|Picture: Lundholm organ-Pixabay|
At six months of fetal development, my mom noticed that I would violently kick in the womb when she played certain songs on the organ. My dad watched me leaping around in her stomach.
It was a disturbing and confusing moment for both of them. They hadn't seen anything like this before.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder whose traits show up often before 2 years of age.
I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome for the first time in 1998. I was diagnosed with AS, mainly because I spoke early and scored 110 on my IQ test.
It is interesting to note that I didn't walk unassisted until 18 months old, was only interested in the shadows the low, incandescent chandiler lights made on the living room ceiling at 3 weeks of age instead of my parents or screamed, sometimes for up to a half an hour after the wind blew a door shut on the opposite end of the house.
I had intrusive, upsetting thoughts of harming myself or others going back to as early as five years of age. I recently learned this is part of OCD. I was not raised in an abusive home environment. I wasn't abused until I turned 11 and entered junior high.
I clenched my fists and tightened my muscles, rocked and cried each time my fingernails were cut.
My parents didn't have a support group back in the 1980's. They had each other. They were my earliest advocates, my only ones, really.
Though I am verbal and my IQ is average, I still have high support needs. I need someone to drive me, pick up my medications, grocery shop, speak for me on the phone and keep me (physically, if necessary) from having a meltdown, which happens when trigger sounds overwhelm my brain's capacity to function.
I have PMDD, which is extreme PMS. I am currently going through the symptoms of paranoia and hypersensitive emotions. I am even worse at communicating and handling stressful situations.
I live with my sister in the Midwestern US. Now that forty is on my horizon, I pray, cry and wonder about what my fate will be should I outlive my sister, who is twelve years older than I.
Autism is a neurological disorder. There is no way around this. I think autistic people are so afraid of using the "d" word because of how allistic (non-autistic) people treat them.
I see their behavior as a reflection on them, not the autistic individual.
As a recipient of some allistic people's wrath, I am trying to be one of hopefully many voices of the spectrum who are able to compassionately educate both allistic and autistic (it is a broad spectrum after all) alike.