Saturday, 9 June 2018

I am on the Spectrum (High Functioning Autism or Aspergers)

I just got home from an social event. I feel quite overwhelmed with the experience and am processing all of the conversations I had. I tear up just a bit as I tell myself that I'm going to be okay. I am proud of myself for being brave. I'm grateful for the conversations I was able to have with people.

I feel different than most people. I feel misunderstood often. Being Atypical in a Neurotypical world isn't always easy. I almost always have a fidget in my hands, either a little piece of paper that I fold every which way, or some silly putty. It calms me when I feel overwhelmed, which is often. Another way of explaining how I'm different is by saying that I have Sensory and Anxiety issues.

At first I didn't know anyone at the event we attended, except for my boyfriend and his kids (it was a birthday party for a friend of theirs) I felt like running for the door or the car but opted for the bathroom so I could do my breathing exercise to calm down.

My boyfriend is also on the spectrum but girls have different traits than guys do. I appreciate him for wanting to help me get out of my comfort zone and meet new people, or just see the facts, that my social anxiety thoughts are irrational. (What I think that people are thinking of me)

He tells me to breathe, he stays by my side. We landed up eating our snacks in the corner, playing some pool and eventually a couple came to the party that I knew so we decided to go visit with them. We ended up having a lovely conversation on the topic of Aspergers as they have a few members of their family on the spectrum also. I loved how they were doing their best to understand and help each other.

I wish that more people would understand us and that is why I'm writing on this topic. There is a lot to be said about it. My favorite book about Aspergers is called Aspergirls by Rudy Simone. It was one of the best days of my life reading that book because I finally felt understood and normal.

There is nothing wrong with me. I am gifted in Empathy and that is a beautiful gift. I don't need to have all the skills that others have. Nobody is good at everything. I can still do all the things that Neurotypical people do, it just requires bravery and coping mechanisms. This is also a gift, to be able to help others cope and to be brave enough to do something unconventional with my life. I am a Hypnotherapist.

2 of my children are on the Autism spectrum. I wish the term Aspergers was still recognized by the medical community instead of lumping everyone in together (the high functioning with the non-verbal) They are differently gifted, kind and complete in their own way. They have homeschooled for at least half of their school years.

Humans are not cookie-cutter. I wish all school leadership could recognize that. Some do. Kids are not stupid if they have a different way of learning, a different way they see life. It hurts my heart to see kids being treated as if they are trying to do something wrong, when they are actually trying their best and are just misunderstood. The Montessori Method of education is the best I have found for teaching children and teens who have Aspergers.

There is a visual that portrays how various schools treat kids who are on the spectrum. Perhaps it will do a better job explaining than my mere words could do. I wish all humans could just be a bit more understanding and give others (especially kids) the benefit of the doubt and be more flexible in how they learn.