Autism affects people differently depending on age and mental capacity.
Some parents can detect signs of Autism in their children at their early age but some don’t get a proper diagnosis until later on in life.
On the 22nd of March 2 years ago, the BBC began broadcasting a family drama series called “The A Word” which focuses on a 5 five year old boy named Joe Hughes who’s parents thought he was simply an ordinary young boy only with some odd behaviour but during his own birthday party, his parents Alison & Paul seem concerned as their son does not wish to participate at his own birthday party and ignores everyone.
Throughout the series, all TV viewers watch the parents grow into denial and acceptance that their 5 year old son has Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
How do we know if someone has Autism?
All children, teenagers, adults and elderly people don’t always show visible or obvious signs of Autism but you can always by the patterns in their behaviour.
Here is a list of the most common symptoms in Autistic Spectrum Disorder:
- Sensitivity to loud noises
- Repeating the same routines
- No acceptance in change
- Emotional distress
- Spontaneous mood swings or outbursts
- Collecting specific objects or showing a strong interest in a particular hobby
- Social anxiety (refusing to socialise with other people)
- Poor communication skills
- Trouble understanding consequences of inappropriate actions
These are the symptoms that many Autistic people show and the whole idea of my non-profit charity is to spread awareness of Autism around the UK as many Autistic people always get misdiagnosed.
I was diagnosed with general Autistic Spectrum Disorder and ADHD as a young child because I always wasted to be around my parents and teachers at school thought I was death because I wouldn’t speak and ignored them so my parents had me take a hearing test and everything came back fine but I still showed signs of odd behaviour so then my parents seeked help and advice from social services and children’s mental health services and there it was, I had classic Autism and ADHD.
But unfortunately as I grew older, I became a quick learner and my behaviour changed so I had a reassessment at a social care clinic at age 16 and an IQ test. My IQ was 101 and I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome but as soon as I went to live in independent housing with adult social care when I was in my 20s, psychiatrists and psychologists kept diagnosing me with “Borderline Personality Disorder” and it really frustrated me because I knew for a fact I didn’t have it because Borderline Personality Disorder is a totally different condition.
Asperger’s Syndrome is a more complicated version of Autism as it means you suffer from mental illness as well as Autism and I fell into a deep depression at 13 years old because I was getting bullying at school due to my sexuality and weight, I was raped by one of the school bullies, my parents got divorced and my cousin was brutally murdered by tough street gang members and at age 16 I began struggling with fit in and make friends at college and I began self-harming and attempting suicide so my elder sister noticed that I had Asperger’s Syndrome and that’s why my mother had me reassessed by a social worker.
My former psychologist from North London was very patronising and continued to diagnose me with Borderline Personality Disorder and then I was kicked out of my sheltered housing accommodation and placed in supported housing accommodation filled with severely mentally unstable people who carried around drugs and weapons and nearly every day I was accused of things I had not done wrong and got arrested. I was beaten black and blue by the so-called “support workers”, the boss of the company stole nearly £4k from my benefits and my mother finally informed my sadistic, egotistical, narcissistic CPN that I indeed have Autism and that she owns a statement from social services confirming it.
This is the problems with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, a lot of people make judgements, they assume that all Autistic are mute, twitch a lot, bite their hands and hit themselves but that’s not the case. NOT all Autistic people clap their hands, twitch or figit, bite themselves or other people, refuse to talk and punch their heads or slap their faces. This is merely a stigma and a stereotype. Autism effects all people differently based on their age and mental capacity. I am semi-independent meaning I can speak for myself and perform certain tasks but I am dyslexic, I cannot tell the time but an analogue clock only a 12hr digital clock, I can only cook easy or ready-made meals, I struggle to count money and have been taken advantage of, I struggle to keep my flat tidy and I find it hard to communicate with people and make new friends so I require supported housing by adult social care services. My mother has been taking care of me since my early 20s so I’ve never been able to do things by myself.
I have a mental age of a teenager so I like collecting toy cars, actions figures, I enjoy playing with lego and reading comic books despite my legal age is 30 years old and I spend most of my time inside my flat using the internet or playing video games. Most of my good supportive friends are people whom I’ve met online because I struggle to make a conversation in person, if I do talk to people in person it’s usually paramedics, police officers, shopping assistants or elderly people because I feel more comfortable and relaxed around these types of people because I know they won’t judge me based on my looks or appearance and they’re easy to talk to. I find it hard to talk to my friends from school or college over the phone as I struggle make icebreakers or find topics to discuss and eventually end up with a mental block but if I talk to a family member it is easier because my family members know very well.
So this is what Autism is like for me. It can be very frustrating at times but a lot of people think I’m cool and wouldn’t want me to change who I am and I totally agree with them.
(A photo of Steven Neary a man with Autism from North-west London who was mistreated by adult social care services)
All images are provided by Google Images™ – Copyright is not intended.
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