Self-Identity And Self-Esteem For teenagers With Autism – What YOU CAN DO To Help?

Many times as we grow up that we tend to look for a lot of experiences, fun and experiment with everything in our lives.. We all have that dreams, goals, purpose and vision in life and it’s up to us to make that change and create the very first chapter in our book of life.

As we know that as we grow up at this point of time as we transition from a child to an adult that we fully rely on our parents as they’re the first one that are in our lives and that they’re first in contact with us.Our parents should be our role models, mentor, guide and all these other labels in front of it based on what we go through in our everyday life.

One of my proudest moments in life of graduating with support of my parents. (Taken at UCOL New Zealand, March 16, 2016)

We should be able to trust our parents and what not to actually share our problems too or what have you. It’s all about trust and communication, I believe also.

During adolescence, your child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is forming an independent identity. This is a normal and important part of becoming an adult, and you can do a lot to support your child and build his self-esteem along the way.

As an autistic adult, I can tell you if you let me tell you that without hesitation, that I wasn’t always confident and had great self esteem as this took time and patience with people around me along with basically having to have the right people around me. Young children and adults with autism have self-esteem problems. (In my video, I talked about my life growing up from a child to a young adult to who and what I’ve become based on my experiences and some life lessons I’ve learnt).

When you are critical of your child’s behaviors or social interactions with their peers or with you or whoever they are, they often feel hurt. They feel like that you’re judging them, you’re criticizing them on how they should be living or whatever. It’s just how you come across as an adult when you’re actually
teaching your child especially about self- identity and self-esteem. I’ve noticed that sometimes in saying this that some adults tend to what I’ve witnessed just bear with me and don’t hit me hard in the comments in the comments or what have you to what am about to share about this as this is based on my own experience and what I’ve seen and heard basically in my lifetime that many you know parents tend to bully or just make the child so small to the point that they don’t want to come out of their own shell. They already feel as if they are under a microscope because of the doctor visits, occupational therapist sessions, and the stream of interventions we try. I’d feel like everybody was trying to fix me in the same set of circumstances, and it would hurt my self-esteem, too. (I have enough problems feeling good about my cooking when my anyone who comes in my circle criticizes me.)

Kids with autism don’t understand subtle jokes very often, and social interactions often turn out badly for them, which erodes their self-esteem even more. Combine all this with the expectations of siblings and the all-too-frequent bullying, and it’s easy to understand how devastated a child with an autism spectrum disorder can feel.

So, the big question I ask is, “What can we do?” It’s crucial that family members, educators, and professionals learn strategies and techniques to build self-esteem in kids with autism and Asperger’s. Everyone needs a reminder now and then of just how precious they are, and our very special children
need those reminders every day. For example, “Sammy, you are doing a great job cleaning your room. If you pick up those clothes over there, it would look even neater.
Boy, you sure are a good listener.”

It Starts with You as a Parent

In order to build your child’s self-esteem, you need to believe in your child’s inherent value and convey that to everyone else before that child’s self-esteem can begin to improve. These kids know when we’re faking our compliments, and the therapy books say we should give five positive comments to each correction. We have to walk in our child’s shoes and empathize with how they feel. We need to look for these special gifts, tune in to the child with our hearts, and find ways to bring out their precious essence.

It helps when you go to conferences, read books, research and share information. Teach extended family, educators, and other professionals to help your child integrate into groups. Be intuitive when advocating for children, and be persistent, not abrasive or not abrupt.

Emphasize the Positives

In addition, keep a positive attitude. Children with autism oftentimes have an incredible sense of humor. Say what you mean and mean what you say. So, what you say we are usually black and white thinkers.How you speak to us is important and avoiding any misunderstanding or conflicts as this is crucial here. I already have spoken about how you can speak to your autistic child as well as literal language which you can click above me or look into the description box below me.
Look for the good in every child, even if you don’t see it at first. Many people don’t get it as they think that autism is a disease. Autism is a curse. Autism whatever the label is going to be for many of us. We are not broken. We don’t need to be fixed. I don’t believe that we don’t need a cure. We just need to be treated like a human being because again we are still humans. We still have feelings.
Model a mental attitude of “things are great.” Express yourself in the positive, rather than the negative. Kids with autism/Asperger’s are masters at copying what others say, act and do
so make sure they’re hearing things that are good for them to copy. When we say, “You are great!” to a child often enough, he/she, too, will believe it and feel valued for who he truly is. Also, encourage children to share their thoughts and feelings. This is so important, and it often sheds new light on existing situations.

Balance the Physical with the Mental and Spiritual

Like most people, kids with autism feel better about themselves, when they’re balanced physically, emotionally, and spiritually. These are all great areas in which to build self-esteem.

Since your child may have digestive problems, which often makes him or her a very fussy eater and likely to gravitate towards junk food, most doctors say it is important to try supplements. However, be sure to check with your child’s doctor first. Also, provide regular physical activity, when possible, to
relieve stress and clear your child’s mind.

Set the stage for success by acknowledging their successes, however small, and reminding your child of their previous accomplishments. Keep their life manageable,
and don’t overwhelm your child with too many activities.

*MENTIONED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING LISTS SO THAT IT DOESN’T OVERWHELM THE CHILD WHEN YOU GIVE THEM SET TASKS TO DO THROUGHOUT THEIR DAY. LISTS ARE GREAT AT LOOKING AT WHAT IS NEEDED TO BE DONE AND WHEN TASK IS DONE WE CAN MARK EACH ONE OFF AND THAT WE CAN SEE HOW MUCH WE DONE IN WAY OF PROGRESS. ADVICE TO THE PARENTS:
DEPENDING ON THE AGE OF THE CHILD AS A SUGGESTION THAT YOU CAN DO A VISUAL TO DO LIST OR SCHEDULE OF THE DAY OF WHAT IS NEEDED TO BE DONE AS WELL.

Provide choices frequently, so they understand they have a say in their own lives. You might want to try to give them a whole day in which to be in charge of something.

Give your child every opportunity to connect with their spiritual side, through religious avenues, or by communing with nature. This can help them feel purposeful and that their lives have meaning. One strategy that helped raise my Jonny’s self-esteem, especially when it came to overcoming his victim thoughts and feelings, was to employ spiritual affirmations. Using affirmations took some time, but we found that it brought calm and peace to Jonny and our family.

Dr. Gerald Jampolsky, author of Love is Letting Go of Fear and founder of California’s Center for Attitudinal Healing, offers many principles I find helpful in teaching us to love ourselves, thereby enhancing our own self-esteem and that of others. Some of his principles include:

  • The essence of our being is love
  • Health is inner peace
  • Live in the now
  • Become love finders, rather than fault finders
  • Learn to love others and ourselves by forgiving, rather than judging
  • Choose to be peaceful inside, regardless of what’s going on in the outside world around us.
  • We are all students and teachers to each other.

Part of Dr. Jampolsky’s message is that, by focusing on life as a whole, rather than in fragments, we can see what is truly important. His concepts, when embraced, positively affect how a child with autism thinks and feels about him- or herself. Anger, resentment, judgment,
and similar feelings are all forms of fear. Since love and fear cannot coexist, letting go of fear allows love to be the dominant feeling over fear for us.

Look for the Miracles everyday

Every day, there are miracles and good things happening all around us. Be on your child’s side by tuning into who they truly are: unique expressions of divine light. Empower your child to be okay with who they are. Do this by loving your child not for who you want them to be, but for who they are.

Consider that children and adults with autism/Asperger’s are wonderful beings, here to teach us empathy, compassion, understanding, and most importantly, how to love. Do whatever it takes to authentically include your child in your life, rather than merely tolerate their presence or exclude them once and for alls.
.

Explaining Autism to Others

Autism can seem like a life sentence one moment and a spiritual celebration of life the next. But, however we see autism, we should see it in a positive light, I believe.
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability today to date. We constantly explain our children to people who don’t want to understand via through social medias, books and whatever other resources that are readily available. We define autism continually to educators who oppose us. We speak out, because many of our children do not have a voice.

Unity and fellowship seem to elude our movement. Some of us search for treatment, some for a cure, and some ask simply for adequate programming. Nonetheless, it should be all about the children.

According to an article by the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society:

Autism and pervasive developmental disorders encompass a wide continuum of associated cognitive and neurobehavioral disorders, including the core defining features of
impaired socialization, impaired verbal and nonverbal communication, and restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior . . . .

There are several hundred different treatments offered for autism, with many viewpoints and a wide variety of theories. So how, with all this information around you, can you explain the sense of loss you feel when your child stops being who he was? It is like he’s there, but he’s not there. He is disconnected.

How do you explain the sensory issues, the outbursts, and the pain your child wrestles with every day on a daily basis? How do you explain that autism is unique and unpredictable,
but not horrifying? How do you explain the undying love and dedication we have for our children?

Look into your child’s face, watch him or her smile, and you’ll understand. No explanation is necessary.

Teenagers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can find it harder than typically developing teenagers to work out who they are and what their values are. They might also find it difficult to build self-esteem – that is, seeing themselves as valuable members of society with skills and strengths.

Your child might find these things hard because she has trouble recognizing and controlling his or her own emotions. This can make it difficult for him or her to work out how he or she feels about herself, how she feels about certain issues and what his or her values are truly are.

Also, typically developing teenagers often learn about themselves from their peer group, but your child’s ability to do this might be more limited. For example, he or she might be unsure of how he fits into and relates to his or her peer group. Or he or she might notice for the first time that he understands or interprets things differently from his peers. He or she might be cut off from his peer group, or just not interested in his peers.

And then there are the usual adolescent ups and downs. Your child might just be feeling more ups and downs than they’re used to. This could be for many reasons – physical, emotional, social and psychological – and not for any one reason in particular. Often you can’t pin it down.

Autistic children often struggle to understand or talk about emotions. There are some therapies that are available for your autistic son/daughter at any age. This will determine where you are and what type of therapy you feel is right for your child. Remember that not all therapy will work for any of us that goes through it so it will again vary from person to person.

I’ve mentioned some therapy types of what they are and what they do for people which you can find here above me. Emotional development happens according to your child’s cognitive or developmental age rather than his age in years. For example, your child might be 13 but be more like a 9-year-old in emotional development and behaviour stage. Building your child on the autism spectrum is important.

Talking about being different

Talking with your child about how everybody is different – which is what makes us interesting – can help your child see himself or herself as a valuable part of society.

You can help your child understand that people can look, speak, think or act differently from each other – and this is OK. Although your child might feel different from other children at school, or people might tell him that he’s different, she/he is not the only one who is different.

Meeting others

Joining an activity that she enjoys, like a sports club or a band, can help your child build a better sense of her strengths,
what she enjoys and where she fits in. It’s also a good chance for her to develop and practise her social skills
and mix with teenagers who don’t have autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Getting involved with other teenagers who do have ASD can help your child to understand more about ASD and the different ways it can affect people.
They’ll be able to share his own experiences with an understanding audience. Your state autism association or local council can help you find a local group.

Thinking about ‘me’

You can encourage your child to think about:

what he or she likes and doesn’t like his or her personality – for example, whether she’s generous, artistic, polite and so on what words she would use to describe herself to others.
One way to get your child thinking about themselves is to help him or her create an ‘All about me’ book. This might include pictures of things your child likes, pictures of friends or things about their hobbies and achievements. Drawings or craft creations from when your child was younger can remind them of past experiences. Things like school reports can help your child think about past and current achievements.

When your child comes up with a list of words to describe themselves, these can go into their book.

Knowing about family

Your child’s self-identity also comes from knowing about his family. You could show your child things like family photographs and include them in the ‘All about me’ book too.

It might also help your child to hear about your experiences of growing up and being a teenager,
especially if your child doesn’t have a lot of support from peers and friends.

World Autism Day 2020: How To Get Involved?

