What I Want You to Know About My Life on the Autism Spectrum
My name is Alex, and I have autism.
They say my mind is extraordinary, that’s why I stand out. I never said a word until I was 12.
I’m learning how to live in a world where I don’t belong, and I say that because people like me aren’t usually accepted. When I finally did talk, everything else looked fine from the outside. So my biggest problem now is that people forget I’m on the spectrum, so they say and do things I either don’t understand or get stuck on because I can’t figure out what they mean.
I still can’t always look at people when they’re talking to me, but I’ve worked hard to get where I am with eye contact. I still have meltdowns, and I still shut people out, but it doesn’t happen as often as it once did.
I learn in black and white, that’s all I know. I don’t know body language, and I can’t read facial expressions. I also have sensory processing disorder. Most materials that aren’t cotton feel like knives or fire on my skin. I don’t like to pet things, and I don’t like fur.
On a good day, most of the time you wouldn’t be able to tell I am autistic, unless you knew what to look for.
I know what I want, I just don’t always know how to say it. I don’t always use my words. There are days where I don’t talk at all, and those are the days where I shut people out.
I graduated high school this year, but I barely made it out alive. I have no confidence or self-esteem. High school never taught me how to love myself or how to fit in.
I’m obsessed with cars. If I know you, I know what you drive. It only takes seeing someone get out of their car one time to know what they drive, and I will remember it… forever. I know most people’s license plate numbers without even trying to. I have to be careful not to look because otherwise I would know every plate on the road.
I want people to know that just because someone may look completely fine, doesn’t mean they are.
So be kind, always.