing and reading:

 I’ve always overthought things. Books and stories let me get out of my head. Reading for has me always felt like a door. It lets you see into another world. How someone else lives. It makes you re-examine yourself and what you take for granted. A good story can genuinely expand you mind. Teach you how do appreciate more of life. 
It can also be tremendous fun. You can have adventure see in your mind a million places.

Some stories make you laugh your head off

Example:Google Tom Holt after this that’s an order. I recommend Only Human by him.

I don’t just read though. I write to and then make people listen to it at open mic nights. I must be stopped!!! Was this blog not enough for me…. Jokes aside 
Why do I write? 
I write because I enjoy it. No deeper reason. That may not be profound but it’s true. If I did not enjoy writing I would stop. When I write there are no limits. I can make new worlds, new people. I can get things off my chest. Let out what I feel. Many a poem has started off based on a need to let a frustration out. A good bit of writing can make me feel hope.  I will always write. 

Running: My second big way of calming down is running. People have a misconception about running that you have to be really fit or in training for a big event. That is not true.

It’s great. It get you outside in the fresh air. It releases built up energy. Running is something everyone can do. People say “I’m not a runner” no one is till they start. Running is very much a community for many now. In my running club we encourage each other, we urge each other to do our best. We also joke around we have some friendly competitiveness. It’s nice. Some will say so just run alone. I don’t need a group.

Most people don’t get how good it feels to run people in the group do. When you beat your personal best for a route. When your stamina and speed gets better. Or when you have a bad day, when you gain weigh or have gramp how a kind word can make all the difference.

Running alone is harder. You have to be disciplined, motivate yourself. Being with others helps. It’s easy to criticise yourself but with others you realise your doing ok.

So those are two ways I destress. Due to my autism I tend to have trouble disengaging so these thing keep me grounded. They let me let myself back in. 

Warning though don’t take hobbies as far as you want. Don’t be pressured. Especially by yourself!!! When you run with others don’t drive yourself mad trying to beat others or obsess over your times. Sure it’s fun to try and improve your speed on some races it’s a challenge it makes you eat healthier focus. It’s good but don’t go around obsessing over it. Then your replacing one stress for another.

Actually come to that same with reading no self imposed deadlines. Trust me I used to do these. Just enjoy your hobbies.

I’m aware I only focused on my hobbies here but whatever your interest do it for you.

Thanks for reading 

Equality and Human Right week and staff network day

Hello hope your well.

I’m good been keeping fairly busy.

Sorry for not blogging in a while.

Been fairly busy both in and out of work.

Got a lot of work projects on the go.

Out of work I’m still running a lot.

I decided to try and do more races this year as well as GNR as part of my training. Tomorrow I’m doing Sunderland strollers pier to pier and I have a few more races booked in.

Also had few birthday recently my little nephew turned six which made me feel really old. I was unwell in April but other than that I can’t really complain. Right onto the main post:

This week is  Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week a time to celebrate  to showcase the amazing work going on in healthcare care on equality, diversity and inclusion.

Learn more here.

https://www.nhsemployers.org/articles/equality-diversity-and-human-rights-week-2022

As a Autistic person I at times can find work more challenging than my peers. It can feel at times like a lot to process. It’s little things a lot of the time. I have difficulty at times knowing when I am talking too much. Sometimes I will become aware and acknowledge it.

Other times I will happily talk for ages without pause. It can depend on my mood. Another way my Autism affects me is how I process data. I work best without interruption. One thing at a time. I find it very hard to ignore things like notifications on teams and emails. Most people can naturally prioritise. Say right I’m doing this now. That can wait. I find that hard. To give more context take email I hate having a full inbox. I dread coming back to work from leave as I fear how many communications I will get.

