Autism features in my family and in each individual presents itself in different ways. Thankfully, research and education are hopefully changing the way we see this neurological and developmental disorder. No longer should there be any discrimination or prejudice and with forward thinking and teaching – ignorance should not be a factor.
Being the age I am, (over 21) mental disorders were never discussed or even considered in the 60’s. I recollect anyone who was ‘different’ having a hard time with name calling and goading, and I honestly thought I was going deaf growing up, due to my nan discussing anything a little out of the ordinary or slightly risqué, as a whisper and with arms folded under her ample bosom, emulating the wonderful characters, Cissie & Ada, invented by comedian Les Dawson (apologies only people my age or over will remember them). I began to realise, in my 40’s, that I was slightly out of the ordinary, and that people often found me difficult to swallow, like a bitter pill.
My understanding of Autism, by researching as much as I could, means our brains work in a different way from other people. The up-to-date ratio between diagnosing boys from girls, at the moment, is 3:1. Although you are born with Autism, it’s likely that many adults will receive a diagnosis after the age of 50 and features also develop and change over time. My biggest problem at the moment is fixating on certain issues until they are resolved and repeating myself if something is out of my control – I tell myself once seen it cannot be unseen. I also understand there is a vast array of ‘differences’ between individuals that to be able to comprehend the whole spectrum is something that blows my mind. The one thing I have learnt out of all this soul searching is the relief and feeling my life suddenly makes sense. I am who I am and proud of it and this has taken a long time to say and believe.
As the years have passed, I realise that I am ‘an acquired taste’ when it comes to friendships, but the handful of lovely friends I have all hopefully understand me a little better by now and I genuinely love them to bits. I am quirky and I seem to be attracted to other likeminded capricious people!
To be understood you have to understand yourself.
Please do share your experiences with me ……