Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Diagnosis

Way back when I was around six or seven, I thought of myself to just be some kid who ran in circles and played around in the backyard.  I enjoyed playing catch, eating ice cream, and watching Saturday morning cartoons.  However, some of the things I did were not like everyone else, as I knew TV guide listings at a young age and wrote down random words about TV shows within notebooks...well, I was starting to do that at the time.  Some people were saying that I was weird, and I didn't get it.  However, I finally started to sense that everyone else was acting different than I was.  So I had a talk with my mom at random that day, and she revealed to me that I had "something called autism."

From what I recall, my mind went through a trance, and it's not like my habits changed.  Early on, I accepted it, probably too much.  I figured I was just someone who was a little different than the others, but I had learned through those assemblies and programs that 'everyone is special' so of course I had to be as well.  However, all of the strengths of having high-functioning autism seemed more apparent as well, as my teachers had been told of this early on.  While I didn't receive special treatment once I was mainstreamed (I went to a special education class for K-1), what was better is that they knew I had a gift for long term memory, which I can explain in a later post.

I can't be sure how others on the spectrum took the news, but there might have been that same level of shock for many, depending on what age it was revealed.  I just know my story.  From that day forward, I more clearly found myself and adapted to what hand I was dealt.  As it became less of a disease and more of an adjustment, everything felt that much better.  Now it was all a matter of how I would slowly adapt to "normal" society...

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