Autism and self help: People on the autistic spectrum that are cognitively able, can help themselves and others by sharing their experiences.
It occurred to me recently, that practically everything I know about autism, has been learnt through a) my own research. b) self analysis and writing blog posts. c) listening to other peoples experiences of having autism.
I have also learnt a lot over the past 5 years, by observing many autistic people right across the spectrum in my work as a tutor to people with autism.
So what have I learnt about autism through my doctor (GP), psychologist and psychiatrist?
Well, nothing really!
Have I ever been offered access to any specialist services for adults with High functioning autism or Aspergers syndrome? No, nothing specific has ever been offered. At no point since my diagnosis five years ago, has any medical professional offered me any autism related advice, information or support.
This has been the only way forward for me, and actually my only choice. I have, if somewhat obsessively, spent days and nights looking into how I have been affected by autism, either on the internet or by reading books on the subject. I have diligently observed others with autism and compared my symptoms with theirs.
My other great source for self help, comes from the many hundreds of messages I receive from people around the world, that watch my videos and read my blog. They share their autism stories and experiences. We learn from each other, we discuss our lives, our problems and our symptoms. Sometimes, just being able to discuss things with other people that also have autism, can really help, and keeps us from feeling so alone and inadequate.
I’m lucky that I am cognitively able to do my own research and help myself understand how autism affects me. Unfortunately not everybody on the autistic spectrum is. I personally know a few people that fit into this category. Even though they can travel around by themselves and just about survive independently, they get absolutely no support and are not in the position to even begin a process of self help.
The relevant medical and social services need to start providing help and information for autistic people.
The unfortunate reality is, that most of us on the autistic spectrum, are alone in our attempts to make sense of the world and self help is our only hope.
Thanks for reading-Steve