Hi all, I want to say before I begin this topic that has been shared about based on World Autism Day 2020 that some of this will be based on my own opinions, thoughts and experiences along with having some conversations with others in the autistic community. I believe that despite this time of year the term of autism awareness and autism acceptance has been debated and thrown about to others that are
autistic of it making a hot debate and or topic for us to discuss when it is the month of World Autism Month, week or day. I know that with that being said that there’ll be a difference of opinions and so on, but I would like to ask you all to be kind to me as I share these thoughts and opinions with you all today.
I am also willing to learn and to be open to listen to your thoughts and opinions about this topic and more by feeling free to share them in the comments below and in saying this for commenting below, be kind to one another. As again I said that everyone will have different opinions.

I know that I am as of late in sharing some of the stuff based on Autism related topics for World Autism Month but I am hoping to bring out to you some and that I am all about raising awareness and acceptance on autism and mental health as well as advocating and educating you all. But, here I am hopefully, today to basically share with you all about some of the ones I want to share.

As you have heard my story also about my diagnosis with autism and my other personal struggles with this and more on my channel and other medias and if you’ve not seen my diagnosis story and that feel free to click here to watch about my Diagnosis Story https://youtu.be/05GeIQn1gCU to find out more about me more as an autistic or just my everyday autistic diagnosis.

Don’t you just love it when people make an assumption about you when you’re ready to tell them that you’re either autistic or have some other form of mental illness?

World Autism Awareness week or as some people would call it World Autism Acceptance week as again there’s going to be a divide to how or what people would like to call this event based on their experience, understanding and preference. I made a video about this last year (Reference: AUTISM AWARENESS AND AUTISM ACCEPTANCE/REPLACING AUTISM AWARENESS WITH AUTISM ACCEPTANCE :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCnu1oOhJ50)

As we know that it’s now here as usually it is on April 2nd on most years that has been coming
for this of this autism acceptance month especially and although this year of 2020 has bought us a surprise that due to some unforeseen obstacles or circumstances we still do need to work alot more of awareness as well as acceptance yet I believe that at the moment that people are aware of this condition of Autism as it is starting to be known yet some may have some misunderstandings about what autism is still and that some people are still ignorant or arrogant due to the you know the lack of knowing what it is along with that promoting acceptance as part of this package as well.(Reference: Autism Awareness & Acceptance [April 2019]/ Autism Acceptance-Wear Red Instead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLg7_a22v20)

For many of us that are trying to raise awareness and acceptance of Autism, many of us on the autistic community especially are like herding cats and I must say sometimes with these cats I say that they tend to be really angry and a bit aggressive as I’ve noticed in some of the autistic community groups
I’ve been in. Some of them has been aggressive and some have been pointing the finger at me or not just pointing the finger at me but bashing about you know that this should be said this way or that way and so on and so forth. But, I’m not going into the jiff of what was going down. I believe that in myself that there are or should be some unity and coming together is a really important factor in the community
so that we can then learn and advocate and or educate others about autism than ever before. When you have people that has the common traits of autism such as being detail orientated, who like to do their own thing, maybe obsessed with the one thing and so on and so forth for some of the common traits of autistics or people with autism. These are just to name a few just as I said before of these common traits. (Reference: Characteristic Traits In A Female with Aspergers Syndrome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjZmz0KXL5M)

( Reference: Obsessions and Interests in Autistic Children https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbGWzd72Jh0 )


It may come as a surprise sometimes that being an autistic can be an everyday struggle and is a difficulty for us to come together that as just as a one community as an autistic community and as to also to be the just the one voice but this need to be necessary to make social progress in today’s world.

So, the question is what is the difference between autism awareness and autism acceptance. Well, I have shared again this topic also last year which you can find here (Reference: Introduction to World Autism Awareness Acceptance Month/Life as an Aspie [April, 2019]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZSq_hY-oVU&t=487)

But, I shall be short and brief in this part to what it is now to give you all a recap.
Autism awareness is all about people who are autistics that are raising awareness and that again as I said earlier many people are aware about autism.

This event of autism awareness started earlier than autism acceptance as autism awareness Insert image of a family became a idea by autistic adults and children way back in the year of the 1970s to really let people know about the existence of autism is there and did exist then as it does now yet it wasn’t quite common back then as it is now based on the lacking of research and information in the 70s

Students and family members from Johnson Primary School march, holding signs and banners in support of autism awareness aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Friday. According to the center for disease control and prevention, one in every 68 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with the disorder. (Photo by: Lance Cpl. Andrea Ovalle)

Yet, in this time period that it was a time where they can raise awareness based on talking about the signs and symptoms,peoples experiences of what life is like for them as an autistic as mainly from a parent view and perspective on this to also to some people with little or knowledge of Autism to bring greater awareness and understanding of autism to the general public. Most of the autistics in the autistic community do see this as a negative idea or conception.

Last year, I shared about the Light It Up Blue campaign that is organised by the organization of Autism Speaks and has been adopted out to other organizations in the last few years worldwide and my thoughts and opinions as well as some research on it (Reference: AAAW Why I WILL NOT Support LIGHT IT UP BLUE/My Personal Opinion[2019]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45LTmSFdSkg )
as I don’t wish to go too much into detail in it to cause any more debate.


I did share to why some autistics don’t light it up blue as well as my own personal opinion along with research. Let’s just say here quick smart though before I begin onto it, Some of these organisations that we may hear about aren’t properly run by actually autistic people. I believe strongly that with some of these stunts that are being done, however, it’s minimal due to a lot of planning and resources along with a lot of money and it’s a waste of money. Light it up blue campaign was a campaign raised at the time for the majority of young boys that were diagnosed with autism and that it wasn’t known that it was known for many years that are supposingly a diagnosis for men and boys alike.
And it wasn’t known it to be for females that could also have autism due to us females usually masks) or having other diagnosis on top of that first of autism- be it like schizophrenia or bipolar and the like before the specialists do diagnose us with Autism. (Reference: Autistic Females and Masking [2018 https://youtu.be/NRgs74MyHvw).

With autism awareness that this term is flawed I believe in many ways and one of the ways is that this is known for medical experts wanting us to be cured.


I have also shared this in one of my videos (Reference: Should there be a Cure for AUTISM?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbjMKpwbUWU ) and that being different is a bad thing for many centuries. People that put a negative spin on people that are different doesn’t seem right at all.

I’m not the only one now that doesn’t accept this as many other autistic people who I have been talking to are trying to push back the narrative of this as well now. As this is now being disorganized, and documented or even doctrinised yet nowadays. Many autistics are now bringing in the hashtag of #redinstead. I’m hoping to take part in this movement again this year even if its on the second.
(Reference:Autism Awareness & Acceptance [April 2019]/ Autism Acceptance-Wear Red Instead https://youtu.be/PLg7_a22v20 )

While Autism Acceptance Day has claimed to be on April 2nd yet on the other hand autism acceptance of the #redinstead is on April 1st.

On the other hand that is where autism acceptance began. This stance began in the 1990s. This has grown ever since.This started almost the same way as autism awareness did but only difference here how it started was this was started by autistic people as this was due to when the autism awareness movement began as an opposition to autism awareness is all about what I shared earlier light it up blue and as for autism acceptance is all about hashtag movement of #redinstead. These terms will be seen more of when it comes down to when we have this month of World Autism Day. This day of autism acceptance also is a way of taking action.

As many of us will be taking action on behalf of the autistic community or behalf of ourselves as autistics. Autism acceptance is all about showcasing the skills and talents that we have as an autistic. As we know that there’s many autistics with many different skills and talents out there and it’s all about being able to be brave enough to show it to the world around us.

However, as we know with acceptance at the end of the day will open a wider door of opportunities, fortunes and so much more. And, this opens it up all the way to gain a better understanding of autism
and autistic people as a whole.

As we know that historically April 1st is known to be a day where people do pranks on others and just making fun of people in general. As we should know that there are many autistic people out there that are literal thinkers as this again is one of their common traits can be known for and are easy targets
for the malicious and callous behaviours of others that aren’t accepting of others that are different. Many of us do hate April Fools Day anyways which is why us autistics has chosen to reclaim that day however for autism awareness vs. autism acceptance.. We know that these days it may not serve any purpose or reason for April Fools Day but for just any businesses of people that wastes their time, money and energy to do pranks. So, on the other hand us autistics has claimed this day as a day of kindness.

As we know that you maybe asking how you can help this year to raise acceptance this year.
Yes, I am aware that you are also thinking and saying to me that hang on a minute Aspie, you do realise that we are in lock-down? Yes, I do. I hear you!
But, what you can do while in lock-down for this day I have given you just a few suggestions to give to you during this time of acceptance as acceptance to me also involves inclusion of autistics as well as giving compliments to others, write notes to each other, write a letter to an autistic led organisation, maybe feel free, if you feel you want to, to guest blog on some autistic related blogs or what have you, make a gift for someone or write a song and so much more. These ideas I am sharing with you is all about the act of kindness and using the hashtag term #redinstead.
Amplify this by other social medias that are doing this movement.Showing this to others about kindness of the #redinstead will then therefore bring out more acceptance of others that are on the autism spectrum.

The date for World Autism Day has been purposefully documented and dated for anyone that doesn’t support light it up blue or red instead as well as we also has the option of light it up gold.

Also, in this day of World Autism Awareness Day I feel it should be changed to World Acceptance Day on April 2nd as I believe that there’s a lot of awareness already yet we got a long way to go in accepting others that are different as I feel it should be World Autism Acceptance Day due to there’s still lacking
of acceptance of autistic people and that for us autistics we shouldn’t feel like we’re discriminated, needing to change our thoughts, looks and more just to fit in the neurotypical world.

I believe since there’s a lacking of autistic voices to be heard and this day should be claimed by the autistics as a coming out day similarly in borrowing the LGBT movement and in this movement we should use the hashtag #autisticgold or #goinggoldforautism.

A crowd waves rainbow flags during the Heritage Pride March in New York on Sunday.


I understand that many autistics do not dare wish to come out claiming that they’re autistic by being feared of being judged, fear of rejection and many other reasons behind this.
I fully understand and feel this wholeheartedly as I was one of them once upon a time.
Autism for some people that are diagnosed with this that they still feel deeply ashamed about and most of the reactions we get from parents, friends, family and others are really harsh and negative when many autistics are trying to approach the subjects of this matter.So, the only way to see that is to let society see the numbers and of mass of people coming out as Autistics and let others know that we’re not ashamed of who and what we are. Please for anyone of you who are watching this as I am encouraging you to come out as an autistic and that you still feel you’re not ready to do so, don’t have to do this yet, just do it in your time and when you feel that you’re strong and ready to proclaim
and accept that you’re autistic.I’m not saying that everyone on this day of Autism Acceptance should come out far from it as this is for the people that are already ready to take the stand in accepting themselves along with having supporting networks from friends, family and organisations and so on. So, that everyone else can see as we lead by example that we’re being led by an autistic community or society.With that being said that this then should be normalized and accepted by society and also people in the community as well as a voice for the community and society alone.

As we are aware that we are limited to the hashtags activism groups but I believe if we can be proud and accepting of ourselves being autistic, we have the power to do more for autism
acceptance. Think for example the LGBT movement in how they work. This movement is now being more common and accepted in some parts of the world and in society.For this change to take effect, as we know it will not happen immediately over time. So, it will take time and patience and if we are brave enough to do so we can do more.In the time of Autism Awareness day that was brought to our understanding how it all began with autistic adults and again in the neurotypical adults
that we should all come together as one to co-exist somehow for us to accept the other side and validate our own experiences. I believe that if we did come together that we can work together by
educating the public about autism. The fact and reality is that autism isn’t an illness or a need to be cured. (Reference: AAWM 2018/Do I want a cure for Autism [Shortened Version] [2018]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzokIV2cqRU)
Autism to many people will see it in a lot of ways. Some may say it’s a blessing, curse, tragedy, superpower and so much more. It’s who and what we are under that label we are still humans with talents, gifts, feeling and emotions like all of you neurotypical people out there.
It’s not going away as this condition is going to be a part of us for the rest of our lives.

We know that life is too short and should never take life for granted and that we should all now honor and respect ourselves for once.

