‘It’s An Autism Thing ….I’ll Help You Understand It’ and why I wrote it.
When I was diagnosed with Aspergers two years ago I felt relieved, jubilant and sad all at the same time.
Relieved because I now knew myself, I could understand so much more about myself. There were a lot of ‘ahh!’ Moments to look back on!
Jubilant because I now knew I wasn’t crazy or a complete misfit, I was part of a neurodiverse community that helped me be proud of my autistic identity.
Sad, for all the missed opportunities I had had, all the misunderstandings and meltdowns that are, in short, terrifying when you do not understand why you are going through them.
Most of all I wanted to help other parents, I am mother to neurodiverse children, two with complex needs and felt I could offer help to others.
I started a Facebook group with the help of a friend to support and educate parents and carers with a large volume of autistics in it to create a safety ‘net’ of sorts.
If these parents, I thought, could meet adult autistics and learn from us it would help them.
For them to know and realise that their children are capable of so much, that if their child uses non verbal communication it’s not the end of the world simply an alternative to the typical is extremely important to a worried parent of a newly diagnosed child.
The group is incredible and I’m proud of it, and through it I became aware of another side of the autism community.
The side that’s being exploited and hurt by corporations intent on offering ‘cures’ for autism as if it’s an illness or disease in the most harmful ways possible.
I began campaigning in earnest here in the UK, working with the media including London Live, BBC, Ben Tv, The Independent and The Times to expose the quackery and mindset of the exploited.
Parents desperate to help their children, believing there are no other alternatives but these harmful treatments, being told they had to normalise their child through compliance therapy, that their child would never become anything and that the only way for their child to ‘fit in’ was to be ‘healed’.
I came to the conclusion that parents do want to help their children, fear comes from not knowing, not understanding how to cope or aid someone we love.
For someone to be able to say, “Right, I understand now, what can I do, how can I help?”
Is a massive thing for a concerned carer or parent.
I began writing blogs, I have a website called autisticate.com with loads of articles on it. I am published on The Mighty, Autism Daily Newscast, Geek Club Books, Autistic Spectrum Digest and Special Needs Jungle.
But I had so much more to say, so much more to give.
I had often heard it said to people “It’s an autism thing, you wouldn’t understand.”
So let’s help them, I thought.
If my book can dispel myths, give teachers and parents the tools to step over to our point of view, to see how we see the world, feel the world even then I’ve done what I set out to do.
Children and indeed adults do not need to ‘fit in’,we need help, encouragement and inclusion. We do not need harmful treatments or compliance training.
It’s An Autism Thing…I’ll Help You Understand it.
Text by Emma Dalmayne Illustrations by Raphelle Dalmayne
Out on www.stasspublications.co.uk
From January 25th 2016 available as a hard copy and ebook