This is all about what my school life was like and that there were a few similarities to people who has ADHD. Let me know what your school life was like.
We know that sometimes for many of us we struggle with whatever it is and that as we grow that we can get through it all.
#education #ADHD #autism #accomodationneeds
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.
As I walk through these lonely long footsteps now after hearing the tragic
yet horrific news about some of the people in my life has now gone
out of my life through death. That death came knocking at their door and that death has taken them away for whatever reason it may be. I am walking in disbelief, shock and anger wondering to myself, “Why?” “What did I do to make it wrong?” And so many more of these unanswered questions. I had all sorts of crazy thoughts that were running through my mind at the time. These unanswered questions and thoughts needs to be silenced once more.
Time stood still when I heard this as it felt like almost a sharp dagger stabbed my broken heart as I ache to have the ones that I loved and cherished in my life to still be here. Yes, I have so many mixed feelings, emotions and thoughts right now. Yet, it saddens me that the place where some of us have been and seen is now just a memory and a place of comfort and peace. I come here often as this is a quiet place for me to sit down to think and to write as well as to reminisce all the memories that has been shared through it all. But, now it breaks my heart that the places that was shared, the laughter shared, the tears shared and more is now gone. I only have now some photos as well as some letters from the ones that wrote to me as well as knowing now that they’re only here with me in spirit.
Dear Grief as you know that despite the loved ones and friends that I had are now gone, writing in my journal gives me so much peace and comfort
and it helps me alot just by pouring all my hurt, thoughts onto a page or in this case on the screen.
I want to ask you how did it happen, why did it happen, why now? Why did some of my friends and family that I loved and adored
had to suffer the situations that they went through and not even bother telling me about it? Why did they had to think that they were
doing me a favor to end their life or even just death in itself take them away. I question myself, was I good enough to be standing
by them through their hard times even if I didn’t see the signs of what was really going on in their life?
Would I be able to be their superhero, or even just some listening ear or board when they needed someone the most? I feel so hurt and angry. I cry every time I hear the names of my friends and loved ones that has passed. I cry every time
when I hear their name to the ones that has left some precious and special people in their lives of their parents, children and grandchildren. I cry when I now know that they’re now gone and won’t forever see the beauty of this world of what the world is like and what their future would have been like. Some of them to have their own family, grow old and learn from their mistakes and just to grow in themselves in spirit.
All the while that the nevers that is said are breaking me to pieces and breaking my heart.
Another day starts and that life goes on from the ones that are gone and that I have realised with them gone that I have now been given more peace, hope and inner
courage and strength to continue my life. You’ve taught me that there’s one life and chance in this lifetime to make things right and if I fall down or feel that I have failed something, I just gotta keep on going and not let anything or anyone stand in my way. I feel some days that they are at a standstill because the times that has been shared is now slowing down. But, grief, I know that you’re here to stay with me for a reason. And, also grief
you’ve also become a part of me into what I am going through to what I am now becoming.
It makes me happy and at peace when I think about the ones that I have loved and lost along the way. I have been with them through the thick and thin and that
we may have fought some times and that I have been with them with some part of the journey of where they were. Despite it all, in spirit they are with
me and that they keep me going. Many of the ones that I have loved and lost along the way has inspired me to be the best me I can be and to be an inspiration
to others big or small accomplishments made as well as making some of my dreams and goals a reality. With sharing memories to the world of my loved ones and friends, it brings me so much happiness. When grief is being shared, it feels less lonely and not
feel that I am in the dark as there’s others out there that will need me for whatever reason it may be. When any of my loved ones or friends that I’ve lost of their names being shared, it just brings spark of joy, happiness and laughter. Doing some of the things for my loved one and friends is so precious to me to share with others do bring me some HOPE. My loved ones and friends will always be who and what they are to me. My love for my loved ones and friends will continue to shine and radiate through to others as they come on my journey and path of life to show me what life means to them. Grief you’ve completely changed my life yet the bond shared with my loved ones and friends hasn’t changed along with whatever memories that we had and shared will still be there. I have said this many of times yet now I am writing it to pen to paper as well as sharing it to the world. I am now accepting you grief! Why you may ask? As you have now been accepted as part of my life, love for everyone I’ve lost.
