People With Autism Share What It's Really Like Day To Day
Living with autism presents daily challenges, both large and small. Individuals with Aspergers shared some of their experiences on Reddit, such as the struggle to make friends or how easy it is to overthink simple questions. What's remarkable is how relatable these stories are for those who don't have autism - life is hard, man.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
This is scarily relatable.Giphy
I was diagnosed with aspergers at the age of 11.
I feel like I'm part of a play where everyone has the script except me.
Also very relatable.Giphy
You know that time you said something stupid and everyone looked at you like you grew a second head? Imagine feeling like that everytime you talk to someone.
I am a high functioning person with autism
Social interaction requires planning.Giphy
Social interactions that come to others naturally, require a lot of thought and planning in my situation. For lack of a better analogy, I have mental checklists for every social event under the sun.
Routine routine routine.Giphy
I don't cope well with changes from a routine, for example I will eat the same meals each day and foods but going off of it is really quite stressful.
Spoiler alert: it's not much easier.Giphy
As an autistic person, what's being not autistic like?
Sensory overload is common - and so is deep empathy.Giphy
While I live a pretty normal life I have a lot of issues with sensory sensitivity. Like loud noises, bright lights, certain food tastes, smells and standing in crowds of people. These things make me feel a bit stressed out resulting in various issues like headaches and digestive problems.
While we're on the subject. Certain non-autistic people have the misconception that those of us on the spectrum would "lack empathy". That is simply not true. We often have a hard time to "read" people, but we certainly do not lack human empathy. That needed to be said.
Though for some, empathy or lack thereof can be extreme.Giphy
I am an autistic person with hyper-empathy, and my husband (also in the spectrum) has very low levels of empathy. He certainly still cares a great deal about others, but he finds it difficult-bordering-on-impossible to understand people's feelings or connect with them. He still has plenty of sympathy, though.
I, on the other hand, am kind of like an emotional chameleon. I can't help mirroring the emotions of those around me, and it's very tough. I want to be helpful and supportive when I see someone having a hard time, but when I start to adopt their negative feelings, it becomes very difficult to help because now I've got all this stress of my own to deal with.
It's really, really lonely. To be desperate to go out and be with people but at the same time have no idea how to interact with them. Left out of every conversation. Completely ignored.
The benefits are basically being able to concentrate on anything and really excel at it. Also not falling apart in an emergency, because the emotions of the situation don't really come into play.
Feeling like you never know what you're supposed to do.Giphy
Imagine you just started a new job, but you didn't get any on the job training, the company has a very different work ethic to what you're used to, the environment is different, the people are unapproachable, everyone seems to know what they're doing but you, nobody seems to accept that you don't know what you're doing, they just get irritated with you, it's assumed that you can just ask people for help if you're struggling but everyone is scary to approach and makes you feel inadequate. That's what it's like for me anyway.
Chronic 'overthinking,' especially in school.Giphy
It's hard, not only socially but also in school. I can't understand what the questions are asking me because I always interpret it in another way. Expecially the questions like "Why did the author write this, how does the author feel?.. etc." I would always question if I was reading this answer correctly, and my teachers would get frustrated with me due to the excessive amount of questions I asked.
Socially I've managed to cope with my autism, I was quiet in middle school and a little bit of high school. I figured out I'm best at making myself look ridiculous in front of people. I now just laugh at myself and I seem to fit in, however most of the time I don't really catch on to my friend's jokes or opinions.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.