It’s not coming back to work or the work I dread it’s the processing of all that text. It’s not that the messages I get are hard or difficult to deal with. They’re mainly not. It’s the unknown. I just hate the thought of how many there will be and what they will be. It’s never as bad as I think but it makes me more anxious than most after a few days off. I worry about looking rude for not responding, I worry about bad news stuff I should have done. Of course I check my emails after a week off and it’s always ok.

I’m getting better at thud now. It’s only a mild concern now. The point is most people wouldn’t feel this way. This is just me but everyone works differently.

We have many staff with different needs in my trust all deserve consideration and  the right to work equally. When someone has different ways of processing many other workplaces  do not make an effort to understand people. My trust works very hard to do just that.

Everyone’s contribution count is one of my trust’s core values.

One of the ways my trust supports it’s staff is through our staff networks.

Wednesday was National Staff Networks Day a day to shine a light on and recognise the multiple benefits that staff networks can offer. 

You can learn about the national day here:

https://www.nationaldayforstaffnetworks.co.uk/

I am very proud to work for a trust that supports its workforce. I am involve in my work place Autism network. Networks exist to help and support people within groups often with protected characteristics and to give them a voice to speak their mind in a safe space. Most importantly to let people know they’re not alone. It’s easy to think only you feel a certain way. It’s comforting at times just to talk and be listened too.

I’ve learned so much in our trust network met so many people. I learnt things I didn’t even consider might be relevant. I would never claim to have all the answers far from it. At least I can try to help though. Whoever you are wherever you work one last bit of advice. Don’t stop trying.

Things may never be perfect but we try. If you don’t know what to say or do, ask and listen. Understanding and  empathy goes a long way.

Right if you’ve read all this thanks.

I’m off to bed now got that big race I mentioned at start tomorrow. Wish me luck 

Autism Acceptance Week and Autism Awareness Day

Hi all

Today is a special day. My birthday. Kidding.

Well it IS my birthday. But I’m not here to wrangle free gift 🎁🎁 (or am I evil laugh)

Ok onto the serious stuff. Today is Autism Awareness day. An day to recognise and celebrate Autism

To understand those on the spectrum and help make a better world.

However whilst awareness is good.

It’s not the most important thing.

Many of those  on the spectrum have experienced feeling self conscious or mask their traits to appear more neurotypical.

Don’t get me wrong. Raising awareness is important. There are many ignorant people and we should try to build a better world.

However autistic people are still people.

Take me I like running. Poetry. Obscure comedy and sci fi shows. Sometimes we just want to be without having to explain.

We want to be us.

Just like any person.

Whilst it is important that people understand autism. What those on the spectrum truly want is acceptance. To be ourselves. 

For other to understand.

This week is has also been Autism Acceptance week. 

https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/raise-money/world-autism-acceptance-week-2022

I encourage you if your on the spectrum be happy with yourself. Your interests. Don’t try to be what others feel you should be. Be you.

I recommend reading the below site too it has some great advice.

Sorry this has been a relatively short blog 

Hey it’s my birthday 😉

Thanks for reading 

Happy Autism Acceptance Week

Importance of taking a second look

Evening all. Hope your well. I’m doing good. No major news but I’ve felt good recently. I’ve been putting less pressure on myself as I’d planned. Been binge watching a lot of series. Reading a fair bit. Still running. Put my name in ballot for GNR. For those who don’t know its like a lottery your not guaranteed a spot. So not a bad month. Bit of January blues but on whole feel good.

