For some, this can be a heated topic. I will be doing my best to keep this as objective as possible. I have been diagnosed with autism myself and have been thoroughly studying all the different aspects as I can.
This part I will be focusing on my own personal experience.
If you want to read part 1 then click this link.
Well my environment growing was far from typical. My parents started adopting special needs children before I was even born. I was around all kinds of conditions, a mixture of both mental and physical. I can't remember much from my childhood, but I do remember much from my teen years. I figured out early on that I definitely didn't think like the other kids, but I figured it was because of my abnormal home environment.
In comparison to my adoptive/foster siblings, and many of them (the Brady Bunch seemed like a small family to me), I seemed to be within the range of "normal," so my parents just thought I was a bit quirky. My mom says I was the easiest baby she'd ever known or expected for that matter. She has said I was quite content being left alone playing with my toys in my early years. I do remember when I was young I liked to get into the family Encyclopedia Britannica (back in the 90s who didn't have a set?). Back then we didn't have google or much of an internet for that matter, so I did my best with the encyclopedia and a dictionary. I loved to learn, not really a straight A student academically, but good among the standards.
Getting into my teen years I became more aware of the world. I started to analyze many things of the human mind. Without knowing it, I was getting into psychology.
I was fine doing group stuff as long I was used to the group, so I stayed with a close group of friends. Yep just like as kids, I was the "weird" one. As my mind grew, I began to make connections through the world, like the similarities among religions and myths. Like many teens I began to question everything and wanted a rational answer. I wasn't content with the answer "because I said so" or "that's just the way it works."
Much of my teens was in the Boy Scouts. We have a small troop in my home town of Everman, TX, USA. Well we moved there when I was 6 years old, but I consider it my "home" town. The troop leaders were very nice, but I was slow on the sarcasm jokes. The leaders soon realized my talents and I was constantly made the "Senior Patrol Leader," which is a fancy term for I was the scout that ran the troop. While many scout troops have the adult leaders take the wheel, our troop like the boys to run the troop while the adults took a backseat and guided and helped us on what we wanted to learn. This is actually how a boy scout troop is suppose to be run. I learned many great lessons from the troop. If you have an autistic child I do recommend the scouts or some other group experience, but go slow adjusting rituals as needed.
In my late teens is when my problems started to show, but weren't too great yet.
Becoming an Adult
Coming into my adult years, my differences started to become more apparent. I was still able to go into crowds and even attended a convention called A-Kon twice. I wasn't able to hold jobs for very long and after working I mentally was exhausted, even though the jobs weren't very hard. I found that I was able to take care of disabled people easier, since my work environment involved way less people, though I was still failing to do my job properly.
I got married and moved away from family and friends and attempted college for a third time. The marriage didn't last long as my problems started to become even more pronounced. I thought I was going crazy. My mother thought it was my ex-wife, but it was definitely me. After that part of my life I moved back home with my mom, but soon found a live in care taker position paid privately. This part of my life quickly turned me into a hermit and I lost my ability to be in crowds. After that job I moved back with my mother and she quickly started to realize that I have changed over the years.
After a severe back injury and getting insurance thanks to the ACA, insurance companies rejected me before the ACA. I finally started to seeing doctors and getting tested for my various problems. During this time is when I found out I have autism. After I started my research on autism every one of my problems started to make sense.
If you have a child with autism, try your best to keep note of the various things that seem abnormal. These things could grow into bigger problems and if you have knowledge of these possible or current problems then you can take steps to attempt counteract those downfalls that I lived through.
I am currently 31 and just in the past year or two laying plans to hopefully become a constructive citizen in the US. You can help me out by sharing this article or even directly gifting me on this site. Look around the site, you just might find other articles from me in various categories.