Hi guys, as you can see reading straight off the bat about what this topic is all about and I want to be real, honest and transparent with you. As you know that it’s hard as it is going to be for me as well as most likely any other person that has their struggles to do this
to be as brave as they can be and not to fear about getting judged or misunderstood. Some of the videos that are being shared can be restricted especially
in this area of sharing our life stories and experiences with Autism and many other hosts of conditions we may have which I clearly shared one of my videos which I will link here: and with that if we are all brave enough to make a stand to talk about it
then I feel our job should be done. Let’s hope that we can agree to disagree or agree to disagree or whatever to what is to come of my points I would like
to share today on my channel.
If any of you really know me as a person I love to try and help people and do my darn hardest to be happy regardless to what my everyday battles/struggles are
even if I do wear them either with pride or not.
So, let’s get on with the video now.
Point number 1- Representing the whole entity of the spectrum of Autism, can it be done?
Just hoping that this makes sense to many of you or hoping you understand to what I am trying to say but I will explain this to you.
I have now come to realise that despite it all that we are all different with different needs with Autism. We can’t all represent autism as a whole as it’s a whole
new ball game as well as being a spectrum of different Autism Spectrum Conditions along with us we all have a different story and life experiences etc.
I have also realise this now too.I believe that as a person with Autism or as I keep calling myself as an Aspie. This platform
is for me to at least share my stories and experiences as well as documenting as much as I can what my life is like as an autistic for others to gain a better
understanding and knowledge about who and what I am underneath autism and a few mental health conditions I have. I believe strongly that I should be able to be
express myself without the fear of being judged, criticised by others or others telling me what to do or say or think. I am my own individual self.
I am not to be born to be the same as others. I am born to be different and to stand out. I am learning to come out of my shell than I’ve ever have and am trying to
learn to love myself again and to not be hard on myself when I do have these really bad days that are thrown at me. I have learnt alot along the way while facing these
struggles and that all I can say is that I am blessed and humble to be alive and have a few small amount of people who are there with me on my journey.
We can’t live in a world of perfectionism. You can try but I hate to say it that you will fail! Being perfect to everyone will not be easy and that we should
just be able to do what we love. I feel sometimes that whenever I do something that I tell myself, “Aspie, you got this regardless of what you been through,
you can get through your day shining brighter as a star!” I’ve come to realise that despite what others has said to me I want to speak on my terms and no one else, I
did share about this topic about this which I will link here if you wish to view what I am trying to say here. “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlBD23cHcO0&t=616s”
I have learnt now that you can’t always please everyone and if anyone does attack you for doing the things that you love, you must be doing something right, right?
As you know or should know by now that my channel is about all things Autism and Mental health along with sharing you my life stories and experiences with it.
Trying to understand the whole spectrum is impossible and difficult as we are all different and have different needs etc in our lives no matter where we are in
life. There is a lot of learning and experimenting about the spectrum and all and just listening and watching some people share their experiences with Autism- to know
that I am not alone makes it so much easier. 2
I have noticed that when I have been in groups that it’s never easy for me to try and speak the way that they want me to as we all know that we have our
different styles of communication as well as just everyday struggles. For sure, I believe that I am getting better it is just a matter of hoping
others can accept to how I am wired differently. I have also mentioned about this in my video of the future for the autistic community again I will link it here
and in the description. When we are on the spectrum, there could possibly be some similarities of the traits and characteristics that we share yet again
we need to be aware that there is never a same autistic when you meet one for the very first time. We know that there wasn’t enough advocacy for the whole
spectrum. No one or anything like some businesses can represent the whole spectrum of autism. We can’t please everyone as I learnt that when I was nearing my twenties.
I did spoke on pleasing everyone or we can’t forever be perfect for anyone. I did a poem about perfectionism which you can watch here: https://youtu.be/ixPDwl9PeMI.
