I’ve always heard of autism awareness month and all things related but honestly, I’m not entirely sure what the purpose for it is. The reason I say this, is because I think every month should be autism awareness month. It shouldn’t take one month of the year for people to suddenly realise that autism exists, or to even begin doing something about it. So many people are diagnosed with it, without any aid of how to make life easier, or have symptoms and don’t even realise that it’s autism. I can’t begin to imagine how stressful this must be as they are receiving no help or don’t know where to go.
Even with all those organisations, I feel that people like myself, actually have very limited help. For myself, I only really have severe anxiety. This may only seem like one problem, but with my aspergers, its the worst combination you could think of. And when you are no longer a child, the adult services are hard to find, and from what I have heard, aren’t usually as good. I even remembered looking for CBT but I found it difficult to find someone who I liked the idea of and I wasn’t comfortable with paying so much money to meet someone. And I definitely wasn’t going to start talking about my problems during the first session. This is where I feel there should at least be a trial run or an introduction session. But of course, this all requires funding. I can dream though.
I also find that it is incredibly hard to come by people who fully appreciate how challenging things are. And I’m sure all aspies would rather stand in front of anyone who has ever claimed that they understand autism (with the subtraction of fear of public speaking) and say “anyone who hasn’t lived a day in my shoes, can’t possibly understand how I feel, think and the reasons why I behave in the way I do.” Because quite often, some neurotypicals claim to understand how autism works, but even after talking the ears off my parents for so many years about how I feel, they still haven’t got a complete understanding. Which is why I particularly hate it when people say they understand how I feel.
I wouldn’t even feel comfortable telling another aspie that I know how they feel because I know that everyone is different. I can definitely sympathise with them and maybe offer some advice or just ears to hear them out. But I would never link their life to mine and say to them that some of the challenges become easier because for everyone they don’t. I’m sure those who have had serious anxiety have managed to overcome it, but for myself, I haven’t. So nothing is the same for everyone.
As I am extremely self-aware (or so I’ve been told), I have been able to analyse everything about myself and look at what the problems are. I am able to look further into the way I behave and give reason for it. And with doing this on myself, I feel I have been able to read other aspies that I know. Take my boyfriend for example. He never admitted that he has anxiety but before we go to an event with my family, he always says he feels sick. Most likely because he’s scared. And after a meal with my family (we are a big and loud family, something he isn’t used to), he feels extremely tired. My bets are on he finds socialising very challenging and the noise of everyone is overwhelming. So he probably doesn’t even wake up until noon the next day. He also finds it very difficult to think of anyone else, other than himself, because he just can’t cope with it. He likes to talk forever about games and doesn’t realise when to stop. This is because of his obsessive nature. I can ask him anything about Destiny as he knows it like the back of his hand. One sound of a weapon being fired and he can tell you what it is. Crazy right? So being around other people with aspergers has allowed me to relate their behaviour to mine and I can usually see why they do what they do.
I’m definitely no expert but I’m sure that most of us aspies have a better chance of aiding those with aspergers, than neurotypicals who can diagnose someone. So maybe in the future, there’ll more help from those who really get what it means to have autism.