I Just Found out I'm Autistic and I'm Really Happy About It... but Now What?
Welp, it's official. I'm on the spectrum. Apparently not everyone takes this information well... but I am really happy because this explains a lot. I don't want to be sorry anymore. I don't want to have to apologize to my sister anymore for being socially awkward. I don't want to be sorry to my parents because I don't have a 9-5 job. I don't want to be sorry that I don't like to go shopping with other people. Most of all, I am so sick of feeling bad for being different. It's not my fault that some people are intolerant to neuro-differences. It's true, I wasn't the cool kid in school... but I like to tell myself that's because I was cooler than average. I mean, whats the harm in decent self-esteem. Right?
Just to clarify, being on the spectrum can mean a lot of things.
"Autism is a very broad term. It describes a whole spectrum of conditions, all characterized by a few common traits, and just to name a few like repetitive behaviors and challenges with communication and social skills" - Matk Oliver (Blogger)
I read that when some people find out they are on the spectrum they are upset because they think 'they will never be normal.' However, I am already way past this. After all, what is 'normal' anyway? It's not like my disability has ever affected my grades... just mostly my social life and basically any chance at a career. Then again, I really won't let this get to me because... take a look at Einstein. He's different and he was considered one of the greatest minds like ever. Although, I'll be honest. I still don't completely understand what E=MC squared means and I googled it. (I also couldn't figure out how to make a little two with this keyboard. So that is two things I couldn't figure out now and I'm still proud of myself.)
I've even found some new heroes to look up to. I found out that Tim Burton has Autism. Also, someone I already admired is Adam Young from Owl City and it turns out he has Autism as well. Not to mention Andy Warhol.
Here are Some Inspirational Quotes from People on The Spectrum:
"Wanting to be free. Wanting to be me. Trying to make people see. And accept the real me". - Scott Lentine
"Autism can’t define me. I define autism." - Kerry Magro
“My autism is the reason I’m in college and successful. It’s the reason I’m good in math and science. It’s the reason I care,” – Jacob Barnett
“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” – Dr. Stephen Shore.
“It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village.” – Elaine Hall
“Stop thinking about normal . . . You don’t have a big enough imagination for what your child can become.” – Johnny Seitz
“Negative words carry negative vibration. Positive words carry positive vibration. What do you want your child to reflect back to you, the label of disordered or the label of gifted in a new way?” – Suzy Miller
“What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool? You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done.” – Dr. Temple Grandin
What does it mean for me to know I'm on the spectrum?
"No two people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have the exact same set of symptoms. ASD is referred to as a spectrum because of the variety of its signs and symptoms, and their differences in severity." - Healthline
For me, being on the spectrum is just a techniqual way of explaining who I am... even though I already knew I was different in some way. Sure, knowing for sure gives me a sense of validation. However, the truth is that this doesn't change my perception of myself of myself. The real thing that I hope this changes is that it will help make the other people around me more understanding of me and why I'm not as 'social' as my family wants me to be.
So, back to the the title. I just found out that I'm autistic... but what now? I don't feel like looking for 9-5 jobs anymore. I really don't want to pretend I'm neuro-typical to a bunch of different coworkers... when no one really gets along with their coworkers in the first place. So, with this new information... now what do I do? Seriously, this is something I have been spending a lot of time thinking about.
I guess, just from on the top of my head. I should probably start by researching more about autism and different coping strategies for over stimulation. Next, I want to reach out to some sort community out there. However, being an adult... there still comes this main problem. How do I pay the bills? How do I make money... even though I am really socially awkward.
According to Healthline.com, some next options for me are to see a 'psychiatrist experienced in autism.' I love this idea... unfortunately money is a problem for me. Group therapy for autism also sounds like a good idea for me. Apparently there is something called 'vocational rehabilitation'for career-related difficulties. I am not totally sure what this is... but I am very interested in it. Despite my research, I am still left with so many questions ... Is it possible to live off of money I earn from writing? Does autism qualify me for disability pay? Are there autism friendly workplaces? I must admit, despite the fact that I have been given a whole set of paths to choose from... I'm still lost.
“10 Inspiring Quotes from People with Autism.” Autism Speaks, www.autismspeaks.org/life-spectrum/10-inspiring-quotes-people-autism.
“20 Incredibly Successful People on the Autism Spectrum.” ABA Degree Program Guide, www.abadegreeprograms.net/successful-people-on-the-autism-spectrum/.
“105 Favorite Quotes About Autism and Aspergers.” The Art of Autism, 21 Aug. 2019, the-art-of-autism.com/favorite-quotes-about-autism-and-aspergers/.
Gotter, Ana. “Autism in Adults Test: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Resources.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 5 Aug. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/autism-in-adults.
Oliver, Mark. “23 Famous People Who Accomplished Incredible Things While On The Autism Spectrum.” All That's Interesting, All That's Interesting, 9 July 2019, allthatsinteresting.com/famous-people-with-autism.
“What Is Autism?” Autism Speaks, www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism.
“Vocational Rehabilitation.” WorkSafeBC, www.worksafebc.com/en/claims/benefits-services/vocational-rehabilitation.