I had an exchange of words with a friend about how we talk of our disabilities. I find that my aspergers does constrain my ability to communicate but at least I don’t repeat my words too often. I have a habit of speaking in a pattern using the same tone in some situations. With a neurological disorder communication is too difficult for a child to make but when it comes to adulthood it’s mastering our words that becomes a daily struggle to fit in. Some autistic children don’t even speak until they are in their infant ages from 3-5 and in some cases don’t start reading until they are aged 6-7. That depiction of handicap can show just how difficult you’ll fit in with the mainstream.
There was this a period of my life when I had a lack of attention to my abilities. In that period I was trying to fit in with a group of people who I liked but it didn’t work out as well as I thought. In 2006 there was a sci-fi convention that I went to where I had started to enjoy my ability to be independent. A woman who I befriended understood that I had aspergers but was critical of the way I was trying to fit in. I didn’t take it in a hateful way but I felt embarrassed and annoyed that I couldn’t fit in very well. Maybe it was just that I was trying to fit in too hard. A hurtful remark like that saying that I shouldn’t bother drums up memories of when I was told not to fit in at school. I remember my study support tutor telling me not to bother with trying to mix with the other kids. That was before I was properly aware of my disability, they should have given me some social skills classes instead of just shunting me aside.
At home things were no better. My parents and I don’t see each other eye to eye and that is bad for a person with autism. They never made any effort to try to give me some remedy for my disability. When I was diagnosed at age 9 my mother had already divorced from my dad and had starting seeing my stepdad. I never really liked having him in my life and I wanted to say it but I couldn’t communicate properly because of my mental issues. This is very inappropriate for a mentally disabled person’s upbringing. The horrors that can unleash will lead to self-destruction and in some cases it leads to a psychotic breakdown.
Ignorance like this made an insufferable fool out of me and I wish I had better options to get on with people. The way of equality for me as a disabled person was that I am defeated and vulnerable and I shouldn’t be allowed to achieve any form of advancement. I was absolutely introverted and more interested with the inner workings of my mind, rather than what was going on around me. It was no good for my mental issues and I was deliberately being made to suffer.
What can you do to improve your abilities to express yourself. Well I think you need to let people be able to express yourself. Earlier this year I took part in a disability awareness campaign called ‘I am Able’ at Essex University where I and several other students showed off our best qualities with a hash tag and picture showing our best qualities. This was an exercise of self-expression that showed how vulnerability is irrelevant. All that is needed is the will to say ‘I am better than what you think I am. Go on and listen to me.’ Try teaching autistic people how to communicate before you silence them.