Autism Awareness Day....

...was a long time ago, BUT I don't think that makes this post null and void as any occasion is right for me to blog about autism, especially that it's probably one of the most misunderstood neurological "disorders" out there. To give a small background, I was diagnosed at 16 years of age with what most people would describe as 'high functioning autism'. That's quite late to be diagnosed, and as a result, I was forced into situations that made me feel uncomfortable for the first 16 years of my life. Not only that, but I was constantly called out by family and peers for being strange and different. I didn't give much eye contact, only responded in one word phrases without much explanation, and didn't really care much for communicating, at least in the 'traditional sense'. I was taking guitar lessons at one point and the teacher got so frustrated at me to outright all me retarded.

But I'm not going to make this post all about self-pity, the first paragraph was simply background info. It's just that I feel that autism is the one condition that has to be pointed out to non-autistics (not a word, I know), and when it does get pointed out, the non-autistics feel they have to tread water instead of treating those with autism with respect. We're not socially malformed like a lot of people think, we're different. We have different ways of showing empathy, emotions, and our overall feelings. We're not apathetic, emotionless, and dry like some people make us out to be. I can say that despite us being different, we would much prefer to be treated with the same respect you would those without autism and accept the differences between us.

Considering that most of the population of people out there probably doesn't have autism, the world is not centered for those who do. As a result, it's harder for us to get a job, live independently, and support ourselves. Job interviews aren't fun for me...at all. Some of us don't do activities that are proper for a resume, and regular communication is obviously not a strong point. We also get stigmatized as violent individuals, which I can assure you that autism is NOT a violent condition.

I don't see the world changing anytime soon, which is expected. For now, all I want is for people to treat us with respect. And for those who are struggling, don't let others feel bad because you're different. I might have more to say later on how to better understand and communicate with people with autism, but for now I'll just leave it at this.

^^I made this post a long time ago in regards to autism awareness day elsewhere, so I'd thought I'd post it here since it's not like these forums get much activity.

Comments

  • Asperger's Syndrom right? :)

  • ^^ Autism exists on a spectrum and as such not everyone is going to have the same level of "symptoms" or difficulties that another might have. It's a neurological thing. So, while Aspergers exists as a diagnosis, I feel it's mostly used for stereotyping. This is just my opinion.

  • I admit that since I am not Autistic, I will never fully understand. But I know, first-hand what it's like to have a teacher call you names...Mine was my Psychology teacher and he did it to Schizophrenics in general in front of the class. Seeing as how I had told him not moments before that I was going to be having trouble keeping up because of my current medication, I know it wasn't just an idle comment..v.v

    I'm glad to see someone with Autism speaking up and explaining why a lot of the stereotypes are not true and even how they can be hurtful to your work life. Hollywood depicts my disorder as one that will inevitably turn you into a genius and/or a mass murderer..

    I seem to know a few people with Autism and a few from my past.. :) They're great people, though I wouldn't chalk any of their personality up to the Autism..That doesn't seem like it would be honest or fair, because then I'd be able to do the same thing with the things they do that bug me. I was hesitating on making this reply, but I really wanted to know if you had any good links for reading up on Autism? Like....Maybe one you found really informative when you and/or your parents were just figuring stuff out? I just want to educate myself a bit more since we do all have to share the planet. :)

    Thanks for bringing this up. <3 I think educating the public about this kind of thing is important and would love to hear more about it from you and anyone else who works through this kind of thing.

  • ^^Thanks for the comment Mandy, and if you're the Mandy from NIMHmuck, then I know all about your Schizophrenia and what you go through. My greatest hopes for your future. You're a kind soul. :)

    I have a few stories I could share later as being diagnosed late caused a lot of misunderstandings with everyone in my life as I dealt with trying to keep up with friendships and the like (I'd share them now, but storms are rolling in). I don't have much in the way of articles, or at least articles that don't treat Autism as a mere problem.

    Hollywood doesn't do us any favors either. Oscar baity films like Imitation Man and Extremely Loud and Incredible Close use Autism as a quirk, which I feel is dangerous.

    But yeah, both Schizophrenics and Autistics get labeled as violent, when both have nothing to do with violent behavior. I got I few stories here I can tell in this regard, tho I prefer not to fill this forum up with my self-pity. I will tell some later if you wish, tho!

