Autism

What is Autism?

The DSM-5 Manual defines autism spectrum disorder as “persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction” and “restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests” present since early childhood, to the extent that these “limit and impair everyday functioning”.

Some common symptoms include:

Repeating sounds or phrases (echolalia), repetitive movements, preference for sameness and difficulty with transition or routine, rigid or highly restricted and intense interests, and extreme sensitivity to or significantly lower sensitivity to various sensory stimuli

What are some ways that this affects your day to day life?

Definitely sensitivity to sensory stimuli, need for routine, communication difficulties, and stimming! Some positives, some negatives. - AJ

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What area of life do you think this comes into play the most?

Definitely my internal world. I mask a lot, and so others can’t see my autism very well. - AJ

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What are some things you wish other people knew about this diagnosis?

There are just too many myths around it. That needs to change. - AJ

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What are some ways people can help someone else with this diagnosis? 

Listen to them and their needs. Also, be patient and don’t judge. - AJ

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What advice would you give to someone else who is just discovering this in their life or was just diagnosed themselves?

The validity of your autistic identity is not dependent on those around you. Spend time with your brain. Learn your needs. - AJ

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What are some things you wish workplaces or schools would do to better accommodate those with this diagnosis? 

For schools, providing accommodations like sensory breaks. Also, removing the ableism in “special education” and working towards inclusion. - AJ

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