Recently, I have realized that there are things I am slowly becoming more aware of that affect my senses. Knowing this, I have to use the proper defenses to best protect myself from reacting in a negative manner that can cause unwanted attention or behavior and produce consequences that I will deeply regret.
Some of this can come in both the public and private worlds of an autistic person. Many of the sensitive things to autistics are those that neurotypicals have taken for granted for many years like forms of entertainment that in some cases do not allow movement breaks for the individual. While not always the case, this is something that many that care for autistic individuals may not be able to understand or may want to utilize these avenues as a way of entertaining the individual.
However, forms of electronic entertainment that many consider a part of their own personal avenues of entertainment may be too sensitive for autistic individuals and causing us to go sit and go through forms of loud, traumatic, unknown and sometimes sensitive content can cause us to react deeply and make the situation very challenging for all involved.
Coming from a time before the widely used Internet, it was often misunderstood why I was not engaged in things that were intended for younger audiences at the time. Oftentimes, those caring for us sought out the activities that were then not as understanding or as inclusive. While some of these experiences had some good outcomes ,there were some that had some experiences that just made managing the environment around me very difficult.
As I am becoming more aware and accepting of being autistic, I am understanding that the world still has environments that just are simply unwelcoming to our challenges. For example, I went to a grocery store last week that I do not normally visit and in many ways it was very overloading to the senses more than it has been in years past. Not having the necessary devices to be able to manage the challenges being produced caused a need to rest upon arriving at home. It has shown me that even if you don’t know about an environment, there at times can be many unknowns that make living in this world very challenging for an autistic person.
We do what we need to cope, but do we make those in charge aware of the issues we face when doing life’s activities that must be done? Are we doing our part to make sure that our accommodations are being reasonably met so we can do life’s activities? These are things that those that wish to advocate for being accepted into the public eye must understand.
While I was able to cope with the brief time that I was in the store last night, I know for several autistc individuals, including those that live in the very same community as I that the environment that I had to endure would have been more challenging for them and could have caused an unwanted scene for everyone because of the unawareness and not understanding of the needs of autistic individuals.
We all must do our part to understand the needs of ALL autistic individuals and their needs, including the things that prevent them from enjoying life to their fullest potential.