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What It's Like To Have Autism

by A. Alexis Kreiser 2 years ago in wellness
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As Told By Someone With Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder can show itself in many forms. There is no one standard case of autism. That’s why it’s called Autism Spectrum Disorder. I’ve listed out a few of the signs that someone may or may not have autism, and I’ve elaborated more on these signs precisely, as they pertain to me. That said, no two cases of autism are quite alike, so your mileage will vary with the number of symptoms, what they are, and how severe they are. Something else to point out is that my autism is very high functioning, which is why I sometimes like to say that I’m human just like a regular person, only with a few kinks in my head, which of course, is my autism. Feel free to hit me up on social media to elaborate more on your case of autism.

Abnormal Body Posturing or Facial Expressions

This one I’ve been noticing a lot more recently. I saw in pictures that my smile is more noticeable on the right side of my face than my left one. I’ve been trying to work on that, and I will tell you that it is a process.

Abnormal Tone of Voice

I have this, but I don’t necessarily think it’s tied to autism, or at least not directly. Back in August, I had my yearly physical, and my doctor noticed that I had body hair growing in places where typical women don’t have them. She decided to have my blood drawn and tested for testosterone, given the body hair, and also my borderline nonexistent periods as well as the deepness of my voice (or maybe the deepness comes from cheerleading for about seven years). My testosterone was high, so she sent me to the same OB/GYN facility that my mom went to, where I was given medication and an appointment for an ultrasound, which shows that my ovaries were polycystic. I’m not entirely sure if this is one of the many conditions that accompany autism, such as gastrointestinal disorders, sleep disorders, anxiety, ADHD, Fragile X Syndrome, and language deficits, amongst many other medical conditions.

Avoidance of Eye Contact or Poor Eye Contact

I have gotten much better with this over the years. If I am talking to someone I just met, for example, in a job interview, I keep my eyes locked on theirs. If I’m talking with someone I know very well, such as an old friend of mine, I make sure I keep as much eye contact with them as possible. This helps to let them know that I am listening and taking in everything they are saying. I always have to tell myself to keep my eyes locked on theirs.

Delay in Learning to Speak

This was actually what caused my parents to have me looked at to begin with. According to my parents, I was about three or so and had not started to speak yet. That is when they took me to a specialist who told my parents that I was autistic. From there, they did everything they could to get me to start speaking.

Flat or Monotonous Speech

I have been trying to work on this problem – and struggling to do so. I have no idea where to start. I have thought of trying to bring more emotion into everyday conversation, but I just do not see an outlet in your typical everyday conversation with someone where that would appropriately fit the way I would like.

Learning Disability or Difficulty

I am not actually sure I had this. I had an IEP, or Individualized Education Plan when I was in elementary school, but I was seriously a smart kid. Back when I was around four, my teacher had noticed that I was off the charts in terms of intellect and had stated that to my parents. These days, thanks to the living hell on earth that is middle school, I am simply an average human being in terms of being smart.

Not Engaging in Play With Peers

When I was in kindergarten, I had to have a speech therapist come into the classroom to help me out with this one every few days. I didn’t really like that too much because I was the only one in the class that needed that kind of support, so it made me feel like I was sticking out like a sore thumb. It also didn’t help that it was 2003, and people really didn’t understand autism like they do nowadays.

Problems With Two-Way Conversation

This is a massive struggle for me because I simply do not know how best to carry on that kind of interaction. It’s much easier for me to engage in a conversation when I’m in a group of three or more because it’s less awkward for me, but when I’m in a one on one conversation with someone, I find it very difficult not to be scared of how the other person will react.

Self-Abusive Behaviors

In this case, self-abusive behaviors are not things relating to mental health and suicide (though I have attempted that – see my article about my organic chemistry teacher if you would like to read about that). They are straightforward actions, like slapping yourself across the face.

Sleep Disturbances

I actually do not have this. I had it more when I was a kid, but even then, you would be hard-pressed to consider me a light sleeper.

Social Withdrawal

I have significant social withdrawal. I am just happier in my own little bubble because I can do what I want to do. I am in control. I don’t have to worry about what others will say about me. I am truly happy because I can be myself.

Using Odd Words or Phrases

I have a very odd sense of humor. I make a lot of NSFW jokes, but my sense of humor is also very masculine. I feel like this is a combination of my autism and the fact that I grew up in a neighborhood that was filled with boys. My brother had more friends in our community, growing up than I did, so he got to invite them to our house a lot more often.

wellness

About the author

A. Alexis Kreiser

Freelance author. I write about what I want which is mostly stuff about science and politics - or my own life.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat: @Lexie_FM

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