In this story: Support group / Autism /

"I think people get really surprised about the wider autistic community and autistic culture."

“I got diagnosed myself a couple years after my son was diagnosed. So I didn’t find out that I was autistic until I was 39, shortly after my 39th birthday. I had a thunderbolt moment where I just hit me that I am autistic.

I think people get really surprised about the wider autistic community and autistic culture. I remember the first time I went to a meet up of other autistic people, and there was just a connection that I’d never felt anywhere else. I mean, I obviously have a beautiful connection with my husband and he’s not autistic, but I’d never felt such a connection with new people that I’ve never met before, and I never felt so easy in a new person’s company.

I remember leaving that meet up just feeling elated, because normally I would go to a social event and then feel quite drained. But I left that one bouncing- I was skipping all week from it. They’re just like me. I thought that I was this loner weirdo for a long time. There was this community that suddenly opened up to me and it was a really transformative experience.

I know a lot of the autistic adults that we support really don’t know who they are because they’ve been masking who they are for such a long time. They’ve been masking their needs, they’ve been masking their sensory experiences, they’ve been masking their natural communication styles and all of a sudden these things start to spill out. And it’s the same as what I had.

It’s taken a long time for me to get to a space where I’ve been really happy and fulfilled in that sense. And it’s meant having to do an awful lot of, you know, soul searching and working at who I am, finding out how best to support myself. Once I’ve been able to do these things God, what difference that makes! I think it’s about recognising that there doesn’t have to be barriers to success, and I think that being autistic can be a reason why we succeed.”

Find out more about autism via the Autism Understanding Scotland webpage (this link will take you away from our website).

Read more Humans of Scotland stories. 

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