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April is Autism Awareness Month...


Silver Flower
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April is Autism Awareness month. The goal is the bring more well.. awareness and understanding to those that have it. The problem is so many articles tend to be told from a neutral viewpoint (from someone that doesn't have it, or doesn't know anyone that has it), or from an experts or parent's viewpoint. What you don't tend to see is the actual people with autism or with Aspergers and I think that is just important, if not more to get what they have to say out there. This month is about them after all.

 

 

As you might have gathered, I have it. Asperger’s is on the Autism spectrum but on the more mild end. Rain man I am not. I’m the type that brings a book to a party. The type that never knows what to say and whose conversations often dies minutes after they have begun. The one who still has to remember and often forgets to look people in the eye.

 

 

Over the last several years Asperger’s have become more prevalent in society. It has been talked about in the media, there are characters with Asperger’s on TV and in books and everyone seems to have an opinion on it. Some are saying it is the new ADHD and the diagnosis is being tossed around like beads at the Mardi Gra. Some even say it is made up and the kids are just brats. It has been also used as an insult for bronies.

 

It is because these kinds of ignorant comments that I decided to make a post, because even with all the talk about it, few people actually understand what Asperger’s really is. If I can make just make one person see that I am not just some “shy” kid or make one person understand a little bit more about Aspergers then that will be good enough for me.

 

Growing up I never really fit in. I was different. I was awkward. Even my family knew there was something off about me but they never could tell just what it was. That wouldn’t happen until I was nearly seventeen, but I will get to that later.

 

School was the worst time of my life. I was made fun of just about until I graduated. It wasn’t so bad the first few grades. I think partly due to kids not being as socially aware as the older grades

 

In fourth grade I transferred to a private school and that was when the shit hit the fan. My differences started to come to light and my classmates jumped on them and me. Those were the worst two years of my life. I vividly remember being told to jump from two stories up because it would be “fun” I was ten and eleven and I talked about killing myself. My fourth grade teacher recommended I see someone because she could see something off with me as well. The guy saw me once and told me that I needed to get some self esteem and to get a “hobby”.

 

I transferred out of that school in the sixth grade, but even at different school things didn’t get better. I was still me. Middle school was some of the worst years of my life. I was called ugly constantly. I remember guys coming up to say their “friend” liked me just to embarrass the friend. I guess because I was so hideous. I did manage to make friends, but I was still that weird girl, the one nobody wanted to sit with or partner up with.

 

As high school rolled around things got a little better. I was still made fun of though and I was still the odd duck. It was then though that I would finally get diagnosed. I was in the eleventh grade and having issues. I was talking about suicide and having bad anxieties about school so my mom took me to a psychiatrist.

 

On the very first visit she brought up the term Asperger’s Syndrome. Until that day we had never heard of it. The list she gave my mom of the symptoms fit me to a T though. Finally there was a name for why I never fit in, why I hated tags on my shirt, clasped my hands over my ears and why I did the things I did. Finally we had answers.

 

Unfortunately nobody else had any idea what Asperger’s was either Sadly even today there are family members that don’t accept that there is anything “wrong” with me. By the time I get a diagnosis, I was in the twelfth grade. I was put in a resource class for one period but that was more study hall than anything. In the end I had to take a math course in the summer to graduate and my GPA was dismal.

 

Today I am twenty seven and still live at home and likely will for a while. I don’t drive and have never had a job before. I am currently on SSI for my Asperger’s and Anxiety. It took three tries to get it. I actually remember being told if I was pregnant I could get help.

 

We have actually tried to get me help in getting a job. Sadly in a small town options are limited. One place we tried was for so called normal people out of work and another was for people with severe autism. People like me were stuck being the preverbal rock and a hard place. I know that I can work the only problem is finding the work and understanding employers.

 

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had been born ten years later and diagnosed earlier. Could I have gotten more help? Would I be able to work or drive? Or live on my own? Taking money from the government wasn’t something I want or am proud of. I need help though. Asperger’s is more than just social issues. It is more than being socially awkward. It reaches into nearly every aspect of my life.

