It’s been a while…

Well, I really thought I would be uploading blog posts more often than I have been, but this past year has been one of my most hectic.

The main reason is university.

This is the first time I have lived away from home, alone, for more than a week… and I’m really enjoying it! The independence I feel just from cooking and cleaning may sound trivial to someone who has lived their life independently for ages, but to someone like me, who has been basically spoon-fed for their entire existence, this is one of the best things to happen to me.

I am loving my university experience, and the help I’ve been receiving is remarkable! I have heard horror stories from various student bulletins of horrible experiences for those with disabilities, but the uni I go to has been excellent in keeping me sane.

I receive two 1 hour sessions from social skill workers, who might as well be psychiatrists, as I tend to spill all my problems within the first few minutes of meeting with them. They have helped me organise my time efficiently and have been sympathetic to my minor outbursts.

One such good example was the near breakdown I felt from hearing my mother had breast cancer (she’s all clear now, which is excellent), and they helped me through the depressing state of living away from someone I love very much while they are having difficulties I can’t help them with.

It got so bad back home that they even purchased a dog! The dog is very sweet, but I have only met him once, so I’m worried that he’ll have trouble getting used to me in the coming three weeks when I return home for the Christmas holidays.

In short, I apologise for the distinct lack of news from me, but as I previously mentioned, I have been busy. Despite the general consensus that 2016 has been pretty poor, it has been quite good for me, as it is the year that marks a new chapter in my life.

I will continue part 3 eventually! Just thought I would update you (whoever reads this) on why I haven’t been writing as much.

Thank you for reading!

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My Aspergers Diagnosis Pt.II

If you’re reading this I will assume that you have read my previous blog and wish to find out the no doubt riveting and thrilling continuation of my story. Well here’s the problem, my life has had ups and downs but nothing I would call out of the ordinary.

The media today paints Autism as either; something utterly remarkable and rare, for example Jacob Barnett, a noted Autistic individual 18 years old and having determined things Newton and Einstein had never even considered at the young age of 10, or they portray Autism as the social disability it is, with a hint of tragedy laced around the edges. I myself can say that I am of neither extreme but rather, an equalizer between the two. I perceive all the social anxieties every day whilst also noting things that people may not have perceived at all, for example micro-expressions, or pattern recognition that a neuro-typical mind might not grasp.

Now I don’t want to put across an image of pretentiousness to any readers, so I’ll just say now that though we with Aspergers and Autism can be exceptional, it doesn’t mean we aren’t prone to mistakes. I myself have made many, and I can’t say that I’ve learnt from every single one, because another element of Aspergers is a stubbornness to remain; to fight change

In my family and social circles, I am notoriously stubborn. It is purely my nature and reflects my solidarity in decisions that I make, whether good or bad. This ranges from small things such as my 3 year old self going to a gymnastics event, deciding to neglect the activities and instead take every single plush bunny rabbit hidden in the room (there was an Easter event on) to make a nest. Needless to say if another child were to approach me I would tell them that they weren’t to touch any of them because they were mine. But my stubbornness also affected much bigger things in my life, such as my wishes against my parents to pursue things I wanted to pursue, joining a band, going to Sixth-form, moving away to university, etc. Sometimes you have to look past what can be seen as bad qualities and see the good in them, as cliche’ as that may sound. Without my voice and opinion, I would be doing things I never wanted to do, and sometimes parents may think they know what is good for their children, which more often than not they will, and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my parents, and I have no idea how I will cope living away fending for myself, but independence is a valuable thing that nobody should take away.

I will leave on that fairly satisfying close, and I will pick up part 3 when I’m up for it.

My Aspergers Diagnosis

This is my first blog. I should probably explain why, out of all the topics I could write about, I picked my diagnosis. I have never looked for a pity party talking about my Aspergers, but I feel that the difficulties and strains on people with my disability are never really understood, at least in my experience. I suppose in a sense I just want to write this to organise my world in a written format that I can share with the world utilizing a safe sense of anonymity.

I’ll start with a little bit of background on myself:

I am a British student who has just finished sixth-form and will be leaving for university in September of this year. For the longest period of my life up until this very moment I have been heavily involved in music. You could say that music is my strongest link to autism. It is my obsession, a trait or characteristic which in most cases, makes an individual with autism the very person they exist to be. This was one of the earlier signs for my parents indicating my condition, though not the first. Within two years of my birth I suddenly went quiet. By quiet, my parents meant that I suddenly refused to do anything, including talking and walking, things I had been able to do with very little issue before hand. They also explained to me that I simply refused to be touched, meaning physical contact such as hugging or kissing, which looking back must have hurt them more than it must have hurt me. I was taken to a child psychiatrist in 2002, and my diagnosis was confirmed.

I was not made aware of the information immediately however, which, in hindsight, I can’t say whether or not it was a good or bad thing, seeing as I probably wasn’t aware enough to really perceive the meaning behind such a diagnosis. I can’t recall the exact age I was told but around 5-7 years of age, I was informed in the bath-tub. Understandably I had questions: “Is Autistic the same as Artistic?” “What does that mean?” “If I’m Autistic does that mean I’m from the Arctic?” Looking back they seem quite funny for questions, but needless to say my first reaction for my mother’s explanation of my condition to me was “That explains everything!”

A veil had been lifted from my eyes and I could understand exactly how my life would be structured for the rest of my life. One of my earlier questions was understandably, for someone who doesn’t know anything about the condition was: “Is there a cure?” To which the blunt response was “No”. For a little while I was a bit blown out, because I wondered, “How on earth am I supposed to be like my friends at school?” but my mother explained to me all the various benefits and said that I was simply more unique than I realised.

In my next blog, I will detail further different elements of my life as an autistic.