Being an autistic in a neurotypical world
I haven’t been able to write anything for a long time, wasn’t able to post anything on social media as well. The pandemic took its toll on me and the stress made me shut down. I still haven’t fully recovered from it and I don’t know how long will I take or will I ever get back on my feet again.
In the meantime I decided to change my job, also decided to take a break from therapy to get accustomed to the new job and start therapy once I get used to the new schedule.
All these changes are needed and are too stressful but I need to earn a living as well.
Recently I was invited to be a panelist by Action for Autism and talk about my experience with job scenario in the country. I realized that there is a large group of autistic adults who are trying their best to be independent and earn a living and earn a name out there. They all are trying to enter the beasts enclosure and are ready to fight. I don’t know how easy it is going to be for them but I am sure it will be a challenge that they will have to face all alone. Many autistic people find it difficult to explain or express what they are feeling and that makes the job challenging, especially when the employer and the other staff members are not sensitized.
In another workshop by Action for Autism, I got to meet other autistic advocates as well who are either in school or have graduated and how they are able to navigate their way around this jungle of the world we live in. One thing I realized in this was that those people who were diagnosed earlier in life, got the opportunity to learn correct behavior and navigate their way easily from an early stage in life. They got the right support and care and people around them were sensitized to accommodate them in their daily life.
Now the autistic kids will turn autistic adults in a few years and will aim for a regular lifestyle like the rest of the world, they will need a job, a family, love, and many other things to live life independently. As a kid, we were able to make life easy by early intervention but similar intervention can’t be made out in the world after a certain point. This is where the problem starts, this triggers stress and anxiety in an autistic individual which they may not be able to cope on their own and the only way one will feel at peace is if they get out of the stressful environment. Don’t think of an autistic person as a quitter, the kind of stress they take on a regular basis is a depressive episode for a neurotypical person. But too much stress is harmful and sometimes the only way to maintain your sanity is to get out of the stressful situation.
There are a number of autistic people out there who are struggling on a daily basis and could do wonders with a bit of help and empathy from the neurotypical world. These people are not broken and damaged but if you see them as a square peg to be fitted in a round hole then they will surely break and will incur damage.
Autistic people need support and understanding, so what if our way of thinking is different than yours, what we need is some love and support and that will help make the life more beautiful.