Tonights a short one. I just wanted to share a tip I’ve found recently that helps me with processing requests from people. One of the most common ways my autism can affect me in my daily life I like to deal with things immediately. I don’t like keeping people waiting or waiting to respond.
Texts, email, instant messages are very hard for me to ignore. I find it way to easy to get sidetracked from what I’m supposed to be doing. Even if the task I’m doing is more important. It feels more important to answer the person waiting for me.Its not just a work thing it happens socially too. I feel massive guilt for ignoring social media. which is I know ridiculous. Anyway the messages themselves often they’re trivial nothing. That’s nine out of ten. Sometimes though they will be asking me a serious question. It may be something like advice around a work issue or someone from my writing group asking for volunteers. It may initially make me self conscious. How do I answer this? What do I need to do? I think I know but I’m not sure…. If you ever get a query or message that makes you feel this way, just stop. Just that stop. Get a drink. Make yourself do something else for an hour. I understand this will be hard. As someone on the spectrum I find it hard to let stuff go. When something triggers me and needs a response I like to get it out of the way. I understand the compulsion. a rushed response is the last thing you should do though. You need to take time to think what is it that stresses you out? Is it information your being asked for, perhaps plans you have to make? Is it actually doing it that’s hard or just the idea of it all. Try and break down what is being asked of you. What can you do. What are the individual task. If data is needed have you answered such questions before what did you say then? Take as much time as you need. Think before answering. Its amazing how much this helps often a mere hour or two away from a problem can help give a sense of perspective. A problem that seemed complex on first viewing can be less intimidating with a calmer head. So always think first don’t answer right away. Reflect and come back. Obviously this tip won’t work for all those on the spectrum. It may cause some extra stress. So as a bonus tip always ask yourself ”What’s the worst that can happen” The person contacting you properly won’t expect an immediate response anyway so often its self inflicted the notion we have to give a fast response. So take five and relax. Then look again. Bye till next time

Dealing with ignorant people. Its better at times to not engage

Good morning

Hope your well. I’m ok aside from it being such a cold day. First order of business after this coffee.

Ok I’ll get straight in.
Have you ever been mocked?
The world can be a very cruel place
This happened a while ago but I was saving it.
I was just reminded of it.
In October I was walking home from work.
I was wearing my sunflower lanyard.
A group of men walked past me. One was carrying a six pack. One of them looked at me. 
Clocked my lanyard. Raised his hands and said “tweet a woo” like a bird. 
Tweet a woo. Move over Shakespeare.
This lovely gentlemen then went to pass what I’m sure was a highly productive evening.
The thing was it didn’t bother me. I mean it did.
It wasn’t the fist time. There were kids on the bus at school who mocked my innocence and tried to trick me into saying things. There were people on nights out in the past. Also sometimes ignorant people make assumptions
So this wasn’t my first such encounter. I was irritated. Startled. Yet it wasn’t worth a confrontation. In a way these encounters can feel more annoying as there is very little you can do. Ignorant people are everywhere. I try to raise awareness wherever I can but you can’t change the whole word.Pick your battles. Later on I thought about it again. I thought of my friends. My family. People I know from running. All the stuff I do at work to promote Equality and Diversity.
I remembered the world is changing people are more aware of Neurodiversity and Autism. Thing have got miles better since I was a kid.

Then odd as it sounds I almost pitied that man.
Almost. Imagine being so sad and ignorant you think mocking someone is clever or that you do it feel big.
Ultimately people who behave like that,
People who mock others. Who are to lazy to learn or see past their own views are going to be very sad. Where will his mates be if he tires of going out? If he has a bad day? What will people like that be remembered for?
Also if he wants to get anywhere his attitude won’t get him there. 
So if you meet someone like that whilst out and about. Ignore them.
Let them have their laugh 
It won’t be for long.

Hello 2022

Good evening Happy belated new year Hope you all had a nice Christmas I did spent a lovely few days with family.Didn’t venture out New Years but still managed to wreck my died from the comfort of my own home. Still getting back to normal now back at work now, trying to shake of the pounds.I mentioned using my work laptop in my last post due to the dreaded white screen of death well I now have a new phone and WordPress actually works so I have no excuse not to blog now. Except lazinessThat is one of my resolutions I have three

 1:Write more: at the writers group I’m in it was mentioned a story I started had great potential. I also have many ideas including a novel half done. It’s easy to make excuses. I’m tired. To busy. No time there is some truth here but I also know nothing ever gets done for you. Best advice I’ve got is write 10 minutes a day. This year I will

