So today mark’s my 100th Post!! Who would’ve thought that I would have had one hundred things to say about having Autism?
Well I have! So today’s post is about 6 Life Lessons that I’ve learnt from having Autism:
Ok so yes I have autism and while it’s not something that is easily spottable, it’s there. If I have a melt down in public then don’t stop and stare at me or make comments or pass judgements (yes it’s something that we’ve all done myself included). My advice is this;
- Give me some time – it can take a while to recover from an information or sensory overload.
- Calmly ask me (or their parent or friend is with me) if they’re OK, but bear in mind they’ll need more time to respond than you might expect.
- Make space – try to create a quiet, safe space as best you can. Ask people to move along and not to stare, turn off loud music and turn down bright lights – whatever you can think of to reduce the information overload, try it.
2. Advocating for our needs
I can say that I am not particularly good at asking for favours or wording it in an email. But since I have come to the realisation that as someone who is a high functioning autistic adult I now know that if I don’t start to ask for help when I need it or engage with organisations then nothing will get done.
I will achieve my goals no matter what. I would have in the past taken someone’s answer of a ‘No’ and accepted it. Nowadays I stick to my guns and absolutely refuse to take no for an answer when it comes to getting what I want. And I have my strategy all mapped out: when plan A fails, I have a plan B and C as backups.
4. Patience and flexibility
I have changed from being an entirely impatient person to a much more patient and flexible individual. I used to plan every single waking moment of the day making sure I didn’t miss a beat, and while I still do that, I accept the fact that I will probably accomplish only 50% of my plan on most days.
My goal is to teach myself the necessary skills that I need in order to achieve this since ironically, people with autism are notoriously structured yet need everyone around them to be flexible.
5. Sense of adventure
I have come to the realisation that in order for me to get the most out of life I need to get out more, and whilst that is hard as I am not comfortable being in a social environment, it’s a necessity. So I am making sure that I do things that while they are out of my comfort zone it’s a benefit rather than a hinderance.
So the bottom line is that as a parent/carer, you need to become more resilient than you’ve ever thought possible and learn how to prepare for and handle inappropriate behaviour, mood swings, and even the occasional meltdown on your own.