What many people don’t realise is that, to someone born with autism, this is their version of normal and to come to identify and accept your own inherent traits is to “come home”, whatever that may look like to an outside observer. Its as though all the deep enthusiasm you’ve been feigning about your successes pretending to be neurotypical all your life, which by now many of us have got very good at doing (if we haven’t already burned out from the gigantean effort), is finally reclaimed and then unleashed as all this genuine enthusiasm for realising THIS is how you really are. It finally feels authentic and well-fitting, like slipping on a suit of clothing that is tailored to you when all the other ones had been slightly over-tight, twisted, scratchy and, in so many ways, deeply ill-fitting and uncomfortable.
Imagine going through life at cross-purposes with most of the people around you...not because you are broken but because you are different to a degree you didn't realise until now. Plunging the challenging world of neurodiverse relationships from personal experience, from some books I can recommend and from the perspective of some fresh new approaches to autism that are (thankfully) starting to appear.
When we open our minds to the fact we have access to experiences we can't always explain with logic, we realise we are the early warning system to ourselves. Above all, when we allow ourselves, we just know what we know...with every instinct in our body and soul and this is our gift; albeit it a typically double-edged one...(read on).
The propensity to teach ourselves new skills and prefer to do things our own way from the outset is, I suspect, a trait of high-functioning autism. It makes us into mavericks, it sometimes increases what looks like our failure or non-completion rate and it frustrates the hell out of partners when we prefer to construct things "out of the box" without first consulting the instruction leaflet. However, it also makes us movers and shakers when it comes to making paradigm leaps...a much needed skillset at this point in time.