|Posted by Admin on July 30, 2015 at 8:40 AM|
After looking (or listening) back on my first autism interview EVER, it’s amazing to think just how much has changed. I can remember the excitement of someone being interested in what I had to say for the very first time. I can also remember being SO cautious about privacy that I specifically asked if I could remain somewhat anonymous (to the point that I went by my dog’s name, Sadie!) Of course, by now I’ve been in the newspaper, on TV, all over the internet…secret’s out - my real name is Erin!
The next thing I remember is asking if I could have most of the interview questions ahead of time so that I was able to come up with most of the answers beforehand and follow the conversation more smoothly. And it helped until there was an extra question thrown in on the air, and I got a little confused! (I was obviously still new to the interviewing process!)
And now I look back at the actual interview itself. I realize that today I disagree with some of what I said then. I start off the conversation stating that Asperger’s is a high-functioning form of autism. Well, this part is true…until I say that people with Asperger’s have an easier time DEALING with the symptoms. I want to make a statement now (that I failed to state back then) which is that I can ONLY speak for myself. This is because everyone on the spectrum is SO different from each other….which is why it’s called the Autism Spectrum. Also, while some symptoms of autism may be easier for me to deal with personally (such as my ability to speak out loud), there are other symptoms which may be more difficult simply because people forget that I have these difficulties.
The next question was about my hypersensitivities, and how I could ever feel comfortable with those feelings. I agree in what I had said that some days are worse than others and that I’ve learned ways to cope and deal with the hypersensitivities. But I don’t think that I ever feel like an average or “typical” person. (Honestly, I don’t even KNOW what a neuro-typical person feels like….I’m not neuro-typical!) I think that “comfort” is different for each individual. So perhaps I just settle for the most comfortable feeling I can get.
How do I cope with those moments when I need to stim in public? Well, I might listen to music or go into a bathroom and stim…but usually I just need to call it a day or at least head home to chill for a bit. I said in this interview that I just do it in public, but now I’m growing older and I recognize that not all stimming is appropriate. So I have limits as to how long I can BE in public. I’m currently working on finding ways to solve this issue.
The interview goes on, and I say that Asperger’s is not “autism”. At this point in my life, I totally disagree with that statement. I would personally say that Asperger’s is a form of autism.
Do things get better as I get older? Again, I don’t think they get better on their own…I think I learn how to cope more. That being said, maturity helps me to think differently as I learn from more experiences.
The last thing I must mention is about my dog. My wonderful, best friend, forever and always. (If you listen closely, you can hear her barking in the background towards the end of the interview!) I’ve mentioned a few times in the interview that I love animals, and that they help me to get through each day. My dog was no exception. She unfortunately passed away just a little over a year after this interview took place. I miss her terribly, but I do believe that she is with me, watching over me every day.
And a special thanks to Tim Abbott for taking the time to interview me and having me on his radio show, Technical Difficulties!
Listen to my first ever radio interview here: https://archive.org/details/TechnicalDifficulties28