2: Keep weight off: I’ve done well. I still have a way to go though. Right now I’m in a middle ground not gaining but not really losing. Bar the odd two pound which keeps coming on and off. My weight has stayed roughly the same for months. Time to try harder. It is important I keep my goals in mind and avoid comfort eating when stressed. I often let thing get on top of me. Then I think I deserve a treat. Feel better for two minutes then regret it. Rinse repeat. I have managed to keep weigh off but am conscious it wouldn’t take much to go back. I never want to do that. I have better stamina now. I feel better. I need to remember what will really make me happy. 

3: Do what I want more: I often worry about pleasing everyone. Both in work and socially. I find it hard to say no. It caused me anxiety. However it doesn’t make my life easier. So many times I’ve not done what I wanted. It’s ridiculous. True you can’t always do what you want but your own feelings matter to. I’m 33 I should be able to say “no” without worrying and fretting about it. So I’m going to try 

4: keep it in perspective 
Ok I lied there’s four but it’s kind of an add on to all the others.
So those others are my three resolutions for this year. The issue is will I keep them? I know people often don’t keep these. It’s easy when it’s just after new year your off work. You’ve had a lie in. It seems so obvious and easy. Then real lift happens. Today I had a bit of sensory overload lots of messages/Teams meetings. But you know what? At the end of the day it’s just another day. My dear mam always says “Work is not your life” meaning leave it at the door. Stop go home relax. My dearly departed grandpa Harry who anniversary is next week bless him also had a wise saying “Don’t wish your life away sonna” meaning enjoy it. Don’t fret about how fast your going or what you can’t change. (By way spell check says sonna is not real word I don’t care it was good enough for Harry)I know I do worry to much. I can’t help

it. I second guess myself. I am trying not to though. Life really is too short.I know life can be hard but I wish you all a good 2022. Thank you 

Disability History month 2021

Good evening blog. Well I broke my promise again. This time I have a valid excuse for the desert with blowing tumble weeds. My blog stopped working on my phone and ipad completely. I get the dreaded white screen of death which I have been unable to fix. I’m currenlty writing this from my work laptop as my personal one is also despairnly bad. I need new tech.

Anyways this post is not about my tech issues. This month was Disabilty History month a time to recognise Disabilty and Diversity in all its forms. I have been doing my bid to raise awareness both at work and on my personal social media. So this is just a brief reflection I wrote it for work as part of reflection. It was submitted along with a video. The vidoe was used but I could not bare to simply throught the text away so here it is. Its not being censored at all. Hopefully that make it good as it raw. If not well this is free content folk :)-

What my Autism Meant to me:

“It isn’t easy for me to summarise what my autism means to me. As many of you know who read my blog regularly will know short and sweet is not my skill.

My autism has always just been a part of me.

I was diagnosed at the age of four and a half. Whilst I’ve had many test over the years I realise now how lucky I was to get that early diagnosis. I’ve met so many people over the years who only recently have been able to get confirmation.

I was able to get support from a young age I remember seeing a person at school every week who showed me cards with pictures on and being annoyed. Being asked things like what is this person feeling etc. It actually taught me a lot about how to process new information.

Funny I thought it was daft only know do I see the point.

It was harder as I got older. Many people I knew started to have different interests. I did not. I found it hard for years to socialise. I also had very skewed ideas of what friendship should be thanks to sitcoms.

It was only in my twenties I really started going out independently. 

It’s was a wake up. It sounds so daft to say but I realised then not everyone is nice. Nothing specific. Random rude people. I remember being on a bus alone for the one of the first times. I have dyspraxia as well so sometime I don’t have natural reflexes. I stumbled when the bus moved suddenly as I wasn’t used to it. Another time I was in a shop I had spent about £2.80 and paid with a £5 the shop keeper gave me £2.20 and said that’s 5. I said no it £2.20. He thought I was disputing my change. I didn’t get why he was so it was five. It was not a £5 it had been. So as you can see I often saw things differently.