I have noticed that we have to be put in a box with some expectations that others would like to see from us. I am now accepting that I can’t please everyone and what I say or do or even when I am in front of the camera with you all that I do my utmost best
to make the best content for you all to enjoy no matter what it is of a subject matter or some follow me vlogs and more. I want to be true in myself based
on my life experiences to what I’ve been through and hope to share with you all and that something that I share may shed some light and hope for you all
that you’re not alone and that I can relate to some situations we face in life but not all yet also being your listening ear or sound board for any advice.
I will do my utmost best also to represent my side of Autism of what goes on in my life as well as just other hosts of conditions that I have yet, I know that
I’ve not shown any behind the scenes footage of what goes on in my life yet I want to do what I can do for you all. I want to try and as said give back to you all as much as I can. I am really humbled and blessed to have some of you that has stood by me through the very beginning and I can’t thank you all enough. I appreciate this. I want to try and open doors of opportunities and communication on my medias where you can be safe and not be judged even if you would like to
private message me that is fine with me. Most of us autistics are now trying to open doors of acceptance more than awareness as did share my thoughts about what
we need which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPQcBVbW1pE (World Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month/What does Autistics want? ACCEPTANCE [April 2019])
2. Being able to help someone through my videos
I am grateful that there are times like these that people tell me that some things that I share of the everyday topics help them. I love hearing what you think
or even some feedback to make my content better as well for you all. I am hoping that with the other items that I enjoy. I also admire ones that shows
what we are as a person as a whole with what we share. I may not know everything about Autism and Mental Health yet we need to grow and share some interests.
I love to engage with you all about mental health and autism that’s personal. I hope that with some variety that adds a bit of fun about me?
Let me know in comments section.
3. Autism and mental health Advocacy
I do try to go to some events that is related to what I love to do and hoping that I can be really strong minded for what I love to do.
I believe that we can be an advocate in our rights. We all different for sure.
I hope that with whatever I share will learn from me and I learn from you.
I will hope to hear from you all of what you want to share based on this video that I am sharing.
April 2nd 2019, was the day of Autism Acceptance or Awareness Month. I want to be real and honest with you all that I do tend to struggle with this month of what we
do for people with Autism as there’s been so many different opinions of what this month should be called. Question is that we need to ask ourselves should
it be called, Autism Acceptance Month or shall it be called Autism Acceptance month?
I believe that now in 2019 that there has been a lot more of Autism Awareness more than basically Autism Acceptance.I believe wholeheartedly that a lot of people are now aware about Autism or should be at least knowing what Autism is really about as there
has been so many people advocating for this and much more. There has been as I am aware that alot of awareness has been spread around on social media and many other ways as well.
As I have shared in one of my videos about an organisation that many autistics and anyone that has heard of Autism Speaks that has been dehumanising us Autistics by
trying to find cures and creating fear on some parts to what they have been trying to send as messages like Vaccines causes autism and yet, it is now been proven
that this isn’t the case anymore as more studies has been researched about this. I have also shared this in one of my videos which you can watch here.
(Reference: Autism and Vaccines/Is there a link? )https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KANmvPfxrE4.
*Reference: This is a quick brief history of Autism and Vaccines to gain a better understanding as well.*
Especially with the ones such as Autism Speaks that many autistics don’t wish to hear about to raise money to “raise awareness” on this day. I won’t try and get into too much detail to why this is as you can watch this video I made above me to find out more to why that is: (*reference: Aspie Let’s Talk- Why WE SHOULDN’T support autism speaks- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOdgoXz3pkg).
I don’t light it up blue like many of you that may do but that is okay as that is your choice as I decide to try and go for a color like red or gold to light up or wear as a form of acceptance in April *that is if I can find my clothes in these colors- little laugh.I would like to try and allow this month for me as an Autistic as a month of Autism Acceptance because yes we all do have a lot to do with Autism Awareness and that there’s a lot of it being spread.
