Saturday, November 2, 2019

How Embracing Neurodiversity Helped Me to Find Myself

Cassandra Crosman posts How Embracing Neurodiversity Helped Me to Find Myself on In the Loop About Neurodiversity

I am now so proud to say that I accept myself for who I am. But I have not always been able to say that.

Growing up as an autistic child at school was difficult, but not always necessarily because of my autism, but mostly because of how others reacted to my autistic behaviors. When I recognized that I was different from other neurotypical children, I wanted to change myself to make friends and fit in. I saw other children interacting with each other and forming groups at lunch and recess, avoiding me when I tried to talk to them. I smiled at other children who I thought were laughing with me, but were in fact laughing at me. I noticed other children, and teachers as well, giving me strange looks when I covered my ears when the school bell would ring, or when other kids were shouting and laughing too loud. I learned to suppress my stimming and slip my fidgeting hands in my pockets. I was taught to look my teachers straight in the eyes, even if it made me feel uncomfortable to do so. I tried not to talk to others so extensively about my special interests, and I pretended to like the things that other children would like.

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