I continue to love writing my blog and sharing my thoughts and experiences, I hope it is helping to educate others further on what autism can look like and how it can feel to be on the spectrum. I want to do more. I know the system will never be perfect and there will always, unfortunately, be people whom are missed either because of how high functioning they are or because the signs and symptoms in girls can present so differently than what people expect but I want to help bridge the gap.
I try hard to share my knowledge and my experiences within my career to try and support this but do not feel like I am in the best position to do this. I want to be utilised more, be able to train and support fellow childcare workers, parents and children.
Ideally what I would love to be able to do is to go into different settings such as nurseries and schools and train team and parents on what these traits may look like. How to not let females with autism slip through the cracks like I did. Allow people to have more confidence on what ASD looks like, and not just in the most severe cases. I know as a practitioner it is not my position to ‘diagnosis’ but my position is to support, and no matter whether a child ends up being on the spectrum or not if there are difficulties identified then it is still my job to support and educate, and many things can help a child. Having a diagnosis makes no difference to me but being able to talk openly about things such as therapies, strategies, and actually still educate on what ASD can look like is still vital.
I believe to my core that early intervention is crucial for supporting children, especially those with ASD or whom have shown any traits. Any support that can be put in place such as teaching social skills, communication skills, understanding a child’s own ways of reacting and dealing with situations such as sensory processing etc are vital even if a child doesn’t have ASD.
I think people often think because I am autistic I see autism everywhere. This isn’t true. Yes I can often notice when a child or adult seems to struggle with things I know I do, and yes I can often see past the initial behaviours and see why something may happen and yes I often create close relationships with children who have any form of additional needs but maybe that’s because I understand what it is like to be misunderstood. At the end of the day a child’s diagnosis or non diagnosis does not bother me one bit, supporting them does. No matter what. And yes, the chances are that I can pick up on the more subtle signs of autism, but I do live with them everyday! I should be able to use my skills, my knowledge, my experience to help support. I have a unique and insight that others cannot physically have, no matter how much they have studied something I live with it! I want to be able to use this skill. I want my autism to the positive it should be. I am lucky enough that I can communicate and talk about my side of things, that I want to share my side of things, I want to be able to use this and not feel like my autism is a negative. Not be made to feel ashamed of having autism, and most of all I don’t want anyone growing up to feel this way either. I want them to be able to feel proud of the positives that do come with being on the spectrum. I want them to at least have the option to share without judgement and accusation.