I believe now is the time is the best time as any to have as acceptance. I believe that this month should be shared of Autism Acceptance not just in April but all year round. I believe that we should now start to accept others that are on the spectrum no matter where they are in their life and to accept everything about them in who and what they are not just as autistics but as a person. After all, we all have our strengths and weaknesses – just like you neurotypicals. I believe it is time for us to start accepting that are going to grow as Autistic Adults and for some that will need to stay away from some of the dangers of certain testing of empty promises of cures. There are often times that as we know that there are some dangers and that sometimes I have found that some people still maybe in oblivion
that people with Autism needs to be get rid of as if we are a disease, we are broken and can’t be fixed etc. Yet, again that goes back to what I was saying about being accepted as a whole of our everyday flaws and imperfections.
Advocacy as you know by now from me is what I am aiming and striving for as much as I can on my channel to remove the stigma and stereotyping along with creating a platform of mine that is based on acceptance and inclusion from all people in all walks of life
especially with people like me with Autism. I have heard from some parents, carers and more that there hasn’t been much of a way of us Autistics
being included and accepted in everyday life. I have heard that many people are saying either autistics that are either high or low functioning gets all the
attention and I believe that not many people are aware or educated enough about the more severe cases of the ones that has autism. The ones for whom that they can’t
seem to speak for themselves so that they have their parents or carers to speak on their behalf.I believe that there are a lot of people that should be now aware of that there was a diagnosis for people that was under the umbrella or spectrum called Aspergers Syndrome which this is what I was diagnosed with but
now it is classified as Autism as well.I mentioned a little bit about the Diagnostic Manual in this playlist which you can watch here:
( Reference: *https://www.youtube.com/watchv=Z5SXTqMHEXs&list=PLD1nCoeovTZ410885hWwrshBsfIFbqvXC)
The four different types of autism
Note: Not all children, young adults and adults will have the same characteristic traits.*
I have also mentioned about the differences about Autism Spectrum Disorder or as what others wish it to be called Autism Spectrum and Aspergers which you can check it here too- Reference- High Functioning and Low Functioning Autism/What is the Difference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSmhWW4gZ1c.
I am forever grateful that I’ve spoken to some autistics in the community to hear their stories as well as watching some of them on my channel. I am forever grateful that I can relate somehow in some way to what they go through of their everyday struggles. I know
that we all have our own struggles that we have to face and that this doesn’t mean others that aren’t autistics go through struggles of their own. Heck! Of course,
we all do. It is all about how we go about it in our everyday lives about how we act and think about it all. We need to ask ourselves or each other what can we do to help others on the spectrum. Some of the advertisements, posters etc that are trying to raise awareness isn’t helping many autistic adults,children transitioning into adults or even families that has children on the spectrum yet mainly it is the autistic adults or teens especially that need to be focused on more.I believe that there’s a need to do more in that area of awareness as we grow into adults that some of us autistics does require more help and assistance.
I believe that we need to teach people that having autism or autism in general isn’t that scary. It isn’t a disease. Teach others that people with autism aren’t monsters or that they aren’t broken as that need to be removed of that way of thinking.We need to teach parents to get a diagnosis of Autism early and having that label is an actual great aspect. Because, it can open doors of opportunities if we are given that chance to shine and to prove to the world of our gifts that we have as autistics. This can also help open doors to many resources that we may need to assist us in our everyday life as well as meeting our full potential. I believe that as shared earlier to remove, smash the stigma and stereotyping that comes with having Autism. That won’t happen until other people’s attitudes and thinking about us Autistics starts to change and again accept us for who and what we are!
I can’t stress it enough that we all need to try and find a way to smash out the stigma and breakdown walls of stereotypes once and for all. We are in 2019 and there’s a need for change in everything that we do and say towards one another. I believe that we need to help one another and to be kind to one another to understand and accept each others differences no matter who and what they are – Autistic or not! We shouldn’t have to live in a world where we should think and act the same way.
