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What I've Learned About Autism Since My Diagnosis

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I’ve come to see myself through thinking and knowledge. In the past, I believed I had a learning disability due to the fact I took some resource classes at school. Now, I have a diagnosis — a diagnosis I’ve had since I was about 10 years old. It’s a form of autism called pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

I look through articles and have learned many things about autism. There are different types of autism, which can vary from different points on the spectrum. Through it all, I don’t believe these diagnoses define you as a person, let alone as a person with a disability. Living with it, I feel it simply defines my “normal.”

When I was young, I had a difficult time with socialization. I was always the quiet one. I also developed a speech impairment, for which I was bullied in middle school. By the time I got to high school, I improved my speech. I now try my best to socialize more often. It does require time and knowledge to do so.

Ever since I found out about autism, I watched videos online, read articles and looked through books about autism. I generally search for adults with autism. There seems to be less information about adults living with autism than children living with autism, but I discovered so many stories about adults venturing out into the world after graduating high school. Some of them succeed in jobs with support. There are many programs that can assist them.

I look at these stories of adults living with autism as my aspiration. It makes me feel like I’m not alone and there are others who are just like me. I’ve learned to cook and clean without any help. I’m a very organized individual who doesn’t like things being messy. It’s just the way that I am.

I don’t look at my disability as something that holds me back. The way I see it, it doesn’t limit me.

Image via Thinkstock.

Follow this journey on My Joyous Feature.

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Originally published: December 15, 2016
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