Being Autistic, how it affects my daily life!
Life isn’t always that which we perceive it to be! Hello, my name is Kim and I am autistic….
Photo credit: Tom Duffin @weePhotosEdin
Or should it be, hello my name is Kim and I’ve recently been diagnosed with high functioning autism.
Either way, having lived for over 39 years with being on the autistic spectrum, with traits of adhd and dyslexia, but only very recently formally diagnosed with having high functioning autism, I’m not sure where to start!
If you don’t know much about autism or people on the spectrum, I’d highly recommend you watch this short video from the National Autistic Society for a bit of an insight
I guess we all, well most people, have moments of doubt about what they should do or say in certain situations, the anxious feeling about walking into a room full of people they have never met or indeed having to stand in front of a crowd of people to do a talk in public.
Now consider another scenario where you have to do small talk with someone you know well, I am sure a lot less of you would find that situation awkward or difficult? Well I do and I don’t know why, this and other things have for as long as I can remember made me shy away from letting people getting to know me too well.
I have for a while, meaning a few years, felt like something was maybe not like it should be (I am of course not meaning to offend anyone else by writing that!). I have often felt uncomfortable about certain situations or like an outsider because of my interests or indeed lack of other people’s interests!
I have since a young age felt like I was a little ‘different’, and if you’d ask my fellow students and teachers who knew me growing up, I am sure they would not have expected too much of my future in work and life, although having not asked I can’t say for sure!
My first memory of there maybe being something not quite right, was at around 10 years of age. I remember sitting on a couch and a psychiatrist asking me about every day stuff and how I generally felt. From this I don’t believe there was very much feedback or further outcome, just the fact that I may have had a little more ‘energy’ than other kids of a similar age.
After this I did start to get additional classes in school for a couple of years. Looking back, this was life changing for me on how I learned to behave around other people and how I generally was taught to focus a little more. Till this day I could not thank the individual enough who had the patience to put up with me for those couple of years. At the time I didn’t see anything too awkward about going there now and again, while the other kids attended regular class. I however feel it’s not something I would like to see my kids having to experience, should they need extra support. I however do appreciate the education system has come a long way in the last 30 years things are done differently these days.
According to my mother I never liked to attend parties (or being around too many people) and always liked things to be in a certain order. For years I remember sitting up late in my room drawing, not artistic drawings, but of houses, furniture or even whole villages, anything with a certain order and structure.
I have always found it really hard to understand cues, sarcasm and hate April fools day! Till this day jokes and sarcasm are weak points for me and something that keeps on letting me down, so I prefer to stay away from them where possible (a hint to anyone I know who reads this!).
So what’s next, well I am not entirely sure and it has been an interesting and at times very challenging journey getting to where I am today. Certainly since having kids, our eldest at almost four and youngest one year old, I have definitely noticed I struggle a lot more with the lack of routine and getting time for my ‘own’ space or doing things like hikes, photography or writing to relax and take my mind off things. I have been thinking about opening up about this for a while now and will try to write a little more about my experiences now and again, hopefully it will help others know that it’s okay to talk and open up…
In that case, watch this space and if you want to follow my daily chat and photos, you can always follow along on Twitter Kim Kjaerside and I look forward to hearing from you.