The following is a long list of what it is like FOR ME to live with autism
1. Having constant anxiety.
2. Constantly stimming to relieve anxiety, usually by rocking.
3. Hypersensitive hearing that makes living with most "everyday sounds" impossible.
4. As a result of #3, limited exposure to the outside world to keep me and others safe.
6. Not being able to participate in what little programs there are available due to #3 and #4.
7. Knowing exactly what I want to say through writing often coupled with imagery with little need to revise.
8. Taking anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication to help me remain in my own skin.
9. Intrusive and unwanted thoughts. I have OCD.
10. Being a highly visual thinker who has to deal with #9 a lot.
11. Being poor at directions. I use landmarks to picture where I am going.
12. Not being able to drive. This also means I don't have a car payment or car insurance to worry about.
13. Needing a safe person with me when I go out to moderate and keep myself and others safe.
14. Autistic regression at age 16. Meltdowns more frequent and violent and problem sounds like child noises going from uncomfortable to unbearable.
15. Owning several pairs of headphones, earbuds, earplugs.
16. Asking for a sound machine as a birthday present.
17. I am happiest in my house or out in nature.
18. I need my own room to decompress, cry, stim, talk to myself, pray to God and create.
19. Having "resting bitch face", just like some neurotypicals.
20. Primarily using my phone to text, not talk.
21. Seeing a composition before I take the photo.
22. Seeing a bead pattern before I select the beads to make stretch jewelry.
23. Hearing people's conversation in another room in a lowered voice to avoid being heard by others.
24. Only learning about human expression and reasoning by seeing patterns in movies.
25. Prioritizing voice over facial expression.
26. Hypersensitive to tone of voice and usually dead on with knowing emotion that other person is experiencing due to their voice.
27. No restaurants, concerts or movie theaters or any other venue that draws lots of crowds and amplified sound.
28. I know myself well. Psychiatrists and therapists have confirmed this.
29. I see patterns in the carpet and create a story in my mind based on what I see.
30. Assigning gender and personality traits to inanimate objects.
31. I DO NOT have a sleep or GI disorder.
32. I didn't have early intervention or have an IEP. I am 37.
33. I have outlived both of my parents.
34. I have empathy.
35. I have a good long term memory, but my short term memory has ailed me since I got into my 30's.
36. Exercise is very important.
37. Being perpetually misunderstood and judged instead of being listened to and believed.
38. Needing living accommodations (for the future) that take into account my need for a low sensory environment and having little to no income.
39. The need for work from home for a person who isn't Silicon Valley smart.
40. Loathing eye contact. WTMI!
41. Having a sense of humor.
42. Understanding metaphor.
43. July 4th and New Year's Eve are so traumatic for me that I use sleeping medication in order to cope.
44. Having a special, obsessive interest that isn't a hobby.
45. Surviving physical and psychological abuse.
46. Hating reading books or anything longer than 500 words.
47. Chronic migraines that can be triggered by reading. (I am a visual and hands on learner).
48. Driven to help educate others about autism-particularly the way I experience it since I don't find much out there that represents enough of my experience.
49. My weaknesses help me to rely on God more, not less.
50. Knowing disability won't exist in Eternity.
If this list has helped you learn more about autism, please feel free to share with someone who does not. Thank you.