For many in the autism community, we want someone to be our friend. Sometimes, I have been told that it takes us the person ourselves to be a friend to someone else. It is difficult for many people with autism to do and can become very taxing at times to have a return effect. All we want sometimes is for someone to be there for us, however after investing a lot of energy it can seem difficult when little energy by the other party is given.
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.
In recent years, there have been a number of initiatives to hire autistic adults as they age out of high school, because they oftentimes need a solid day of structured activity. This doesn’t mean that they are meaningless people. It’s just that they need to put their creative juices to work.
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.
To say that COVID has affected the mental health of those around the world would be an understatement. Even for those individuals including autistics that have had to experience a multitude of changes over the past fifteen months has been a challenge to say the least. I am very grateful that I have had not any ill effects of the virus or was not furloughed from my employment as a result of the pandemic. COVID added to an already traumatic experience that I was experiencing that ultimately caused me to be on the lookout for what would be my current home.
Being independent for almost three years has taught me some life lessons in being independent. I have done some things in that time I haven’t been proud of and there’s things I’ve not succeeded at. However, it is a learning curve and within time it gets better. There’s this great thing called boundaries that you have to develop that can be a challenge. Once you learn the power of it and knowing when to stand your ground, it is a wonderful thing.
For many autistics, the ability to make one’s decisions can be a difficult task for an autistic to perform. For the younger crowd, one that seems to lack the ability or show the interest of one doing this will result in the parent making these choices for them, which can result in friction between the autistic and their parents. An autistic should have the autonomy to be the person they so choose to be without judgement from their parents and supporters, yet have the support they need to thrive in their world.
While some things because of my autism or mental health challenges are at times challenging, sometimes I need to experience them and not play the “card” as a crutch to get out of something. This can be difficult because when thinking independently, it can be hard to make these decisions.
While in the modern era, we advance to the need for inclusion everywhere we look such as sports, activities, the classroom and so forth, it is also important to teach autistics and others with special needs that life just isn’t fair and sometimes we all can’t be winners.
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.