Sunday, October 29, 2017

My Diagnosis, How I Found Out & How it Affects Me

Hi guys!  So here is the first real post of this blog. Yay! :D

(Sorry this is so late.  My state, California, was having a wildfire problem.  My town was fine, but it took away a lot of time.)

Anyway, so this post is going to go over my diagnosis, how I learned about and how it affects me.  I will be using certain medical terms to name certain conditions, but I will define them so they are easier to understand.  No worries. :)

The exact name of my diagnosis is, PDD/NOS, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified.  It falls on the Autism spectrum.  The last part of it probably means that my specific Autism doesn't fall under other categories of Autism.  It is a form of high-functioning Autism.  (I'm not sure why people call it a diagnosis when it's more of a neurological profile than a "disorder.") I do have a separate anxiety disorder.

Here is how it effects me.  I'm starting off with the strengths.  (*Gasp!*  There are good points to Autism?  You bet!)

    Good at visual tasks, I'm a visual learner.
    I have great reading comprehension and a strong vocabulary.
    Some people associate delayed speech with Autism.  That is not always true.  Some types do not have delayed speech.  My mom said I actually spoke early.  If I'm around people I know well, I'm pretty chatty.
    Good attention to detail.
    Good logical thinking skills.

See?  It's not all gloom and down. :)  That being said, Autism does present me with some challenges as well.

     Hard time with change
    Difficulty understanding body language(for a long time, I could only pick up obvious non-verbal cues.  I had to be taught the more subtle ones.
    Anxiety (This is a big one.  I have a hard time with anxiety.  My anxiety disorder is the main cause, but my Autism symptoms aggravate it sometimes.)
    Organization (I am not very organized)
    Sensory processing issues and motor skills impairment. (This is how my brain processes information my senses gather.  And I struggle with certain motor skills like handwriting.)
    Social skills(I had to be taught some of them, I didn't just pick up on them like other people.)

 These lists are just the tip of the iceberg(Autism is complicated), but I thought they would be a good place to start.  Now, let's take a look at what happened when I was told I had Autism.

Since I was a very visual learner, my mom decided to give me a visual example to help me understand.  I was around eight at the time and did not understand what the word "Autism" meant.  She out three of my favorite to trains and some track.  She lined up three rows of track, all starting and ending at the same place.  Then she sat each engine at the beginning of each piece of track.  She placed one engine facing backward on the first track.  Then she put a freight car in front of the next engine on the second track.  Finally, she placed the third engine facing forward in a typical way on the last piece of track.  Then she had me push each engine to the end of its track.  She explained to me that just because an engine runs down the track differently from the other engines, that doesn’t mean its wheels don’t work.  All three engines made it down the track in their way.  She told me that just because the wheels in my brain might turn a little different than someone else’s wheels do, that does not mean my wheels won’t work.  They work just fine.  I wish more people had this point of view. :)

Thanks, Mama.  It took me awhile, but I've finally gotten to a place where I can accept my Autism and not resent it.  Sure, the struggles annoy me sometimes, but it's not enough to make me wish I did not have it.  Autism is one part of who I am, just another way of being me.  I would never want my Autism to be cured or go away.

How did you find out you were Autistic or that your loved one was?  How would you explain Autism to someone?  Thank you for reading and see you next time!

Chloe <3

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Hello everyone!

I'm Chloe. :) Welcome to Autism in Pink!  

I'm so happy to be here and to finally get this off the ground.  This is my first time blogging, so I hope I've set this up right. 

I decided to kick this blog off on Mother's Day to honor my mom, who has always been my best advocate.  Love you Mama! <3

Anyway, I decided to use this blog to share my experiences as a girl living on the Autism spectrum, in the hope that I could help other people on the spectrum to feel better about themselves and deal with the challenges of having Autism while also recognizing their strengths.  I also hoped that this would help other people understand Autism, a little better.  

I'm planning on updating this blog once a month.  I have a lot of homework in college, so it'll have to be once a month for now.  So please subscribe by email to keep up with the posts. :)

Be sure to check out the Introduction, Suggested Reading and Rules pages!  And have fun!