Even now I still do at times. I have a few more social skills now I’m older Getting my job helped. It gave me a real sense of purpose. So do my hobbies my running club and my creative writing projects. I still manifest in many ways though I worry a lot. I often over think little relatively unimportant things. This can sometimes affect my concentration at work make it hard to disengage. The last year was especially hard as I was alone more. I try very hard now to disengage. To do other things. To not let one thing occupy all my time. This applies to work and personal things. It’s not always easy but it something I’m trying to do.

Another thing about me I find it hard to control my emotions at times both positive and negative. I have to try very consciously to not always react on my first impulse when annoyed. Often after some reflection my emotions calm and I am able to re-evaluate things clearer.

I have come to accept I will always be someone who overthinks a little. That’s ok.

I can manage it. I’m aware of it. The mistake I made was when I was younger trying to make myself change This is me. I am not perfect. But then who is? Remember what I said about the bus and shop? There will undoubtedly be more miscommunications in my life People make many assumptions Not just about autism. About all Disabilities “You can’t do that.” Or “You should do that”

I once had someone say to me at a job fair “You wouldn’t understand” I had just met him and mentioned my autism.

It’s stuff like that which makes people not want to disclose things.

Don’t make assumptions about people

Remember we are all unique

Thank you for reading”

#DisabilityHistorymonth & #bettertogether

Newcastle Mela 2021

Good morningApologies for not blogging in a while. I’ve had a few things going on both in and out of work so haven’t had the time to do a post in ages. Ironically I have been doing a lot in my main job to promote E&D suppose I just used all my energy on that. Still I’ve got my writing bug back today so let’s hope it lasts!!!The reason for today’s blog is that yesterday I attended Newcastle mela

The Mela is a free festival which takes place each year on August bank holiday weekend in Newcastle. It’s open to anyone who wants to learn more about different cultures, be entertained and meet new people as well as enjoy different music, art and food festival takes place yearly and is based around Pakistani, Indian and South Asian cultures. This is actually the second time I’ve attended https://punton9.wordpress.com/2019/08/25/newcastle-mela-2019/
As the event couldn’t take place last year it was wonderful it was able to go ahead this year. There is always something to see. There are dozens of stalls selling food clothing adverting local services. There is music throughout the event. It’s simply incredible. So many people. Events like this make you think it’s so easy to say you respect other cultures but you realise how little you know about them at events like this. I had never heard of the Mela till a couple of years ago. Many people I know have no idea what it is. Considering it’s been running for 24 years I don’t know how we missed it. I’ve realised something which I’ve been embarrassed to admit I knew nothing about other culture before I started work I’ve always been respectful and tried to be kind but I knew very little on how people life’s could vary so much. It’s humbling. We’re all still learning. This is why these events are so important.I had a wonderful time yesterday promoting our trust. I was there representing our trusts apprenticeship programme as well as the equality ally it was nice to have a chance to engage with so many people. I’ve missed that the last year. It was an honour to be there. We had many visitors. The kids in particular loved our free wristband!! Genuinely a lot of good people came and talked to us. I urge you as a person to take time to learn more about other cultures. It doesn’t have to be a big thing just talk to people try something new don’t make assumptions. There were of course many other stalls and events . Of note were stalls from Unison the army cadets and the fire service. Music started at 3pm the this was opened by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle Habib Rahman the first BAME Mayor of the city. He spoke passionately about equality for all and how racism cannot be tolerated.

