By Matthew Whitehouse
Everyone with Autism has something significant about that makes it different from another with Autism, such as hobbies, fears, what makes us tick etc some have High functioning and some have Mild Autism and one more thing, many view their Autism in different ways. Some hate it because they get bullied and don’t enjoy others not being able to understand what Autism is and others don’t mind it as much because it doesn’t affect life in any way really, they go about and function their daily lives like everyone else. I feel like I have loved and hated my Autism at certain stages of my life, rather hating it when I was younger but growing to accept it over the years, learning that nothing can’t be overcome, all hills can be climbed if your determined enough and if you don’t speak out, nothing will ever change.
My Autism has been with me for over 25 years now, although I’ve only known about it around 12 of those years now, the rest was just a guess at best but we all know that Autism doesn’t just develop after birth so 25 years it is…controlling my life way before I knew about it. For me, I didn’t grow around anyone like me, I was all alone in a environment where it would seem I was the odd one out, the piece of a puzzle that just didn’t fit! No one could figure me out, hell I couldn’t! As a child, it was alright but my family thought something else was wrong with me so Autism never came close to being discovered as they were looking elsewhere, as far as they were concerned…I was just a late developer who learnt everything a bit later after most kids did…that was all…it was more the Teenage years that I felt like a prisoner of ones own mind, like a sleeping giant awakening and seeing the world for the first time.
What can I say after all these years, 25 is a quarter of a life if you intend to make it to 100, a big slice of the pie is gone and looking on wards to 50…I can only wonder what challenges me and my Autism face, I mean it was tough enough with School, College and University but now I have a partner which I’m getting married to soon, growing older as the years go on and on and more than likely will become a Father in the next couple of years so that’s a lot of new things to do and learn from but the question is, will I get better with dealing with my Autism in areas such as meltdowns, taking everything so seriously and realizing that others rely on me every day, I shall have to wait and see but I’ve got to this stage and I have done well, so there is no reason why I still can’t do what I’ve always been doing.
However in this ever changing world that still is without hover boards and or even self fastening shoe laces, many look for a cure for Autism…personally, I’d say no to it because…I just can’t imagine my life without my Autism anymore, it’s impossible! Well after 25 years, I’m not surprised…well you could say I have gone without Autism on the bases that I was unaware about it for so many years, I had no idea such a thing existed and if I had never been diagnosed, chances are I would be like the majority of people in the world and not have a clue what the hell Autism is but over the years, I have learnt to adapt and now, it’s barely causes me any problems in the world…sometimes I have even forgotten I have Autism due to the minimal issues it now causes compared to what it once did cause.
I don’t understand facial expressions, jokes or tone of voice at all, I will always need a bit of help to fully understand it all but I wouldn’t change a thing about me because it would be like accepting that their is something wrong with me, my Autism is me! If you take it out, your taking a part of me out! Some might not understand this, why wouldn’t I want to be able to do what ‘normal people’ can do on a daily basis like get jokes, find it easier to make friends and such…answer is most of the time I can already do those things up to an extent, I have friends and I can get jokes sometimes, if a cure ever came about one day…like I said, I would refuse it and always would…I will never acknowledge such a thing because as far as I can tell, there is nothing to actually cure…loads of people struggle to make friends or get jokes and they might not have Autism…no one goes about looking for a cure for them…but when your labelled, a ‘cure’ must be found!
I am just fine the way I am, I have achieved so much more than anyone ever gave me credit for and that’s enough for me, I have proven I am just like everybody else in this world, I can work, make friends, have a laugh or two and create memories that I will take into my grave when my time is up, knowing that I have lived a good life, knowing that my family is secured long into the future for many generations afterwards…I just I’m remembered for being the fun loving, kind man that everyone always says that I am…I just hope I don’t embarrass my kids that much! And yes, I’m that confident I’ll become a parent, a great one in fact…I can just feel it…I’m determined to always be there and support my family, create a friendly environment for them to grow up so they can start their own journeys in this world…that’s my next journey! I think I’m up for the task though, for sure I really am.