Twitter, Autism and Me.. A Guest Post

I am autistic. I have known this since I was 20 when I was tested for Dyslexia and Dyspraxia while I was at University. I also am Dyslexic and Dyspraxic but I have all three marginally. This is how I was ‘undiscovered’ for so long.

I haven’t told many people, the only people that know is the Doctor and medical team that tested me and a few very close friends. I haven’t even told my family.

I’m not ashamed of my autism but I am scared that people will treat me differently. The people I have told have shrugged it off with a comment such as “I always knew you were special.” Always the same joke but then the seriousness of “I didn’t know” or “I’m sorry”. Of course they didn’t know, I didn’t always know! But I do hide it and cope well in order to hide it. However, I don’t know why they are sorry as I’m not. It hasn’t changed my life, just given more clarity to it.

I’ve always been independent, segregated, for want of a better word, from ‘society’ because I like it like that and I struggle to cope in many social situations. I often find myself confused which leads to frustration as I don’t know why I am confused and then I get upset. Not visibly so, but I often cry when I’m alone because I can’t cope.

I have friends, lots of them, but I only have two friends I can rely on and have seen me hit the bottom and have helped me back up. These two I have had before I found out.

I’ve never had, what one would call, a relationship. I’ve never had a girlfriend. I’ve had sexual encounters but because I haven’t been able to relate to the other person the experiences have been unsatisfactory, almost worthless. However, I’m not actively looking for a girlfriend as I’m desperately trying to navigate the relationships I already have.

Autism, at times, can be lonely other times it doesn’t affect how I operate. However I would not want not to be autistic because then I wouldn’t be me. Twitter helps overcome the social awkwardness as I am dealing in the written language and no one has to see me and I don’t have to see them either. I don’t consider myself disabled, but I do have difficulties and Twitter helps overcome them. Twitter is a lifeline to anyone regardless of ability because sometimes only strangers can comfort because they don’t come with preconceptions. Some judge, but the majority don’t.

You have heard my story of how autism affects me and how Twitter helps. What’s your story?

**If you are affected by this issue or are just concerned, please take a moment to sign this petition against disibility hate crime.

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5 Comments

  1. I have a similar tale to tell – except that I don’t have “loads of friends”; I live in a city where I know nobody, and have one friend who lives two counties away. That’s necessary for me. I really can’t cope with any more human contact than that; sometimes even twitter is too much, and too confusing, for me to handle, and I’m always ambivalent towards it.

    And yet I’m not lonely. (Not until you drop me in the middle of a room full of people, anyway.) I have something very few people actually have – the ability (as well as the need) to thrive on solitude – and I treasure this gift as much as I treasure the cats with whom I share my life. But I do consider myself disabled, in that I can no longer even begin to cope with the noise, bustle, bewilderment and claustrophobia of social situations (or supermarkets) at all. Society disables me by not making any bloody sense. 😉

  2. I agree – its an excellent piece of writing.

    I also agree that twitter is a lifeline for people with a disability. I have been tweeting for some time. In June, I was diagnosed with Leukaemia – and as a result of the treatment I had I was in hospital for some time, and with a low / no immune system, I’m barely going out in case I pick up something.

    During this time, social networking has been a lifeline. Keeping in touch with friends, and current affairs has kept me sane. Its also helped me feel part of life, and still involved even though I cannot physically be in places I’d like to be. I also think that twitter is very egalitarian, you take people on what they say and not what they look like or any other preconceptions, I love that about it.

    Dorries’ comments belittles this. I am registered disabled, as I cannot work and am restricted in what I do. Its highly unprofessional and unethical to say what she has said, how she said it. The sooner the recall of MPs happens the better, I fully expect her to be the first one.

    Well done for taking a stand.

  3. An amazing piece of writing. I would, if I’m permitted, like to give you a big ((hug))..!!

  4. What a well written piece – on the way to understanding that autism is a continuum, that we all know or are people with some degree of ‘difference’ whether on that particular continuum or some other, there is all the misunderstanding and prejudice to be lived through and this person is navigating the white water with aplomb.
    While we are asking ourselves the question ‘what are normal?’ and realising the answer may not be ‘people just like me’ it would be brilliant to hear more from this guest poster. Personal experiences that would inform and educate those of us who haven’t had a diagnosis perhaps and maybe even those who have no idea what it’s all about.
    Thank you @humphreycushion for giving us the opportunity to read this writer.

  5. This story has moved me to tears, I know the poster through Twitter and thought I knew him well! Receiving this post this morning has proved to me that we must keep up the fight to protect the vulnerable from ignorant and inflammatory comments such as the ones Ms Dorries made this week. See previous posts for details.

    A facebook page has been set up, calling for action against this discrimination – please join the group and spread the word.. : Facebook


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