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