What I'm still learning about autism, whilst being autistic


When it comes to having a 'disorder' you would think that you would know everything about it. Especially 
if you've been diagnosed for 11 years. That's not the case, but even more so with autism. Turns out I was 
pretty clueless and closed off to a lot of things. Whether it be the technical term of an act or event that we 
do or that I was actually doing something that only people with autism do, despite thinking everyone did it 
too. I recently discovered a lot about autism from someone called Paige Layle's tiktoks and I cannot thank 
her enough for giving constant information and educating people on autism.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Paige spoke about how she decided to start posting educational videos on 
tiktok because of negative comments about autistic people being thrown around and used as jokes, as well 
as constantly being told 'you don't look autistic'. This inspired me to do this post and educate myself 
further on something that I am constantly experiencing 24/7.

I personally have Aspergers which is a form of Autism. They no longer use this term and instead have 
started using the term ASD (autism spectrum disorder). Aspergers is related to autism but is mainly 
characterised towards awkwardness in social interaction. Often the term high and low functioning is used. 
High functioning autism is when an individual has similar abilities to their 'neurotypical' peers, and low 
functioning autism is when an individuals behaviours inhibit their ability to conduct daily life. The high 
and low functioning labels are harmful as it dismisses their abilities and needs and puts people into boxes, 
when every person with autism will be different and no two people are alike. 

STIMMING
Stimming is a self stimulating behaviour that involves repetitive movement or sounds. Similar to an 
addictive habit. Everyone will stim in one way or another, however for people with autism it can feel more 
intense. Stimming might involve things such as flapping their hands, rocking back and forth, moving 
objects, blinking a lot, walking on their tiptoes and many more. These are all safe types of stimming, 
however they can also be dangerous if behaviours include; biting, picking or punching. Autistic people 
will often stim when they are in uncomfortable situations. For example I have a lot of movement in my 
fingers, crack my knuckles and dig my nails in to provide as a form of distraction. 

MASKING
Masking is when someone is performing or acting out a social behaviour that is deemed 'neurotypical' and 
hiding behaviours that aren't deemed acceptable by society. Masking is the idea to fit in and camouflage 
with others. Women are best at this which is why women are harder to diagnose as they don't show 
'typical' autism behaviour and qualities. I realised that I mask a lot and do so without noticing, like most 
autistic people do. I try to fit in and do the same as everyone else, purely to blend in as much as possible.

OBSESSIVE PERSONALITY
Something I've always known about myself is that I get obsessed with things very quickly. Whether that 
be a hobby or a food, I just accepted that it was a part of my personality. It wasn't until I was in college 
that I realised that other people picked up on it too. Lets say I have a crush on someone, I will constantly 
talk about that person as much as I can, but as soon as that goes away I will never mention them again. It 
sounds so minor but my obsessions also work as comfort blankets, so when it goes away and I'm no longer 
interested, I find myself very uncomfortable and unaware of what to do and how to handle situations. 

HYPERSENSESITIVITY
Hypersensitivity comes across that you might just be able to hear and recognise more sounds that others or 
have better eye sight and taste, but it's a very difficult thing to experience. Your sense are heightened 
which makes them uncomfortable and hard to focus and can create a emotional pain throughout your 
body, as it won't go. Sometimes mine will show up in smell and taste, which is why I am a very picky 
eater. The main way I experience this is through sound. A lot of the time this is controlled, however if 
I'm on my phone and listening to a video and the TV is on the background because my parents are 
watching it, I can't process that and my emotions are then heightened. I find myself getting upset and 
angry because it's so intense. The majority of the time this is controlled and I only experience it at home.

AUTISM SPEAKS CHARITY 
I recently learned that Autism Speaks is a charity that you should not support. You hear the word charity 
and automatically assume they are doing good and everything in their power to help people. Unfortunately 
this isn't the case. Less than 4% of the money that is donated goes to helping families and the majority of 
their money goes to finding a cure for autism as they believe it is a disease. Autism Speaks does not speak 
for autistic people they are against people with autism. There are many articles and evidence out there 
about why Autism Speaks is a charity you should not donate too.

Autism is not a disability. It's a different ability.

xoxo
Lea-Mai

14 comments

  1. I love this, I have two friends who have Autism and I find it so interesting how they're both so different. More people need to know about it and understand that it's such a wide spectrum, so thanks for sharing!

    www.upyourvlog.com

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    1. Thank you! It really is. If you've met someone with autism, you've truly only met one person with autism. Everyone is so different x

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  2. I struggle with hypersensitivity in public spaces, like restaurants and on trains. It can be really quite upsetting. This is so interesting to learn about

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    1. It can be upsetting can't it, I tend to get overwhelmed and stressed if I'm out in public x

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  3. This was a really interesting read, I had no idea that Aspergers was referred to something else these days.

    Amy x
    The July Rose

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    1. I think it's quite new, it's due to the term low and high functioning I believe x

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  4. This was such an interesting read! It's always lovely to learn more x

    Joyce | www.joycelauofficial.com

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  5. One of my closest friends has a little boy with autism and I used to work with autistic children, this post has taught me lots! I've already shared the link with my friend so that she can learn more from you!
    Rosie
    loverosiee.co.uk

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    1. Thank you lovely! I've worked with autistic children too and they're all so different, even though they're experiencing the same things x

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  6. This is so interesting and helpful to read, thank you for sharing lovely you’re so brave sharing your story and it will help so many people! X

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    1. Thank you sweet! Hoping it helps other people x

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  7. This was a super interesting read. My parents have always suspected that I may have some form of autism but I've never seen a doctor about it, reading this I was a bit like, "eesh, yikes." because a lot of it relates to me haha, especially the obsessive personality and hypersensitivity (I have hyperacusis). Also forwarded this on to my mum lol.

    Thanks for all the info!

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    1. A lot of people go undiagnosed especially those who are over 20. A diagnosis won't suddenly make things better but it can help to get a further understanding. I'm glad you liked it x

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