Do I Not Understand Them Or Do They Not Understand Me?
Posted by JadeCrumble
8th Jul 2015

Everyone has their own idea of what autism is and how it affects an individual. But for those without it it can be harder to imagine what life can be like feeling completely different from everyone else.

I got diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in 2013 and that is when I realised that I had had this my entire life and never known. All of the issues it caused in school, how I thought about things, my issues with friendships could of all been solved if I had been diagnosed sooner.
I didn't accept having autism straight away. I don't think it is something a person can automatically be okay with. It takes time to come to terms with the fact that you are different. But not entirely. You may feel different and other people may tell you are different but it is important to remember that you are just as much human as everyone else. There's no such thing as normal anyway.

When you get diagnosed with autism it feels like you have to get to know yourself again, at least that is how it felt for me. You have to learn about yourself and almost educate yourself on how your brain works and educate others. You start to notice things about yourself and your behaviour that you might never of paid attention to before being diagnosed.
I have noticed that when I explain to people that I have autism they expect me to have some sort of learning disability or for my looks to be different or for it to be more obvious and physical.
Aspergers Syndrome is essentially an invisible form of autism since it is mostly to do with the brain and the personality of the individual. It mostly affects social interaction, making creating and sustaining friendships difficult and understanding conversation difficult. But there is more too it than that.
People with Aspergers Syndrome have to have/like to have a routine and things in order or done in a certain way and find it difficult to navigate daily life if something in this routine changes. People with Aspergers Syndrome usually have their own unique obsessions with certain subjects or objects such as collecting things etc. All of these I have noticed in myself, and none of them are things that someone would notice by looking at the appearance of me. Someone would have to observe my behaviour for a long time to know that I had autism, because some of these traits can be found in everyone. even those without autism.
The things I have just described can make the individuals interpretations of the world around them different and difficult.

Understanding conversation and tone of voice is the main issue surrounding Aspergers and is something that I struggle with and am still struggling with. It can cause issues when it comes to friendships and relationships.
For example. someone may say something meaning it to be sarcastic or funny and I could interpret it as they are being mean or literal. This is something I have issues with and it has been the cause of arguments of people think I am accusing them of being nasty or I don't understand what was said.
That is one of the main differences between someone with autism and someone without it., and that is the thing that can make someone with autism feel isolated. I have certainly felt isolated when I feel I have not been understood or listened too or I didn't understand something someone said and they didn't explain it. It is sometimes like being in a foreign country and everyone speaks a different language.
People without autism understand how things are said and certain phrases and tone of voice and, unfortunately, we live in a society where those who don't understand are mocked or bullied.
I have often thought to myself that life must be so much easier for someone without autism. They don't have to worry about social pressures or being understood and they are pretty much accepted by everyone around them. But I also think that life must be boring at times.
I'm not saying having autism is fun but it gives you a new view on the world that you might not of had before and you are able to see thing in a way that other people could only imagine.

I have many personal experiences with autism that I could share but I would probably end up telling my life story.
One thing that does stand out though is the difficulties I have saying my opinion and saying how I feel and making someone else understand that. I have been in many situations where I have been trying to say how I feel and I have ended up not wording it very well or the other person has misunderstood what I said and I end up getting upset and frustrated. And usually in those situations everything is blamed on me.
It can be very distressing when someone cannot see why you said something and trying to make them understand. You almost want to take what you are trying to explain and just put it in their head so they can think about it themselves and then they'll understand it.
I don't think you can understand autism unless you deal with it or have knowledge of it.
I'm still learning things about myself, and other people, and I'm also being taught things and it is just turning into one big learning process.
I do think there needs to be more education on autism in places like schools and colleges to help those with autism feel more understood and like they are being acknowledged, but also to help those without it have a better understanding and know how to support someone with autism.
It's time to understand the importance of autism and how it can affect mental health.

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