An Introduction to the Understanding Autism: Introduction:
I have a confession: although what you are about to read is my first post on Autistic & Unapologetic, in reality, I have been writing articles on autism for close to a year now. My name is James Sinclair. I’m 23 years old, a university student and autistic – a diagnosis which I have lived with for pretty much my whole life (wow! I did not expect that first paragraph to come out like I am attending some kind of Autists Anonymous meeting!).
‘So, if this isn’t the first article, why can’t I see any others?’ You are probably not wondering (but are going to find out anyway). Well the reason for this is that, since the first time I sat down to type up my thoughts on autism, I have come to learn that a LOT of what I thought I knew, what I thought academics knew and what I wish the general population knew, is in fact only a small piece of everything there is to understand of autism.
What ‘Understanding Autism’ is About:
Autistic & Unapologetic could easily have become a site dedicated to me rambling on about what autism is. But I’m under the belief that if, I, in my lifetime’s experience of having autism, still have a lot to understand, then it’s probably safe to say that many others with and without the condition do too.
So, Understanding Autism is no longer me telling people what autism exactly is, but it is now (and prepare for the cringe here) about the journey: I can’t promise it will be too in depth to begin with, but, hopefully that will give everyone an easier jumping on point and allow us all to develop at the same time and speed.
What I Will Write About in Understanding Autism:
I’ve tried my best to label what you will see in Understanding Autism under 3 subheadings. However, given that this is a ‘journey’ – my more pretentious way of saying ‘work in progress’, I can’t make any promises that all posts will fit into 1 of these categories (however it will be rare that they don’t…hopefully):
- What is autism?: Despite what I have said previously, I do know 1 or 2 things about autism, and let’s be honest, what kind of autism blog would this be if I didn’t discuss the facts behind the condition? That’s right! ‘a rubbish one’.
So amongst my weekly ramblings, it’s safe to say, you can expect explanations of: Autistic symptoms, recent autistic research and discussions of what someone with autism can and might be limited by in life.
(Also, before moving on to the next subheading, it’s worth stating that I will also be trying to cover the entire spectrum during my posts: adults, children, men and women.)
- What it’s like being autistic: Not to sell myself short, but if you’re looking for an academic breakdown of what autism is, this probably isn’t the best place. HOWEVER, if you want to truly understand what autism is: our quirks, our choices, our views, then you’re right where you’re meant to be.
Understanding Autism is about personality and seeing who a person is underneath all the things I previously mentioned. Yes, it’s where you’ll learn what a diagnosis of autism means, but you’ll also find out how it affects that person on a deeper level: something I’m certain no Wikipedia entry is going to teach you.
- Autism tricks and tips: Let it be made clear right now that I am not an expert on autism, however, I do believe that over my 23 years of having the condition, I have learnt to fight most of the unfavourable symptoms which come with being this way.
To do this, me, my family and my friends have had to learn various tricks and tips for dealing with autism over the years, and out of the kindness of my heart, I plan to share these coping strategies on this page.
Why Understanding Autism Needs You:
I’ve tried my best to understand autism on my own, however, even if I wasn’t just limited by my access to advanced research, then I would certainly be limited by my experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I work my backside off to research everything I bring to Autistic & Unapologetic, but to me this will never be enough, because what I believe/know makes the autistic community great, is the variation which you see within it.
From age, gender, background, and every other nuance a person can have, it’s incredible to see such a diverse group of people who all fall into one community – and this is something that one man/boy could never represent on his own.
So what does this mean? Well I’m aware this could get annoying fast, but what this means is that, whenever I write a post, I will finish it with a ‘Carry on the Conversation’ section. This will be your opportunity to teach me and everyone else reading, what it means to have or know someone with autism, as well as creating more communication within our community.
To you, that won’t seem like much, but trust me when I say, that getting as many different voices and opinions as possible for the blog, is crucial in creating a full understanding of autism.
I understand that this is a lot to expect so early on in this blog’s career (as it may be that no one visits the site). However, as my initial idea was to expertly discuss autism, whilst simultaneously knowing nothing about the subject, I feel safe in disregarding this possibility, as learning to manage expectations is the one thing I don’t expect to understand over the coming years, on the pages of Understanding Autism.
Carry on the Conversation:
But now it’s time to hear your thoughts: what would you like to see discussed in Understanding Autism? Let me know in the comments below. Alternately you can find me in the Autistic & Unapologetic Facebook page, or on Twitter @AutismRevised.
For those looking to contact me more directly, my email address is AutisticandUnapologetic@gmail.com. I think that about does it for plugging my social media channels.
Thanks for reading this introduction to Understanding Autism and I will see you next Saturday for more thoughts from across the spectrum.