We are all born different and that we all have a voice and that we were all born to stand out if we choose to live our lives differently. Yes, it can be difficult
for us autistics especially trying to live in a world of expectations of how others wants us to be. We all have gifts, talents and a purpose in life. It’s all about
what it is and what we are going to do with it all. Not all brains work the same way. Maybe, we all should band together now and focus more on acceptance than awareness.
But, if you are spreading awareness let others know that autistics are awesome! People on the spectrum often will and have faced challenges in life no matter what.
Like with some of the characteristics of autism communication difficulties, socialisation difficulties, making friends, reading body language. This is just some of the
traits that they may commonly show yet not all autistics will. We shouldn’t ignore the difficulties that they face yet to embrace them as well as their flaws and so
much more. We are a part of your community regardless of this label. We are here and we are a part of you! We deserve the right to be here as well as you guys.
As the quote some of us live by “No different, no less!” rings true.This has been touted by the autism community as a widely recognized mantra as to what autistic individuals have to offer to the world. Children and adults with autism look at the world differently.
Autistic individuals may have different strengths and weaknesses than the general population, but it does not make them any less.
If anything it makes them more! I have shared my view about if anyone wants to cure me and I don’t wish to be cured as yes, I may have some faults and flaws, so,
don’t you all but the truth of the matter is that we should be able to accept them and I don’t wish for a cure as this is who I am and what I am today.
(Reference: Should there be a cure for Autism- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbjMKpwbUWU). Short answer in conclusion is NO.
To end this with you all that are reading or even watching this as it goes live: I will continue on my channel and anywhere you see me to share my life stories and experiences with autism and some mental health conditions to advocate and educate as this is what I love to do. Most of the videos I hope to do is all based on Autism Acceptance more than Awareness as well because that is what the world needs as well as us autistics as a whole needs!
Hey you! Were you listening to me? Why aren’t you listening or answering to me?
So many of the general public believe that autistic people don’t feel empathy towards others, and this I will say is quite the opposite really. I can’t stress it enough that every Autistic you will meet will be different to how they act, speak and think. So, this post is designed to help set the record straight.
First of all, what is empathy? Quite simply, empathy is the ability to understand what another person is thinking or feeling; but the truth is that empathy is anything but simple.
Autistic people can definitely struggle with certain aspects of empathy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel it at all. Sadly, despite years of campaigning by autism advocates, there’s still a widespread belief that people on the spectrum have no ability to make emotional connections or form meaningful relationships, and this really couldn’t be further from the truth.
Autistic people are often the most kind-hearted, compassionate individuals you’ll ever meet. Deeply committed to their family and friends, with an intense spiritual connection to the world around them, they really are nothing like the stereotypical, emotionless loners they’re sometimes portrayed as in the mainstream media.
However, like all stereotypes, this one has its roots in reality, and has come about as a result of the complex nature of autism, and the equally complex nature of empathy. This post describes the three main aspects of empathy – affective, cognitive and compassionate – and how autistic people can both struggle with and excel at processing and expressing them.
This is an unconscious, automatic response allowing you to feel what other people (and other living beings) are feeling, and is absolutely not something autistic people lack.
For example, it’s very common to find people on the spectrum who feel intensely connected to all species of animals, birds, insects etc. and the bonds they
form – with creatures who live free from the endless restrictions of human social rules – can be quite extraordinary.
In the case of affective empathy, rather than having too little, autistic people can often have way too much – a condition known as ‘hyper-empathy.’
Hyper-empathic people find that even the thought of anyone or anything suffering causes them intense emotional, psychological and often physical pain.
They can be highly sensitive to any changes in atmospheres, picking up on the slightest tension between people, and becoming more and more upset as they anticipate things escalating.
Since processing these powerful feelings can be really hard for them, they’ll often withdraw or go into meltdown over something that’s perfectly valid to them, yet a complete mystery to those around them.
Another way this shows itself is in the extreme personification of objects: forming deep emotional bonds with everyday items like pencils or rubber bands.
