Life as an Autistic person – How do we cope?
Well, how do we cope? It’s a very interesting question with no answer, because quite often we don’t cope. Today I’m going to be talking about the inner feeling of an autistic person in today’s school world.
School can be a very stressful place for all students, whether they are on the spectrum or not. One of the big things people on the spectrum find hard in the school environment not being accepted, which I believe is many peoples fear. As said in previous blog posts, I have mentioned that people are like mirrors, copying each other trying to fit in, as they are too shy to be themselves in case they are not accepted. To be brutally honest, to ‘fit in with the crowd’, people will then comment on other people being different in a negative way. Which instantly puts the person in a hard situation which naturally nobody should have to cope with, but the only way to stop that is for people be strong themselves, and start being who they are. Not the mirror copying what they see.
Many people on the spectrum do find social interactions very difficult. It’s all about finding people that understand them, and make them feel safe and secure as well as in a suitable environment. A person on the spectrum is often like an iceberg. You only see the surface, which is only 10%. 90% of the ice burg is submerged under water, and that 90% of the person is submerged by stress, anxiety, and sensory issues, but just little things like being supportive, kind and loving really does make a big difference.
Moving onto the subject of sensory issues, again this is something many people on the spectrum suffer with, and this is something I have noticed more recently that I am suffering with. I’m getting my senses in a pickle sometimes, struggling to get my words out, as well as the biggest issue with my concentration. It’s quite hard to describe. It’s like your brain is everywhere, nothing is make sense, you’re seeing and hearing things around you but you’re not able to process it, and it’s very difficult to deal with.
An experience I had once when I was younger on holiday was that in a theme park for a ride you had to que inside, and because it was dark and had music on, and scuba-divers in masks I became very uncomfortable and felt unsafe, causing a meltdown.
Imagine you are in a classroom, you have anxiety constantly that you are having to deal with and hide by distracting yourself. The lights are too bright, all you hear is the buzzing of the lights, the fan of the computer, people talking in the classroom, chairs being scraped along the floor, and the work in front of you and you are struggling with it. You look at it and you don’t understand it. With all this going on around you, this makes you become more anxious, but some people will distract themselves from the work by talking to their peers to take their mind off it. The work is not making sense, it’s like it is written in hieroglyphics. You look around at your peers, sat with their friends, who are able to understand the work and talk. You feel alone, no strong relationships with anyone, high anxiety. Not feeling comfortable with the teacher, you keep looking at the teacher, they tell you to do your work. You become in this vicious circle of worry and anxiety. School is then not that place you enjoy, but it is the place you dread. Having the class move on so quickly, and being expected to keep up, yet you don’t understand the simplest of tasks.
Imagine having that to deal with on a daily basis, because believe me it really is stressful, So I challenge you, don’t be a mirror, but be a piece of art that is admired. Be someone who is unique, and accept everyone for who they are.
Please feel free to comment on my blogs, as I love to hear feedback and other people’s experiences. Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, as I have had a busy GCSE season. Don’t forget to check out my other blogs if you haven’t already, or my diary page to find out what I have been up to recently.
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