Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Autism Success Story

For more than half my life, I have considered October 2000 to be the dividing point in my life.  This was when I was taken out of school to attend a day hospital in a neighboring town.  It was during this time when I officially received my autism diagnosis, at age twelve.  While it seemed like a dire point of my life at the time, I began to look at it in a different way as I continued to succeed academically and socially.

Prior to this period of my life, I had found myself in some sort of downward spiral for the two years leading up to that time.  To put it another way, it was like I was in quicksand; the harder I struggled, the more that I lost control of the situation.  There was less struggling involved then inwardly yearning for something more.  I found myself immersed in a chemical imbalance, due to the medications I was on at the time.  Depression was steadily gaining a foothold over the way I viewed myself, eroding my self esteem.  It is very difficult to write about this.  No words seem appropriate for what I was going through.  Always, in my mind, and on the outside as well, it seemed like I was the one to blame.  In reality, I was not accountable for myself, my actions in response to something inside of me that was outside of my control.

To put it mildly, I was the underdog.  No one really expected me to start succeeding in school, not even myself.  To make the A, B honor role, a year and a half after all this came into climax, it was nothing I could have predicted.  Although I tried hard in school, each year I half expected it to end, for things to reverse to what they had been previously.  Even now, as I surge forward with my writing career, basing the foundation around the same difficulties that brought me so much pain and grief at the time; I'm trying to use that time of my life as an example to help others like myself.  At age twelve upon receiving information that I would be leaving school for a day hospital, I was excited.  Just the previous day I had been goaded by classmates and was hard put to restrain myself from attacking my classmates for the pain they were carelessly causing me.  There were so many, I didn't know where to turn first.  Had I not left school to go to that day hospital when I did, I might have given into violence and things would have turned out differently.

I don't often think about that anymore.  Not when my life is better than it ever has been.  It is not without difficulty that I relate this in the hope that I might be able to help others to better understand one more viewpoint behind the eyes of the autism spectrum.

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