So, just to wrap this video up as recap to end this that 1) April 1st is that we reclaim the light it up blue narrative and go red instead.

  1. April 2nd is the autistic coming out day using the hashtag #autisticgold or goinggoldforautism.
    (Going for Gold for Autism Awareness Acceptance Month.
  2. Differences between autism awareness and autism acceptance. These two terms do interlink and work together one way or another.

I believe it’s all again about accepting each others differences as people rather than someone who has something like a mental illness or autism
as this should help the conversation to go further.

Identity First Language – Autistic Person, Person With Autism Or What?

What do you wish to be called? Is there a right way or wrong way of calling ourselves the way we want to be called?

Hey you! Are you an Autistic Person? Are you a person with Autism? What do I really need to call you? More importantly, who am I and what do I see myself
as an individual? Argh! Stop calling me some of these first languages as you should know that really grinds my gears, guys. As we know that words and language are powerful tools by which an individual can express ideas, thoughts and more whether it is abstract, actionable or concrete.

I myself as an individual know firsthand and understand full darn well that language and the meanings towards words can very much impact someone no matter who and what they are as a person. We as individuals I believe do tend to attach to some of the words very much for impact and influence and even more so developing and changing the attitudes that we have towards the subjects and or matters of discussion. That’s why many people I have spoken to or heard from are easily insulted
or upset by the everyday word choices that we have.

I am here today to try and explain to you all right now about this topic as this is really controversial for many of us that are autistics. Before, I begin this
this is just based on what I’ve experienced and known all my time after talking to some people on the autistic community to how they may feel. So, please
respect me into what I will share.

It has been known for quite sometime now for many of us autistics that we meet some people that has some misunderstanding and misconceptions about autistics no
matter what it is.

So, the question of many that we would be asking ourselves right now is how did people first language come about? People first language is also known or called as person first language which is a linguistic description which will usually put a person before their actual
diagnosis of any kind and in this case the many terms that I just used right now for autistics. This linguistic description usually describes what a person “has” than asserting to what a person “is.”

Rather than using labels to define individuals with a health issue, it’s more appropriate to use terminology, which describes individuals as being diagnosed with an illness or disorder.

This was supposed to be intended to avoid any marginalization and/or dehumanization (either consciously or subconsciously) when discussing people with a chronic illness
or disability. Again, I shall remove that term disability as I don’t feel this is the right word I am looking for. Term I will use is as I have done in the past is people with different conditions. This may have been seen as a type of a disability etiquette but person-first language can also be more generalized to any group otherwise known or can be defined or mentally categorized by a condition or a trait (examples that are sometimes known for doing so are race, age or appearance along
with the different sexuality types).

Person-first language usually avoids using labels or adjectives to define someone, utilizing terms such as ‘A person with diabetes’ or’a person with alcoholism’
instead of what we hear is “a diabetic’ or ‘an alcoholic’. With this being said, the intention here is that a person is seen first and foremost as a person with some given specific trait or characteristic. Some advocates that I’ve spoken to or even heard from has usually have a person-first language point to the failure to mentally separate the person from the traits or characteristics and the person is either inherently bad or inferior, leading to the point where discrimination takes place. Another example for you all to gain a better understanding is “a person with a substance use disorder” has a fair chance of achieving long-term remission yet many years it has been changed to calling these type of people “substance abusers”

Another question that you are thinking to yourselves as you’re reading and/or watching this today is why are we self-advocates so opposed to some of these terms that has
been clearly shared just now. Aren’t we all about emphasizing and correcting inaccurate, misleading and harmful stereotypes and their attitudes towards all of this?
For sure, some of us may get offended yet some of us or shall we say majority of us no matter what we are and who we are wants to be seen as a person that has equal rights, values and worth. One argument I encountered in one of the more cogently-written papers in favor of person-first language expostulates that because cancer patients are referred to as “people with cancer” or “people who have cancer,” as opposed to “cancerous people,” the same principle should be used with autism. There are some fundamental flaws with this analogy, however.

This is another examples of many that I hear about.
Cancer is a disease that ultimately kills if not treated or put into long-term remission.
There is absolutely nothing positive, edifying, or meaningful about cancer.
Cancer is not a part of a person’s identity or the way in which an individual experiences and understands the world around him or her.
It is not all-pervasive.

We need to remember that Autism isn’t a disease as I’ve clearly shared this so many times what Autism is which I will link in the icard and description box below
to gain a better understanding of this if you’ve not seen these. I have clearly shared that it’s a neurological and developmental condition. It has now been classed
as a disorder yet this is really disabling in many varied ways.

CRITICISM

There has been some critics that has objected that people-first language is awkward, repetitive and make for some tiresome reading and writing. A sociologist by the name of C. Edwin Vaughan as well as a longtime activist for the blind argues that since “in common usage positive pronouns usually precede
nouns” The awkwardness of the preferred language focuses on the disability in a new and potentially negative way. According to Edwin Vaughan,it only serves to focus’ on disability in an ungainly new way and calls attention to a person as having some type of “marred identity” in terms of Erving Goffman’s theory of identity.

Erving Goffman’s Face and Stigma Theory Explained

In 1963, Erving Goffman published Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity.

It is an examination of how an individual protects their personal identify if they depart from an approved standard of conduct, behavior, or appearance.
It is essentially a way for people to manage an impression of themselves.

For most people, the primary method used to avoid stigma is concealment.

This is because the perception of a stigma will often result in shame. There is a personal disappointment in an inability to meet the standards that other
people or society in general has set for them. There is also a fear of being discredited, which causes an individual to conceal whatever shortcomings they feel that
they have.

Think of a person with a criminal record. They might withhold this information when meeting someone new to prevent being judged off of the record instead of
who they are as a person.

This is expanded upon in an essay by Goffman called “Face Work,” which was published in Interaction Ritual and originally written in 1955. When combined,
Goffman notes that there are three types of symbolic imagery which influence how individuals may think, act, or react. These are stigma symbols, prestige symbols,
and what Goffman calls “disidentifiers.”

How Face and Stigma Theory Is Applied?

Goffman offers the idea that the interactions people have with one another on a daily basis are like a theatrical performance. This is especially true when two strangers encounter one another. Each person has the goal of controlling the first impression that the other individual has of them.
They will guide this impression by withholding information, altering their own setting, or even changing their appearance and mannerisms to create the desired
result.

The performance is likened to what happens on a theatrical stage because there are two elements: what is provided to the audience and what occurs backstage.
This creates a dual role for each person.

For the onstage performance, an individual becomes the person they feel an individual wants them to be or what society demands of them. It is what occurs through
social interactions and results in positive self-concepts when the desired first impression is offered and then successfully received. For the backstage performance, there doesn’t actually need to be a performance. It is a place that is hidden and private, allowing individuals the opportunity
to drop the role or identity that they offer to the world. There is no longer a need to follow the demands that society offers here. At the same time this face-to-face “performance” is happening, the individual attempting to garner an accurate first impression of the individual is working to
obtain more information from them.

Goffman notes that he believes this practice is performed because it offers both people an opportunity to avoid embarrassment. This is because society is a living, breathing entity. Every person feels the need to act differently in changing situations.

Social Model Of Disability – How It Works?

In the social model of disability, a person is disabled by societal and environmental factors. To explain more briefly about this model as it’s called The social model of disability identifies systemic barriers, derogatory attitudes, and social exclusion (intentional or inadvertent), which make it difficult
or impossible for individuals with impairments to attain their valued functioning. The social model of disability diverges from the dominant medical model of disability, which is a functional analysis of the body as machine to be fixed in order to conform with normative values. While physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychological variations may cause individual functional limitation or impairments, these do not necessarily have to lead to disability unless society fails to take account of and include people regardless of their individual differences.

Medical model versus the social model of disability

Medical ModelSocial Model
Disability is a deficiency or abnormality.Disability is a difference.
Being disabled is negative.Being disabled, in itself, is neutral.
Disability resides in the individual.Disability arises from interactions between the individual and society.
The remedy for disability-related problems is cure or normalization of the individual.The remedy for disability-related problems is a change in the interactions between the individual and society.
The agent of remedy is the professional who affects the arrangements between the individual and society.The agent of remedy can be the individual, an advocate, or anyone who affects the arrangements between the individual and society.
As an educator, you have no responsibility to ensure accessibility; that is the job of the experts.As an educator, you are responsible for creating an accessible environment where all your students can learn.

Accessible Education aims to reduce dependence on the accommodation approach and move toward inclusion.

The social model of disability is based on a distinction between the terms impairment and disability. In this model, the word impairment is used to refer to the actual attributes (or lack of attributes) that affects a person, such as the inability to walk or breathe independently.
The word disability is used to refer to the restrictions caused by society when it does not give equivalent attention and accommodation to the needs of individuals with impairments.
Hence, why I believe that this model needs to be changed and updated for training and educational purposes.

(Discuss more later in one my next articles or vlog)

Autism activist, Jim Sinclair rejects the ideal of person-first language, on the grounds of saying “person with autism’ suggests that autism can be separated from person. There are many organizations to this day still use person-first language especially in the autistic community and one of these organizations
that are known for this is Autistic Self Advocacy Network and Lydia Brown had to say this about the heated topic at hand.

In the autism community, many self-advocates and allies prefer terminology such as “autistic” “Autistic person.” or “autistic individual” we understand autism as an inherent part of the individual’s identity… It is impossible to affirm the value and worth of an autistic person without recognizing him or her
identity as an autistic person. Referring to me as ‘a person with autism’ or ‘an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder’ demeans who I am because it denies who I am.. When we say ‘person with autism’ we say that it’s unfortunate and an accident that a person is autistic. We affirm that the person has value and worth, and that autism is entirely separate from what gives him or her value and worth. In fact, we are saying that autism is detrimental to value and worth as a person, which is why we separate the condition with the word “with” or “has” Ultimately, what we are saying when we say ‘person with autism’ is that the person would be better off if not autistic, and that it would have been better if he or she has been born typical.

What I found most interesting in reading this selection of articles and blog posts along with trying to get as much involved in the autistic community is that many of the same arguments are used for both positions, but with separate sides, naturally, coming to very divergent and contradictory conclusions.

Firstly, I saw in at least two articles in favor of using “person with autism” that the authors strongly oppose language referring to disabilities like “suffers from,” (i.e. “Alan suffers from Asperger’s syndrome;” “Joey, an autism sufferer;” etc.) which has traditionally been a talking point of self-advocates as well. I do understand that not everyone who supports the use of terminology “person with autism” would disagree with language like “suffers from,” but it is still interesting that there are those who do. It suggests a fundamental shared value — that people with different neurological conditions are not “suffering” because of their difference or disability.

Secondly, as alluded earlier, those on both sides want to emphasize the value and worth of the person. Person-first language advocates believe the best way to do this is through literally putting the noun identifying “person” before any other identifiers. (As noted in one of the other articles opposing person-first language, however, English is a language that puts adjectives before nouns, whereas there are multiple languages that always place adjectives after nouns.
In Spanish, for example, “person with autism” is “persona con autismo,” while “Autistic person” becomes “persona autística.” In both cases, autism/Autistic follows the noun.) Person-first language opponents believe the best way to do this is by recognizing and edifying the person’s identity as an Autistic person as opposed to shunting an essential part of the person’s identity to the side in favor of political correctness.

It is impossible to affirm the value and worth of an Autistic person without recognizing his or her identity as an Autistic person. Referring to me as “a person with autism,” or “an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder” demeans who I am because it denies who I am.

Lastly, what is most interesting indeed is the shared expressed sentiments that using or not using person-first language is necessary to change and shift societal attitudes toward Autistic people. Returning to the premise of this article, this is the sole reason why this debate continues to be argued and why many people on both sides regularly emerge upset and feel personally attacked. Language does play a large role in shaping societal attitudes.

