Today, we are taking a detour from my normal blog schedule as I personally feel that I need to share my thoughts on something that has been on my mind the last few days. Seeing the skill that needs adulting being produced both in the media and through fellow bloggers makes me feel like let out my feelings about it
It is often said that autistics are easily influenced. While that may be the case for many, it is not in all. Sadly, for many autistics, they don’t get to have much of an external feel of what is outside of their safe space. I also know of many autistics because of where they lie within the spectrum are unable to do so. Nevertheless, for those who are equipped with the ability and despite doing so, we often rely on the influence of others. This is likely because we are often overseen even as we come of age by those that love us in a helicopter type fashion. Sometimes, as it was in me, with my mother in the many years I lived with her and my dad, we often co-regulated off of each other, Thankfully, with the supports I had then and continue to have, I was able to get a job that would eventually become my own, with the necessary support and return to community college without their need to support me.
While I was looking for Independence many times. Vowing out of opportunities twice, the second one a very unique co-regulated crying session, I did get my own home. While I had my8 share of ups and downs in the almost two years of living there before returning home while the world shut down and I got back on my feet. I, like many autistics on their first taste of freedom, had the opportunity to have the autonomy that I seemed to never have. Many things were not the best and others became concerned about my behavior. However after three years of learning and growing, I accepted what I needed to and moved on.
Part of moving on is the fact that you cannot believe everything that you are told. You have to do the dirty work and investigate and seek the truth. Like an investigative journalist, you have to have credible sources and check them for accuracy. Being influenced by something because it sounds good, doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Maybe you don’t totally know what it is. Or maybe you have to explore it more and get linked to outside sources so you can meet people in similar situations to get a grasp on what it’s like to experience something. Not discounting that you may indeed like the interest, is is wise to do your research and understand what it all entails.
Many times when autistics admit that they are into something, those close to them may invalidate their thoughts or capability of understanding that the individual is totally aware and fully capable of understanding what everything with that subject entails. What I have discovered is that you have to show maturity and grace when sharing things that others may discount you for. Your opposers will give you many reasons to doubt that an autistic individual may totally comprehend what something involves. Sometimes it is part of that learning and growing experience that one has to go through with a side of living and learning that makes it a recipe for success in that endeavor.
There will be doubters and sometimes haters in your journey, and I have experienced a boatload of them in mine. However you have to be the one to stand your ground and know the positives and negatives of whatever situation you engage yourself in. As autistics it is important to gather whatever knowledge you can about situations you are unaware of. Attend workshops, browse the Internet (for credible sources) to find if you want to do something its background and what it totally involves so you are aware of the how and why. The Internet and Social Stories are some of the best ideas for the autism community to make us informed and prepared for experiencing new things.
What is important though, is experiencing self-discovery and being honest as to whether or not you truly enjoy whatever you get yourself involved in. Many times, autistics are brutally honest and do not shy away from saying what we feel. Honestly speaking, if we don’t truly like something then discover another option until you are totally satisfied with the option you make a final selection of. However, if you realize that what you experienced is something you honestly like and those that doubt you still think that you don’t understand and comprehend what it involves, just know that they have the right to their feelings and are honestly concerned for your well being and are only making sure that you are safe in many cases.