I am on the Autism Spectrum. But because I was diagnosed when I was an adult and had my condition denied to me by people with influence over me who said I was acting out or acting up. And because no-one who specialized in or understood autism worked with me after I was diagnosed and I was left alone with the diagnosis, I never really owned the condition and remain very unsure of it, I do not excuse myself anything and I give myself a hard time for not being normal, just as everyone else gives me a hard time for not being normal.
I think we are all in denial about my autism, and maybe it isn't real, I don't know.
I am going to do as I did before and go through the symptoms that affect me.
Social Interaction Disorders:
Did I get it wrong? Is a question that I have frequently asked for as long as I can remember. Because I do not know what is right, correct, how to get it right, and I invariably get it wrong.
When I was younger I barely made eye contact and did not know that was expected, I did not even really know what people's faces looked like, but I learned, as I have learned so many ways round my limitations. I make some eye contact, I don't know how much, but sometimes I do as I was taught and look towards people instead of down to the ground.
Failure to establish relationships. This is me, I do not attempt to build relationships, I respond to contact and if people keep interacting with me, they can build a relationship with me, and even in the end, get me to converse, but in social groups I do not seek people I tend to move aside and people either approach me or don't, if they converse I agree with what they say and do my best to imitate converstion, but I never ask questions about the person I speak to. I very rarely even ask my friends any questions about themselves. And my friends are there because they interact with me persistently.
My real natural state is silent solitude, I feel safe like that, I like a soft blanket where I can doze and suck my thumb and be alone, people ask if I am lonely but usually I am not, in the past, maybe I was, but not any more.
Lack of empathy. Well I know I have no understanding of the impact of my behaviour on other people, so I get in trouble. I do not know what people are thinking so I get anxious, but I can sense anger and unhappiness in other people.
Verbal and non-verbal communication:
I lack the ability to initiate conversation. Unless I know someone quite well. I also lack the skill to carry on a conversation with a stranger. Although I can write to almost anyone. But I have to remind myself to put in the social niceties that are expected.
When I was younger I used to use echolalia a lot, being shouted at by Fred Montague for it meant that I learned to stop doing it. Although if I am under stress I still sometimes repeat things to myself.
I have suffered a profound problem with processing speed in the past, receptive dysphasia, but that has improved significantly and rarely troubles me now except in phone conversations.
I still tend to see very literal meanings in things such as metaphors, and it makes me smile, but I have learned to think 'metaphor' and override the literal and find the meaning if I can.
My hearing is far too sensetive, which upsets people trying to whisper about me, but when the dysphasia has been bad, I have been unable to decipher conversation and thus caused puzzlement and concern.
Limited and repetitive behaviours:
I like routine and everything to stay the same. I like to be alone and to be silent, I like to have music all the time, I do not like change as it scares me and I have to work out a plan to resettle myself if things change and do not always adjust well but try to go back.
I think about hats.
Here is the National Autistic Society: http://www.autism.org.uk/