  • Hold the phone! We've met then? O.o Good lord I need to figure out who's who on the forums. XD Lucky for all of you, I went with this name everywhere..>.> Eeeeeeeverywheeeeere.

    Hollywood is always coming up with awful ways to portray anyone that they can get away with..Since very little is known about these disorders outside of people who study them or deal with them close-up and personal, Hollywood can get away with rather large slip-ups and misrepresentation.. :(

    As for me, I found it hard to find a doctor at first who knew anything about what was going on because I was a childhood case, which is rare even for Schizophrenics. (Just saying this in case someone's interested) Even now, when I tell a doctor when I was diagnosed, I get "Oh that's so rare, that can't be right." Because apparently rare means non-existent. :/

    Oh and just on an interesting side note; we need the opposite of what an ADHD person needs by way of meds. They need something to calm them down, we need something to bring us up. I was first diagnosed ADHD and they put me on a drug for that..and I started to chew up my hands and the inside of my mouth when I was bored or idle. Again, this is just for some interesting info. :) I don't feel bad about my Schizophrenia, honestly...Not anymore. ^^

    I actually enjoy talking about all the monsters I used to think about that kept me from the toilet at night.. XD I don't think I was ever scared of real people or the government..O.o

    But YOU!!! PUPPETMASTER!!!! :O Tell me who you aaaaaare!!! It's going to drive me crazy.. D:

    (Btw if you look at the smilies in this post, I look like I have major mood swings. XD)

  • edited April 2015

    ThePuppetMasterThePuppetMaster April 20 Flag ^^ Autism exists on a spectrum and as such not everyone is going to have the same level of "symptoms" or difficulties that another might have. It's a neurological thing. So, while Aspergers exists as a diagnosis, I feel it's mostly used for stereotyping. This is just my opinion.

    i just that Asperger syndrom was diagnosticed to me cca 7 years ago...> >

  • i just that Asperger syndrom was diagnosticed to me cca 7 years ago...> >

    I should've explained myself better. Aspergers is basically just another way of saying autism. It's a perfectly legit diagnosis, but the phrase 'Aspergers' has mostly been used (in my experience) for stereotyping. The 'nerd' who is an outcast and is smart is usually going to be typecast as someone with with Aspergers, which isn't what the diagnosis of autism is all about.

    So to help make this make sense, yes, Aspergers is a legit diagnosis, it's simply autism that people perceive as high functioning (which I think the phrase 'high functioning autism' is selling us short in a lot of ways, I'll talk about this later). It's also used for stereotyping and misunderstandings more than it is used as a legit autism diagnosis....if this makes any sense.

  • Time to talk meltdowns! First off, I think this video explains the meltdown better than I can, but be sure to watch her video on sensory processing disorder too. Subscribe to her if you're interested in learning more about autism!

    Now watch a third video because I can't talk meltdowns without talking about shutdowns:

    Actually, this involves a long post (and emotional), which I'm not willing to take on yet. The videos are a good start to the discussion, tho!

  • And then we have things like this happening too: http://now.snopes.com/2015/05/10/autistic-girl-removed/

    ...But yes, meltdowns. I have a few of those. They're not fun. They cause damage to myself and others. They're not voluntary. And if you record a family member who has one and posts it on YouTube to gain laughs from sick people....then well...this is a family forum, so I can't do justice to what I think of you (not saying this is any of you, it's just I'm pointing a finger at those who do it).

    What 'usually' brings one up is that a person would say something or do something to me that makes me upset (it's usually a last straw type of thing where emotions and stress overtake me to the point where I feel in a corner) OR I can perceive that someone is having fun or doing something to me at my own expense (as in I have a memory of people chanting 'you suck f**king dick' and associate that memory with something someone said or did regardless if that's what they meant).

    What happens during a meltdown involves a lot of throwing things around, questioning my self worth, cursing at myself and others, crying uncontrollably, and physically hurting myself at times. You'd feel pretty shameful afterwards.

    But more often than not, I shutdown and if you watched the videos above, you get the idea. I withdraw, my sense of time is lost, I don't do anything, too much stress is going on. I feel lots of negative emotions, etc. Describing what happens and how I feel through a shutdown is hard because frankly it involves me doing a lot of pacing around and sitting down and doing nothing with no sense of what I'm thinking about. But what causes one is a little easier to describe.

