When you were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD), on my hand I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and you had your whole life hidden from you, such as the way that I had, you tend to form a passionate resentment towards the people who had hidden it from you. It is even worse, when you didn’t even find out through a human interaction, but rather, a Vocational Rehab Application.
My dad and I had arranged for me to find a job, so we had to fill out an application through Vocational Rehab, but I never really had things pinned on me, so I wasn’t even expecting to find anything on my application, I hadn’t even planned on reading it. Well, that’s when I found out, and I had very little time that day to research what Asperger’s was, so I took a brief look on Answers.COM, my godsend at the time. My heart dropped, when I realized that my loving aunt was right all along, and knowing that I had spent every waking moment of my post-pubescent life trying to figure out what was wrong with me!
Every day, I grew more and more impatient, trying to figure out what was “wrong” with me, because I knew that I was different. I started to notice it in eight-grade. I once thought that my symptoms were from the faint smell of markers, because I had heard what getting high on markers would do. I eventually went to see a therapist, who I told this theory to, and she quickly dismissed it. But something wasn’t right. She, of all people, was told to hold my autism from me!
Going through school, being called “slow”, picked at, and even poked fun of, not knowing that I was autistic, it drove a nail through my heart, and through my head. Every day my mind started to deteriorate, with depression, anxiety, and sometimes even paranoid delusions. I had grown even more dysfunctional, something that should never be put on an autistic individual, as we are supposed to have our development watched at a very cautionary level. Development for an autistic person is supposed to be monitored, and held at the highest regard, but what good would it do, to a person like me?
Into the present, I had not had a lot of time to prepare in my adult life, I had to get back the years of my life that I had left behind, the ones that could’ve been spent on ensuring that I would be able to take care of myself, and to be self-reliant. But instead, I had worried about what my condition was called, and I had no idea of what to tell my peers and other like-minded individuals why I was so “weird”. I had thought that I had schizophrenia, or that I was bipolar, my parents even went out of their way to tell me one day that the cause of my symptoms was ADHD, so that I would quit searching. It had fulfilled my life, with false hope, for the longest time.
But to put all of this behind me, even though it wasn’t until I was 18 years old that I found out that I was autistic, I have since let go of all of the resentment, which was rather recently, at the end of 2012. I realized that my parents were only trying to help me achieve great things, they didn’t want me to feel less important, or like I had to limit myself. They didn’t want me to stop trying. They were only trying to protect me. I loved them very much, and I still do, even after I had learned of my diagnoses. But shortly after I found out, I stilled loved my parents with all of my heart, as they are the best, but I didn’t understand why they had kept this from me, I felt betrayed; not only did I feel betrayed by my family, but by everyone who had known.
As mentioned, I had forgiven all of my faithful friends and family, and my life was heading back on the right track, me and my family grew closer and closer, we are closer than ever! I admire them. But I am still trying to make up for those lost years, because even my resentment held me back from my timely development. I am still trying to learn how to take care of myself; but with the help of the people that I had once resented, especially my loving mother, father, and my low-functioning autistic sister, I am developing, but rather slowly.
This brings me to the question; are younger minds meant for older bodies? ASD holds back the development of the mind, which can set your mental age back far behind your body’s age. Sometimes it is even harder to find someone your age, as you tend to like those who are closer to your mental age, rather than your physical body’s age. This can lead to serious trouble with the younger people, especially with their parents. I, myself know what my age is, and I know better; I know how to find people my own age, although, my younger step-brother falls short on that. Everybody with ASD will have different symptoms, as it is made of a whole-entire spectrum. This isn’t a sign of pedophilia, it is rather a simple, often misunderstood situation. As I said, the mental age of an autistic person will be variously lower than the bodily age. And that is why, I ask what we should do for those who fall victim to this young-minded mentality.