But let’s think about what we are doing when we use these terms. When we say “person with autism,” we say that it is unfortunate and an accident that a person is Autistic. We affirm that the person has value and worth, and that autism is entirely separate from what gives him or her value and worth. In fact, we are saying that autism is detrimental to value and worth as a person, which is why we separate the condition with the word “with” or “has.” Ultimately, what we are saying when we say “person with autism” is that the person would be better off if not Autistic, and that it would have been better if he or she had been born typical. We suppress the individual’s identity as an Autistic person because we are saying that autism is something inherently bad like a disease.

Yet, when we say “Autistic person,” we recognize, affirm, and validate an individual’s identity as an Autistic person. We recognize the value and worth of that individual as an Autistic person — that being Autistic is not a condition absolutely irreconcilable with regarding people as inherently valuable and worth something. We affirm the individual’s potential to grow and mature, to overcome challenges and disability, and to live a meaningful life as an Autistic. Ultimately, we are accepting that the individual is different from non-Autistic people–and that that’s not a tragedy, and we are showing that we are not afraid or ashamed to recognize that difference.

That’s why, when I read a few articles scoffing entirely at the debate, and dismissing it as ultimately irrelevant (insisting that each person should use the terminology he or she prefers and to ignore what other people say or write), I was concerned. The question of person-first language is definitely important and cannot be disregarded. The way we use language affects those around us — in our immediate communities and in society at large. Trends of language have the power to transform ideas and attitudes. To dismiss this as “a silly semantics argument” denies the power of language.

What does, however, disturb me is the vitriol during debates about this (and similar) topics in the autism community. While it is, as repeatedly emphasized, an important debate with huge ramifications both short-term and long-term, hurling ad hominem insults, making baseless accusations, and shouting over tables (or computer screens) at the people on the other side ultimately demeans both you and them. It shows great immaturity, inability to civilly and peaceably discuss important topics, and insensitivity to the personal experiences vested in each of us with a stake in this debate. Having strong opinions on a topic and being able to have a respectful discussion with someone else are not mutually exclusive.

I guess now the question comes to you all is what do I call myself?

I usually call myself an Aspie a cliniclal slang term that means person with Aspergers and removing the word “syndrome” it doesn’t belong there.
I also shared some more of the thoughts of these terms in my other video which I shall link it here in the icard and description box for you all to watch after this
video to gain more understanding again.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST THE LAST QUESTION IS HOW DO WE MOVE ON FORWARD OR HOW CAN WE MOVE FORWARD

So what can we do moving forward? Or, more importantly, what should we do? To those of you who use “person with autism,” I will always respect your constitutional right to express yourself however you like, but I urge you to reconsider the consequences of using such language.
To those of you who use “Autistic person,” I urge you to consistently use such phrasing everywhere possible, whenever discussing autism and issues that affect
Autistic people, and to develop coherent, rational explanations for why you prefer this terminology, so that you can engage in such mutually respectful and
civil exchanges with others.

That, actually, goes for everyone. If we ever want to accomplish anything as a community, as a movement, or as advocates, we cannot allow ourselves to be constantly divided by infighting and vicious bullying — and yes, that occurs from all sides of these debates, not just one. It is imperative that we learn to engage critically and respectfully with one another, and to value each individual’s voice and feelings as equally important. Otherwise, we’ll become even more dysfunctional than my subcommittee has been in recent months.

Autism Interview With Jenna Gensic as the Interviewer and Myself as the Interviewee

Just recently I had an email from someone that wanted me to take part with her for an interview as a guest blog on her site to raise awareness about Autism Acceptance. I gladly did accepted.

Introducing Jenna Gensic (Bio)

Jenna Gensic is a freelance writer, disability advocate, and mother of four from northern Indiana (USA). Jenna has a BA in English and an MA in English writing; she taught high school English before making the decision to work from home and raise her young children. She is the author of What Your Child on the Spectrum ReallyNeeds: Advice from 12 Autistic Adults and manages the Learn from Autistics website (learnfromautistics.com), and writes and speaks about parenting issues related to prematurity, cerebral palsy, and Autism.

Purpose of the Interview: Jenna asked me a series of questions spreading awareness of Autism and I as an advocate and educator invite viewers to witness the everyday life of an ‘Aspie.’ I am also the author of Life of an Aspie and blogs at Life of an Aspie and I’m known as Aspie Answers on YouTube which you can find my channel here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWKw1HpNsu_EyAhhEJrayyw?view_as=subscriber .
On Jenna’s’ blog I shared some tips for spreading autism understanding and acceptance.

The following questions she asked me were:

  1. When/how did you become aware of your autistic identity?

I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, which is now being called Autism under the new diagnostic criteria. This is also known as an ‘Invisible’ condition and can be difficult for many females. Many of you may feel that we are just seen as quirky, shy, emotional, and difficult, or even blunt and outspoken. Whatever feelings or traits that we display, we are who we are, and we just need to be understood and not taken advantage of.

As you can see in this diagram illustrated of the different types of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Link: https://www.growingyourbaby.com/category/autism/https://www.growingyourbaby.com/category/autism/
As you can see here with this diagram illustrated that these are some of the common traits for autistics yet not all autistics will exhibit these traits.

Before being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, my parents and I may have felt that I was sometimes obnoxious, shy, quiet, rude, selfish, and cruel to some extent. The whole mass of feelings inside of me that I do portray then comes with the label “Drama queen” from many people who see me, along with many other labels, and certain labels can be damaging.

Never label anyone with any conditions as this can damage them for life. Labels don’t belong to people. They belong elsewhere.

2. What inspired you to write Life of an Aspie?

After talking to some people on Facebook, I felt that regardless of my diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome and a host of other mental health conditions, it was time for me to be a voice, advocate, and/or educator for the ones who don’t have a voice yet. I wanted to become a voice to let others like me know that they’re not alone.

I believe strongly that with some of my life experiences- BIG OR SMALL -, some people may be able to relate somehow. When I wrote Life of an Aspie based on my everyday life experiences and struggles, I believed that we could embrace our identities and have the choice to speak out and make a change/difference to anyone who we may meet or come face-to-face with. I’ve always had a passion to write as well as being able to try and help people no matter what they’re facing. This includes being there for others if they needed someone to talk to, or being a listening ear or a sounding board, or offering, if needed, a piece of advice. In addition to writing this book, I have also been vlogging, and I hope sometime soon to do an updated version of my book.

I feel really strongly about other people’s thoughts and feelings, so I guess I’m also empathetic. I was also hoping this book might help remove the stigma and stereotyping about autism and mental health. I wanted to give others a better understanding and knowledge about autism and illustrate that not all autistics are the same.

Excerpt from Life of an Aspie: Looking into Everyday Life with Aspergers Syndrome:

We should at least enjoy every part of life as it comes. We should at least enjoy life by embracing it by being happy and at peace within ourselves and others around us. We should always live in the present and not worry too much about the future as it has not arrived yet for us. Life is also about learning the everyday lessons along the way. The trials and challenges we endure and face can determine everything about us and our future. Life is also about self-discovery – finding out who and what we really are as a person. I believe strongly that we all have a purpose and a reason in life as this is to why we are here today – to make a better start to the day starts with us.

My book I wrote a few years back that you can visit and purchase it from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Life-Aspie-Everyday-Aspergers-Syndrome/dp/1520685122

3. What are you most passionate about?

There are quite a few things that I am passionate about, and they are my love for cooking, listening to music, singing, dancing, writing, vlogging, or whatever other means that allows me to show my creative side. I also love to read and be around people who love me and accept me for who and what I am as a whole, and not just an autistic. I love to learn new languages and different cultures. I also love animals, especially ones that will keep me company and at ease with my health. This are just a few things I am passionate about.

4. What are some of the most important things neurotypicals can do or understand that would make life easier for people on the spectrum?

There are a few important things that neurotypicals can do or understand that would make life easier for people on the spectrum and I only compiled at least ten and they are as follows:

  1. Accept us for who we are as people and don’t make us someone we are not to meet your expectations.
  2. Don’t forever be talking down to us! After all, we are still human despite our different ways of communicating, comprehending, etc.
  3. Be patient with us. If we say or do anything wrong, do tell us or show us a different method/technique that may work for you that could possibly help us as well.
  4. Have empathy but not sympathy for us!
  5. When giving a host of many tasks for us to do, be sure to allow time for us to complete each one as well as help us compose a list that will help us breakdown the tasks throughout the day.
  6. Communicate to us if there is a problem as many of us autistics are problem-solvers. Talk to us about the problem and then we should all be able to work together to make things happen.
  7. Inclusion not exclusion. What I mean here is that many of us autistics are excluded from our peers or even just everyday people, when often we would like to be with everyone else.
  8. When we have our meltdowns, shutdowns etc, again, be patient and give us time and space to do what we can to recharge.
  9. Socialisation for many of us can take a lot out of us; therefore, we need the time and space to recharge our batteries. So, please don’t feel or think that we’re being rude if we are walking away or needing to get away from the people and environment that we are in.
  10. When we have a meltdown, be sure to ask us if we are okay. Sometimes many of us just need the reassurance that others around us will be there once it’s over.

(Reference: Some other answers will be found in my playlist on YouTube Autism & Aspergers Syndrome Help Central/Tips & Advicehttps://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD1nCoeovTZ53B9xfw8vgujCMNTYfKElC

Note: There are two parts to my interview guest blog which the first one will be live at
and the link to that interview is:

5. What were the important steps that helped you learn to accept your autism (and gain the confidence to write a guide for others?

There are again so many important steps that I’ve learned to accept my autism and gain the confidence to write a guide for others and there are only nine here to list.

The important steps that have helped me to learn to accept my autism were realizing:

  1. I am not alone. There are other autistic people like me.
  2. I should never be ashamed of who and what I am.
  3. We all have different abilities and talents that we can show to others, and they can learn from us.
  4. Without awareness, acceptance isn’t possible.
  5. How to find the right people who will love me and accept me no matter what. The right people will be positive and supportive enough to help me throughout my life, which is crucial to fulfill my needs, dreams, goals, etc.
  6. Embracing autism and loving ourselves does take time for some of us after being diagnosed.
  7. I am human, and yes, I do make mistakes as well.
  8. There are some support networks out there, it is a matter of finding the right ones where we can feel that we belong.
  9. Finding my voice can be valuable for the ones who haven’t found theirs. This way I can advocate and educate others about this and more.

You can find my full written guide of what I wrote here: https://lifeofanaspieweb.wordpress.com/2019/08/23/accepting-your-autism-how-to-comprehensive-guide/

The interview guest blog will be broken into two parts and different dates and they are as follows:

Post #1, Tuesday, February 25th (8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time USA) Interview


https://www.learnfromautistics.com/autism-interview-120-kerrin-maclean-on-accepting-autism

Post #2: Tuesday, March 3rd (8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time USA)Accepting Your Autism Guide

https://www.learnfromautistics.com/accepting-your-autism:-a-how-to-comprehensive-guide-by-kerrin-maclean

So, I hope you will visit Jenna’s site for a read once they’re live and enjoy what I wrote.

Autism and Loneliness

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved. “Mother Theresa
This video is not just for people with Autism that has that has experienced loneliness as once in a while everyone has in their life.
I talked about my experiences in this as well as a few tips or advice for the ones that are going through this.

Just to bear in mind before I begin writing this as you read this written blog that many people have a misconception or misunderstanding about certain people that are autistic or on the autism spectrum of how an autistic should be acting, thinking etc. Every autistic is different no matter where they’re at in their age and development in life. Autistics do have a different wiring in their brain to how they may work and that all we need to know is that we are feeling accepted and understood by the ones that we are with no matter what. We shouldn’t feel like that we’re being judged by others or being looked at a different way. After all, we are human! We need to remember that despite all of this that not all autistics are the same. If you heard the saying if you meet one autistic, you’ve met one. Some of us doesn’t like having labels on any kind that people may throw at us, no matter what it is, we may have heard many of them. We need to remove some of the expectations about most people as well as to also remove the stigma around autism as there’s still a lot of work to be done here for us on the spectrum.

