What it's like to be autistic: in our own words
This World Autism Awareness Week, we’re raising more awareness about autism and what it’s like to be an autistic young person.
Autism affects the way a person communicates and how they experience the world around them. It is considered a spectrum condition. While autistic people share some similar characteristics, they are also all different from each other.
The Ambitious about Autism Youth Council Members have described what it’s like to be autistic in their own words.
What is it like being autistic?
“It means experiencing life in both an extremely positive and negative way. It is living in constant chaos that is both exciting and overwhelming. It is working with a head that is both so unique and illogical.”
“I may get stressed by sensory stimuli at times but I can also get a lot of joy from sensory experiences, like a good texture. It is wonderful to get so much enjoyment out of such simple things.”
“When you get an autism diagnosis, it’s nice because you don’t put as much pressure on yourself. Having autistic friends is nice because you have people who understand you, you can be open and honest.”
“Imagine being dropped into the jungle, into an indigenous tribe. You are expected to fit in without being able to speak their language or understand them. Eventually you will be able to fit in, but you will never be one of them.”
“It is the hardest thing to explain, ever.”
What is one thing you wish more people knew about autism?
“I’d like people to be aware that there is a giant spectrum. No two autistic people are the same. People should not stereotype.”
“We are people too, and we deserve to be treated equally and with respect.”
“Autistic girls are often diagnosed with other health conditions before they are recognised as autistic.”
“It is not the sole purpose of my existence to make everyone’s life more complicated.”
“I wish people knew that having autism is not a bad thing. It isn’t a bad label to have. Autism should not be a way to discriminate others. People should take the time to try and understand autism.”