 

I have sensory issues. I hate being touched, even by my own family. I have never willingly hugged or kissed anyone on my own. I’m asexually and a virgin. A touch on the knee or arm makes me jerk out reflexively as if shocked. Loud noises startle me and make me clasp my hands over my ears. I cannot wear certain fabrics. I’m what you call a “picky” eater. I will always try something, but a lot of foods will make me gag

 

My fine and gross motor skills are shall we say... lacking. I still can’t hold a pencil correctly. I have trouble with sports. Dancing is near impossible for me. I’m drop things a lot and stumble and trip on a daily basis. I cannot cut straight with scissors.

 

I also have issues with executive dysfunction. In other words…. I’m messy disorganized and scatter brained. I’m forever losing and misplacing things. My room seems to make messes. My short term memory scares me and if my own head wasn’t attached I would lose it. I get confused with more than three or four instructions and I am easily overwhelmed and have trouble making decisions.

 

Emotionally and socially I feel a lot younger, more like fourteen socially and ten emotional wise. This is slowly progressing as when I was in high school. I read a report where my maturity matched a six year olds. I like toys and reading YA fiction Things like paying bills or other adult duties are beyond me. My room looks like it belongs to a 12 year old boy. I tend to get along with people a lot younger than me. I relate better with them and can put myself in their shoe more so than I can the adult characters.

 

I have trouble controlling my emotions a time as well. Simple frustrations overwhelm me at times and I have tendency of self-harming by hitting myself in the head with my fist or even scratching myself with my nails. I have thrown things and broken things and even kicked at a pet.

 

I tend to have interests I obsess over. I drive my mom crazy and I am constantly bringing up Chipper Jones or my cat Buffy, every day I bring them up and multiple times day at that. She is the only one I have to talk to like this and I know I over-do it.

 

 

 

Boy did I ramble and whine, but there you have it, the effect the Asperger’s has on me. I hope that I made you just a little bit more aware of Aspergers, after all that is what the month is for

  • Brohoof 10
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Thanks for the post,

Before reading this I didn't know much about Aspergers despite watching multiple Autism Documentaries.

I have yet not seen anyone with Aspergers but sadly my Sister has a bad case of Autism.

I'm not sure which type as my parents haven't told me yet,

But I can tell it's not Aspergers just by how badly it affects her,

So I know whats its like living with Autistic people.

I am graciously hoping a cure for Autism is found in the future, as Autism numbers are increasing the more we become industrial.

(Sorry if this wasn't a very good post, I'm horrible with words.)

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Mental health is overlooked in general, of course the autistic or crazy person would be noticed, but as for actual understanding most people (including me) don't get it at all. The only cure is education, and reading your post I gained a bit more. My personal mental health is... precarious, and I think society ignores this part in general.

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I have Autism, and I have really improved in understanding, talking to others whilst giving eye-contact, and keeping my temper cool over the last few years.

 

I was pretty bad-tempered and used to start a destruction derby (lol) in my classroom, but I soon realised that my actions were hurting others and learned to control myself in these situations.

 

I was also very shy and didn't really know how to conversate whilst looking at a person. I'm still a little shy I'll admit, but I have improved my eye-contact immensely.

 

The understanding part was a bit of a challenge to overcome, but I managed to show more of it through the years and can still improve.

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I have a few autistic traits, but it's not enouh to actually be autistic. Or something like that.

 

I do have quite a case of ADD, though. And it really annoys me that it has a reputation of not being a real condition that just gets slapped on immature people to make them feel better. I actually do have a lot of trouble with being distracted easily and it has screwed up a lot of stuff in my life.

I have a friend with aspergers, but he sort of... refuses to accept it, or something. We're not very good friends, so I don't know much about it, though.

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I have autism as well, though compared with now, my abilities in social situations and coping with stress were considerably weaker when I was younger. I still struggle with certain things, but I think I've gotten to the point where I can get along in life reasonably without having to worry about them.

Edited by Znex
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I have Asperger's Syndrome. I am 21 and still am very shy and can't look people in the eyes while talking. I have my temper problems still and kinda have a 2 year old tantrum sometimes, it's getting better though. It's very rare that I have a 2 year old tantrum. I did graduate with a Regents diploma though, though I needed a lot of help in school.

