The Media's Portrayal Of Autism & The Truth
Name: V J
Comments: It is a difficult line to walk. On the one hand you don't want people to think that autistic people are genetic freaks who will never contribute anything to society and it might be better if they were disposed of, on the other you want to educate people on the fact that autism is a problem that you cannot cure, only disguise.
I, myself, am an Asperger Autistic and I will hold up my hand right now and say the only reason that I cope so well with the outside world is because of the training that my mother gave me. That include that there were always changes to routines involving other people. The table was always laid in a different pattern, the food dished in different combinations. If I started having a 'little moment' I was told to stop it, if I did not I got my knuckles rapped. It sounds cruel but it was what was necessary and because of it by the time I was eight Mother could take my sister and me out to a restaurant and know that there would never be a problem.
Because of that training I learnt that other people could not be controlled and that I should not try to. Therefore the only thing I could control was myself, so that is what I did. I have picked up the knife first and then the fork for so many years that I don't even realise that I am doing it any more.
However, my appearance of 'normalcy' is first and foremost an act. Even at the age of twenty eight I still have 'little moments', I have just become better at internalizing them and/or keeping them private. For instant, I missed the bus on the way to work this morning and I had to go home and have ten minutes where I sat in the kitchen on my own with my hands over my ears to get passed the instant reactive instinct to start screaming and sobbing. Then I was able to ask for a lift.
If I cannot have to time alone to reboot my brain then pain is my next medicine. I say 'excuse me', go out of the room and punch the nearest wall as hard as I can. It hurts like heck and I know that one of these days I am going to break a knuckle but it is all I can do to stop the screaming in my head, because if that screaming gets too load then I will start hitting other people.
Life with autism is never easy, you just become better at disguising it. Time and practise makes you better at everything.