So… a little bit about me…
I am a woman in my thirties. I live in a lovely little house by the sea with my boyfriend and our gorgeous labradoodle. I am a trained teacher in English and Drama and currently have my dream job as a Special Needs Co-ordinator in a local comprehensive school.
I also have Aspergers Syndrome, a high-functioning form of Autism.
Many people are surprised by this. I have frequently been told of peoples surprise when they find out. Imagine how I feel – I didn’t find out until I was 29!
‘I thought only boys got Autism?’
No, we girls can be autistic too. Boys are four times more likely to be autistic but there is a lot of debate about whether girls just hide it better.
And please don’t describe it as something ‘I got’, as though I caught it as a child. It’s something I am and affects my entire ability to process the world around me. Aspie and proud!
‘But you communicate fine!’
Yes, I communicate okay and I get by. However, I occasionally struggle to process language. Ever found yourself in the awkward situation where you’ve asked someone to repeat themselves 3 times and yet you still haven’t understood what they said? I have that at least 3-4 times a day and it drives me crazy!
‘You must be okay – you manage a full-time job’
Yes, I do manage a full-time job. I spend 8 hours a day in a busy environment doing a multitude of different tasks and I cope. The school timetable helps keep everyone structured which helps. That doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult.There are times when the noise in a school is overwhelming and when I become socially exhausted from the sheer volume of people I have to speak to. Days like these lead to me collapsing onto the sofa when I get in for a sleep!
‘I thought autism meant you couldn’t make eye-contact?’
I never know what to say about eye-contact. I don’t find it too difficult and can hold eye contact – especially when I know it’s expected. However, I did grow up constantly being told to ‘look at people when they’re talking to you’ so I feel I may have learnt to do this at a young age which is why I am used to it.
There are so many things I could say but hopefully we’ll get to know each other a little better over time as I reflect on my own experiences living with Aspergers Syndrome, discuss the latest news, and talk about how to help children with Autism in the classroom.
One last thing though – I am not an expert in Autism. I have Aspergers myself, I work with pupils on the Autistic Spectrum and I have a post-graduate diploma in Special Educational Needs. However any issues and discussions I have on here are my own personal suggestions and opinions. All I really want to do is talk, support and help others with Autism and Aspergers and those around them.
Phew! Well I think that’s enough for now. This Miss is ready for a cuppa 🙂