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Down South to Dixie!

Education & Autism

"Growing up with it but never out of it..."

The only problem was that, I was now 5 years old and things still hadn't gotten any better despite all the reassurances that I would soon "grow out of" my behaviours. Things hadn't been too unbearable up to yet, I managed - I had my "friends" around me so I could cope with the humans.

But now all of a sudden I was being flung into full-time education and I had 30 other kids to deal with! I was away from my friends at home and I did not make human friends easily, and even when I did, they did not last for long. I tried to join in with the usual "role-playing" games but I was awkward with it all. They were completely alien to me. My obvious social clumsiness and misunderstandings of things stuck out like a sore thumb and only gave the others more reasons to tease me!

It did not take the other children long to work out that I was different- and not in a good way. I would often get into arguments with them, but very rarely did I understand what it was I was supposed to have done. Many knew that I had imaginary friends and often talked to myself. Even at the age of 5, some of the names they called me were awful.

I am a firm believer in it being better to tell the truth from the beginning, because if you leave a blank piece of paper and pen, it leaves it open to lies, speculation and nastiness...

Those close to me often say that they thought it best not to tell anyone about my 'disabilities' in case it "stigmatised" me.

But people make their judgments based on what they see in front of them. You don't have to SAY a word!

The Asperger's Disadvantage

I had a good start and learnt to read, write and spell quickly. However, this is where people who have more able abilities such as Higher-Functioning Autism or Asperger's Syndrome often fall through the net when it comes to getting the help and support they need.

The only thing that really mattered to those close to me was that I was clever. As long as I was getting the top marks and bringing home the stickers and gold stars, it didn't seem to matter about anything else!

But how are you going to achieve these marks if you are not getting the right type of teaching for your needs?

If I had a good teacher, who could teach me things in a way appropriate to my needs then I would fly, but it was never your choice. You take what you are given!

And then of course there was the bullying and abuse to deal with....

I got by - just, but as the work got harder it became harder to keep up. So I got left behind...