I thought I’d write about something a little different this week, but still about something that I’m passionate about and want to share with you guys.
In my previous post linked here called Being Autistic, I talked about having autism, aka autistic spectrum disorder, and how it affects my everyday life. In my next post on the same topic, I wanted to do a Q&A or FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions style of post) and go into a bit more detail hopefully, about what autism is and how it affects different people.
I can’t even count or remember how many people have asked me questions about the condition or how it affects me, over the years, so I thought I’d write a whole blog post on it.
- Are you sure you have autism?/ You don’t look like you have autisim!
Okay so its not such a question, more of a statement in fact, but i cannot tell you how many times people have said this to me! It happened way more at school and college, although less at college as I generally found people to be more accepting in that environment. Trust me, if I say I have it, then I have it. I had a diagnosis when I was younger and my mum could defintley tell you I have it also. Sorry mum, I don’t know how you put up with me sometimes!
2) What actually is autism though? Is it a disability/condition?
This is a bit complicated. It is a condition, but by the definition of what a disability is, it’s technically a disability aswell.
I looked at the National Autistic Society as I have found them to have the best description and wording of what the condition is. They say “Autism is a life-long disability that affects how a person communicates to and relates with people, and how they experience the world around them. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties but being autistic affects them in different ways. ”
3) How does it affect you personally?
I think I’ve learned or adapted how to answer this question over the years and depending on who has asked me or if I’m with someone, then I’ll answer it differently.
It affects me on a daily basis, although I can have days where I completely forget I have it and that’s its a part of me. I can have really good days and really bad days and I can have what I call ‘meh’ days, where it’s not good or bad it’s somewhere in the middle. I’ve always thought that having the condition has given me some sort of social anxiety (that’s what I call it but it might not be known as that officially). It affects me the most if I’m meeting someone or a group of people, particularly if its a big group of people. I don’t like parties or similar social situations when I know there’s going to be alot of people there.
It completley depends on the situation and just because I went to my friends birthday party/event last week (as an example), it doesn’t mean that I would be fine going to another friend’s dinner this week. I know that’s hard to understand but that’s just how it is for me. I could probably write a whole blog post of its own on this topic if you were interested? Leave a comment below if you would be interested in that.
4) Does it affect your family & friends and if so, how?
I can only answer in my view, and I’m sure they would probably say something different but I know I’m difficult to live with (with family), and I know i can be a difficult friend /family member at times. The top issue is if I don’t know about something that’s going to happen, e.g. a party/occassion/meal coming up, I have to have advance notice that something’s going to happen.
My sister Rachel is amazing, she always knows the right thing to say or something not saying anything just helps, a phone call or text and a supportive message and I immediately feel better. I wish everyone was as understanding and patient as her!
I have friends that don’t understand bur to be honest, my group of friends now are the best and always try to understand even if they don’t get why i can get so anxious and stressed over things that are standard for them. I always try and explain the best I can and that helps with the understanding. They know I’m different to other friends they have but that’s what makes me different, and I’m always entertaining apparently!
Do you have any questions or have a question I didn’t cover in this post? Leave them below and I’ll answer them the best I can!