Oftentimes, in the modes of social media the journey of autistics. We see their milestones and their downfalls. We also oftentimes want to compare their struggles to our own. We wonder why we are continuing to do the things that we are doing, yet they have since moved on and out of our sight leaving us in the dust. This is when we as autistics and neurotypicals alike must remember that one’s life journey is simply theirs. We must define what and how we conduct the train that we lead called our life. We cannot simply measure where we should be compared to someone else.
First., we don’t know exactly how their brain functions. While they may appear to have similarities to you, we must remember, especially as autistic adults that we don’t know the whole life story. It could have been easier just as it could have been harder for them. They may have been diagnosed at a different time than you and likely a different professional that offered a different palate of advice, therapies, medications, accommodation ideas, and so forth.
Next, speaking of accommodations, we must also remember that while autism is indeed a disability, what you see may not be the whole picture. You may also would have to also take into consideration what accommodations they are receiving to make their progress manageable and successful. We as autistics don’t often see the whole picture and only want to narrow out what is good. We also think that because a certain person is like us, they manage their struggles similarly. While we can use this as a learning point, we must also keep in mind that works for them to manage life’s challenges may not work for yourself or your autistic.
When you see some techniques that others use to manage their challenges, it is OK to learn if that person is willing to share it with you themselves. If you can see it in person or they share it with you, then by all means do your research and find out how it can work for you. However, don’t do it the same exact way that they do. You must tailor it to the way it works for you. We must always remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all for autistic people. We all have our own features, we all process and do things differently. We all manage life challenges differently than the next autistic. We can grow off of each other, However, it should be tailored to what works for you and not a cookie cutter pattern of what fits similar autistics because it is the going thing. Give it a try for a bit, modify as necessary then make it yours.
Lastly, when measuring your progress, do not measure it up to another autistic. As mentioned earlier in this post, we must remember that if you know how one autistic operates, then you’ve known just one way of what could be several. We process our brain and the senses differently in each autistic. When reaching milestones, we must remember that we can not use the same yardstick of progress for all autistics. Yes, there are certain points that are “normal” benchmarks. However, we must remember that especially in adult that while that other autistic is near our age, regardless if the maturity offset is delayed in two different autistics, we must again remember that while we as an autistic person think that they “should get it because we do”, we need to erase this from our minds and understand that there is no uniform measurement for progress in all autistics.
Instead, they will progress with their adulting as their brain allows them to concept the reality of how they can manage it. You cannot just simply think because you “got it” at the age that they are now or you have experienced their maturity point that they should be on the same level as you or your autistic. Focus on the progress of you or your autistic and don’t measure it by another one’s progress, instead, celebrate it.