Autism Awareness Month: What It Means To Me
This month is the start of something that has helped individuals such as myself in our every day lives. A time where attention is spent on a community that isn't as well understood as it could be, despite advances in recent years towards that goal of acceptance. That being Autism. Unfortunately there are still some that still view it as worse than catching a deadly disease or that they are flawed human beings due to not learning the same way as others. As someone with Asperger's Syndrome, I can say it isn't the end of the world having it as a lot of people tend to assume. It is only a problem when other people are uneducated about the "disability" and refuse to assist them in becoming the potential they could be. Instead they are punished or looked down upon as undisciplined brats that need a good smacking.
This couldn't be farther from the truth. Part of what makes it difficult for myself and others is being in a noisy and crowded environment. Our senses can be...well sensitive. This is especially true in terms of hearing as everything is going at you at once and feels that everything is the same volume, causing you to unable to process all the information that is constantly bashing you. This can eventually lead to a shut down or the infamous "autistic tantrum", or as we like to call it a meltdown. We have our own methods of dealing with it, but the biggest is thrashing around trying to burn out the excess frustration and strain from everything happening to us and no clear way to vent it out. Once in such a state, it is very hard to process anything going on around us even if it's our parents trying to calm us down. Everything is drowned out during this stage.
At this point the people around us assume that we are being spoiled brats throwing a tantrum over something silly when it's actually not. It is as difficult for us as it is for people around us. What I described is what happens during a meltdown. Something I had frequently however was a shut down. It is usually a point where my brain feels overloaded with all the information and get frustrated not being able to process it all, thus I brain essentially reboots. Typically that means I either lay my head down and try to let whatever silence I find cool me down during the reboot process or I do an activity that calms me down to a point where I can move forward again. Back during my elementary years it was mainly putting my head down or drawing in my notebook. A lot of times I felt a constant need to be left alone despite this not always being an option. All this combined made my younger years growing up very difficult, especially from certain individuals in the school faculty that were, or a lack of better and more positive words, old-school. They considered that nothing was wrong with me and that I was a spoiled brat that needed to be disciplined. As you can imagine, my parents and those certain individuals ended up butting heads a lot.
The month of April promoting the understanding of the autistic spectrum is something I and others will always appreciate and hope for not only helping children with autism, but adults as well. Once they turn 18, they tend to be forgotten and thrown under the radar unfortunately. Part of my own goals is to help such individuals adapt to an ever-changing world, which is a monumental task as is. Especially if one has that drive and passion to go an entrepreneurial route such as myself. I must say that the first year was a little rough due to trying to understand the flow of creating a business and all the basics. Throughout this month I will be creating blog posts about what it is like to be on the autistic spectrum as an adult and my own journey of recording in text and video how to deal with such pressures in life. There is a lot of strain, but some of the things I have experienced in life down to merely even sitting outside to enjoy the wonders of nature made it all worth the effort. It is something I look forward to every time. Already thinking of where to travel next and how to accomplish my overall dream of traveling and photographing my life journey.
Until next time!