As I have discussed over time, being independent comes with responsibilities. Many of the responsibilities are just that, a responsibility. However autistics that are independent, myself included struggle with understanding many of the norms that many expect of us. Because many times this is not instilled as a norm in the years prior to being independent, it can continue to be a struggle to realize the need to perform what can be mundane or silly gestures as a way that others expect us.
As I have had some time to ponder my own thoughts recently, I began to realize how much I have matured socially over the years and how people realize that I can actually be someone who can carry a conversation for a long time and my ability to mask as a neurotypical when necessary.
As many know, being autistic can present challenges with keeping and understanding friendships. The lack of them can deter the positivity of one’s well-being. COVID has made the isolation effect of those who have no friends very challenging and can result in flare-ups of mental health symptoms that wouldn’t have been there prior.