I Am Who I Am
Updated: Mar 3
by Melissa Lushington, "Don't Cut Corners...Unless It's Cake" - Blog 2
Previously, I mentioned in blog about the anxiety issues that come with autism. Hands shaking, palms sweating, heart racing, legs wobbling, and more. Most people with anxiety issues may know that it’s associated with autism but have no idea about what autism is. When my mom first told me at twenty-two years old that I had some symptoms related to autism, I didn’t really understand the meaning of it either. After all, I spent twenty-two years on earth and yet I never noticed anything about myself that may be related to autism. Looking back at my earlier years, I can see now why I am casted in the lower subtle end of the autism spectrum due to the research I’ve done on autism in general.
Autism (also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder) is defined as having impaired communication and social interaction. It’s also defined as a neurological and developmental disorder that starts early in childhood and continues throughout a person's life. This type of condition will affect how a person will act as well as interact with others and it will affect how a person communicates as well. In a different form, it is even known as Asperger’s Syndrome and pervasive developmental disorders. There’s no cure for it, but there is treatment such as therapies for anger management, family therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Behavior Therapy, Animal-Assisted Therapy, and Tele practice. There are also medications such as Antipsychotic. There’s even different type of specialists such as a Speech Therapist, an Occupational Therapist, a Clinical Psychologist, and more. In an article titled Autism: Symptoms & Signs, Medical Author Melissa Conrad Stoppler writes about the symptoms that come with having Autism. These symptoms include avoidance of eye contact or poor eye contact, inappropriate social behavior, and not engaging in play with peers. All of the symptoms mentioned here, I have experienced in my life. In my last blog, I’ve already mentioned about my childhood experience with not engaging in play with my friends or peers at school, and how that related to my condition with autism. I’ve also experienced poor eye contact with people in my childhood. It’s not as severe as it was when I was younger, but the symptom is still there and shows up on some occasions. I’ve even had experience with inappropriate social behavior. In the past I’ve been told that I follow people around too often and I bother people too much by asking too many questions, even though I’m just trying to get to know someone better and I mean well.
In conclusion, autism like any other disordered is something that should be understood and not judged. The only way people can understand autism is if they do their research to learn about autism. The Verge of Independence Project does its part in helping to educate people on autism by having a description section about it under the subheading Connections Matter. I hope that after reading this blog, you’ll be able to make more connections with others with the new knowledge and understanding you have about autism. Next month, I’ll blog about depression that is often associated with autistic people.