To raising Autism awareness and Acceptance, and battling negative stereotypes about Autism.
To advocate for the inclusion of Autistic people in the community.
To offer a forum to broadcast our stories and thoughts, and to help the messages of Autistic people and non-Austistic allies reach as many people as possible.
My life, my goals, my path changed when I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome six years ago. My eyes opened for the first time to a world that I had lived in all of my life, a world that I had never seen. Like anyone who has seen for the first time, I found myself overwhelmed by the revelation.
I have never been one to run from new experiences, no matter how confronting I found them to be. So I asked a lot of questions, read a lot of material, and compared every bit of information against my own perception of myself.
A lot of the information resounded strongly within me, allowing me to finally understand some of my unique mannerisms. Some information, however, confused me. It did not fit with my model of the world.
Some of the literature talked about autism as a negative condition; something that had to be cured and eradicated. I have never felt that I had to be cured of anything. My eccentricity, my quirks, were key to the success that I had built around myself. I am happily married, employed and very highly respected in my personal and professional life.
So I began to analyse and break down my strategies and compare them to the models being presented by proponents of information about all things autistic. Yes, I have flaws, but I do not fault them - they are part of what makes me successful. Even the best of the best have flaws of some kind.
One of my strengths is that I can recognise patterns in human behaviour. I have difficulty reading the responses of others when they are occurring, so I created a strategy, at a very young age, of predicting the behavioural responses to an event before the event happened, thus being prepared for the response. I discovered that I had applied that same strategy to understanding autism.
I now follow a path of autism advocacy and recruitment in employment in Australia and I continue to build my skills, my knowledge and my awareness so that I can assist others on the spectrum to discover their strategies and to become giants in this world in which we live.
I awakened to autism and found myself a resident of two worlds; neurotypical and autistic. I found that I could communicate effectively to either ‘side’. Will you stand with me on the bridge to unite the so-called divide? It is time to embrace our autism and to explore together the worlds that we can create because of it.