Have you ever met someone in your life that you feel that you can connect with them? Laugh with them? Joke with them? etc. As if like you’re really making a connection with them and that you feel that they’re understanding you and that you feel as if you’re loved and accepted by them, right? You feel like that you’re building a connection of some form of friendship/relationship with some people, no matter what along the way! No matter what it is. We know that we feel on top of the world, feeling like that we’re loved and accepted by the ones that we are with that we cherish and love. When it does happen when we find someone that we can connect with that we feel happy and at peace in ourselves and with them.

Have you ever felt that after that special connection you feel with someone that you’re with that you’ve got some similar interests and hobbies and thinking that you’re friends for life?

Have you ever felt alone and isolated and feel left in the dark for however long of some of the situations that we’ve faced didn’t go the way we wanted or expected or even go right for us in the first place? It doesn’t have to be a friendship that was broken down. It could be while you were in a relationship with someone that it went sour and that you both decided to go separate ways. Or it could be to do when you’ve been trying to connect with people and making friends until you realised who they truly were while you were struggling in your most difficult times of your life.

For me as an example into when I am doing my utmost best in making and keeping friends some people to misunderstand me or misread me into how or what I try to say to them. Sometimes, it can be a struggle with me into what I want to say as all of it is in my head and it’s racing around and it feels like I am vomiting out all my words. Figuratively speaking. It’s like what I’v shared before I feel that I have to mask up my feelings, actions thoughts and feelings just to fit inside a box full of expectations from what a neurotypical world of how and what they want me to say, think and act. Yet, we know that this doesn’t work that way in real life. It’s all about us accepting each other no matter what we have or for even accepting our faults, flaws and imperfections.

I have come to terms now that there’s always going to be someone who’s going to try and change me no matter what it is that they think it needs to be. Yet, I believe if I was to change something about myself it is about acknowledging that yes something needs to be changed and how we can actually change it based on our thoughts, experiences and the outcome of it all. Yes, we’re all changing in every day life of what goes on within ourselves and some of the situations that we face and choose to do what we can. We need to choose wisely of our battles that we face everyday as some will come at a cost. I’ve come to accepting what I’ve got and to work with all the different situations that I face and that I hope to find the right people who will accept me for me with all my faults, flaws and imperfections. Like I’ve been accepting of others to a point of who and what they are as a person. I learnt that sometimes we can’t forever change a person until we make a change in ourselves no matter what it is. I don’t need to be told what needs to be changed as I’m working on it myself as I’ve been learning to gain confidence and independence on my own without others. I know that there’s always going to be people around me that’ll not always like me or what have you yet we’re here for a reason and a purpose in life and it’s just finding that purpose and more. I believe strongly and wholeheartedly I shouldn’t have to change how I speak, act and think. All I am asking from others is to at least share with me what I can do better if I’m failing it all.

Was there ever a time in your life however that you felt that you felt every strongly in your heart that you’ve tried to reach out so many times and that you felt that not many people would want to be there and listen to you while you’re suffering in silence? You had some sort of niggling feeling and negative thinking that no-one was there for you or wanted to be there for you while you’re drowning in your own thoughts and situations that you were going through? Sometimes, people start to put labels on you about who and what you are as a person and that then you feel that you start to believe them. You feel that whenever you’re trying to reach out to someone that no matter what you’re going through of the situation at hand that they tend to ignore or push you away. There are reasons to why they’re pushing us away from our struggles. Maybe, they’re struggling with something that we’re not aware of. Sometimes, it takes guts for someone to raise their hands and ask for help. It takes more courage to actually accept that there’s something wrong and actually work with what is wrong and also knowing the first step is definitely acceptance. It’s a sign of weakness if we act upon our negative thoughts and feelings.

Don’t let the labels to what people call you define you. You know what you are and allow yourself to accept you for you.

For me, nine times out of ten, I will be trying my best to be around others like a little social butterfly regardless of my social anxiety and to be there for others to listen to them if they need someone to talk to. To be there for them by not judging them at all, to be patient with them. To be their advice or soundboard if they need it. I believe that we all should try and be there for someone in our lives no matter what the situation that they’re facing or going through. I believe that we should also try and be empathetic and to walk in their shoes to know what’s going on in their lives. We need to choose wisely to what we want to say to that someone who’s struggling.

Website: http://shareinspirequotes.blogspot.com/2013/06/just-being-there-for-someone-can.html

Let’s be real and honest here that we all go through stages and phases of loneliness and isolation here. We need to remember when we go through these stages and phases that it’s not our fault. I believe that everything does happen for a reason and that we need to learn from some of the struggles and situations that we face to why it happened. If it was supposed to be, it will be. It wasn’t meant for us to at least go through the struggle of any kind that they’ll definitely give us some life lessons along the way. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, young or old however, autistic or a neurotypical or even a child. We all go through these phases one way in our life. These phases do come and go like the seasons that changes all the time. Imagine it for now the four seasons that are cycling all in one time. That for example: you’re lonely, got friends, you’re lonely, you’re isolated or whatever else it may be. This is how it felt for me and this is how it is to this day for me on these type feelings or cycles.

This cycle shows us what happens when people are lonely.

I look at a clear example for loneliness in me the four seasons that there are changes and phases of life like for example the leaves falling off the tree Or they’ll change color. Or the flowers will bloom once in a while and then loses its petals. Or young animals being born. Everything and everyone will go through seasons of change. Question is are we willing to change anything about ourselves? Are willing to accept that something needs to be changed?

I guess you all can feel me that there’s some parts that I’m dealing or facing right now that I do my utmost best to socialise as much as possible with others around me. (Reference: Friendships and Socialisation playlist on YouTube which you can click here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD1nCoeovTZ5FRKGUeYX9bZc7ENxkNhbD).

I’ll do my utmost best to socialise regardless of my social energy tank in how full or empty it is. I still will push forward as best as I can. In one of the videos that’s on my playlist should clearly explain about the social energy tank in how it works for us autistics.

I must admit, hell yes I’m experiencing loneliness once in a while. I don’t need people to try and insult me or criticise me at all. Sometimes, in my experience with loneliness it can be a good thing for a time having its benefits and it can also be a bad thing. With me for sometime, I had a fear of being alone or just lonely, yet I try to weigh up its pros and cons of me being lonely.

There are two different types of distinct loneliness and they are as follows: Unintentional and Intentional Loneliness. What are they you maybe questioning about these two terms that I’m sharing with you all.

Merriam Webster defines: Unintentional:  not done or by intention design not intentional an unintentional effect causing unintentional harm/offense.
Intentional:  done by intention or design INTENDED intentional damage.

Intentional loneliness is when a person is trying to be active in socialising yet they’re on their own. Minding their own business and not talking to anyone at all. Why is this? There are a lot of reasons. Maybe they’ve been bullied. Maybe they’ve tried to open up to people and then when they do they feel that their trust or lack of has been broken. Maybe they’ve tried to open up and gain some confidence in themselves and by being around people and it took them a whole while or took them a while to get to that stage in their life of being confident and being able to trust people around them. Another reason could be a death in the family or a close friend that has passed on or maybe last but not least, they just woke up and chose to make that decision to not to communicate or not to talk at all.

The other hand of the meaning of unintentional loneliness is that you’re trying your best to fit in or blend in with others, trying to get attention from your friends or family in a social gathering yet parents are talking with their peers. I’ve learnt that we shouldn’t have to blend in just to feel accepted or blend in to make friends. We should be able to be ourselves and who cares if we’re the black sheep amongst the white sheep. We’re born to stand out. We’re born to be different. We’re born to make a difference in this world if we choose to that is. For an example- you’re not going to be noticed at all and not going to be fitting in.

I’ll be sharing how to overcome or what you can do in dealing with loneliness in my next blog post. Do keep an eye out on this.

To end this blog:
It is understandable that we all feel alone sometimes in our lives. Maybe, something has happened in our lives no matter what it is for example again going through a traumatic experience such as being sexually assaulted, bullying, losing trust in people or lacking in confidence etc. The thing is if you stay isolated or alone long enough, and you keep pushing away as there’s some people that are being real and true that wants to be there for us through it all.
Advice to the viewers to watch through the video I’ve added in this blog.

ACCEPTING YOUR AUTISM (How to) (Comprehensive Guide)

It’s a fact that if we love ourselves first, we can then love others unconditionally. It’s important to love ourselves.

Being autistic can be rough. Or having any form of mental health and/or diagnoses for that matter. Yet, it’s up to us to how and what we want to do and achieve in our lives to get to where we want to be. While you may hear negative things about autism, as well as the stereotyping and stigma around this, we need to remember that this isn’t the full picture.
This video I will be sharing with you all today will help you come to terms with your autism in three parts and/or methods so you can focus on being the wonderful human being that you are.

Method One of Three: Seeing Autism Differently

What I share in this video as the three part series is a form of advice as well as sharing some parts as bit of my experiences of what I been through and learnt so far.

While autism is a neurological developmental disorder, we all have our own quirks and traits for our autism.
Autism does come with strengths and weaknesses and that with our strengths we can do great things in our lives.

  1. Learn about autism from autistic people.

    Too often, non-autistic people write about autism without consulting real autistic people.And, that for sure, can be a no-no and frustrating.
    They may come up with inaccuracies, laughable misconceptions, or extremely negative viewpoints on differences that don’t hurt anyone. Autistic people can provide you with a more accurate and well-rounded view. The Autistic community often describes autism in a neutral or positive light. This may help you gain a more holistic sense of autism, as opposed to seeing only the negatives.
  2. Read about the strengths associated with autism.

    Autism is a complex neurological condition that comes with several blessings along with its impairments. You may experience some or all of the following:
    Deeply passionate interests. These can lead to tremendous expertise, and possibly a very successful career or fun hobby.
    Helpfulness. Autistic people, in general, have a high sense of social responsibility, or the desire to solve problems and help others.
    Precision. It is often noted that autistic people focus on the small parts, rather than the big picture. This can lead to remarkable detail-oriented work, where a neurotypical person might be unable to focus so clearly on the individual aspects of something.
    Visual intelligence. Autistic people have tested higher on visual and nonverbal intelligence tests.
    Sincerity. Autistic people tend to mean what they say, and act as a “voice of reason” without becoming mired in social complexities.
    Your honesty and genuine spirit can feel refreshing to others.
    Creativity and a unique perspective. Autistic people can learn in unusual ways.
    This provides insights that neurotypicals may never realize, and can become a great asset in collaboration.

3. Read about successful autistic people.

Plenty of famous people have been diagnosed or thought to be autistic.
Strong special interests, focus, and a unique perspective can lead to innovation and creativity. Historically, Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Emily Dickinson, Mozart and more people were thought to be autistic. Famous autistic people today include Tim Burton,Susan Boyle, Adam Young (from Owl City), Temple Grandin and more.

4. Consider your special interests.

Image Reference: https://www.wikihow.com/Accept-Your-Autism

Special interests are a clear upside of autism: you have an incredible memory about these facts, intense focus,
and the ability to act like a walking encyclopedia of information whenever you want.
You also get to have a lot of fun doing the things you love.
Most non-autistic people would be jealous of the way you can recall and discuss information.

5. Read about the social model of disability.

Image Reference: https://www.wikihow.com/Accept-Your-Autism and artist MissLunaRose

The social model holds that disability is not caused by defects in the brain or body, but by society’s failure to accommodate and accept a certain variation.
For example, most nearsighted people are not disabled: they are fully accommodated within society (glasses, contacts), and have the same opportunities that non-nearsighted people have. Their body can’t do the same things, but technology makes up for that, so it is not an issue. (I will hope to share more later on about this topic of how it works and if it is accepted in the autistic community)

Method Two of Three: Helping Yourself

Iam who I am. I am more than my diagnosis and I believe I can do more things if I was given the chance to do so.
  1. Remember that it’s okay to be different
Never be ashamed of who you are as an autistic. Never be ashamed to stim in public. You are allowed to stim in public and that you don’t need permission or anyone else to validate your feelings for you.

