Before My Diagnosis
I was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism aged 12. Before my diagnosis, I realised there was something different about the way my mind worked, but I couldn’t fathom it out. This led to me feeling confused and very isolated. I knew I was different from my peers and I felt different – I stood out from the rest of the crowd.
One vivid memory of my primary school life was standing in the lonely corner of the playground, observing everyone rather than participating in the play. I was picked on for not acting similarly to my peers – I was baffled as to why I felt like I couldn’t just get involved.
Lack Of Support For Girls With Autism
I was overwhelmed by the lack of support I received at school, especially when signs of autism became more apparent at the age of eight. I often became extremely stressed, particularly when I started secondary school.
My severe anxiety and continuous frustrations took a toll on the whole family, causing numerous arguments. I would tend to be physically defensive when I was upset. The majority of the time, it was thought that I had a ‘bad attitude’, however I now realise that what I was experiencing was a sensory overload and I was just trying to communicate how troubling my world seemed. Both Mum and Dad were, unfortunately on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
Autism In Girls
Girls on the autism spectrum are often missed and they are just considered ‘shy’. After experiencing selective mutism for two years at primary school, an autism diagnosis was looked into. The journey to receive an official diagnosis was tough, exhausting and infuriating. However, I did eventually get told that my insecurities, stresses, anxieties, and overwhelming sensations unravelled to an autism spectrum condition.
After My Diagnosis
Upon receiving my diagnosis, I felt relieved; I could stop trying so hard to conform and focus on the path to self-discovery. This has been both an adventurous and anxiety-provoking journey!
I have researched the condition endlessly and raising awareness of it has now become one of my passions. Autism is my special interest! At times I still feel overwhelmed and frustrated at the lack of appropriate support, therefore, I am trying my hardest to change this by encouraging society to embrace our differences and welcome the autistic mind.
Looking For Positives
I struggle to understand why I should constantly fit in with others; why can’t neurotypicals see things from our perspective? Despite still experiencing occasional depressive episodes, I have used my negative experience of other people’s ignorance towards autism in a positive way. Learning more about autism everyday motivates me to pursue my dream of supporting others with the condition.
Autism is inspiring. There is always hope; never lose sight and give everything your best shot! You are worth it and you are loved!