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.