If everyone were just like everyone else, the world would be boring. If we were to be like everyone else, then the world will be just pure black and white. We need to be able to express ourselves and be able to be ourselves and not be able to have permission from others to tell us or dictate to us in how we should speak, act or think. We are all unique. Your quirks are part of what makes you memorable, and you don’t need to censor yourself or try to look “normal.” These days we are all put into a box full of “neurotypical expectations”. We are born to be different and we are born to stand out and not blend in,I believe. It is absolutely okay to be disabled and to look disabled in public.

2. Find therapies and treatments that work for you.

Every different therapies and interventions will vary and work for some and not for others so that we need to bear in mind what works for us may not work for the next person and vice versa.

A good therapy will leave you better off than you were before, and you will gain skills to help you become more well-adjusted. You can also learn coping mechanisms, alternative methods of doing difficult tasks, and how to capitalize on your strengths.
Options include sensory integration therapy, talk therapy, occupational therapy, special diets, behavior therapy, and seeing a psychologist for emotional issues. Always check with a doctor before altering your diet or attempting an alternative treatment.

Always seek professional advice from the medical experts to know what is best treatments and therapies for you as well as also if need be for a second opinion, don’t be afraid to seek it out.
Image Reference: https://www.wikihow.com/Accept-Your-Autism

Be careful about behavior therapies. Some therapies are based on compliance and may hurt more than helping. If your therapist’s goal is to make you more normal (rather than more comfortable or more competent), or if you feel upset and anxious about seeing them, then find a better therapist.

3. Stop trying to do things that are too hard.

With the media constantly encouraging people to “do your best,” sometimes people forget that it’s okay to quit. You do not have to put forth 110% effort all the time—this can lead to burnout. If something is draining your energy or adding a lot of stress to your life,
stop doing it.
Sometimes saying “I quit” is freeing. Disability doesn’t just mean that there are some things you can’t do. It can also mean that some things are painful or extremely draining for you. Give yourself permission to quit or find an alternative way.
*I shared some advice and also some of my experiences based on this topic*

4. Focus on your skills and character strengths.

This will help you spend less energy mourning your disability, and more energy on doing positive things and enjoying your life.Spend time on your hobbies and things that you’re good at. Enjoy the feeling of competence and expertise. Make a list of your positive traits. Consider both personality traits and skills. Place the list somewhere where it’ll be easy to see when you’re feeling sad about yourself. Help other people. Prepare food for the hungry, raise awareness for important causes, or write about your special interest on wikiHow or even write in your personal blog. Effecting a positive change in the world will distract you, help others, and make you feel happier about yourself.

5. Practice self-care.

Being disabled can be difficult, and it’s important to treat yourself well.
Cut out energy drains from your life so you can focus on what matters most to you.
Pushing yourself to meet non-autistic standards will only take a toll on your health.
It is okay to ask for academic accommodations, take extra breaks, or quit doing things that are too stressful to achieve. Pay extra attention to general health advice: sleep for at least 8 hours, eat fruits and vegetables, limit junk food, minimize stress, and exercise regularly
(taking walks counts). Self-care is extra important for you, to mitigate stress and help reduce meltdowns and shutdowns.If you have trouble with self-care, it’s okay to ask for help. Assisted living, a group home, or living with family might be better for you.
Talk with a doctor, social worker, or therapist if you’re struggling. There’s no shame in meeting your needs, and it’ll free up time for things you love.

Taking dogs for walks are great for you and your pet.

Image: Image Reference: https://www.wikihow.com/Accept-Your-Autism and MissLunaRose
 

6. Get a mentor (or two).


Image Reference: https://www.wikihow.com/Accept-Your-Autism and artist MissLunaRose

Look for people in your life whose judgment you trust: parents, older siblings, relatives, counselors, clergy members, friends, etc. Living in a neurotypical world can be confusing, so it’s useful to have people to ask for advice. You can ask questions from “Is this outfit good for an awards ceremony?” to “This person makes me feel awful; what do I do?”

7. Stop apologizing for being autistic.

Feel the power of stimming. It’s okay to stim, don’t let others tell you otherwise.

You have the right to ask for accommodations, stim in public, and do what you need to do in order to function. Stimming is a release of anything that is stressing the person out. ( I shared this in my series which you can find the playlist from my channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwQhEeI1u5Y&list=PLD1nCoeovTZ5uHWubHyUYcBAK_5t5Ud7o )

Toning down your behavior is your choice—not something to be pushed or coerced out of you. You are not required to act more neurotypical just because everyone else is used to it.
Try to stop masking when you can. Masking is linked to mental health risks. Try to be yourself more often.

8. Recognize that autism is just one piece of who you are—a kind, thoughtful, and lovable human being.

Image Reference: http:// https://www.wikihow.com/Accept-Your-Autism

People can love you and your autism. You can love yourself and your autism. You are not a lesser person. Remember that even though autism is part of you, it doesn’t define your entire existence. Autism is a significant part of who you are, but it isn’t all of you. A diagnosis is simply just a label. An integral and whole part of your identity, but a label nonetheless. You are so much more than autism, so embrace your non-autistic-related strengths as well.

9. Talk to someone if you are overwhelmed by self hatred.

It’s okay to ask for help or seek advice from someone that you trust. Never be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength and courage. Not asking for help and performing some act, is weakness.

Anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues are unfortunately common in autistic people as well as others that has any form of mental health conditions. Identify someone you trust and explain to them how awful you feel. If you think you may have anxiety and/or depression, try to schedule a doctor’s appointment. The doctor can give you a screening and perhaps some helpful medicine. You are not being selfish or burdensome by sharing negative feelings. People can probably tell if you are feeling awful; they just may not know how to help. If you tell them, this is helpful to them, because then they can know what to do and worry less.

Method Three of Three: Finding an Autistic Community

  1. Surround yourself with positive people.

Look for the people in your life who build you up and leave you feeling better than you did before. Make an effort to spend more time with them. Ask if they’d like to get lunch with you, or if you could get together this weekend. If you usually feel bad about yourself after spending time with someone, that’s an important pattern to be aware of. Figure out why you feel that way, and whether the relationship is worth maintaining.

2. Meet the autistic community.

It’s important to find people that we can relate to and be friends with. It’s also good to be around people once in a while and know that we are together in whatever we go through. Finding our neurotribe as they call it is important as we get older.

This can be done by contacting a friendly support group, or through a search online.
Learn what autistic people have to say about themselves, their symptoms, and the way they interact with the world. Autistic people, in general, are very welcoming to newly diagnosed or self-diagnosed people. Autistic people can offer advice and tips to those in need (and often do so, especially online). The general positivity of the autistic community can help you feel better when you are feeling sad or have low self-esteem.
*Again, I shared a little bit based on my experiences in this as well as you watch the video.

3. Avoid people and organizations that dehumanize you.

Some people and groups think that raising “awareness” for autism makes it okay to say horrible things. You have feelings, and you deserve to be treated like an equal human being. Don’t waste time on people who refuse to respect you.Use the block button or unfollow button on social media if an account is negatively impacting your mood or mental health. Mental health is important for us to be well and strong enough to get through the day of whatever arises. We need to have the right frame of mind and attitude to get through it as well. It is okay to cut toxic people out of your life, even if they’re family. You don’t need their negativity, and you’re much better off without them. You are not required to argue that your existence is worthwhile, and it’s okay to decide not to waste your time and energy on them. If you’re stuck with these people, you can either educate or avoid them. Educating them can be done by telling them about autism and making an appeal to their desire to be a good person. If you try this and fail, or if you know that they won’t respond to reason,
it’s better to avoid spending time with them and avoid autism-related conversations. You don’t deserve to listen to toxic ideas about your existence.


Image Reference: https://www.wikihow.com/Accept-Your-Autism and artist MissLunaRose

4. Get involved with positive autism-related organizations.

They will help you understand yourself better and make a positive contribution to the world. Many autism self-advocacy groups have a large online presence. You do not need to physically go somewhere to get involved. We all need to feel safe, accepted and wanted by anyone that’s a given. If you can’t find in-person autism organizations that are any good, try general disability groups. It can be tremendously relieving to spend time with a group where being disabled is viewed as the “norm”.

6. Make Autistic Friends.

Finding a person that we can create that special bond that is like us in some way can be a blessing yet we know that with so many of us autistics that we do struggle to make friends and maintain the friendships that are made.

Along with the usual benefits of friendship, you can share coping strategies, discuss autism together, and be yourselves without any fear. Look for autistic people in autism acceptance advocacy groups, special education (if you go there), or disability/autism clubs.

I made a video on how to make friends with someone who is Autistic which is called “HOW TO Be a Friend to someone who is AUTISTIC” in which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm-_ahSaU10

MY ADVICE FOR YOU ALL

*If you struggle with persistent feelings of sadness related to your diagnosis, tell someone. Talk to someone you trust, or a doctor or therapist. Never be ashamed for having autism. This is what makes a part of you- YOU.

*Some people think autism is a burden. You don’t deserve to be dehumanized by anyone judgmental.

COMING TO TERMS AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM AT A LATER AGE

This is going to be broken down into three parts of my videos based on this title of “Coming to terms with the late diagnosis of Autism.” and you can follow along to what I am sharing by clicking above. Part is Getting Support.

It’s a given that when we get diagnosed that many children will seek medical assistance and that ideally it’s known that autism is diagnosed by when a child is 18 months old. However, it’s not unusual to be diagnosed with autism as a teenager or an adult.
This is particularly common with middle-aged adults who come of age before mental health professionals understood and accepted the autistic spectrum. If you’ve been diagnosed with autism at a late age, it can take some time for you to wrap your head around the diagnosis. Once you understand more about your diagnosis, it can be liberating and exciting to learn the reasons behind some of your behaviors and explore the welcoming and supportive community of autistic people.

Here I am today, going to share with you all some tips and advice about this topic for you or your loved one that has autism so that we can together understand each other more. We are more than just having autism. There will be three parts of this yet will hope to try and keep it as short as possible. Let’s begin, shall we?

PART 1 – GETTING SUPPORT

  1. Join autistic self-help groups.

There are many autistic self-help groups that will enable you to talk to other autistic people and understand more about your diagnosis and how to cope as an autistic person in a neurotypical world. You may be able to find groups in your community that meet in person.
There also are many online groups if you don’t feel comfortable meeting with a bunch of people you don’t know. To find groups or online forums, contact a nonprofit autistic organization or peruse their website. They typically will have a directory.
Talking to other autistic people can build your confidence, especially if you’ve spent most of your life as an outcast. It can be refreshing to find out that there are other people who think and relate to the world just like you do Other autistic people also can share tips and coping strategies with you so you can better adapt and come to terms with your diagnosis.

2. Find out if you are eligible for government grants or other assistance.
Having a diagnosis of autism means you may have easier access to government support and disability benefits to help you manage your life. You can find out about assistance by contacting a government disability office near you.
Nonprofit autistic organizations also may have information about assistance and grant opportunities. The best organizations will have autistic people in leadership positions or on their executive board, and autistic people will have a strong voice in the organization.

3. Decide if you want to share your diagnosis openly.

For many of us after being diagnosed with any condition, that sometimes for awhile it will be a bitter pill to swallow yet then it can also be a relief for us to know what we’ve got to become a better person or version of ourselves.

Particularly if you’ve been diagnosed as an adult, you may not want to tell everyone you know that you are autistic. Before you reveal your diagnosis, think hard about the pros and cons of doing so. Many autistic people, especially women, escape diagnosis until later in life because they don’t fit the stereotypical profile of an autistic person.
Depending on how old you are, you probably have already learned many coping mechanisms that allow you to blend in better. This is good for you, but in terms of disclosing your autism it means that people may doubt you or not believe you. Keep in mind that people often have misconceptions about autism. As a result, they may say things that come across as rude or insensitive because you don’t fit the image they have in their head of an autistic person. Before you decide that you want to be completely open about your diagnosis and your identity, make sure you’re prepared to handle people who will have doubts or attempt to invalidate your diagnosis.

4. Seek accommodations at work.

It’s important for any of is with our special needs that it’s being met with the employers that we’re working for as our needs are just as important as to anyone that has them.

