Posted in Autsim

Succeeding with Autism..

Hola (take seventeen) Amigos!

Sorry for the late in updated posts again! Had a lot on my mind and a lot of revision/exams to sort out.

Today I’ve got all my english coursework up to scratch after staying behind every night at school for a few hours this week. Hopefully now it’s up to A* standards and I can start to relax for a wee while until 3 weeks time and my exams start. Aswell as that, as if that’s not stressful enough, I’ve completed my speaking and listening exam for my english and I based it on allergies..so I have been told it went superb but my grades I won’t get back for a while. This is now 60% of my English GCSE done and dusted and my relief is insane! My tiredness this week has been unbelievable..definitely feeling the strain of working extra hard but how drained I feel is indescribable, Friday tomorrow though! and to start the weekend off with a party and chilling with my boyfriend seems pretty rewarding after a week of non stop education.

Anyway!! The other day me and mum found ourselves watching one of the actors from “The A word” being interviewed. Here, I’m going to be so hypocritical after I did a post just on the amazement of getting a programme based on Autism into the big wide world. Which don’t get me wrong, still makes me proud to be Autistic and happy to be spreading the word through such a widely watched channel. Although, the more episodes I’ve watched the more it becomes clear this programme hasn’t gone through as much research as perhaps it needed. Maybe it’s just my family but how we act is nothing like what is portrayed on this show, it now represents a real problem to those who are unaware of autism, because that, ladies and gentlemen, is not what it’s like.

To see the actor being interviewed and act completely hazy on the topic of Autism after doing a show which is specifically on it was really disappointing and alarming. He even went as far to say as ‘you can grow out of it’. This really did cause major alarms when his job is to go out and research the reality of those with autism and those affected by autism. No one would dare do a programme or film on cancer (or any other critical illness) before working their butts off to know what it’s like struggling with that illness inside out, like the back of their hand. But again, it’s mental isn’t it? So does it really matter, after all, it can’t be that hard to reenact, right?

The more I watch into the series of “The A word” the more I struggle to sympathise with the plot. If anything it represents us all as one and that is completely wrong. I get every single diagnosis of Autism is different and therefore I wouldn’t understand but I’d have a fair idea and that is not what’s established over this course of a series.

The only thing they seem to get spot on is the way older generations see Autism..I get back in them days it wasn’t a diagnosis or really a thing, instead those who faced Autistic traits were classed as ‘weird’ and ‘different’ sometimes as far as ‘dangerous’ but now you have to grow up with the times. It’s not like it was then, and some have to accept it. So, to those who act as the older generations in ‘The A Word’ unfortunately you get it spot on, which is truly, truly wrong.

Some older generations that know me but not about my diagnosis have shown this over many years. The other day one went as far as to call someone with down syndrome a ‘mongole’ when forgetting the correct title – this absolutely amazed me and I had to leave before I confronted them, but now I feel perhaps I should’ve stayed and said something..maybe we can’t expect them to grow up with the times if no ones telling them. Another time when talking about a special needs supervisor they compared the children she works with – yes special needed, yet superbly academic and fully able to pass their GCSE’s with flying colours – the ‘backwards lot’ in this day and age when we are shown the real effects of those with mental health problems or those with Autism it should never be discussed as a negative diagnosis, it’s the exact opposite.

Many don’t know the amount of celebrities which had Autism, mostly Asperges, but there was a fair range. Every single person who reads this will have heard of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, yet I suspect fairly few knew he struggled with Asperges. This shouldn’t be kept in the dark, for someone so inspirational, talented and respected it goes to show the capability that children with a diagnosis really and truly has. Why is discrimination around?

Another famous figure with Asperges? I suspect every single one of you will know him. A true filmstar, legend, and one that succeeded after a rough childhood – being told he couldn’t perform in his college play. Yep, Tom Hanks has been put onto the Autistic spectrum. I can’t think of a ‘normal’ person that has had snakes in their boots, gone to the moon and back, held hostage by pirates AND cast a way on a desert Island. Can you?

Thankyou!

Abigail J

x x x

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Posted in Autsim

April..Autism Awareness month..

Hola (take sixteen) Amigos!

Again, I apologise for the delay on a new blog – I’ve tried to have a relaxing (but full of revising) easter half term before all the craziness of my real exams start. Tomorrow I go into the last term I ever will at my school, seems insane after all these years I’ve wanted to get out of school and now there’s almost a comfort about being safe and secure there amongst people I know. But heyho, this term will be the hardest yet and a lot of anxiety will form. However, I hope it gives me the results I’ve worked tremendously hard for.

The most important thing right now is that we’ve hit April and it’s shocking how little people know that this month is Autism awareness month and I really hope to get people thinking, and hopefully in a  few years time it will feel like a bigger deal to them who may not have heard of it yet.

Whether you struggle with Autism or not, respect is due. To those children who keep up the fight inside their head to attend school everyday or to those who even get out of bed and shower, my upmost respect goes to you.

I do struggle with PDA – a type of Autism. But whether or not I did, I would keep this month in my mind. Knowing how everyone struggles with different types of Autism, and trust me there is many, depends on how those act around different people. For me? I very much don’t tell anyone and just try and act like the ‘normal’ kid I’ve always longed to be. Some, however, have the confidence ( of which I also long for) and they make it known that they have whatever Autism they have and people carry on with them as usual with nothing affecting that relationship now they’ve been told that ‘little’ fact.

