I probably should NOT have been given a drivers license but I have one and I drive.
Before I realized HOW bad my visual spacial impairments, sensory distractions, and reaction times were I caused at least 10 car accidents (some of them serious).
I was undiagnosed until I was almost thirty and everyone just assumed I was a bad driver. Really I just had a VERY had time focusing on the road and processing all of the sensory information that flies at you going 70mph on the highway.
Now I am more cautious – because I KNOW I am impaired I always give myself three times as much time as I actually need to get somewhere and I NEVER drive with other people in the car… because that is a liability and makes focusing on the road impossible for me.
My car is full of dents and dings. My rims are scratched and my poor side view mirror needs to be replaced. Sad thing is I’ve only had my car for 3 years and it was new when I got it. (The car in the photo is MUCH nicer than my car.)
Wow THIS article by Nora Burritt contributor to The Mighty is AMAZING!
I can take no credit for the article below, although so much of what Nora had to say could be my own words. The little girl below could easily have been me -or a million other invisible Autistic women.
There is a huge problem in the way Autism is treated and how women and girls are being missed . We really are invisible and grow up wondering why we always fall short of others expectations of us.
We wonder why we are not good enough. We wonder why we are different. Eventually when the pressure gets to be too much we implode and find ourselves staring down an official Autism diagnosis – despite all the signs being visible at childhood.
Boys are diagnosed as toddlers. Women are diagnosed in their 20’s and 30’s (or older). I know a woman who was diagnosed at 68. We NEED to do better. We owe it to our sisters and daughters.
There is a photo of me at 3 years old. I am standing in a meadow on the tips of my toes, arms scrunched up like a t-rex, hands blurred from excitedly flapping.“You were so cute!” my family members coo when they pass this photo. These are the same people who look at me and say, “You can’t be autistic, you’re a girl!”
I hit developmental milestones quite differently than others. For instance, I never learned to crawl forwards, I was speaking complete sentences at a year old and reading books by 3. I wasn’t potty trained until I was almost 4 and said to my mother, “I am finished with diapers,” and that was it. I would bolt and hide in clothing racks in stores and cry when my parents made me try something new.
Sensory wise, I was notoriously known for my aversion to dirt, anything soft, loud noises, flashing lights, and many other things. I walked on my tip-toes constantly, chewed apart all of my shirts and gel toys, rocked and spun enthusiastically. I struggled with math concepts to the point where I barely skimmed by. I used to cry constantly in preschool and elementary because I couldn’t regulate my sensory system or handle my surroundings. I was often in the principal’s office because teachers misunderstood me trying to comprehend with me being insubordinate. In middle school, when a psychologist brought up Asperger’s syndrome with my mother, she laughed and called him “crazy.”
See full article here.
The Aspie World shares some of his experiences being an Aspie. I feel like may of us can relate to what he has to say.
Please subscribe to The Aspie World on YouTube I can take ZERO credit for this video.
Sometimes I hide in the bathroom when I need a break. It may be 5 to 30 minutes before I get my anxiety under control but the little breaks help a LOT. I like to read or write when hiding in the bathroom because engagement in one of my special interests helps me to relax.
I am writing this in the bathroom right now.
All to stay Anonymously Autistic.
When you find out you are Autistic as an adult your world is suddenly completely different but still exactly the same.
My entire life I’ve felt out of step with the world. I am awkward, clumsy, often confused, but at the same time I can be shockingly clever – probably why my Aspie nature went undetected for so long.
Once you learn and begin to see yourself and the world from the enlightened perspective of Autism you can no longer return to pretending you might be “just like everybody else.” It is a shocking and undeniable truth that strikes you in the face like a cold hard fist.
Finding out you are Autistic as an adult feels so final. Before there was more hope that I may someday outgrow some of my more eccentric traits. Now I am more aware of my unique (or not so unique) habits and needs than ever. They are inescapable.
People who knew me before discovering my Autism still see me as the same person that I’ve always been. Most of them can’t believe I’m an Aspie and are questioning and skeptical – which literally leaves me speechless and unable to explain myself.
The people who know me the best hear me out and many actually seem to find the answers to their own unanswered questions in my explanations.
I literally cannot handle confrontations with anyone. They leave me speechless. If I do not get away panic sets in, I become unable to think and may lash out verbally or cry. It is childish and shameful so I run. These are the nightmares that I may never outgrow.
Autism is so – final. When you search for Autism resources online almost every result is focused on children, but Autism is a lifelong “condition”. Autistic children grow up to become Autistic adults – so here I am finding out about my Autism as an Adult.
A lifetime of misunderstandings.