The #ActuallyAutistic Culture and Identity Project S50
Name, and/or twitter handle:
Age when you selfdx/were diagnosed autistic:
Diagnosed at 20
1. Did you feel you were different from others as a child?
I always felt weird and like I was oddly superior compared to other children.-Like I had a deeper understanding of some things they didn't. I've always felt more grown up than others around me even though I've sometimes been told I'm childish.
2. Are your parents supportive of you as an autistic individual?
They're very supportive of me and always have been, even if they don't really understand what I struggle with or how to help
3. How did you determine your ethical system?
Mainly learning from my parents and teachers at school. As I got older and gained access to the Internet, it enabled me to do my own research and establish my own views.
4. In which way does your private self differ from your outward facing front?
My private self is a lot quieter, and I'm happy to be by myself and finally relax. Outwardly, I have to actively change my tone of voice and make an effort to appear fully engaged in every conversation. I feel like my outward facing front tries so hard to make neurotypical people feel comfortable that it risks me feeling exhausted and burnt out.
5. Do you enjoy finding mistakes/errors in the production of films and television...continuity etc.?
I find myself pointing out pieces of trivia others may not know instead of mistakes or errors.
6. What are the top 3 traits you look for in a friend?
1. Someone who can communicate their feelings with me and let me know I am appreciated.
2. Someone who understands my needs and what I can and can't do.
3. Similar interests to my own and a good sense of humour
7. What are the top 3 traits you perceive as negative but are willing to overlook in a friend?
I need constant reassurance that we are still friends but I understand not everyone can do that. I don't like it when people complain all the time but I can overlook that. I also don't like people that gossip a lot and have an opinion about everyone, but I can overlook it if it doesn't happen a lot.
8. What are the top traits you look for in a partner/traits your partner possesses?
My partner supports me with basic things like reminding me to eat, as I have issues with recognising when I am hungry and also helping me get out of bed in the morning when I find it particularly hard. He's also really funny and we share the same interests so I never find myself struggling to make conversation. He also reassures me that it's ok if I can't do anything on some days because I'm too tired. I really appreciate him.
9. What would you do with your life if you had unlimited funds?
I would donate very large volumes of money to mental health services and the NHS, as both are incredibly underfunded in the UK. I would also love to travel with my boyfriend as we have plans to visit Japan at some point, and I have always wanted to visit some of the world's most impressive volcanoes.
10. What does freedom mean to you. What does it entail?
Freedom for me means that I can unapologetically be myself and people (mostly neurotypicals) can understand that. I would be able to live life normally without panicking and feeling exhausted just by leaving the house or socialising. On the whole, freedom to me would mean that everyone in society would have access to a suitable home, electricity, food and the internet, and that women, bipoc, disabled people and the lgbtq community will finally have equal rights.
11. What does success mean to you?
Success means something different for everyone, but for me it would mean finally feeling happy in whatever I am doing and like I am making a positive impact.
12. Are you more stable/happier/productive within the structure of a relationship...partner/good friend/long-term roommate?
Much happier. I find change difficult so having someone constantly there for me is very helpful. It's great to have someone I can completely be myself around all the time.
13. Do you find it stressful to be around other parents at school functions?
14. How often do you pretend to not see people you know if you don’t want to talk?
Almost every time I see someone. I don't really know what I'm meant to say to that person and its not an interaction I'm prepared for so I would much rather pretend they don't exist at that moment in time.
15. In which areas do you identify the most with other autistic people?
I've only realised this recently as I haven't been diagnosed for long, so I'm currently in the process of understanding what makes me autistic. I definitely don't respond well to change; moving away from home for university was incredibly hard and I still struggle with not being at home all the time. I also have intense interests that I have enjoyed since being a child, and it's nice to share these with other autistic people who understand what it is like. I am also very easily burnt out by socialising and leaving the house.
16. What are the most stressful aspects of parenting an autistic child as an autistic caregiver?
17. What are the top 5 things you want your children to know about the world and why?
If I was to ever have children which I don't think I will, I would like them to know that they can be whoever they want and I will always accept them, that other people in society are not as privileged as we are and we need to recognise that. I want them to know they can fight for any cause they feel is important, and that they can work towards anything they want to.
18. Does living off the grid appeal to you and why/why not?
Sometimes it does yes, I enjoy nature and to put it bluntly people exhaust me. I sometimes think it would be so much easier but at the same time I would really miss my family and I need them, so I wouldn't be able to.
19. What is your favorite style of architecture and why?
I don't really have a favourite style of architecture but I am looking forward to the day me and my boyfriend will finally have our own house we can fill with everything that makes us happy, and decorate however we want.