This is an essay I wrote for my English class. We had to write about how it felt to be something about us, and I naturally chose autism. My teacher loved it so much, that I even got to read it in front of the entire school faculty. So here it is.
How it Feels to be Autistic Me
Sometimes, I feel as if I am from a foreign country. I sometimes have trouble picking up social cues and I always feel different compared to everyone else. The comparison of me to other people is like comparing someone from America to someone from France. Thus is my journey through my life of having autism.
On some days, I feel like I am from England. For example, when I go to school, everyone has different social cues when talking to people like sarcasm, and joking around with people. When I hear these jokes, I sometimes take them a little too seriously. It is like these people have a different social standard compared to me. I talk a bit more formal at school like someone in England, while others talk like they are more casual like they are from America, That does not mean I don’t have any American blood. I can talk casual, just not as much as others. This is what can cause bumps in the road on my journey.
On other days, I feel like I am from Brazil. In Brazil, the popular sport is Soccer while in America, the popular sport is Football. I have somewhat different interests than most kids. While most boys my age are into extreme sports, I am into watching cartoons. I never saw the appeal in throwing or kicking around a ball trying to score a point. I found my interests in having a cartoon give me a good old laugh. This makes it hard for me to talk about my interests because not many people are into the same activities I am. I do find other kids with these interests, but they are the kids I barely see. However, I have found some safe spots in my journey.
When you go to some foreign country, you bring along a guest or someone to translate for you. This is the case when I’m at home. My family knows about autism and they do what they can to help me be treated just like everybody else. My mom gives me all the advice I need on how to be socially acceptable. My older sister keeps me entertained and gives me more personal advice that my mom struggles on giving. My step dad gives me more of the joking advice, to play along with me so I learn how to take a joke. With all these family members, I have clear translation on my journey.
When in another country, you may also be handicapped with certain things such as being able to understand people. This is the case for me with anything involving motor skills. I grew up having fine motor issues, meaning that stuff like driving, drawing or tying my shoes is really hard to me. I did not learn how to tie my shoes until I was 12. I want to learn how to draw, but that will take a lot of practice and more learning. My drawing skills have gotten better though. I just need to relax and look at a reference picture to get it down well. I have found ways to get through this setback on my journey.
The journey around the world with autism may be a long one, but it sure is a wild ride. I may not be as good at some tasks as other people are, but that doesn’t mean I am much lesser of a person than they are. I can talk, I can walk, I can socialize, and I know what is socially acceptable. This here is what makes my journey complete.