Struggles Of Being An Autistic Adult

Struggles Of Being An Autistic Adult

aaliyahholt June 27, 2020

I found out I had autism when I was 14. It’s common to get a late diagnosis with autism because of the signs of Autism And ADHD is very alike. It was a real struggle in school. The transition to adulthood is a challenge for a person who lives in a world they don’t understand. I hate that my mom shames me for ‘acting like a child’ when I am trying my hardest thriving in a black and white world. Cut us some slack, we are in a world not made for us.
Some people do not realize our brains are different and what works for you may not work for us. Even if you have the same thing. No one is the same.

Difficulty Processing Information

I have trouble filtering information if it’s given too last or if given too much. Therefore I will forget some things. I went through a program that helped people with disabilities get jobs or at least I thought they helped people get jobs. I met with the job coach in private and she gave so much information without giving me a written version of what we talked out. I forgot or missed so many things. I missed when the lady told me I needed to apply for jobs. I didn’t know it was required to apply for jobs during the club. I thought it was optional. This was due to missing the information. I missed when the lady said the program was until you get a job. I was trying to pace myself, but the lady was on my back non-stop for not applying for a job or not sending out enough applications. When there is a VERY limited amount of places I can apply to. And I told her this during the private meeting. When people give me criticism on YouTube, it’s useless if they do not provide examples of what they feel could be better. Say they think my thumbnails should be better, it’s not helping me if they point out everything wrong but offer no guilds that I can refer to for improvement. The coach never said how many applications I need to send in.

Another thing is during a staffing meeting I had, the coach said I needed to contact her more yet provided no examples of what I need to e-mail her about. That program expected way too much from me, too much to remember, etc and it ended up overwhelming me and I left after 2 months. I needed a reason to send her the emails she expected me to. What did she want me to email her for besides when I filled out applications? To say hi?

Finding/Getting A Job, I am currently unemployed due to my autism. I have trouble finding a job because of all of the sensory triggers that most stores and restaurants have. When I was in line at Sam’s Club, the fluorescent lights over the cashier were baking me. My mom got mad when I tried explaining my discomfort for the lights. I was under for a few seconds in this case. It would be worse being there for hours working a job. Finding employment is also hard due to how fast-paced the setting is. Due to all the people. I need a job where there aren’t too many people. You have to think that retail jobs get very busy at certain times a day. I also need time to process, time to think. It would be hard to adapt to sudden changes with no time to process and adapt to them. I will dig more into this when I start my autism unemployment series. My mom wanted me to work retail but didn’t understand that a constantly changing schedule will be too overwhelming for me to keep up with. Retail/fast food is seldom to change your position/hours or have you doing 2/3 different things which I cannot do. I do much better being able to do one thing at a time and a consistent schedule. Office jobs will be hard due to having to focus for a prolonged period of time.

Offending People Without Intentions, It’s common for people with autism to not know what they’re saying can hurt your feelings. It’s really not the person’s fault. Most of us lack social skills. The number 1 thing autism affects is social skills. There were several times where I said something and someone else picked it up differently. One example I have is, I shared a post to a group from an autism page, where it educated people that autism doesn’t have a look. It has a collage of people with autism, but you cannot tell they’re autistic. Let’s be real, have you been told ‘you don’t look autistic?’ The post was supposed to spread education that autism doesn’t have a ‘look.’ My intentions were to make people aware that not everything will have a look. That autism doesn’t have a ‘look.’ And one guy got offended over the post. Calling it ‘inspiration porn.’ I had no clue what that was and proceeded to say there is no porn on this post. That should have been his first clue that I did not know what he was talking about. Because the porn I know is like lewd stuff. One guy tagged an admin of the group.

People on the thread were saying it was a bad message and I couldn’t see how because my brain is different. They could not use common sense from me saying ‘there is no porn on this post’ was a clue that I do not know what inspiration porn was and to explain what it is, I had no understanding as to why the post as actually the opposite of helpful and people reprimanded me rather than explain calmly what was wrong with the post. I left the group. The point is my intentions were to educate and it upset people and I didn’t know the post was going to hurt anyone. I did not understand why people were so upset over a post stating that autism doesn’t have a look. Which people think when you tell them you’re autistic. Everyone kept swarming rather than actually explaining what was wrong with the post. The post was NOT mine. I shared it from a different page but they thought I made the post. Everyone swarming was too overwhelming, that’s why I departed from the group. That’s one of the reasons.

Being Judged On someone else’s standards

when it comes to disorders like autism, where it will be unpredictable as to how you will be affected. People make bold statements. Say you have a different effect on your autism than someone else, they will invalidate you. I made a video on my YouTube channel about why I hated having autism and this guy judges me on his standards because he doesn’t have my struggles. He thought because he never struggled with autism as a child he felt it would be cool to come down on me for expressing how I struggled. That is the worst thing you can do to someone. You should never assume everyone with autism is the same. It’s not healthy to lump everyone together. Some people with autism can work, some can’t. Some have no problem with jobs, some do. I am trying to get SSI. I got denied twice because they feel my disorder doesn’t keep me from working when it does. There is only a small % of us who work. So because of the small amount of us who work, SSI assumes all of us are like that. I hate being compared to someone else when their situation could be different.

