JENNIFER O’TOOLE – THIS GIRL’S DANCE WITH AUTISM

I am SO excited to have found Jennifer O’Toole on the Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls website. I spent an hour relaxing in the dub reading her work earlier this week and it was amazing! Jennifer is both an Aspie and parent to 3 Asperkids. I look forward to following her but wanted to share something that felt almost like a wish coming from my own heart.

A wish that Aspies don’t grow up isolated and confused about why they can’t seem to fit into normal society without giving up everything that makes them unique and special. I am glitter, rainbows and light, but I am also science and logic. I am strange and finally know, and embrace, the why – finally after years and confusion and suffering.

Please remember that I cannot take any credit for the following. Please check out the original artist’s full post here.

In 2015, for the first time ever, “neurodiversity” was added to the dictionary. And that’s a big, big deal. Being “on the autism spectrum” is just another a variation on the theme of being human. It’s not a marker of inferiority. Not an illness. Not abnormal. Just less typical. And when you understand that….a super-big shift begins to take place.

I know. After a lifetime of “perfect on the outside” but totally a mess on the inside…I wasfinally identified as having Asperger’s (on the autism spectrum) really recently…at age thirty-five. I’m unbelievably glad to have that “key to me.” Only…thirty-five years — when lived twenty-four-hours a day, three-hundred-and- sixty-five days a year — is a long time. I made it, not without scratches or bruises. But still, I made it. Some of us simply can’t hold out that long. Nor should we have to.

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7 thoughts on “JENNIFER O’TOOLE – THIS GIRL’S DANCE WITH AUTISM”

  1. Nobody should have to pretend. My pretend came from holding in all the anxiety resulting from my personality and the effects of chronic bullying from grades 6-12 as well as running into the stubbornness of those who didn’t understand-esp. the sensory reactions I have. I think our society has their own disability in being too impatient and apathetic..not all people, but enough. Thank you for sharing this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is one good pretend that some Aspies like me have-the ability to fantasize. Not all on the spectrum can do this, but some like me always could. My imagination has always run wild.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I grew up undiagnosed, and it was hell. I felt so out of place, like I was watching a movie play around me as I stood still. It wasn’t until after my son was diagnosed that my husband pointed out that I, too, was probably on the spectrum. It’s been a very emotional time since this epiphany.
    But, since then, I have also found my place in the world. I’ve found a people I understand, and who, in turn, understand me. I am so glad that my son will have this opportunity during his growing years, unlike I had.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing. When I first figured it out it was like a slap to the face. At first I was in complete denial – trying to find Autistic traits that I did not have. Eventually Shock set in, then depression… it felt so final. Luckily I am on the upswing. It is good to FINALLY know what is going on. I have a tribe and am not the only one. Kind of cool!

      Like

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