“If you have met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”
Dr. Stephen Shore
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All of us – are uniquely defined personalities – all of us!
The quote above is pretty accurate – but the problem is a lot of people meeting for the first time someone on the spectrum – already have preconceived ideas and notions about autism. Many instantly think of the film with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman – ‘Rainman’ and they then think everyone is exactly the same as Raymond Babbitt. But in truth what else is to be expected? Almost thirty years have passed since that film came out, and whilst more of society is ‘aware of autism’, not everyone is. I still meet people today who only have a vision of crying, screaming, tantrum driven mentally unstable head bangers and that is the polite version of their crass descriptions.
There is still an awful amount of stigma and blatant ignorance attached to autism today – controversial emotions and fears and phobias. It is not just autism which is seen as a taboo topic, but so too is mental health and depression – things many people simply don’t like to address head on or even think about – but present they are.
As Mulder used to say ‘The truth is out there!”
I am classed as a late diagnosis with my Aspergers’, l was 44 when l received the clarification and it came like this’ You have got this far why worry about it?’ I am now 54, and have been labelled for 10 years. But have only been happy with my new self for the last 4 – 5 years – it takes a lot of time as an elder to receive news that your growing up identity and personality was not really you, but a pretend you.
Fellow auties and Aspies will understand that last sentence – we have learned to live a different lifestyle to the one our birth path initialised for us – in order to survive ‘life’ we have become in many cases the best actors out there! Imagine, a square peg trying to fit into a round hole – that is actually us. 10 Years on, and l can finally pen the words safely and say that as an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome – l am totally happy with who l am. It takes a lot to say that and sadly not everyone can achieve that simple statement.
The point to remember and to hold close to your heart, is that ‘Everyone is a uniquely defined personality. Not just some of us, but all of us. I think that many a time people strive to be different not fully understanding 1] what being different is really all about to begin with and 2] that in fact as individuals they already are ‘different’, they only become the same as everyone else, when they allow themselves to be swept up into how the masses think, then they are indeed no different and have lost all of their uniqueness or as l like to say ‘Youniqueness’.
My philosophy has always been quite simple, and at times much to my own detriment especially when others are trying to remain serious. It’s not that l fail to understand serious situations, but more a case of, at times, humour is the only thing that gets you through this crummy world of ours, and not everything is ‘that’ serious!
Seeing a post this morning shared by Ana of Timeless Classics entitled “It’s Good To Want Success,” only further highlights this line of thought. If you want to be different, then act different, if you want to be seen as unique, then define yourself as an individual, go out there and attain your worth, your personality, your individuality. But even as Dr Stephen Shore suggests, you meet one person on the spectrum, you have still only met one person on the spectrum. The same quote can easily be applied to many things and thoughts and of course people.
Don’t be afraid to be who you are, or afraid to make your mark on the world, my biggest fear and l do mean this, is ‘being the same as everyone else!’ I am more than happy to be seen as the different one, the uniquely defined character, because at least that way, l am being true to who l am.
Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd ….
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These posts represent my views of my Asperger’s, my autism and may not be the same as others on the spectrum.
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