 

My family kinda sorta maybe pushed me to live on my own? Idk really but they wanted me to learn how do be independent. I pay my bills on time, or try to anyways. I work under ARC and I don't get a lot of hours so my paycheck suuuucks lol, but oh well. I might hopefully be getting a better job through Kwik Fill and/or Sarrasin's Restaurant. So it'll hopefully get better for me.

 

I also still have a very child-like personality. I sometimes get a stammer in my speech if I talk too fast so I stumble over my words and have to stop literally for a minute and think what I want to say. I also talk like a little kid from time to time too, though I try not to...... sometimes I do it without thinking so sometimes I can't help it T_T So, there's my summary of my Asperger's Syndrome.

Edited by Lucky Fire
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I've recently (year before last) been diagnosed with Autism after being it yet another hospital. I've been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder at age 4, ADHD at age 7, and then Bipolar disorder again at age 8. As you can guess, the medication I took was changing frequently, and I constantly unstable. Which further confused the doctor's and just just what the was hell was wrong with me. I was mostly unsociable except with young children, could never be touched from behind without getting angry, couldnt follow multiple tasks without a list, had horrible short-term memory, yet remember exactly every detail of stuff that happened when I was three, being a perfectionist at everything (I couldn't turn in a paper if one letter didn't look right, hated myself when I mispronounced words or used sayings wrong-example: in kindergarten, I used "hit and run" as term when somebody hit me from behind and ran before I could turn around and see who did it) and being horrible with time. And on top of all that, I could never word these right which further led to them not being able to figure out what was wrong. However, after being diagnoses and getting the meds somewhat on track, my life has begun to change for the better. I can speak to people my age better, I can deal with not having everything 100% perfect, and because we've switched meds, and I've begun to lose weight because although we didn't know it the time one of meds caused serious weight gain (at one point, I was actually, by medical standards, dangerously obese). While I still struggle a LOT with these, I think that being born with Autism was actually good for me, as it has taught me that being different isn't bad, but rather something that should be embraced, and by being so strange and not giving a damn about what other people thought, it has turned me into myself, not the "gangstas", pervs, juvinile delinquents, and/or douchebags.

 

Someone who expresses themselves freely, yet still having modesty. Someone who obeys the law. Someone who likes to avoid conflict. Someone who cares, but doesn't fuss. That's me. And if it weren't for Autism, I probably wouldn't have been given this gift.

 

So while Autism is a struggle, it still is who we are, and the sooner people realize that the sooner we can be free from the stereotyping and assumptions uninformed people make.

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I too can't do multiple things w/o a list and also have bad short term memory, though idk if it is really b/c i can remember things about things i really love like tv shows being the biggest thing, and books, well, the Harry Potter books anyways XD >.< So i know how ya feel in that aspect.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So you Americans have Autism Awareness MONTH.

We Frenchies have Autism Awareness YEAR, and it's now. I'm not kidding, 2012 really is National Autism Year in France. C:

 

Save from a few details, reading the first post is like... looking at my past.

 

Well, I was never called "ugly" explicitly nor told to jump off windows, but the other boys hardly tried to hide their distaste in me. I drive, but in constant fear of doing something because of my fuzzy brain (not to mention my tinnitus). I'm also struggling to motivate myself to get a job, but it's so complicated just to compose a CV, let alone feel confident. My motor skills aren't that bad in "normal" times, but they degenerate when I'm stressed in any way (mentally, but also physically, if I'm uncomfortable); which, along with low stamina, has always hindered my performance in P.E. I don't really like physical contact, even though I don't hate it with a passion and have no trouble with eye contact. My room looks like a mess, and even when each thing has its place, I often misplace objects. I obsess over things; I never say it out loud, but on rare occasions, it can keep me awake at night.

I don't know what an SSI is, so I can't say a thing about that.

 

I also have an older Aspie sister, so I guess that means I've experienced both sides of the story. My only problem is that I haven't yet been diagnosed, but my mother has been urging me to see a mind doctor, and I'm planning on trying it this summer.

Edited by Feather Spiral
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