The thing is, to some, who don’t struggle with Autism, either on their own or in their family; they don’t realise it’s not a little thing. It almost seems embarrassing after making such a big deal about finally telling someone about it and them not taking the most monstrous reply you ever dreamt (and trust me, I know you’d have dreamt of the replies) of. Instead saying okay, offering you a hand, and pulling you back up to them, back up to reality, because to them, who knows the real/masked version of you, nothing at all has changed has it? They don’t suddenly have to live the life you do, they don’t suddenly have to fight the battles you do, they don’t suddenly have to worry about masking themselves up every time they step out of their house.

And although all these people act as if nothing happened, that stigma still exists. That stigma still stirs. And that stigma is responsible for the thousands of suicides per year.

So, whether it’s for yourself, for someone in your family, or simply for the reason you read this today, please take a passing moment in the next four weeks to stop and think about how these children and adults carry on everyday even though they’re battling the hardest battle they possibly can..the one with their very own brains.

The awareness for those with Autism should be all year long, but for now, a month will just have to do, when for me, my family and those in the same situation as me this goes on for the rest of my life.

Thankyou – as always feel free to email as I should reply to those a lot quicker than when I blog – absbh101@gmail.com

Abigail J

x x x

Posted in Autsim

The ‘a’ word..

Hola (take fifteen) Amigos!

Long time, no speak, I know! I’m very sorry and have been spending a lot of time revising, having chill time or doing mocks and that keeps me fairly busy so sorry I haven’t wrote for a while. I got my mock results back though and I am very pleased to say I passed them all with flying colours and although I think I could’ve done better, overall I’m proud of myself…nearly.

As I type I’m watching the first episode of a series called ‘The ‘a’ word’, some readers are probably likely to have been watching it when they’re involved with someone in their family or themselves having autism. It’s a very good drama based on it and if you haven’t watched it I would definitely recommend it. Straight away what stood out to me was the fact that they’ve made a drama series out of it, it’s fiction and although based on true stories that parents and their children go through on a day to day basis, it’s one series on its own, one that stands out and one that’s getting the stigma to ease off.

It shows the parents going through a massive worry of confusion when their child is first diagnosed with autism, they’re clearly worried and possibly think it’s going to change the way their child is. Of course it’s going to make the young boy different, but I think that the changes are always positive to those with Autism.

Anyway, I’m not here to say the plot of the story but it means something to me when I see a TV programme based on something that millions of us go through on a day to day basis. You see crime dramas on every night once it comes to 9pm and to see one based on Autism is one massive step forward for us all, as carers, as suffers and as parents. It really is a big leap to getting the stigma to come to an end, after many will sit down and watch this normal (as such) looking series on tonight at 9pm and then watch the rest of the 6 episodes. This suggests how it’s becoming more popular and many will learn that maybe the ‘a’ word isn’t as scary as it seems – it’s no threat, no disease and definitely not something to be ashamed of.

The whole way through this programme we are shown how the child struggles with demands (maybe PDA? Possibly signs of Asperges too) and tends to do something different to what his parents tell him to do, of course, as any ‘normal’ parents would they get angry and as a result he gets panicky and starts arguing with them. This then creates embarrassment for the parents and they just want to take him home. Sound familiar at all? Because it does to me.

Throughout many ask ‘What’s the cure?’ and it brings me, perhaps, to the main point in this blog. There’s no cure, as we all know..if you’re born with Autism, you’re going to die with Autism and it’s all down to that adventure in between. Of course I know there isn’t a cure but I certainly believe there are certain aspects of it to be helped. This includes options such as pushing your child to go to school, bringing them up fully aware of their diagnosis..not trying to hide it and not getting angry with them when can be helped.

Recently I have seen many teenagers ‘competing’ on who’s worse of, whether this be on forums, Facebook chats or support groups it’s something you see very often with autism groups. If ones gone to tenerife the others gone to elevenerife – as they say! Many ‘competitions’ do involve school and how some went and hated it so much they stopped, but others try their best to carry on. I get it’s hard for different people and of course it is different levels of hard, but why are some making it into a competition? If one is still in school and simply says their struggling why do people need to come back saying ‘atleast you can still attend’ as if this other teenager isn’t struggling just as much, maybe they fought it harder when they were younger and now find it easier, whereas others didn’t. I know it’s something that is natural to any adolescence on any subject but in these topics when everyone wants to help each other why is a competition necessary. Everyone has a hard time in the teenage years of their life – those with autism, even more so. Why aren’t we coming together to make the stigma stop? why aren’t we all supporting each other to try and help? Not making each other feel bad because we find something harder than they do. It’s not a disease, it’s not about who had the worst cold and how long you each had it for, maybe it’s about who’s trying to be strong in themselves and you’re making them feel like they’re not worthy of help. The truth is, someone in this world is worse off than all of you, but why not help who you can while you can?

I just don’t get why those who could easily form a bond and help each other massively are instead arguing over who has or had it worse? Because, you know what, if we’re all sat in the same autistic boat, the end result is..

we all have it as bad as each other..

just in different areas.

Autism is not a competition, it’s a way of life for 2.8 million people in Britain alone.

Please feel free to email me as always – absbh101@gmail.com.

Thankyou.

Abigail J

x x x