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10 Things I Want To Tell My Young Undiagnosed Autistic Self

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Written by   32
3 months ago

If only I knew how to handle my differences back then

The world is not a friendly place. (Photo: Unsplash)

Young, confused about social norms, even naïve — this holds true for many autistic people. You know that you are somehow different. There is some part of you that feels confused when interacting with others. They sense it, too. Some will laugh and mock you about it. It hurts a lot, especially when you are a child. There are some lessons that you learn the hard way as you proceed into adulthood, though we often learn them after years of struggle and lots of undeserved blame towards ourselves.

1. You are not faulty.

You are not weird or broken. You are autistic, and that is okay!

There is nothing wrong with you. Like anybody else, you have strong and weak sides. You can achieve your dreams, just in your own unique way.

2. Do not feel obliged to be like everybody else just to fit in

Sadly, a large number of people will kick you out anyway. Do not become a doormat. Know your worth, state it and believe in it.

Being different causes rejection, and that leads to depression. (Photo: Pixabay)

3. Do not try to please the world

Do not try to hide or change who you are — people will appreciate and respect you more if they see the real you. Masking is a survival mechanism that we learn as children, but a large number of adults report feeling better about themselves after admitting that they are autistic.

4. Do not blame yourself when others ignore you

Many will not understand you. The sad fact is that only a few people will accept you, and that’s fine; stick to them. Do not accept everything others do to you just because you do not know the rules of the game — if it hurts, it is not allowed.

5. Do not force yourself to act normal

You should not pretend to be like the others and be “normal”, or they will think you’re fake. You are unique, you have your strengths; embrace them.

Many neurodivergent people feel that they are faulty. (Photo: Pixabay)

6. Do not be afraid to do what you like

Somebody will call you weird anyway, but this also happens among neurotypical individuals. Be yourself. Stand out from the crowd.

7. Do not focus on your weaknesses

Everybody has weak sides. You will not fix them by punishing yourself. Mistakes are part of the learning process. Nobody is perfect. People will try to tell you there is something wrong with you. Autism itself is not a curse. Many people need to learn to be tolerant and understanding.

8. Do not compare your needs to those of others

Respect that you may have some special needs. You may need more time to rest, more time to spend on your own with your own thoughts. Maybe you need to avoid loud places and bright lights because it bothers you physically. Take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Yes, we may need support and no, not everybody is willing to provide it to us. This does not make us useless. It is part of our rights as human beings.

Rejection causes the child to retreat and isolate. (Photo: Pixabay)

9. Do not push yourself too hard, you are more prone to burnout

You do not need to prove yourself to anyone. You do not need to outperform your peers in order to be good enough. Challenge yourself and grow but in a healthy manner.

10. You are not alone

The majority of people are neurotypical, and they define the rules of the world. However, there are many of us, neurodivergent people, hiding under a mask of “being normal”. Look for peer support. You can find communities online if you do not know anybody like yourself personally.

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