    Taking a full course load in college (4-5 classes) was never a good idea for me, but I had to do it I was told. I was given apocalyptic stories on how I would starve and not have a decent living. Thus between my stressful high school years where I took every class every day and my college years where I take a full course load, I shut down A LOT. Every autistic person has different functioning skills in different areas. Thus I'm going through family drama and other misunderstandings with people. I might not be able to live independently without some sort of help or guide to organize me, sadly, even tho I was forced down a path that required me to.

    So yeah, a late self-pity alert. I've shutdown during job interviews (that's not fun) and meltdown during school hours (also not fun). Will talk later about other things if people want.

  • edited May 2015

    Gee, I was negative in my previous posts! Let me talk about my positive experiences with autism!....

    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

    Yeah, when asked if I have any of the positive traits associated with autism, I often have to sit and think about it and the conclusion is.... I don't have any of them.

    I'm not highly intelligent

    My short term memory is crap

    My long term memory is great...but considering my mind likes to use this against me to think of bad memories from my past and thus shroud me with anxiety, it's actually a negative

    I'm not creative

    I don't have a talent that would make for a good job

    ...Here's the thing tho, I'm only one person on the spectrum. And despite my problems, I don't think autism needs a cure so much as we live in a social and economic state that demands that one kind of conformity, which would have to change in order to be accepting of more people. Again, I can't fix the world, and it's easy to be miserable (if you can't tell, I'm not exactly a barrel of fun when it comes to this subject), so let's (finally) get positive here, and by that I mean let me show you someone being positive about it and actually tell us that autism isn't that bad (cause I'm not doing a good job at it)...

    So I conclude with this, autism in and of itself isn't the problem. Most of my misery comes from my co-morbid disorders (like depression). So there ya go. Me being positive! :P

  • Wow these forums are kicking, huh?

    I guess there's no point in constantly beating a dead horse. These forums are basically dead and I have little desire to check back every once in awhile hoping for something to come up. So I /might/ take a long break from trying to initiate conversation here (that means starting topics, etc.). If someone else wants to share something, do it, and I will probably respond to it.

    I just don't get much of a sense of community, and it's not the lack of people, it's the lack of sharing. Communities live or die by how much they're willing to share stuff, and even if it's not NIMH related (like here), it doesn't mean it's not worth sharing. It doesn't have to be personal, either (again, like here). Just talk. Share something interesting. And if there's a point of contention, then we can handle it in a civil manner.

    I actually like the close-knit community we have here. We just need to do more! :P

  • im here and still observe what happening here.... (i once tried pump up some discusion, but my efforts go to hell quickest than they start.... just no one answer, expect you) ... :)

  • I'm gonna bump this thread.

    Mental health doesn't exist in a vacuum. Labels such as Autism and Schizophrenia are mostly made for insurance purposes and so that we can live off disability benefits. Symptoms are going to be different from person to person. One person labeled autistic might have more in common with someone who suffers from Schizophrenia than they do with other autistics. Truth be told, I have much more in common with the schizophrenia spectrum than I do the autism spectrum. It's just that I don't really care to change labels.

    I was diagnosed bipolar when I was hospitalized years ago and I have been taking basically the same medication I would have been if I had been diagnosed schizophrenic. I don't want people to get caught up on labels. It's not /that/ important. Getting treatment is more important.

  • Ever since I moved to this house a year and...well about a year and a half ago, I've had a new bunch of experiences with my doctors here. My first doctor was basically a condescending quack who liked to think he knew way more than any of his patients, because obviously if they have ANY issues, they're non-functioning.. :I

    He was fired, and I never asked why because it didn't have to do with me, and this new doctor is over Skype because he's the only doctor with the right credentials that would take the job at this office (The only place that'll take my insurance in this city, 'cause Texas is so good at their mental health care..) He's interesting, but I've only seen him 3-4 times..He mentioned my diagnosis and said that he saw it had been all over the place and told me he wasn't worried about what we call it and that he wanted to make sure my medicine was working. He actually said exactly what you said in your last paragraph, PM, and it really struck a chord 'cause every doctor I've seen has changed the name of what I have, but it's always the same basic thing. They only change it because "that's not what you call it." Now I don't have a sure-fire name for my diagnosis anymore. :) And I'm happier like that. ^^

    I just thought I'd tell that story, 'cause it's a great stance to hold imo. I've always been confused as to what to call myself because it's been changed with every doctor I see.

    Now I'm off to eat some food, so I'm going to stop babbling. :D

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