In many countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., autism is considered a disability within the national legal framework.
Your diagnosis entitles you to accommodations you might otherwise have difficulty getting.
Keep in mind that seeking accommodations typically involves telling people at work about your diagnosis.
Be prepared to explain autism and how it impacts your life.
Let your boss or immediate supervisor know of the accommodations you request.
For example, suppose you work in an office cubicle, and you have trouble concentrating because you can hear your coworkers talking on the phone all day.
You may request a closed office as an accommodation.
If they deny your request, you may have to take further action. Talk to a disability rights attorney if your request for accommodations has been denied,
or if you have been discriminated against by your employer after revealing your diagnosis.

5. Reach out to friends and family.

Reaching out to others no matter who and what they are deserve to be listened to and to be patient with them.

The people closest to you often will be your greatest sources of support – even if none of them are autistic themselves.
Spending time with people who love and care about you can help you come to terms with your diagnosis.
In most cases, diagnosis of adults or teenagers includes a questionnaire or interviews with your parents.
If this was the case for you, they already know about the situation and may be eager to provide you with any help that you need.
Your closest friends are people who have been through thick and thin with you, and they love you for who you are.
They likely will take the news well, and can help you decide whether to tell others, and who to tell.
In particular, lean on people who’ve been in your life for a long time. They’ve become accustomed to and accepting of your various “quirks,”
and they can be a breath of fresh air as you come to terms with your diagnosis, because around them you know you can just relax and be yourself.

Part 2: EMBRACING YOUR DIAGNOSIS on the series of Coming to Terms with late diagnosis of Autism.
  1. Identify triggers of over-stimulation.

    Many autistic people have senses that are either extremely sensitive, or that aren’t as sensitive as those of “normal” people. This can mean that some environments are uncomfortable or even painful for you. Sensory over-stimulation can be a difficult thing to understand as a child. However, as a teenager or an adult you probably have a good idea of situations or environments that cause you problems.
    For example, you may find that you hate grocery shopping, and that you frequently leave the grocery store frustrated or in a foul mood. Think about the atmosphere: grocery stores are frequently lit by fluorescent lighting, which can cause sensory over-stimulation for many autistic people. Grocery stores also have a lot of competing noise – shoppers having diverse conversations, overhead music, PA announcements, employee chatter, and the like. Many autistic people have difficulty filtering background noise, which can make all of these sounds occurring in one place frustrating if not painful.
It’s important to know what our triggers are for any given situation that we’re dealing or facing with so that we are well prepared for what is to come.

2. Make adjustments in your life.

Accepting some of the changes that can be made in our everyday lives is important. There will always bound to be a few situations that we may not be able to control yet, in all fairness we just need to know what ones we can and accept the ones that we can’t.

Based on what you learn about sensory triggers and other autism-related issues, you can implement changes that could potentially make a vast improvement
in your living environment. For example, understanding that your problem with grocery stores is related to sensory over-stimulation can help you identify options
that will make this errand easier for you. Adjustments you might make in that situation include wearing headphones and playing some soothing music or
white noise to block out the cacophony of the grocery store, or wearing sunglasses to blunt the effects of the fluorescent lighting. Over time, as you become more comfortable and gain a better understanding of your diagnosis, you will discover other things you can do to improve your life and your experiences with the world.

3.Recognize your strengths.

There are many strengths related to autism, including pattern recognition, strong memory, and intense passions Take some time to identify the strengths you have and learn ways to apply these strengths in your everyday life. Thinking about your strengths can help you come to terms with your autism diagnosis because it can help you to see that while autism creates some challenges, it also has its positive side.

4. Put your weaknesses into perspective.

Certain challenges, such as difficulty with social interactions, are intrinsic to autism.
Getting a diagnosis of autism can help you understand the difficulties you’ve had and provide tools you can use to overcome them. For many autistic people who are diagnosed at a late age, learning they are autistic is like a light bulb turning on in their heads. Suddenly there is an explanation for so many things you may have beaten yourself up over before.
Now that you know you are autistic, you can cut yourself some slack on some of the things that you might have thought were negative aspects of your personality before.
For example, you may have accepted criticism that you were lazy because you have the tendency to procrastinate and overlook certain tasks. However, autism explains this as poor executive functioning – you may see something that needs to be done, but your brain can’t put together the steps required to take care of it.
This doesn’t mean you can use autism as an excuse. Rather, identifying the cause of your challenges opens new doors for you, enabling you to discover different ways of handling those challenges that will actually be effective for you.

You also can use your strengths to find others with whom you can relate. For example, many autistic people are highly visual thinkers who process thoughts in pictures rather than words. You probably will get along better with other people who are also visual thinkers – regardless of whether they’re autistic. If you’re struggling to find a job or career path that’s right for you, identifying your strengths also can help you identify career fields
where you will have the opportunity to shine.

*SIDE NOTE- For many of us autistics this can be a huge relief and huge weight off our shoulders is now gone because without the label or even the diagnosis of autism and many other mental health diagnosis or just any diagnosis for that matter, we tend to think or shall I say we tend to overthink/over-analyse everything around us as well as thinking that there must be something wrong with us. We tend to question ourselves and doubt ourselves of our capabilities, skills and so much more like most people that goes through a mental health diagnosis. The questions that many of us ask ourselves are: ‘Why don’t my peers relate to me?
Why can’t I do these things that seem to come so easily to other people?’ You might start thinking you’re broken. But then, when you get the word autism, you realize there’s not anything wrong with you. You have a condition, and there are other people like you. Suddenly, you’re not alone in a world in which you were kind of alone for a long time.”

PART 3: UNDERSTANDING YOUR DIAGNOSIS

I feel that it’s always important to know what is going on with our body and to know what we’ve got so that we can become better and stronger in our minds and body.
  1. Talk to your doctor.
Doctors are the first call of action to see what is going on with us so that they can then diagnose or detect what’s going on if we give them some symptoms so then the next step after this will then do series of tests.

The doctor who diagnosed you should be your first source for information about autism and how you personally fit into the autistic spectrum.
They will be able to explain the diagnosis, as well as provide you with resources to enhance your understanding. Have the doctor go through the screenings or tests that you took in detail, and explain the traits that indicate you are autistic.
Go through the diagnostic criteria and consider how you identify with them, and which ones don’t seem to apply to you. Ask your doctor any questions you have about the autistic spectrum and the diagnostic process.

2. Read essays and books by autistic people.

There are a number of books, essays, and articles written by autistic people for other autistic people that can help you understand your autism.
Focus on books written by people who also were diagnosed late in life, such as Cynthia Kim. Loud Hands and And Straight On Till Morning are prominent anthologies of work by autistic people. Generally, you want to avoid books or articles by non-autistic people. They may have misunderstandings because they do not have the life experience of an
autistic person. However, NeuroTribes is a book that is well-regarded by the autistic community for its accurate and compassionate overview of the history of autism – despite the fact that it is not by an autistic author. When you find an autistic author that you like, find out if there are other authors, books, or websites that they recommend. Many of these books have a “resources” section in the back.

3. Fit autism in with other diagnoses.

Many autistic people who were diagnosed with autism at a late age have an extensive history with the mental health profession. You may have previously been diagnosed (or misdiagnosed) with other conditions or disorders. I have shared this before and I shared my story about being misdiagnosed which you can find on my channel and the title of the video is “AS DIAGNOSIS DENIED- DIAGNOSIS STORY”
For example, many autistic people who were diagnosed in adulthood were previously diagnosed with ADHD, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.
If you have any of these diagnoses in your history, talk to your psychiatrist about whether you should continue to be treated for that disorder or take previously prescribed medications. On the other hand, there are disorders such as anxiety and depression that often co-exist with autism. Talk to your doctor about how autism potentially impacts those disorders or how they’re treated.
You may be on psychotropic medication for anxiety or depression. If you are, and if you like what the medication does for you, there’s no reason to stop taking it just because you were diagnosed with autism. However, if you aren’t satisfied with the treatment you’re receiving for other disorders with which you’ve been diagnosed, understand that these may be misdiagnoses. Autism also may present other options for effective treatment.

4. Consider starting a blog or a vlog

Do you enjoy writing? If you do enjoy writing, a blog can be a good way to come to terms with your diagnosis and understand autism and the autistic spectrum better. Many blogging platforms have active autistic communities. Even if you don’t yet feel comfortable writing yourself, you can still establish a presence on the platform and follow other autistic bloggers. Maybe, if you’re brave enough that you can put yourself out there on some other platforms as well such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many more.
You’ll be surprised to see how many autistic people out there that are doing this already to share the life stories and experiences with Autism. I’ve talken to some of them and some have been great towards me. Search under tags such as “actually autistic” to find blogs written by and for autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people.Blogging platforms such as WordPress and Tumblr allow you to share the posts of others on your own blog, which enables you to save those posts you find helpful for future reference.

People’s Attitude towards EXCLUSION- IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT…. LEAVE

Today, more than ever before there has been so many cases or stories that I’ve heard from others as well as in myself to what I’ve experienced for so long is the people’s attitudes of others that are different either they’re on the spectrum, or if they’ve got some other special needs etc is that if they’re accepting of others or if they’re not. I have noticed that some people can be accepting yet they’re still unsure how to respond or treat others that are different no matter who and what they are. My question is do we really know what exclusion is of the difference between this and inclusion? Exclusion as a definition and reminder to us all is defined as an act or instance of excluding, the state of being excluded. So, therefore, exclusion is to prevent or restrict the entrance of, or to bar from participation, consideration or inclusion.

So, this is where the exclusion part comes into place.
Forgive me if I go off on this, but why is today’s society so exclusive to people and not inclusive like they used to be?
Why is today’s society so harsh on each other, but yet be so nice at the same time?
I guess it depends on how you are raised and how you are brought up, and how you value others and their respect, and how you value others and their feelings, for when you include someone, you accept their emotions, you accept their feelings, you accept for who they are, you accept the type of person they are, and you love them nonetheless.
Exclusion and the instance of bullying is to separate from one person to another their values. Exclusion is the lack of self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence
and the lack of self-control, albeit being obvious that the bully has the utter lack of self-control because, they are being exclusive and intolerable to people who are nice and who are brought up the right way. Because in my opinion people who are bullies have been either bullied by someone they know, who were a friend to them, or they are bullied by someone within their family. So they have to take it out on someone else. They find someone else who they feel they can control and who they feel that they can be superior
of and start bullying people. When did that become such a serious issue? When did bullying and the exclusivity of people of separation become an issue to the point to where it has to have an end result of being a suicide or someone being hospitalized or someone being interrogated when they are not the victim, when in actuality they are, and when
they are the bullied victim, but yet they are the ones interrogated when it’s the bully’s fault to begin with because they were doing the bullying?
When did schools become so exclusive to the point to where they feel that instead of sticking up for their students and teaching them right and wrong where
they should be in school? When did schools become so exclusive to the point to where they feel they have to sweep bullying under the rug and not stick up for
the teachers or the students who are at their schools?
When did schools become so exclusive to the point to where they have no emotions or lack thereof with the students that are in their schools to where they feel
they have to keep sweeping bullying under the rug and not teach preventive measures? When did schools become so exclusive to the point where they do not allow or
teach bullying education in their schools to show what is right and what is wrong, what is acceptable, and what is intolerable to those who are in that school?
When did society become of age to when bullying became so intolerable that students have to bear it at their school to the point where they have to be taken out
in order to have an education? When did society become so exclusive that schools and school administration and higher-ups like superintendents have to be so rude,
crude, and not live up to their potential of protecting the students within their schools and keeps sweeping bullying under the rug and not protect the students
within their schools, within their districts, within their towns, but the whole entire world?