There are many examples of personification in the language we use every day (time waits for no-one/the camera loves her etc.) and also in our culture, with films
such as Beauty and the Beast being very much enhanced by its singing, dancing, emoting kitchenware, but what I’m describing here is something much more overwhelming.
Autistic people can become extremely upset if they feel, for example, that a specific crayon or hairbrush isn’t being used as often as the others, because it might be
feeling left out. I can imagine how that sounds to anyone who’s unfamiliar with autism, but believe me, to many, many autistic people, this really does make perfect
This is the largely conscious ability to work out what other people are thinking or feeling, and because human beings are so endlessly complex, If you’re not
naturally wired to understand the process, it can be really, really difficult to learn. Cognitive empathy is an intricate thought process allowing you to grasp
what people really mean when they say something vague, or which emotions they’re feeling when they behave in a way you find confusing. It’s something most
neurotypical people pick up very quickly, and most autistic people have to work really hard at.
Anyone who lives with autism (whether they’re autistic themselves or are in close contact with an autistic person) will recognize how difficult it can be for people on the spectrum to guess other people’s behaviours and intentions without very precise instructions. In other words, it really helps to say exactly what you mean when you talk to autistic people, because they just don’t get the concept of ‘implied.’
A perfect example of this happened in here recently, someone mentioned about their youngest son – “When my youngest son’s girlfriend told him ‘I’ve just left work; meet me at the end of the road.’ Now, it was clearly implied that since she’d just stepped out of the office, she wanted to meet him at the end of the road she works on, but since Aidan doesn’t do ‘implied,’ there she stood, more than twenty minutes later, still waiting for him to arrive.
Aidan, meanwhile, was waiting at the end of the road where she lives, which seemed to him to be the most logical road to meet on, since they’d met there several times before. Not specifying a particular road when talking to an autistic person is what we call in here a ‘rookie mistake!’
There are a couple of terms relating to this that you’ve probably come across if you’re part of the autism community: The ability to consciously recognize what other people are thinking and feeling is known as ‘the Theory of Mind’ (usually abbreviated to ToM); while being unable to do this is known as ‘Mind-blindness’. Mind-blindness is one of the most common traits a health professional will look for during an autism diagnosis, and its effects very much work both ways.
Autistic people will often assume everyone has the same views and understanding of the world as they do, as well as the same passions and interests.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the seemingly endless discussions about special interests which are a direct result of this trait.
They’ll also believe that if they’re aware of something, other people must be too, and this can lead to all kinds of problems. Another person mentioned about their son, ” When my son Dominic was young he almost died of acute double pneumonia because he didn’t tell us he was in agonizing pain whenever he coughed”. Devastated, the mum asked him why he hadn’t mentioned it to her , and he said simply ‘I thought you knew.’
This is both the understanding of another being’s situation, and the motivation to help them if they’re in some sort of trouble. Once again, autistic people have no shortage of this kind of empathy, even though they can sometimes struggle when it comes to offering the right kind of help.
Many people on the spectrum are hugely motivated when standing up against what they consider to be injustice, and you’ll find some of the most passionate voices
in the struggle for equality, animal rights and a cleaner environment are the autistic ones.
Autistic people see far less boundaries than neurotypical people do, which is a really positive trait when it’s applied to finding new solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. Conversely there are many challenges for autistic people to master when it comes to giving and receiving emotional support, as they tend to struggle quite a lot with social boundaries.
Autistic people often don’t like to hug, or they hug too tightly, which is a natural way for neurotypical people to show empathy towards each other, and this definitely adds to the misconception that they’re unfeeling and lack the capacity to love. Putting your arm around someone’s shoulder or your hand on their arm when they’re sad are both automatic gestures for neurotypical people to make, but can be incredibly confusing for autistic people who have difficulty picking up social cues about how much physical contact is appropriate in each particular situation.
When you’re autistic, joyous occasions such as birthday parties and weddings can be just as difficult to navigate as the more emotionally draining events like funerals. Understanding why it’s important to ‘say the right thing at the right time’ can be very confusing, leading to all sorts of mix-ups, but autistic people really do care, and are genuinely trying their best to be supportive, even when they get things wrong.
