Category Archives: self-acceptance

Accepting Autism

In some ways I’m getting used to autism but I can’t get too used to it or I won’t get better. I have to strike a balance between the need to accept myself the way I am and the need to not accept myself the way I am, so I can keep fighting to improve. Not easy to find that middle spot.

Forgiving My Neurons

How do I forgive my body? Stupidly it refuses my wishes time after time. My mind says, “Stop!” It has to go, hurtling into its own internal, impulsive deeds. What can I say? Autism is a really big challenge at times. It sometimes gets easier and I hope that is the trend, and then, out of nowhere, some new order is established. I must do what it says. My will is taken over by a body with its own mind.
I learned from hard experience that I have to fight it with all my might. I decided long ago that I would not be a slave to impulses that ruin my future, my present, and my happiness. However, I am not always sure or able to defeat the impulses. This makes me get really sad and start to hate my body, my neurons, and my trapped self. It is harder to fight impulses in a depression.
Now that I have moaned and whined, I must decide what to do. Can I give in or quit trying? Never. I must keep thinking that I will have the guts to keep on, even if it feels overwhelming. It is pointless to hate my body and neurons because I let them trap me in self rage. 
My body is not at fault. It is trapped too. My neurons aren’t at fault. They don’t hurt me on purpose. This is a crime with no criminals. I think I must let go of my frustration and anger. Wishing I wasn’t autistic may truly be the recipe for misery. My mind is free, my body strong, and my soul can fly.  If I let it go I can find peace inside. I must love my body as is. It is part of me, though I may not always feel that way, I will get no other. I may as well love it and get hope rather than hate it and get angry.
I think anger is only worthwhile if channeled to fix things. My anger was just a mass of resentment and fury. That is pointless and destructive. I am spiritual and I am sure God loves me as I am. If God can love me with autism then I can do no less.

Letter to a Friend with Autism

Dear D.,

 I see that the trap of the sensory system gone awry in autism is making you sad. It is so totally understandable. When I was twelve I also felt the same way you do. In sixth grade I was really sad every day. I saw I was not easily getting better. I saw I was not having much improvement in my speech, or my hand control, or my mind body dialogue in spite of years of toil. I looked around in middle school and I saw that being different was the worst sin of all to our peers.

 Like it or not, our destiny is to be different. Now I have even embraced it in some ways because I saw that hating autism made me depressed. Accepting that I could make a meaningful life for myself with autism changed everything. Inside I still wish I could be more neuro-typical in behavior. I’d talk in an instant if I could figure out how, but I feel blessed that I can communicate even if I can’t speak.

You can communicate more too if you really take it in stride. I mean it is hard to allow yourself to communicate with others after years of stimming inside. In the journey to communication you must embrace the world outside of your obsessions. I see your sensory toys. It’s an incredible escape; still I see your mom wants to know you inside. Your thoughts matter to her. She misses hearing them because deep down inside you guard them so tightly. It is liberating to let go, to communicate, and to join in the world, in the regular ways of school or family. Don’t give in to sorrow because we can be free inside in spite of the hard challenges autism gives.

Your friend, Ido