On November 27th 2017, I went to Sheffield to get my Autism Diagnosis. It’s now November 29th 2018, and since seeing it on my Facebook memories a few days ago, I’ve done nothing but think about how important that day was and how much my life has changed since. I thought I’d write this blog to tell everyone about it, as my Diagnosis blog seemed to go down a hit and I’ve got better at writing since then.
Since being diagnosed, I’ve become a lot more confident in myself. I can’t tell why that is. Maybe it’s because I know there’s nothing the matter with me, or there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe it’s got absolutely nothing to do with autism or my diagnosis. All I know is that my confidence is through the roof. So much so that I’m probably a little bit big headed, but I don’t care. Being confident in yourself is important, and it’s something that I’ve finally gained.
I‘ve lost some friends, people who think my diagnosis is wrong, but those aren’t the people that I’m going to talk about now. It’s the ones who I’ve gained that matter. I wouldn’t be writing this now if I hadn’t met friends through autism. Luckily, I have a wonderfully neurodivergent group of friends, thanks to Chewigem and Instagram. I’ve met some of my best friends, like Lorraine, Jamie, Katy, Rory, Jayden, Joel and Andy. To name but a few. People who will never judge me for who I am. Friends are the thing that I’m most thankful to autism for.
Thanks to that piece of paper I finally understand why I am the way I am. It sounds cliquè I know, but so many things made sense when I was handed the envelope that said I am autistic. I finally understand why sometimes I cry when I’m asked too many questions. Or I shake when things are too loud. I no longer feel like I don’t fit in. I’m not usually a fan of labels, but the label of autistic has really helped me. It’s helped me to understand myself, and to learn to love some of the quirks I have.
HOW THE MEDIA IS HELPING
As well as understanding myself, my family and friends have also had a much greater understanding of autism as a whole, which is always a good thing. Because of me, my family have become much more autism aware. They watched the A word when I was first diagnosed, and since then they’ve started to understand sensory issues and what they are. Their acceptance is far from perfect, but it’s getting there. They’re even supporting Anne on I’m a celebrity. This may sound small, but it wouldn’t have happened 12 months ago. Their acceptance probably has very little to do with me as an individual and much more to do with the media. And it’s for this reason that I am very thankful for shows like the A word and There She Goes.
My family are proof that these television shows do help an audience to gain an understanding and an insight into the world of someone living with Autism. Even if the characters are all children, so aren’t directly related to me. They have helped myself and my family gain a greater understanding of autism as a whole. If you have an autistic loved one and haven’t seen the A word, I would highly recommend it. The soundtrack is also the most awesome I’ve heard since Guardians of the Galaxy first came out.
Since this blog has now turned into me talking about TV shows and media representation of autism. I think that it’s a good place to end it before I get far too off topic and you all get bored.
There are obviously many more reasons that my diagnosis has been a lifesaver for me, but that’s a story for another day. Maybe this time next year if nobody’s sick of my ramblings by then, who knows? If you take away anything from this blog, let it be this:
If you’re questioning whether or not you should get an actual autism diagnosis, do it. Go and see your GP and talk to them. It will help you in the long run, and it’s never too late to start a new life as a proudly autistic person. It’s never too late to get answers. I hope my experiences haven’t bored you too much and at least one person enjoys reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
To find out more about Casper’s journey click the links below: