Autism and relationships

It’s been a while since my last post and that’s because I will struggling to find what direction to take this blog in. But something has happened to me today and I feel like this is the best way to share my feelings.

Firstly, I should explain that as well as autism I also suffer from anxiety. I’m not clinically diagnosed, but I know the two are linked and for me its very real. I hope to write a whole blog post on this at some point and I’m sure it will feature quite a lot in  future posts.

But, the thing that spurred me to write today was an incident involving my relationships with others. I find social situations and new people very difficult. Today I was due to meet a friend, whom I’ve known for a couple of months but not that well. A few weeks ago we hung out as just the two of us and everything went well, but for some reason I’ve been putting of hanging out again.

Anyway, today we were due to meet and I’d spent a bit of time getting ready. then I was sat in my house waiting to go and suddenly realised, I can’t do this. So then I cancelled. I feel like such a failure because I let anxiety win.

I would like to know what other people think. Do you ever feel like this? I’d like to do a follow up post on this in a few days when I’ve had a chance to reflect.

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Don’t let it define you…

‘How are you feeling about today and the potential outcomes of this assessment?’

The first thing I said to her was that it didn’t change me. That regardless of the diagnosis I’m still me.

Someone once said to me that autism doesn’t change who I am, it’s just ‘an extra piece of information that we know about you’. To be honest, I really like that way of describing it.

I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 18 and preparing for uni. Being sat in  that room and being asked that question was the first step on a journey. It’s a journey that I will be on my whole life. When I got the diagnosis, a lot of things started to make sense. I suddenly realised that I wasn’t alone in the way I felt or the way I behaved, but that this was all part of a condition. In a way, it kind of helped. Over the last two years or so its become a bit of a disclaimer card. I can  now say things like ‘sorry, I’m struggling to understand what you’re saying because…’ or ‘I  might be behaving in a different way to what would be expected because…’.

Don’t get me wrong, its not been easy for me to tell people that I have autism. However, I do find that things go a lot smoother when people are aware of what my needs are.

I wanted to set up this blog as a way of supporting parents of young children who have autism. I want you to know that although you might be scared now, a diagnosis of autism does not mean your child will not achieve the things you expect them to. I also created the blog as a way of forming an online community for people who have autism. So that you don’t feel alone as I often have. Hopefully, you’ll read some of these articles and think ‘I’m not the only one’.

Autism isn’t something to be sad about. So I want this blog to be a positive place and to make people feel happy about what can be a scary diagnosis. I hope that it can be that.

 

Fern