I grew up an ASD kid who went undiagnosed until adulthood, which was hard. I wonder, however, if growing up without knowing I was autistic was a blessing or a curse. Perhaps it was indeed both.
Please do not misunderstand me, I am glad to have a diagnosis. Glad to finally know what is “wrong” with me; glad to finally have been able to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. But this isthe thing–i didn’t know, no one knew, so no one told me, “I couldn’t.”
Today, I do have a better grip on my own limitations, and there would have been a lot of heartache avoided had I known. However, I wonder if I would have what I do today if things were different.
No one told me that I would never be normal. They didn’t expect me to not succeed, not find love, not have a family. I never considered these things could be difficult.
An email from a fan this week caused me to start thinking about how we view our ASD kids. What does the world expect if them; what are they bring taught about themselves? Are we telling them and the world around them not to expect much? Or do we encourage and reassure that their lives matter; that they will have good lives.
The truth is for some, marriage and family may not happen. But isn’t that also true for”normal” NT people as well? Life isn’t easy; it’s hard, for all of us autistic or not. Maybe we should, instead of focusing on the difficulties, the disabilities, and what seems out of reach, we should focus on encouraging, and reassuring them that they matter. We matter; we have much to offer; we can do anything we out our minds to!
An autism diagnosis is not the end of the world, our lives are not doomed. We just will have to live in this world seeing it differently, and find those who are willing to accept that to share life with.