Thursday, December 1, 2022
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10 Things About Autism

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10
things we should know about people with autism:
  1. I am first and foremost human. I have autism, but I am not primarily an autist. Either my autism is just one aspect of my character. That doesn’t define my whole personality.
  2. The processing of the perceptions with my senses is confused. That means all those ordinary things that you see, hear, smell and taste every day that you don’t even notice can hurt me. The environment I have to live in seems hostile, I may be compared to a brawler, but really I’m just trying to defend myself.
  3. Please distinguish between not wanting (I choose not to do something) and not being able to (I can’t do it). It’s not that I don’t listen to commands, I just don’t understand you sometimes. If you call me from the other side of the room, I hear ‘8&^%$#Tim#$^%$&. You must come to me and say clearly to my face what you want from me, and what is going to happen.
  4. I think concretely. That means I take what is being said very literally. E.g. It’s pouring rain, then I don’t know what stealing is at all. And don’t be so quick to tell me if you mean I have to think first. Why do I have to run fast from a pile?
  5. I only have a limited vocabulary, so please be patient. I sometimes find it difficult to express what I feel. So also pay attention to my body language when I suddenly become silent, and to other signals when something is wrong. Or, on the other hand, learning things by heart as compensation for not being able to use the right words. I do that because I am expected to answer when something is asked, (echolalia) then I always have an answer ready. Even though I don’t understand the context of the words.
  6. Because language is so difficult, I am strongly visually oriented. Please show me how to do something instead of just telling it and prepare that I should often and in the same way so that I can remember it better. A diagram would help me a lot, either with pictures or words so that it’s clear to me and I don’t get stressed about what’s going to happen.
  7. Please focus on what I can do and build on that, instead of hammering away at what I can’t. Like everyone else, I can’t learn in an environment where I constantly get the idea that I’m not good enough. For most things, there is more than one way to get it right.
  8. Help me deal with people. It seems like I don’t want to associate with others, but sometimes I don’t know how to start, talk to them or join them in eg a game. I am best at structured activities with a clear beginning and end.
  9. I don’t always understand facial expressions or body languages, but also other people’s emotions, so I would really appreciate it if people tell me every time how I react in the right way. If I laugh because someone falls eg, it does not mean that I like. Then teach me to say, “Sorry, did you hurt yourself?”
  10. Try to figure out what triggers my anger outbursts. Angry fits, outbursts of anger, are worse for me than for you. They happen when one of my senses becomes overwrought and I can’t express it with words. Try to discover what preceded them and how I can prevent them.
  11. LOVE ME UNCONDITIONALLY! Don’t think things like, “If only he could do this or why can’t he do that”. You also didn’t fulfill every life expectancy your parents had for you, nor did you want to be constantly reminded of it.

I DIDN’T CHOOSE AUTISM
– IT HAPPENED TO ME –
NOT YOU.
WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT MY OPPORTUNITIES FOR AN INDEPENDENT
AND ADULT LIFE ARE SMALL…
AND I ASSURE YOU…
I’M WORTH IT!!!

Finally, 3 words to conclude:
PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!

Everything I can become won’t happen if I don’t have you to build on.
Think deeply about all those ‘because it’s supposed to be’ rules, if I don’t understand them I drop them.
Be my defender, be my friend, we’ll see how far I can get.

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