Can Autism be Cured?

I find this article so insulting. Autism cannot be, and does not need to be, cured!

Yes, being autistic can present in a million different ways, and some autistic people will struggle more than others. But generally I think there is huge ignorance surrounding it. The media have a lot to answer for here!

We were once asked if the life expectancy was good for somebody with autism!

I should hope so. Being a little more sensitive to the world and thinking differently isn’t an illness. Despite it so wrongfully being considered a mental health problem for so long.

I believe it was Tony Attwood that said, “I don’t suffer from autism. I suffer from other people!” I will need to double check this, but it’s so true.

The other expression I remember but need to check who said it is being autistic is like trying to shove a circle through a square hole…or something like that. It’s so true!

I haven’t mentioned it here before but I myself identify as autistic. In fact, I was once referred to be diagnosed but I did not pursue the diagnosis. This was wholly due to the ignorance surrounding it.

I always knew I was different, everybody did, but we could not put our finger on why.

I tried so hard to mimic everybody else and fit in, but I just couldn’t. There is much to say about my own experience, so I will be discussing this in future.

I am currently waiting for a new referral.

I posted an article a while ago about PTSD from having autistic children. I believe this also exists from growing up in the world as an autistic person.

The female experience is different to that of male autism, in some ways. Women are talented mimics and maskers. I have had more people than you know scoff at my claims that I am autistic. I have spent years training myself to make eye contact and perform well at social events.

What people don’t see is the social exhaustion afterwards. It zaps all of my energy. But all people see is me coming across as very outgoing and overly chatty.

I am excited to discuss female autism more as it is an area that is underdiagnosed and misunderstood.

I taught a clearly autistic girl who was just like me!!!!! An Ed Psych was watching her, and the more we talked, she said she felt I was on the spectrum too. I dismissed it to begin with but then the autistic trait of hyperfocus came into play and I read SO much. It was undeniable.

I finally understood. I finally had an answer. They call it the glass wall. I cried for a week as I grieved over all of the experiences I had been through, that I realised were not my fault. That I realised could have been different if only we’d known and put interventions in place.

Autistic people are your teachers, your nurses…we are empathetical…in fact I am an empath…but that’s for another day. It’s hard being an empath as you feel so extremely and it’s not something you can easily train yourself out of. I genuinely feel other people’s pain! If someone hurts themselves, my whole body almost feels it and I overreact or cry. I can’t help it!

So, my relationship with, and passion for, autism is a very personal one!!!

Celebrating the Positive

I believe strongly in balance and celebrating the positive. Yesterday I was feeling extremely run down and was a little anxious about what the day had in store for me.

The children picked up on my vulnerability and rather than exploiting it, which has happened on occasion, they were very sweet.

My eldest in particular was very cuddly and said, “Don’t worry, Mummy, I’ll take care of you.” He doesn’t always pick up on my emotions but when he does, he always gives me cuddles and kisses.

We had a very sedentary day, snuggling on the couch and watching movies.

I try to limit screen time as I’ve noticed that this can overstimulate the children. My eldest tends to stim and tic a lot more than usual when exposed to screens or when he’s tired.

However, some days it can’t be avoided.

This got me thinking about the misconception that autistic people have no empathy.

Admittedly, my eldest needs very obvious clues to identify how I am feeling, and is not very in tune with people outside of the family, but he’s such a sensitive boy who is very loving and affectionate. This shocks a lot of people!

One of the paediatricians we visited said that sadly the criteria was a little out of date and that it needed to move with the times.

We now realise that ASD is a spectrum, not in a linear fashion, and that no two autistic people are the same, despite sharing similar traits.

This is something I will address in more detail in a future post.

What is autism? Is everyone a little bit autistic?

Are autistic people empathetical?