Autism and Neurodiversity are hand at hand. I believe Neurodiversity IS Autism. And I LOVE the word Neurodiversity because its such a powerful word to me and it was my entire drive to seek help for my autism to begin with. There are some things that neurotypical people know and can automatically calculate. However, theoretically this does not apply to neurodivergent individuals. Neurodivergent individuals think and act differently as if it were natural to them, and I firmly believe this due to the circumstances of my story. Example 1 of my theory; While a neurotypical individual may be able to fully comprehend the fact that someone has Autism if given awareness of that fact by context clues, reading the room or just straight up being told; the same case can't be made if that person is ignorant of the severity of social deficit in general. A conversation between the neurodivergent and neurotypical person should theoretically have a different result every time by the end of the conversation but that shouldn't be what you look for. Instead, there are noticeable patterns in interactions, use of particular phrases more than others, and other small behaviors like that which should begin to manifest in both the neurodivergent and neurotypical individual on a consistent enough basis that we could learn and understand more about high functioning Autism in a way. If you were to ask the right questions. These conversations should have varying topics. Monitor behaviors and unique characteristics of neurodivergent individuals. It should be studied more because it's a huge step in understanding human physcology in general. Another example if this were to be tested with holding conversation in particular; a neurodivergent and neurotypical person can come to the same conclusion with reasonable consistency in a back and forth conversation. However, neurodivergent individuals may reason and logically think about the conversation differently. And this difference/difficulty to socialize varies like a spectrum among different people with high functioning Autism as well. So I believe Tony Attwood is right. The Neurodivergent movement is what autistic people have been needing in their lives in order to be able to fully understand their own problems and empower them. Starting out my story: There are multiple points in my childhood where I really did experience symptoms of autism. And both of my parents have told me they have suspicions. I've complained to people about my syptoms Multiple times.. Overstimulation.. every day, multiple times a day still. Sensory issues? Absolutely raging. Flapping? Still do it. Pacing while holding my breath because I'm so overstimulated that I can't handle it every day multiple times a day for years? Check. These are all examples of what I go through on a daily basis, and what I've done since middle school I believe. I've been made to believe my whole life that I had nothing wrong with me, and I was just being "weird" or "anti-social" because nobody picked up on the signs I was showing that I've had my struggles dismissed by my grandma, my mom, and my dad plenty of times simply because their lack of knowledge about autism and it's symptoms. It's made me doubt myself for a long time, and it caused me to mask my symptoms and influenced my previous diagnosis results. I was neglected very badly in my childhood (around 16 years) and had no awareness of my condition. Actually, it's less "awareness", and more I hadn't fully grasped the concept of autism. I was so depressed about my circumstances (lonely home, lonely life, parents fought all the time...) I never wanted to "turn my brain on" if you get what I mean. When I heard that autism is on a spectrum, and it fluctuates, that's what has made me come to this conclusion. I view Autism as a whole more as an inability or deficit to learn how to socialize and just.. be alive. It can be one or the other however because of how autism functions like a spectrum I'm not quite sure if this feeling will be the same for everyone. It makes it difficult to learn.. and even more difficult to detect early in childhood, even to the person who has autism. Only proving the point more that getting your child diagnosed for Autism as early as possible will save them from an experience like this. Autism makes socializing more complex and stressful. I am more inclined to think about every little thing I do in order to "fit in" with everyone else to the point that it becomes my entire life, at a detriment to everything else if not handled correctly.. whether it's conscious or unconscious...and to be loved and accepted is what all of humanity wants but it feels like people will never fully grasp that. My message will only resonate with.. some people.. Just because everyone thinks differently, and that's ok. And I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to convince you that I have Autism either!! I feel like.. I just know. And I just want help on figuring out the solution to my problems. I hope this could help you come to a conclusion. Oh I also believe I have alexithemia. I've always had trouble identifying my feelings and I believe it's the entire reason I wrote this. I just can't explain this with words the right way to convey how I feel. It's a big reason I never got help this whole time. I believe I can bravely say, I have high functioning autism.

Posted by Scott Littlejohn at 2022-09-30 14:54:15 UTC