It’s Autism Awareness Week so I though I’d share a few thoughts.
For those who aren’t sure what it’s all about, there’s a spectrum going from ADHD up to full severe autism. But it’s a sliding scale, with complex symptoms and varying degrees of functionality that can make it difficult to interact with others and the rest of the world.
I’m ADHD with a few random points further up the scale. What this means is I don’t think in the same patterns and responses as “normal” (whatever that is!) people. I’m a dreamer and find it hard to focus, but then I can hyperfocus and get a little obsessive. I can see and hear things from completely different perspectives, in ways that others just look at me wondering what planet I’m from. I react emotionally to situations differently, laughing or crying at the “wrong” things. I get overwhelmed with complex detailed information, and yet have an ability to see the big picture and the complex interactions of things. I’m impulsive and restless. I’m incredibly prone to getting side tracked. Starting a task is a nightmare, because I see everything that needs to be done, can’t prioritize and don’t know where to start and fear getting overwhelmed by it all. I remember the most useless things and forget the most important.
I feel like an alien most of the time, wondering what I’m doing here. And much more!
As a kid, it meant I was always just on the outside, and teachers called me lazy or a dreamer. I can’t study to save my life, so exams were a nightmare.
When I was finally diagnosed around the age of 45 everything began to make sense. I always wondered why I seemed to attract all the strange ones, until I realised I was one of them, LOL!
I’ve finally learned to like myself now. I actually treasure my ADHD as a gift that gives me a whole different angle on the world and life. It gives me a creative edge and passion that’s outside the box. I no longer care that I’m different. If I get frustrated about focussing and all that side of things, I just take a break, chill and do something else.
I can’t be anything else, and believe me, I’ve tried! I’m not interested in taking drugs so I can fit into socially accepted norms. You can take me as I am, just as I take you as you are.
So when you discover someone on “the spectrum”, take a moment to extend empathy. Recognise that they probably aren’t experiencing things the same way you are at any given moment. We aren’t “broken”, just different. And that difference can be a radical influence on the world if we let it!
Original post from my blog https://www.itslifejim.pub/2021/04/03/autism-awareness-week/