On Autism Acceptance

Even though I have been “aware” of autism since 2004, when my son was diagnosed, and even though I myself was diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2012, the idea of autism acceptance is still fairly new to me.

I have spent my whole life feeling like there was something wrong with me and wishing I could be fixed somehow so that I could fit in with other people without so much difficulty.  I have desperately wanted to understand all the little (and big) things that most people seem to just know without thinking about it.  And once I had learned some of those things – through extensive reading and close observation – I still struggled with applying them to my own life.

After I was diagnosed with Asperger’s, I spent time educating my boss on what it meant and advocating for things that would allow me to be more successful in doing my job while maintaining my sanity at the same time.  (Thankfully, she has been extremely understanding and accommodating.)

But underneath it all, even with all the awareness and advocacy, there is still a part of me that is always self-conscious and sometimes even ashamed of who I am.

So now I am learning what it means to accept myself for who I am and how to teach my son to do the same.  It’s a slow process but I am thankful for the many people I am meeting on Twitter and through blogs and websites to learn from.

Hopefully I will look back on this post someday and say that was the old me and that the new me is proud of who she is.

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4 comments

  1. This definitely sounds familiar. I have spent most of my 38 years coming to a place of accepting myself. Still working on it and equipping my kiddos all at once. It’s tricky to balance.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post! I think sometimes that not knowing helped make me stronger and I developed a lot of skills to get by in the absence of knowing about my Autism, but then I spent years sad, anxious, and excluded. My son has the opposite: pride in himself and I think he’ll be a great advocate BUT I worry he won’t develop his own coping mechanisms as easily as those of use who didn’t know did because he can cut to the shortcut. I’m sure it feels better to know than to not know so we can raise healthy children, but sometimes a little part of me worries he won’t have the “systems” I did, individualized, that I learned through sink or swim. I’m excited to have this younger, more diagnosed generation age so we can work together to make our grandchildren have the best of both worlds. But for now…I so hear you. So hard to teach our kids to love themselves when we’re still working on that for ourselves…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s a good point about the coping skills and systems. I worry about my son when he has to advocate for himself or even get by in the world on his own. But like you I am hopeful that the knowledge he has about himself will be a source of pride for him.

      Liked by 2 people

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