Thoughts on Autism Awareness month in April

April is meant to be autism acceptance month, but not everyone accepts that you are one on the spectrum especially with family who in the past have treated you like a child or ‘worried’ you could not look after yourself financially and for some strange reason have problems with money. I seen a post on Facebook from a family member who had been worried about me, though they failed to realise my experiences from the past. Don’t ask me where people get that idea from at all. I did hear later on that certain family members were jealous of me and ‘how’ easy I got it while in school, but they were the ones who copped the pressure instead. I always thought it was because I was the oldest, but what they forgot was that I was happy for them to get the attention when they were sick themselves. I figured that I was always in and out of hospital, so its their turn.

I have found if you don’t advocate yourself online like a parrot every 5 mins that you are an aspie or somewhere on the spectrum then someone will ask ‘Do you know someone on the spectrum?’ It does make me wonder sometimes if people like the so called professionals do listen to what is going on around them or are in their own world. I have had some parents ask me this as well online and I tell them though it could have been a while since they spoke. Some will throw the memes up and I do find some insulting like telling people you will be their boss. I really don’t like telling people I am better than them as it leads to a huge social downfall that could result in egos blown to smitherines.

I don’t tend to explain to people in the real world that I am on the spectrum as you give them information especially to family members after they have asked parents what was wrong with you and they don’t read it, but think you have an illness. If I remember rightly it was called my illness, but that sounds like something I can take a tablet for to magically be ‘cured’ or normal.  It is just like nothing can cure ignorance, but even more ignorance. That person is a walking talking conundrum with a chewy centre of ignorance and a bitter aftertaste. This same person told me I had to have a girlfriend, because that’s what everyone does, but was I to window shop or ask for a leash for my new found property? I wont throw in more tidbits of fun, but he did like his games that was play Brad to see the trouble it could cause.

When I was diagnosed I did not even think about my diagnosis though mum probably did all the worrying for me especially when I was in high school and nearing the HSC year. The only research that was done was by reading Tony Attwoods book about Aspergers and that was it. Wasn’t until years later when I found Facebook when I was around 28 and on a whim searched for Aspergers. My journey started then and I did find out little bits that I thought was pretty cool like there was a reason why I didn’t have a girlfriend or why flies buzzing around were annoying. I was highly amused when an advocate in Brisbane made the remark to me about my current occupation. His words were to the effect  that Aspies do not work in supermarkets especially your one due to the lights. I never had problems with the lighting, still waiting for weird problems to occur.

It would be interesting to talk to other people other than facey about being on the spectrum. I have started to though not with work colleagues though one who knew couldn’t pronounce Aspergers and just didn’t understand other than the fact I was willing to work. I personally don’t think my workplace needs any awareness as I show up for work and do my thing. They include me with workey stuff and interaction, which is loads of fun and I speak my mind. The same does go for my volunteer work as they all know who I am, though I already get strange looks from both sides and laughs when I mention cemeteries. Could you imagine the great big love in with both going awesome that I have aspergers, but…. Can you work extra shifts for me on Tuesday? If they want to know they can always ask.

Something that does always stick with me is that never use your disabilities as an excuse. I always go by that one as I know if I say something like ‘oh its because I have blah, blah’ then I get a rap across the knuckles. I accept that and will move on though I am instantly wary when a family member suddenly says out of the blue ‘ Its because of your aspergers’. Hang on you are saying something different now. It is good when other people point out that someone is treating you like a child and I never realised it and when I make a joke to a comment they made, their instant reply is ‘oh he doesn’t understand’. I understood alright, but your ignorance is showing. Can I grab something to wipe it off your chin? I do think people become too comfortable in their roles too.

There are times I do feel like I am on the outside with both the NT ( NT stands for Neurotypical and is someone with out aspergers or Autism Spectrum Condition) and the aspie community. Am I accepted in both? I am not exactly sure at all myself, but I am willing to find out and is why I am part of a charity group. Thing is I get along with both and will happily chat with both groups. I want to learn even if I have no idea about what half of people are saying, but if you explain things to me then I will understand. I might be on the outside, in the middle or actually be exactly where I want to be with the future at my finger tips.

Acceptance is a double edged sword. People have to realise like respect and manners it does work both ways.

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