So those are the basics of empathy, and some of the struggles autistic people can have with them. I’ll leave you with a real-life example of one man’s version of compassionate empathy which I’m sure many wives of autistic husbands will recognise.
For several years I’d been dogged by some very serious injuries and illness, and had put on quite a bit of weight as a result. We were going out for the day so I squeezed myself into a pair of jeans I hadn’t worn for a really long time. They just about fitted but to be honest I wasn’t too sure about wearing them in public. I told my husband I felt a bit uncomfortable about how my legs looked, and rather than the standard ‘You always look beautiful to me, darling’ reply I’d expected, he spent way too long staring at my thighs and came out with the ever-so-helpful statement ‘Yes, they are pretty big. I know! Just wear a long coat.’
Yes, thank you for that, darling; problem solved. Sigh.
Don’t you just love it that you have some people that thinks that they know all about you or try to speak on your behalf regardless of what the conversation is about or the topic at hand is? Man, I tell you, this can annoy anyone and this is one of the many pet peeves I have along with my concerns that I shared about for the future of the Autistic Community and if you would like to watch more about this topic especially the link is:
*NOTE: Yet, one of the parts is what I am sharing now is safety in groups or not being able to be listened to from others. Yet, most of this is shared in about 3 minutes and something on my video that I’m sharing as above. But, back to what I’m sharing is that others speaking for us and somethings that may be shared or said to us or many others with mental illnesses that aren’t doing any good for us but may harm or trigger us. People speaking for myself or others on the Autistic community is viewed in 6 minutes and thirty-six seconds in my video. *
As an autistic person or as I would like to be called when I’ve got Aspergers Syndrome is an Aspie. I ask you to please try to understand autism from autistic people who live this on the daily and that the struggles that we face and that’s in saying that some people not all aren’t wanting to understand or are just plain out arrogant or ignorant. Don’t get me wrong as I’m aware that there’s others that has their own struggles too that are outside of the spectrum of Autism and Mental Health etc. The people who are most knowledgeable about autism are those who live as autistic everyday. Why then do non-autistic people have authority about autism and how to help autistic people?
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is an important group because we can advocate for ourselves. Although we need many people to learn from, ASAN understands autism better than parent and profession-led groups. (NO OFFENCE TO ANYONE READING THIS).
People should listen to us about our experiences, needs, desires, and goals.
*Note this is just my opinions here along with my thoughts to share with you all. *
Acceptance is making each person feel valued and seeing his or her importance in society. I am helping to pave a way for more autistic people like me to be given a way to communicate meaningfully as well as being able to have a voice that they can use to share their stories, experiences and more. I believe that I have made a difference by blogging, answering any questions, and making my voice heard via through all my social medias I’ve got. People need to know nonverbal people also have feelings and intelligence as well. My voice only comes out through typing or if I chose to through my social media of YouTube and other links that you should be able to find me on. I am learning to type more independently. This might take me a long time. Please respect my voice even if it has to be supported from a trusted person. My voice is all mine.
I have a voice now. My goal is to advocate and educate others for those who communicate like me to have more opportunities in regular education and mainstream life along with just anyone that is interested. I have benefited so much from a good education and lots of activities in the community. I also advocate for people who still don’t have a voice. I blog to tell people how I feel and how communication has changed my life. I do this in hopes to convince parents, teachers, and therapists to believe their children and students are smarter than they look. I blog to show that good alternatives to speaking are possible. Meaningful communication opens a whole bigger world of connection to others and opportunities to learn and to grow in ourselves and with others around us. People become much happier. Taking away my voice would be oppression. To deny any validity of supported communication is like imprisoning an innocent person.
Autism is a neurological difference and disability. I can’t change the way I am wired based on my speech and what I am as a whole as a person. I’m built for another planet that isn’t yours and may not be able to understand this but I must live here. Please help autistic people by loving us as we are and not try to cure us. Peace comes when I am accepted and included.