I know it’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged, life has been getting in the way but what better day to get back into it than today, world autism awareness day! (although it will just be a short and sweet one).
Autism is a hidden disability, it isn’t something new and it isn’t something children grow out of. Autism doesn’t mean that you can’t function properly, nor does it mean that you can’t have a social life or friendships it just makes it harder for those who have autism as it doesn’t always come naturally.
There is so much support for so many illnesses, diseases and causes at the minute but have you realised that autism touches you too?! Just by being my friend you are touched by autism, as you know my children are autistic but what you might not have realised is that I have autism too.
Yep I’m an aspie! I didn’t even realise this until recently. I always knew I was a bit different to others, I thought I was just quirky if not a little odd. Growing up I never felt that I really fit anywhere and that having to work really hard to be part of something and have friends was normal and what everybody did. Even after my children were diagnosed I still didn’t realise but over the years as we’ve learnt more and more about autism family have mentioned how many traits I have, friends have picked up on things I do that are ‘autistic like’ and then in November my University lecturer pulled me to one side and had a word with me, telling me that she had noticed things that she related to autism and suggested I go and see the disability services at the University for a chat. After talking it over with Danny, I made the appointment, the thought of going to talk to new people about personal things made me feel physically sick but I did it! The lady I spoke to was so supportive and after discussing why I was there and learning a bit about me she booked me in to see a doctor that specialised in autism for an assessment.
So in January, the sick feeling was back as I went for my 3 1/2 hour assessment, where I was asked about my family, my childhood, school life, adulthood what people around me had noticed. Then came the worse bit a test to see how well I could read emotions. Now this is something I always thought I was good at but I couldn’t have been more wrong! I was handed a folder with roughly 40 sets of eyes (yes it is as creepy as it sounds, especially as I don’t really look at peoples eyes if I can help it), each set of eyes had 4 emotions/feelings listed with them and I had to match the eyes to one of those emotions. To say I did appallingly would be an understatement, it took me 20 minutes (which I was later told the average time was about 4 minutes) and I got less than a quarter right (way below average again), even the ones I got right were guesswork!
After the assessment was finished, the assessor explained the spectrum to me and showed me whereabouts I was on it and I walked out with a diagnosis of aspergers.
I didn’t think a diagnosis would make any difference as it wouldn’t change my behaviour or who I was but it has surprised me as I now understand myself better, I understand why I do some of the strange things I say and do. It explains a lot of my behaviour when I was younger and why I had issues fitting in naturally. It has also made me feel like a role model for the kids, if I’ve made it this far and I’m doing ok then they can see that and now they can know that they’ll be fine growing up with their autism too.
So that’s my story 🙂 Those of you who know me well, might have though of me as ‘normal’ before but that’s the point autism
can’t be seen, it’s just a different way of looking at life. People with autism are looking at the same big scary world as you, they’re just looking through a different window!
Why not help raise awareness? Find out a little bit about autism for yourself, take a look at the world through my window 😀