Autism is an extensive developmental disorder that manifests itself during the first three years of a child’s life. The cause is biological and neurological differences of the brain caused by damages or underdevelopment of the central nervous system.
A child with autism has difficulty in receiving sensory stimuli, including visual and auditory stimuli, and their central coherence, that is, the total reception of signals directed to them as meaningful visual messages (gestures and facial expressions) and auditory (words).
In adult autistic life, illness often turns out to be an asset. They need support in understanding themselves, but in many areas they are far superior to healthy peers.
Anne is 38 years old, working professionally, and autism has been diagnosed with her several years ago. Fortunately, he lives in the Netherlands, where social care and access to appropriate therapy is much simpler than in other countries in Eastern Europe.
Everyone wants autism to stop being fearful and misunderstood. “I appreciate the fact that autism was talked about, but it annoys me that in a variety of information campaigns trying to evoke not only understanding, but also pity. These are the most negative behaviors. Why does the media focus on autism as suffering? Why do not they show adult autistic who have succeeded in overcoming their weaknesses? Are not they just the proof that one can live up with autism, and that it is worth to help even the most disturbed children, because thanks to that they have the chance to have a happy and valuable life? – asks Anne.
Diagnosis: autism. I’m different but I can work
Anne completed her musical education at University. She has high functioning autism with Asperger syndrome. When she heard the diagnosis, she was 34 years old.
“I always felt that I was” different “, but this difference I could not define. That’s why diagnosis was not the end of the world for me, but just a moment in my life. For the first time I have received the answer to the fundamental question that has been troubling me for years: “who am I?” I accepted her, just like my husband, with relief, because it opened up new opportunities, gave answers and hopes, “says Anne.
Today, Anne is able to define her “otherness”. “ Autism is another way of thinking and processing information. I see the world in detail, but I never receive instruction, which is important for others to create a full picture. Hence, I often see things invisible to neuro-typical people, but for that I miss something obvious for others” – says Anne.
How does it appear every day? “I miss the sense of time, I cannot function without a calendar and a watch, I do not have the attention, if I do not do something immediately, I can forget about it for weeks or even months. I hold certain schematic behaviors that allow me to “slow my thinking down” – mentions Anne with a breath.
Other difficulties are sensory disorders. “I do not feel the desire, I cannot force myself to drink pure water, which, contrary to popular opinion, has a specific taste and smell – there are situations where I do not drink anything for more than a day, without realizing it at all. One hour after waking up, I have strong auditory and visual hypersensitivity, any violent movements and sharp light, too loud speaking can lead me almost to frenzy, “she says.
She resigned from a satisfactory work career to be able to take care of her 9-year-old son, who also has autism. “I had a fantastic job, but when I do something, I want to do it well one hundred percent, and the division of responsibilities does not meet my personal quality requirements, so I quit,” says Anne.