How does one really cope with learning about Autism? I mean not everyone knows that they have it when they are born, in fact I will bet that most will learn about it as they grow up, perhaps in their childhood or even in their teenage or adult life’s and it can have a different outcome depending when you find out…is it better to learn about it when your younger or doesn’t it matter?

I was around 13 when I found out and before hand, I had spent many years having tests done on me, with no luck finding out just what was wrong with me for many years, it became quite frustrating to be honest at times, not having the answer as to what was wrong, why I was how I was…and well…once I found out, it sent me into a deep depression that lasted for Five long years…I didn’t want to accept it. It was like taking a mask off and having your true identity exposed to the world and it hurt! As much as it was a comfort to understand why I was how I was…It changed my life and not for the better…at first anyway! I was like a ship, sinking to rock bottom, my mood changed and went dark…I didn’t want anyone near me and I kept myself to myself…I became more angry and worried about everything because I thought my Autism made me like some kind of freak! Was that why everyone picked on me and made me feel like some kind of weirdo…an Alien that just didn’t belong in their world?  I would get angry and blame things like God for giving me something like this…My parents for having me born like this…others for not understanding what it was that I had…I felt like no one could ever help me because no one would understand! Those Five Years were the worst of my life by far…dark, cold and lonely and I wanted it to be like that so no one could hurt me anymore!

Then this happened My Understandings finally began to change and I slowly emerged from the Darkness and back into the light, it took a few years but I was able to grab a bat and smash my shell that I had locked myself away in to pieces! I also destroyed that mask that I had hide myself behind as a kid and now never need to place it back over my face, I have no reason to hide anymore.

Well…a few years later, as I approached the age of 20…I came about to an understanding that my actions as I was growing could be seen as annoying and well…I could somewhat understand why people avoided me, because I would never stop…it took me a long time to understand this because I would pretty much do everything without a thought because I was the kind of person who would jump before looking whether it was safe to or not, acting before really thinking about it and never thinking about the consequences of my actions which made things very awkward and I often wonder what life would have been like if I had discovered I had Autism years before hand when I was a lot younger….I imagine it would have been better because I would have had more time to learn how to cope with it because I would understand, I would realise what I was doing wasn’t always right…that my actions would have consequences but because I had no idea about any of this…my actions secluded me from my friends and led to the events that caused me to lose them all…I would only learn of my Aspergers about Three years after this…a little to late but who knows…maybe things happen for a reason?

Nowadays,  I go about thinking that it would be so much better to learn about Autism at a young age so you have a chance to learn more about it and learn how to cope with it, rather after likely the damage has been done because I had no idea that what was doing was bad, that I upset people and made them think that I was weird but maybe things would have been different if I had learnt about it earlier on, who knows but what happened is what I have to live with but can’t help but wonder…would I have gotten more confident at a younger age…not been such a pushover? I guess it does no good to wonder things like these because you can’t go back and change things…instead use what I learn and become stronger because of those experiences because if I hadn’t done all of those things, I may not have learnt that they were not good and had consequences….that people can get upset if you annoy them enough…if you can’t tell if someone is upset or angry with them.

Then I wonder how other people coped when they found out about having Autism? Am I the only one who thought he would have benefited by learning about their Autism at a much younger age…would it have been better or would I have reacted the same at a younger age? Would I have taken many years regardless to accept it…I guess I’ll never find out.

3 Comments

  1. I am not officially diagnosed, but have struggled with difficulties that are associated with undiagnosed autism, and identify with many of the traits (people who know me, including a therapist, have also brought it up as a possibility).

    As an adult, I am now unlikely to receive a diagnosis in the public health system in my area, even if I tick all the boxes, because of the lack of services to help adults who function at the level I do. Had I been diagnosed when I was under 18, things might have been different in terms of training and therapy that I may have received, and this makes me frustrated.

    So, I agree with you in that respect, that learning about it earlier would have been more beneficial to me. However, I also think that I wouldn’t have been as accepting of it as a possibility. Learning about it now gives me a sense of relief, because there now seems to be an explanation for why I never felt like I fit in, or why I didn’t function the way everyone else around me did, whereas I would have tried to reject the label as a child, when I just wanted to be the same as everyone else.

  2. I was diagnosed in March of this year in my forties. Before diagnosis I felt like I really needed to know but then once they had told me (there were a range of tests and questionaires for me and for people close to me and then a day with two specialists) I suddenly felt really low about myself. Like you I felt low and angry and worried. For me it was the low feelings which were strongest because I now had it on paper officially that I am not ‘normal’ and I felt broken and no good.
    However, the diagnostic service in my area were really supportive and they sent me an advocate for a few weeks after diagnosis to help me adjust to it, and more importantly to help me learn to cope with my autism better in the world (which was point of getting diagnosed for me). So quite quickly I adjusted to knowing about my condition anf found that the diagnosis helped me in many many ways to manage better.
    I think I am still adjusting a bit but writing my blog (about being an autistic artist) is helping too because it help me to accept who I am and see that who I am is acceptable by others.
    I sometimes wonder about how it would have been if I had been diagnosed earlier, but that wasn’t possible because when I was a child the idea that girls could have autism was not really known. I don’t really mind that I wasn’t. I don’t think my ego could have taken such a blow when I was younger. I am very glad for a diagnosis now though.
    Thanks for a super post!
    Jo

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