A huge thank you for coming to my blog and if you’ve ended up here then you’re probably wondering who I am and want to know a bit more about me….
A little of my story ….
From a very early age I was ‘different’ to other children. I was an early learner, telling the time by the age of three and reading at four. I would often walk around with my head in a book and I would read at least one book a day. I was a quiet kid who enjoyed nothing more than being by himself with a good book or tv show.
Once I reached school age I really struggled with life. I did not thrive at school and often found I was more interested in reading books or writing than learning subjects that didn’t interest me. I also didn’t ‘fit it’ and was severely bullied at school.
The bullying was constant.
My parents reported the bullying many times, but unfortunately the school did not take any real action. (I don’t think that bullying was taken seriously 30 odd years ago)
My mum always knew there was something different about me to the other kids and I was very different to my two younger siblings. So my mum took me to numerous educational psychologists to see if anyone could help or offer some answers/guidance going forward. Their responses were not what we expected – one advised that I had low intelligence but would catch up to other kids soon and another advised that I had issues with processing information but would ‘grow out of this’ by the age of 18!!!
My parents got varying reports from other specialists but none indicated that I had Autism and no one really gave us any advice on how to move forward and so we just continued trying our best to live a ‘normal’ life.
As the years went by I continued to feel like the ‘odd one out’. I knew I was different but I just didn’t know why or how. I tried to constantly ‘fit in’ to a world that seemed so distant and so overwhelming and at times completely abnormal to me. I struggled with all aspects of life, the things that most people find easy, I found really difficult; from socialising, making friends, learning new tasks that were not given with specific instructions, changes to my routine, school, studying and employment, and I felt like it was my fault.
Like I wasn’t getting this whole ‘life’ thing!
My parents were very supportive and continued to help me in any way they could whether it be with my school work, college study or finally looking for employment but I still didn’t thrive.
In 2007 we emigrated to the Gold Coast and after a few years my mum started to read more and more about Autism and she felt there was a lot of similarities with me. She suggested I go to my GP and ask to be tested.
At first my GP was dismissive and did not think I should be tested. He’s view was “You’re too old, it would have been detected when you were a child.”
But after a lot of pestering from me he finally booked me into get tested. When the results came back that I had Asperger’s Syndrome and that I was on the Autism Spectrum I felt this huge sense of relief.
A sense of finally ‘belonging’ and that I felt like ‘me’.
I spent forty years of my life knowing something was different. I spent many times blaming myself, thinking it was ‘my fault’ or that I was doing something wrong. Getting that diagnosis had changed my life completely. It felt like a fog had finally been lifted. Everything from there on started to ‘make sense’.
I’m now at the age of 45 and I am still finding my feet as a newbie within the Autism community. I’m learning more and more about what it means to be Autistic and I feel extremely blessed that I can now utilise all of the fantastic supports out there for people living on the Spectrum.
I hope by sharing my story that my experiences can help others on the spectrum and can hopefully help to combat the stigma that sadly still sits around being Autistic.