.I’d like to end this post by thanking Rexie Akwei and Patrick Price from my trust for making sure we were there this year. Thank you 

Patrick Price chair of the my trusts LGBT network
Carla and Clare from midwifery NSECH offered some medical tips
Myself, Rexie the inclusion lead for our trust . Patrick chair of the LGBT Network in our trust. Also On-Ki a hard working staff member and member of the BAME staff Network
The wonderful unison
The Lord Mayor of Newcastle

Reflections on Autism Pride Day

Good morning Hope your all well. I’m looking forward myself too spending Sunday with my dad for Father’s Day. I hope you have a good weekend whoever you are.
Today June 18th is Autism Pride day. It’s a day for those on the spectrum to celebrate our autism and how it makes us who we are.https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/autistic-pride-day-2021/
Many people still even now have the wrong idea about autism. People don’t even do this maliciously on purpose a lot of the time often people just like to form their own opinions on based on someone they know or a half truth. If you want to read more about how people on the spectrum think a colleague of mine recently recommended the below websiteidentityfirstautistic.org

It’s a great resource to challenge perceptions. There are also some truly inspiring people on there. So it’s well worth checking out whether your on the spectrum or not. I’m on the Spectrum and it taught me loads.

Regarding my attitude to my own autism.I can genuinely say that I am now comfortable expressing my autism. Those who know me may say “you always have been” The desire to mask and hide autism is something many people experience. I’ve never really masked my autism, but I did have misguided reasoning in the past, let me explain. I remember a few points in my life realising I was a little unique and trying to be what others wanted. One example of this is when I tried to play football at school at break I went along a few days and hated every second. In truth as a child and young adult even now I often just wanted to do my own thing, have some peace. I still wanted friends though so it was a catch 22. It’s not that I don’t like people I do but I also need headspace from time to time. So it made hard making friends as kid hard. My interests were often very set I had a friends when I was younger a former neighbour we used to play together and talk about books we both liked. We moved but our mums kept in touch. Sadly we didn’t go to the same schoo so we grew apart.One sad moment was when I realised my interests hadn’t changed and theirs had when I brought up the books we both used to like. It’s always been a big fear. The feeling of being left behind. I like my routine but yet I want to grow as a person and be more  independent.The older you get the more aware you are. I was slower to grow up emotionally. I didn’t really want to stop being a kid and liking what I did. Of course my mistake was thinking I couldn’t still enjoy these things and be social. For years I wasn’t even bothered about being social, I wasn’t unfriendly but I liked my routine.Things started changing when I finally left college. I was in a college for people on the spectrum called ESPA for three years. I then did a year at my local college which also had an autism unit. So I had in a way a comfortable place to transition from school to adulthood. Suddenly I was finished all this free time. Now what was I supposed to do?
So when I was younger in my twenties I tried very hard and I’m ashamed to say this “be normal” Get a job, save money, make friends. Yeah cause life is that simple.I suppose I was being a bit naiveI didn’t mask as such but I didn’t mention my autism much in my early twenties.Perhaps it’d because as my social skills grew I didn’t want it to define me? I can’t even believe I thought that. I can no more not be autistic as I could jump to the moon!! I think I was worried about people treating me differently or making assumptions.You know what I feel now?Who cares what proper think!!!If someone prejudged you based on anything that is their problem not yoursTake my advice never try to hide who you are. Never feel who you is wrong.When I was a young child there were some medical people that weren’t sure if I would ever have the capability to function without support. Well they were wrong. My family helped me. They never stopped supporting me. I was lucky so many people on the spectrum just need a bit more understanding.I’ve done so much people never thought I could.I write poetry I’ve ran the GNRI travel independently (ok that may seem out of place but I didn’t till 20 so I’m counting it)All of this is why I take pride in my autism without it I would not be me
I would like to finish with a poemThank you all for reading
A poem for Autism Pride dayUnique:I am Autistic I’m not a statistic I am not a way for you  to score a point I am not a novelty Don’t ask me constantly if I understand Don’t assume what I know or what I’ll be able to doGet to know me and you’ll seeLet me tell YOU about meI am imaginative. Bold and kind I always get the last word (ok that might be just in my mind)I am creativeI see things a different wayThat doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a sayWe’re all people at the end of the day 
#autisticpride