Living While on The Spectrum

Awareness & Acceptance

Living While on The Spectrum
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Awareness & Acceptance


Shawnti Prince

I've always considered myself a kind, caring soul whose grateful to suck breath because I've had to overcome a lot, but I don't hold bitterness in my heart because forgiveness comes faster than the injury.

I'm organic, and I've always been glad for it, but the reason for my not being able to forget is not only trauma because issues that I struggled with as a child are still the same as an adult. The best thing I could have done was blurt out my real feelings to the world; I was ashamed for a bit because It was reactive when I intended to be proactive. But my feelings are the same. There needs to be more acceptance and awareness for everyone connected to ASD.

Trauma comes from being treated like an idiot because no one knows what's in the mind of an autistic accept an autistic, and I aim to bring awareness so that there's less trauma and more love and acceptance for people who are different.

Being a person who's good at many things only helped me with taking care of my children. That was the only career I excelled in and cared about until reality came in and reared its ugly head.

After my diagnosis, I became obsessed with bringing awareness and acceptance so that my children would understand there is nothing wrong with being different.

Moving to the beat of a different drum ( Linda Ronstadt) is how we survive in this world, but it's not considered acceptable in society. So what's a mom of four autistic children to do; I'm nothing if not a mama bear first, and making this world okay for my children is what moves me. They're my life, and everything I do is for them to be okay.

I didn't realize keeping it real would hit a nerve, so now I have to go all-in, so others genuinely understand what it is like rearing children on the spectrum while you have autism too.

Having HSAM (Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory) is considered the correct pronunciation, and had it not been for research, I wouldn't have known the reason behind my vivid memories.

What others' don't understand about me is the intense sensitivity to these experiences, good and bad, are paralyzing, and having hyperthymesia is but a small part of what is going on in this Aspie's mind.

Thanks to me finding my fellow Autistics; I've never been happier; because they gave me an insight into myself that was always obvious, just not to me.

After all, this discovery about myself is still reasonably new.. Even though I went through very traumatic experiences, anger and bitterness are not the takeaways; only acknowledgment, acceptance, and growth; this helped when it was time to push on through.

That's how I made it through every trial, and it's the reason I felt compelled to share my life.

Through it all, I've been enlightened since sharing the first time around; There were kindred spirits found through all the confusion, even those who couldn't see how their bias hurt instead of healed; But it's cool. It's all relative.

Some consider me resilient, and it does nothing for me because I know that part and believe it; now, I need to rectify and testify because it is my personal story, and only I can clarify so that I'm understood.

The only thing that could help this Aspie is complete and utter directness because indirect thoughts thrown at me will cause me to miss the whole message; this has been my life up to this point, and it can be maddening, but it's a name for it, and it's called dyspraxia (DCD)

Sensory overload is apart of who I am, and I'm just trying to figuring out how to be apart of things.

Finding out more about where on the autism spectrum affects me personally is extremely important because my daughters, who are like me, have the same issues.

When people get angry, it might take a second to understand; that's the part of autism that affects us directly, which can be extremely dangerous. My fear comes from someone misunderstanding my family, and it might get them killed because of their skin color.

No one understands unless you are in a similar situation.

Still, my reason for sharing was merely to educate about life with ASD and Crohn's because I found it odd that I didn't know all this time, and, that's where the notion of helping someone else came from.

You don't have a whole bunch of kids on the spectrum unless you somehow are on it as well; I was one of those parents that blamed vaccinations, but the truth-seeker in me has led me down a different path of knowing more, and I am nothing but grateful in it.

When I started to go into detail, it wasn't calculating; It was a desperate need to find other like-minded people, and I did. I still don't know what's suppose to happen, but, being direct with me is key to understanding what to do next.

The self-discovery process alone left me significantly drained because of sensory burnout. But, the veil of confusion has lifted, and I'm finally free.

Because of Asperger's, living life in solitude was all I could see because I can't conform to the "sociatal " ways of doing things, and that's directly related to dyspraxia.

Learning about these disorders helps me identify both of my daughter's individual needs.

Thanks to YouTuber Yosamdysam, explanations helped without really knowing what we were going through as a family. Whatever I found myself feeling in the present moment was explained through her thorough video on Asperger's and all the information that came with it. Then I shared what I've learned with my therapist, who, in turn, gave me the validation needed to share further.

There's gross respect for those who get straight to the point because that is the only language I understand. Some get annoyed for having to go into detail about every little thing; believe me, when I say I know more than you can fathom, and I only have a problem when it's time to address certain things at the moment.

Still, there's very little patience or respect in this life for people like myself, which keeps me from being too open about all of my hardships; and that's why I don't feel to share certain things about my life.

The only thing I cared to discuss was my life after the diagnosis, how life is while having Crohn's, and how trauma has its place in everyday life because of biased thinking.

I never realized how annoyed people got when forced to look at things with objectivity; but, that's not why I started down this path. There's no way of explaining without stepping on someone's toes. My intention was only to educate.

What others think of me has never bothered me in the ways you believe; I have a problem with integrating sensory; that's my problem wrapped up in a neat little bow, and everything that comes with it, which is linked directly to autism. i.e., I don't perceive life as others do, and that's because of the neurological disorder. The only time I become enraged is when someone presumes to know me more than I know myself; I can't retort to correct fast enough, which leads to me getting bullied further. That in itself is frustrating.

Anxiety and depression come with having Asperger's.

Becoming reactive to certain situations has nothing to do with being overly emotional but has everything to do with my inability to regulate stimuli, no matter the situation.

It takes time to process the outside world, but there's clarity when I'm alone at home and away from outside influences. SPD's issue is not because I worry about what others say, but because I get bummed when I can't respond in kind.

I am so not about bullying tactics to get your point across because it lacks respect for others' thoughts. But let me make myself clear, I am all for woman and woman's rights; always have been.

My whole reason for sharing was to help others; and as it turns out, I found others willing to help me, and I am still a work in progress who's determined to get experiences out there to help the next person.

Thank you to everyone who tried to help me; believe me, It has not gone unnoticed. I just wanted to share and clear up any misconceptions about what it is I am going through.

Aside from being autistic, that's not all of who I am.

I'm not as religious as much as I am spiritual for one. What was taught to me as a child, I still lean on today for strength in times of stress; I don't' cling to one faith but understand and respect all, and will continue to learn with gratitude.

I am human and a mom before anything, and everything else, to me, is secondary and an allusion.

Well, that's my thought's on the matters at hand.

Oh, and I love my culture for the record, but I'm different, and I understand that inclination more than you possibly could know. I still live with discrimination daily, but that doesn't stop me from leaving this world better than when I came into it.

Finally, It is evident I've been traumatized; it's also apparently clear I am a person of color who has been tormented by family and all communities. I struggle with SPD and DCD; but, it does not, nor will it ever stop me from being me or loving who I am; I can absorb myself like a chameleon into any given situation because it's a survival skill picked up from childhood, and I'm not ashamed. Also, I don't consider these particular topics of discussion unfavorable, just necessary.

It's as I said before. It takes me a minute to get my thoughts together, and then I'm golden.

Simplicity does not equal stupidity. Also, autism is not considered curable, so diet won't make it "better."

In closing, I plan to continue to spread awareness; Children who have ASD grow into adults with ASD. Acceptance and respect for others' differences will make life better for those who don't wear what they're going through on their faces.

Kindness goes a long way and is so important.

Shawnti Prince
Shawnti Prince
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