The lack of acceptance and understanding within our society is a huge contributor to social isolation among autistic individuals. I experience this every single day. So, I have decided to turn my closed off inner self towards something I enjoy: WRITING.
Lets get to it…
Growing up, I always felt different. But for some reason, I kept telling myself “you are just like everyone else. Nothing is going on inside your body.” Yes. I knew I was autistic. Meanwhile, I was in complete denial that I had any sort of intellectual problems. The thought of going through my whole life living with this internal struggle scared the hell out of me. I so desperately wanted to be seen as a normal kid that I did all I could to get the word AUTISM out of my vocabulary.
My efforts were in vain though. Getting though school work in a timely manner was daunting, even though I made great scores. My IEP (Individualized Education Program) did not meet all of my educational needs because the extended time I was given on exams was not enough time. Being surrounded by a bunch of kids made me feel like an alien because I knew carrying on a conversation was not my forte.
Okay, so you may be wondering: Where does isolation come into play?
Check this out: After long days at school, I would barricade myself in my bedroom for hours. I would only come out for meals and bathroom breaks. My bedroom was my safe haven. Being in my room was an escape from a world that lacks understanding on autism. Over the course of a decade, I became isolated. Honestly, I didn’t mind it because I didn’t have to worry about the frustrated looks I get from people if I ask them to clarify what they said, as well as being surrounded by kids and not knowing how to carry on a conversation.
I do not live in isolation anymore due to my love of going to the fitness center, as well as employment and writing. However, there are still neurodivergent people (or autistic people) who are experiencing isolation and are fearful of exposing themselves to a world that has a neurotypical (non autistic) state of mind.
The good news is that the more autism is understood by society, the more likely neurodiverse people will break out of isolation. Also, recent research had progressed the understanding of ASD. The bad news is there is still so much more to learn. There are people in society that have no idea what autism is or never heard of it.
We still have a long way to go….