Growing up, I was always told never to use my challenges as an excuse or rely on others to solve my problems as a “crutch.” However as the evolution of autism has evolved over the years, I am discovering that many of life’s struggles are indeed because of being autistic.
Being autistic has been something that prior to the continuous writing of my blog over almost three years ago has been hard to accept. However, as I take to heart what I have learned in recent years is likely why I have begun to accept that the world is not built for me as an autistic person. And while I have done a pretty good job at managing life’s challenges, seeing that some of them are just because of being autistic and as such should be embraced and accepted for what they are.
Accepting the fact that things are challenging because of being autistic can be hard to digest. It is challenging to have to make life more manageable for me because of being autistic. To me, I see it as being lame and not up to par with my neurotypical peers. The true fact is that I long to have a life similar to them, but for me I know that my brain and body just cannot oftentimes withstand the same things as they do. I despise the fact that being autistic is seen as an invisible disability and that when needed I have to explain to others the need to have my needs accommodated. It hurts more than having autism itself,
Having to be treated differently because I am autistic is challenging to accept. When something is offered differently to me and I know it is able to help me cope with the challenges of being autistic, it is hard for me to be treated differently when all I want is to be included just as much as others are. While the world has come a long way in being more inclusive to the autistic community, I struggle with the fact of having to seek extra assistance or need to have the things I need to be successful in life. Nonetheless, I have to accept within myself that I am asking for these things in my life because they will make what I have to endure more manageable.
While the world is more aware that there is an autistic population, there is less of an acceptance of what being autistic in a world that is often not made to meet our needs can feel like. As I continue down this path called life, I realize that I need to do what I can do best in order to embrace being autistic and educate everyone as I can through my platforms so that others can help me in the way they can.
It is also imperative to understand the fact that what may be my experience is just that. Everyone experiences being autistic or how comfortable they are with sharing their challenges is up to them. Sometimes one’s autistic traits are quite visible whereas some are not. If someone asks for an accommodation for something to be included, accept it and do not see it as a way of trying to beat the system. For what you know, it was a huge struggle to get to that point in just asking for help, I know I still struggle with that and recognizing the fact that being autistic requires me to take extra care of myself in order to be well.
While being autistic makes someone different. It does not make them less of a person. Sometimes it makes me feel that way though because life is such a struggle and to do the things that my neurotypical peers take for granted is such a challenge for me. I am continuing to accept that being autistic is a part of my life and as such I have to allow for needing extra care and help in order to live a somewhat manageable life. While it may seem different than others it should not be seen as a less of a life. It is part of being autistic.