Tuesday, 2 April 2019

GUEST POST by Jacob for Autism Awareness Day 2019

People ask me what it’s like to have autism but the truth is that’s a very hard question to answer because I’ve always been autistic I don’t know what it’s like not to have autism. Over the years I have learnt to recognise certain aspects of my personality that are related to my autism but I can only do that by comparing myself to other people for me it feels normal to act the way I do.

As things stand now for me being autistic entails manging myself, I have manged to learn social rules and protocol so in my everyday life I do my best to remember them and act accordingly. When I find myself in a social situation or any kind of situation really I do my best to analyse it and then I figure out what are the protocols for this situation once I’ve done that I try my best to act according to them. It’s difficult to do this and I don’t always succeed but it is a system that works and one that allows me to be around people in a very real way. 

However I should make clear this is just me it won’t be the same for everyone on the spectrum it took me a long time to learn the social skills I now have and not everyone will have had the same opportunity’s I was lucky enough to have. Growing up with autism was difficult, like a lot of people on the spectrum I could tell early on I was different I knew the kids around me understood things in a way I just I didn’t. There’s so much to social communication and just being around and connecting with people so when all that language is difficult for you, you just know you’re different and when you don’t know why you can become very isolated.

But I got a gift at a time in my life I really needed it I got a diagnosis. It seems like a small thing but it really wasn’t when you are different from everyone else you need to know that because only then can you start to do something about it. after my diagnosis I really started to understand myself in a way I hadn’t before also I started to get help from people because as I came to understand my self-better so did other people and they had a better idea what they needed to do to help me. I still have my issues and there are still things I am trying to figure out for myself but I have come a long way like I said I was look I got help from people who helped me to learn things I know now.

The fact I was lucky is a big part of why I campaign for change for people on the spectrum as well as generally just trying to raise awareness because people shouldn’t need luck to find the help I was able to find it should just be there for them when they need it. Also sadly that’s not the only problem even today people think things about autism that just aren’t true so I tell my story to people in hopes that one day all people will together in a full understanding of each other.