What angers me the most as well as hurt me the most is the attitude towards or to others that if you don’t like it then leave…
And, where I’ve come across this statement from others is from some schools, friends, teachers, businesses, organisations and so many other places that involves others
to participate and to get involved in the community to belong somewhere. As I am trying to do and here goes this word TRYING really hard to fit in if need be or to
blend in with my peers where-ever I am to participate in community events, community groups etc. I am trying my best and hardest to access the services I may need
for myself to better improve myself and to prepare myself in the real world of what we are to become. I am trying to make friends. I am trying to make contact
with others in anyway possible. I try my hardest to find a way that works for me to participate with everyday activities that others are doing.
When sometimes myself or anyone that is most likely is autistic is asking or receiving from others in return is rude and incredibly lazy, of the people thinking or say it in a way that is, “I don’t want to have to bother with that and maybe we should give up! Maybe you don’t need friends, maybe you don’t need the health care and treatment you need, maybe you don’t need the education, may be you don’t need to go to some public spaces and events that is happening, may be you don’t need a job, etc. All of these things that we hear about that we all or some of us may take for granted are stripped from others who just
thinks that we are either not good enough or don’t deserve to be in an environment that involves interacting with people. As we know that for everyone
interaction with people is important to gain more friendships, building of trusts, building of relationships and so much more. In saying this that there are often a lot of barriers and hurdles that we autistics have to go through and endure from others and everyday situations we face that involves as to participate that we face and struggle on the daily. Others can’t see it as sometimes they are the ones that does cause some friction
and some difficulties for us when we want to be involved and feel included in anything that we do on the daily.

As for us, Autistics who are advocating for ourselves to make it a better fit for us, for a little bit of flexibility and understanding, empathy and inclusion
can be frustrating for a lot of us to the point is that we may end up giving up and isolating ourselves from the group that will also lead to many other different problems. Just to hear the attitude of, “Well, I don’t think that I am the best service for you.” Let’s give you an example to explain it more, let’s say that your child has special needs and you’re trying to find a school is that is accepting of others differences and then when you come to meet the principal and teachers to have a quick meeting to sit down and talk to see what you can help and they can help to better these needs and meet them, then you hear the words, “I’m not sure, we have the capability to meet your needs.””I don’t think that we’re a good fit.” It’s in your best interest to find somewhere else. This isn’t good enough as we know that the parents are doing their best for their children to get the right education and training in their children’s life to better themselves and prepare for what is to come. This is so not good enough! Why is this? This is basically saying – “You don’t belong here!” “And, we’ll be not making any effort to include you and make our services accessible to you!”

And, when this has happened a few times in my life while growing up and still sometimes face this dilemma to this day, that I get frustrated and angry about this
along with other mixed emotions and I get a few comments from my friends and some parts of family to say, “Why don’t you go with your feet and just look
at it this way, that this company or organization is treating you this way, go somewhere else.””If this employer is treating you like this, go somewhere else.”
And this does sound like it make sense and is simple for many of us to up and leave if they’re not treating me the right way, I won’t give them my business,
time etc, right? But, at the end of the day how I look at it and feel is that I for one as an autistic as well as maybe a few others like me don’t have that many options that are left as we may not have nowhere else to go as again no matter where we go if we tried, we may likely get the thoughts and attitudes from others that “I may not be a good fit.” “I don’t think that we can accommodate you and your needs.” And, that’s why I’m passionate about what I am doing right now here on my channel as well as keep trying even if certain situations that I face may not work out for me and just keep moving forward with a positive attitude and mindset. If I can and want to, if need be I will try and find a solution
if need be yet if I can’t then, just need to learn to let go and say, “Okay this didn’t work and I can’t control this situation I am facing, time to let go and breathe and start again in a different way.” This attitude from some of the others that I’ve spoken to or met is saying to me “We don’t serve your kind here.” “We don’t want to accommodate you.” “We don’t wish for you to participate in our business no matter what it is.”
Some of the things that we are talking about here of the major important things in our lives, like going to school, making friends or trying to build up a friendship or relationship with people around us and going to some places that we like to go to as a hobby or interest.

You see where I am at the moment, I am trying to do for advocacy is flexibility and inclusion of others as I try to find as many possible solutions while sometimes, yes I can be difficult in trying to find the needs to be meet of others. The degree of flexibility and inclusion is important to me and should be for others that does advocate for others to make anything accessible that needs to be accessed. I’m privileged that I have a voice and can speak out my opinions and thoughts to try and advocate for myself. And what irks me that is that the knowledge that one of me that doesn’t have a powerful or useful voice to advocate for themselves and be included. So, that is one of the reasons to why I get angry about the people’s attitude towards exclusion if you don’t like it then leave. It may sound denying-ably enough on the inside but this is limiting as this denies people access to the right accommodation and support services that they need. I can’t stress it enough that all AUTISTICS WANTS TO BE INCLUDED AND FEEL ACCEPTED IN GROUPS. Yet, we face a lot of barriers no matter what we do or we go and turn. Participation for everyone is important.

I WILL NOT LIGHT IT UP BLUE FOR AUTISM ACCEPTANCE- WE AUTISTICS DON’T NEED A CURE(Personal Opinion)

I’m always grumbling or making a form of a rant about how so many people still don’t really understand it, so World Autism Awareness Week – April 2-9 – can only be a good thing, right? In my honest opinion, well, sort of and not quite. Any raising of public awareness is a good thing when it comes to Autism Spectrum Condition, so long as there are no ulterior motives behind us or that is offered to us and it’s just about helping people learn about the condition and how to support those with it.

But then there’s Autism Speaks. Yes, I know that I will get a lot of people attacking me on this yet hear me out as we all have heard of this nasty organisation for a reason. And that is? Before sharing more of this I did share my views about Autism Speaks to why Autistics don’t wish to hear about it and you can watch the video here called: Aspie Let’s Talk- Why WE SHOULDN’T support autism speaks- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOdgoXz3pkg

Now, back to my opinion on this topic at hand of their ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign as this has been so successful in the United States that it’s now pretty much ubiquitous – even major landmarks such as Niagara Falls and the White House have been known to ‘Light up blue’. The campaign has gathered momentum in the UK recently and I regularly see people posting supportive ‘I’m lighting it up blue for Autism’ memes across social media. The United Nations designated April 2 World Autism Awareness Day dated back in 2007. And the world certainly needs more awareness of autism-related issues – if nothing else, only 16% of people diagnosed as autistic in the UK are in full time employment, 10% of those people who are diagnosed as autistic in New Zealand are in full time employment, and that seriously needs to change. A much higher percentage are more than capable of working, but they simply don’t get the opportunities afforded to those we describe as ‘neurotypical’ (someone with a non-autistic brain). In the UK, World Autism Awareness Week is organised by the National Autistic Society, which has been working on behalf of autistic people and their needs since 1962. Light It Up Blue was founded in 2010 and marketed so aggressively – and successfully – that many people now assume it to be the obvious campaign to support. Most people do so in the genuine belief that they are helping autistic people. The White House has lit up blue. However, Autism Speaks are an ‘Autism advocacy organisation’ who offer a wide range of therapies, interventions and treatments for autistic children. Which is where the issues start to creep in. Up until 2016, Autism Speaks openly worked towards finding a ‘Cure’ for autism, despite the autistic community  regularly explaining why trying to ‘cure’ an inherent condition was offensive. According to a video they produced – which has since been withdrawn by the organisation themselves but copies of which can still be found online – having an autistic child meant the end of your life as you know it. A sample from a transcript of the video: I am autism.

(Link to this you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UgLnWJFGHQ)

This is what is stated in the video as you watch this. Be warned that this may cause some triggers to some Autistics that doesn’t believe in all of what is shared here.

I’m visible in your children, but if I can help it, I am invisible to you until it’s too late. I know where you live. And this: I am autism. I have no interest in right or wrong. I derive great pleasure out of your loneliness. I will fight to take away your hope. I will plot to rob you of your children and your dreams. I will make sure that every day you wake up you will cry, wondering who will take care of my child after I die?

Autism doesn’t rob either myself anyone that is diagnosed of their dreams – if anything, it makes our dreams more vivid, brilliant and ridiculously wonderful. Autism cannot be ‘Cured’ – it is a difference in the wiring of the brain and is permanently built into our genetic makeup.

What Autism Speaks offers is training to coax your child into ‘behaving acceptably’, in much the same way one would train a dog. Applied Behaviour Analysis is the most common therapy offered by organisations such as Autism Speaks. Again, many Autistics that I’ve spoken to doesn’t believe in this therapy/treatment that is supposed to be had for their own reasons. (I will share more later in my piece)

Their ‘100 Day Treatment Kit’ states: Treatment for autism is usually a very intensive, comprehensive undertaking that involves the child’s entire family and a team of professionals […] The recommended number of hours of structured intervention ranges from 25 to 40 hours per week during the preschool period […] ABA methods use the following three step process to teach: An antecedent, which is a verbal or physical stimulus such as a command or request. This may come from the environment or from another person or be internal to the subject; A resulting behavior, which is the subject’s (or in this case, the child’s) response or lack of response to the antecedent; A consequence, which depends on the behavior, can include positive reinforcement of the desired behavior or no reaction for incorrect responses. ABA therapy is less popular in the UK, but does have its supporters. However, as an autistic person I find it incredibly offensive that we should be required to undergo training in order to ‘fit in’ to the world – this article brilliantly explains why in more detail than I have space for here. We are not broken and we do not need to learn how to fit into your world. It is our world as well and we have every right to inhabit it just as we are. You can find endless comments from those in the autistic community, explaining how and why they disagree with the methods employed by Autism Speaks and why they’d prefer people to stop ‘lighting it up blue’:

The fabulous @NeuroRebel who I’ve been following and watching some of her videos has put out this very informative vlog, which explains just how autism can become very big business. After much campaigning and complaints on social media, Autism Speaks have actually brought two autistic people onto their board. Professor Stephen Shore is, among other things, the author of Understanding Autism for Dummies and Valerie Paradiz is an author who was herself diagnosed as autistic at the age of forty. However, this is still only two autistic people out of twenty board members, not including the founders and a ‘Director Emeritus’. That’s twenty four people, only two of whom are truly qualified to speak on behalf of autistic people. Despite Autism Speaks claiming to have withdrawn talk of ‘curing’ autism from their website, I downloaded  some of their information resources while researching this feature and found the following quotes within their ‘Treating Autism’ section: Most parents would welcome a cure for their child or a therapy that would alleviate all of the symptoms and challenges that make life difficult. Is There a Cure? Is recovery possible? You may have heard about children who have recovered from autism. Although, this is so relatively rare, it is estimated that approximately 10% of children lose their diagnosis of autism. Life can be difficult whether or not a person has Autism Spectrum Disorder. No child is perfect and a child with autism does not need a ‘Cure’. Autism Speaks are savvy enough to acknowledge that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ treatment for autism – so they offer several. Before, I write further as you read this that the term of Autism Spectrum Disorder has been removed by some people as some people may call it Autism Spectrum, or just Autism Spectrum Condition as to not to offend anyone that are diagnosed with Autism.

Even if you are one of the ‘Lucky’ parents whose child ‘loses’ their Autism Spectrum Condition diagnosis, that will only be because they have been forced into adapting their behaviour in order to appear neurotypical. But however well you train them to hide it, they will still be autistic. The suggestion that autism is something that can be ‘recovered’ from is offensive. Most people never lose their Autism Spectrum Condition diagnosis for the simple reason that autism is part of us – it cannot just disappear. Autism is as much a part of me as my grey eyes – they can be temporarily disguised, but they’ll always be green underneath. We do not need a cure – because autism is not a disease. I can’t be the first autistic person to wonder whether this is heading into eugenics territory, in much the same way as those considered at risk of having children with Down’s syndrome have had to consider.

Oh, and one last note to end and make you think more about what I am sharing right now– the ‘Blue’ element of the campaign comes from the outdated belief that autism is a ‘male brain’ condition, a theory that has now been widely disproves.

More and more girls and women are now being diagnosed as autistic, largely due to research into how autism ‘presents’ differently in females. For all these reasons, I will never ‘Light It Up Blue’. If you want to show your support for autism awareness, that’s great! You can ‘Light It Up Gold’ with Autism Acceptance Month.