Being unaware of my behavior

Sometimes I am not aware that my behavior can be seen by someone else. I get upset when trying to do something and it is not good enough for my mom. I tried rearranging my room because I like to switch gears after a while. When my mom didn’t like it, I felt hurt. I tried my hardest and that wasn’t enough. When I verbally expressed why I felt hurt, she shames me for ‘acting like a child.’ So I can’t verbally express myself without getting criticized or shamed for it. I feel as though my mom used to understand my struggles with autism. I feel she thinks it goes away when you turn 18 and that is not always the case. She understood when I was younger and gets mad and child shames me for it now. When you call someone a child, I call it child shaming. If that’s even a phrase. What’s worse is judging someone because they aren’t what you want them to me. Wanting someone to be something they are not to please your standards is far more childish than the person you’re shaming.

Difficulty Understanding Space

sometimes I will not realize if I am too close to someone. When I am in line at the store, my mom has to tell me if I am too close due to my lack of social skills. Autism affects social skills and the ability to detect non-verbal cues. To me, I may not be close to them, but to someone else, I may be too close. I feel as though my mom should know that the issues I had with my autism did not go away when I turned 18. It stays with you.

Difficulty in Interpreting Body Language, Tones Etc

I will not know if my body language or tone of voice will be seen by someone else. For example, I have an issue with older men who appear to be 50/60 years old hitting on me. My body language could make them think I am 40/50. But I cannot see it. When I was in the marching band the directors made note of my posture but I was unable to see it due to my disorder. I also will not know how my tone may sound to someone else. One time, I went to a place to get an air cast put on my ankle, a lady checked us into the room. After she was done and was about to leave, I asked her when the doctor will be in. She snaps back at me and I was puzzled as to what I said wrong. My mom scorned me instead of explaining what about my question upset her like that. This is why most autistic people have unusual body language or not know their tone sounds harsh because the person is not aware of how you’re seeing it. That lady didn’t have to act like a bitch over a question. If she didn’t know, all she had to say is ‘I don’t know.’ Or ‘I just started working here so I don’t know much about the doctor.’ Anything was better than her bitchy remark. I don’t know her from Adam so how would I know if she was new or whatever? If I demanded the doctor see me, that’s one thing, All I wanted to know was when was the doctor coming and she gets bitchy. This is why I can’t stand NTs they expect you to read their mind!

Taking Things Literally, I take things literally all the time.

Say the bus is supposed to be at a stop at 7:00, I will think at 7:00 the bus will be pulling up. I will not think the bus may be early. With me, you can’t be too literal. When Old Country Buffet used to be a thing, my aunt told me to get her some lemon. I instantly thought lemonade and brought her lemonade. She was talking about Sprite. I cannot be a food server because I will take the customer literally if they don’t specify what they want ( like my aunt didn’t specify she was talking about Sprite when she asked for lemon) and will go off on me for getting their order wrong. I cannot deal with being yelled at. When there can be more than one kind you need to provide details. When ordering coffee you have to say ( I want iced coffee, a Frape, etc.)

Verbally Explaining Myself

, I have extreme difficulty verbally expressing myself. My brain just cannot process the words I want to say. I tried pleading with my mom that working from home is better for my anxiety. She asked me how and I just couldn’t process the words other than being around a lot of people makes me anxious. I feel I am better writing it down or making a video where I have time to map out what I want to say. My inability to verbally express myself when I don’t always have an appropriate chance backfired. I can hear that someone is religious, and I may ask a group who knows more about the person in question. Sometimes it can be speculations. If I leave out details, the group will think I will hate the individual if they are religious, which isn’t the case. They will immediately jump the gun instead of merely asking questions. Another instance is I expressed how I felt about being hit on by older men. People misunderstood the post due to the lack of details and attacked me to the point where I had to leave the group. Same case the swarming was too overwhelming so I blocked some people, closed comments on the post, and left.

This is why I over explain. If I don’t, I will be taken out of context, attacked and bullied.

Adulting

the switch to adulthood can be tricky for us. Some of us can’t find or hold a job and have to depend on a parent, a friend, etc. I hate having to rely on my folks. I have no choice since none of the jobs in my area fit my needs. I will perform better when I am in a job with no sensory triggers ( lights, noises crowds). I’m just not good at adulting. Just not good at it. It’s hard when you’re in a world you see in black and white. A world you don’t understand. Where it feels like someone is speaking a foreign language. It’s HARD for us. It’s HARD. My mom doesn’t understand that adulting is hard for me and shaming me because I can’t adult-like she wants me to will not magically make me better. In fact, it will put me off because I do not want to be a part of something that shames and mocks people who don’t fit in.

I wrote this book to showcase how hard it is for us to get or keep a job. I will do a break down of this book in the future. I want people to know that it’s hard for some of us to find and hold a job. In fact, more of us are unemployed than employed. Why do you think so many of us are unemployed? It could be most of the jobs do not fit the person’s needs. I wrote this book to talk about the most common reasons why autistic adults struggle to keep a job. Get My eBook On Autism And Employment Struggles. This book can help you in many ways, you may be in a class and have to do a report on a disorder. Or you’re a parent of an aspie and I feel you should know that it will be hella hard for them to get or keep a job when they get older and you wanna know why. This book can help you in more ways than one. You may need help convincing people that you cannot keep a job due to autism and point out the things I said that you can relate to. This book has so many benefits. I highly suggest teachers/professors bring this up in class. It’s important we raise awareness and create more autism-friendly jobs. If a book written by someone with autism is the way to start, it can’t hurt to try. Maybe it will be more meaningful written by someone with autism.
I feel knowing that we will struggle to hold down jobs is important for parents to know.

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