As human beings we are often creatures of habit. We cannot often see beyond what we know. Change is often reluctant, being autistic further hinders it. But what if there is a chance to grow and change for the better. We have to sometimes have to lessen our dependence on the things that hold us together because we know it works, there’s a time we have to look beyond what works.
For the month of April and Autism Awareness / Acceptance Month, I have been writing on how the acceptance of the autistic community has increased in the 23 years since I received my diagnosis under the autism spectrum. This past week, I learned that even more acceptance has been seen, but yet we still have a ways to go.
As I continue down the journey of my personal self-discovery. One of the things that has helped me refrain myself from the process is the ability to make connections with others with similar challenges so the world that I was living in didn’t seem so small although it was physically, it made me be more of a friend that I ever have been.
Many times when anyone is given a lifelong diagnosis, they or those that care for them think of all the things they will miss out on in life and if they will have the same lives as others. They may want to give up hope and the possibilities or continually live in a sense of doubt or fear. I am here to tell you that while in a minimal sense that I can be there, I can also tell you that if you reach out of your comfort zone.
In a new report, the National Disability Rights Network says that schools are using a wide range of tactics to keep children with disabilities out of classes. (Ting Shen/The Dallas Morning News/TNS)
In the past few years the hashtag and theme of #actuallyautustic have been more present than ever. While for decades the voices of autistics have been dialed down. We must remember that autistics come from many walks of life and sometimes need the voice and support of their family and/or related allies in one’s journey. Therefore, I feel it is important that all voices in one’s journey may need to be heard.
All human beings have breaking points when becoming irritated. However, autistics have certain triggering and breaking points that because of sensory or other overload or triggers of information that may be empathetic of how their day is that it becomes the point that they reach their breaking point.
Last week, I had one of my providers that visits home arrive for our weekly appointment breathing heavily because he ran up the steps to my house for fear, I would be upset he did not arrive at the scheduled time. While as a child I did get upset if someone coming to my home to see me was a more than a minute late, that is no longer the case as I have built up the flexibility to understand that things don’t happen as they are planned.
This week, I have shared a few Tik Tok’s about being diagnosed in the 1990s and not knowing some autism behaviors that are common today. We just did them, we didn’t know the jargon that is used for them today. One must also understand that given one’s space it needs to be their safe space and they are free to express themselves in the way they wish.
Twenty years ago, this week, I celebrated “graduating” from a residential treatment facility, or RTF. It felt like a group home, but if my parents didn’t want the best care for me, it could have resulted in me being placed in a group home for life because of my behaviors.