Personality and Autism
Everyone is unique and in some ways I am even more so. Due to my disability, mental health issues and Autism, I don’t posses the same skills as others my age. This means that I respond to the world around me differently because it affects me differently. Imagine how you would feel if the way you experience the world was hugely different from everyone else. Although my autism is a big part of who I am it’s also important for me to express other parts of who I am.
Many of you reading this may think you know who I am already because you’ve already met a person with autism before. We don’t call it being on the spectrum for nothing. No two people with autism are the same and it’s common for us to misunderstand each other in the same way someone would who knew nothing about autism.
If you take the time to get to know me by reading my blog you will have the best personal insight into how an autistic guy like me experiences the world. If we all made the effort to understand someone completely different to ourselves we would gain extra insight into the infinite ways humans can see this world.
I moved to Felbrigg House in August 2010 because I needed a place to live where I could receive daily support as well as have a personal space on my own. I have my own room and bathroom on the top floor and I share the house with nine other people, Stephen, Wain, Natasha, Lisa, Hannah, Graham, Carl, Claire, Mark. We all require different levels of support and with the help of our the friendly staff we all live together very happily. (Most of the time).
Sandra is the manager of Felbrigg House and she has got to know me very well since I have lived here. She has taken the time to understand my needs, which has improved the quality of my home life. There are many friendly support staff at Felbrigg House and they all help to make my home life safe and happy.
I don’t like change too much and prefer to have a routine. Unfortunately, I don’t have any concept of time and I am unable to tell the time. My talking watch helps me know when things are about to happen, which is very important for me because surprises make me feel uneasy. Read more…
I am always grateful when the people in my life help me to keep to my routine because it helps me to stay happy and stress-free. Timetables are very useful for my family and support staff because it helps them to avoid breaking my routine
It’s important to the people that care about me that I keep a healthy, balanced diet. I don’t always understand the importance of eating healthy food, so it’s something everyone needs to help me with. A good diet will improve my mood and help me keep a healthy immune system to fight off nasty colds.
Everyone needs a quiet space to relax but this is essential for my general well-being. A crowded room wouldn’t really bother most people but loud voices and the limited space can feel like all the commotion is closing in on me, overloading my senses and confusing me, which can be very scary. The closer the commotion, the more overwhelmed I become until I am forced to block it all out by covering my ears, closing my eyes and drowning out the noise with my own voice. Having someone to guide me through a crowded room or a busy shopping centre helps me to focus on staying calm. A busy environment doesn’t have to be scary if I have someone supporting me through the experience.
I need a great deal of encouragement to motivate me to do things for myself. I find it very easy to give up when I know someone else is willing to do it for me. It is also important that your encouragement does not turn into nagging, as this can make me very upset and lead to me feeling hassled and smothered. The best way to motivate me is to ask me to help you with whatever it is you would like me to do. Start with easy requests and work your way up. If you ask me to do something and then leave it for me, I will be more inclined to do it because being stared at makes me feel uncomfortable and distracted. Please do not overload me with requests because it will make the task seem too big for me. A better way for me is if you say “first we need to do this, second we need to do that”. I can’t cope with a string of instructions but this will help me to understand the order of what I need to do. I do more things on my own when someone isn’t watching me do them. All the people in my life that care about me want me to do more things for myself so I can be more independent. Since moving to Felbrigg House in August 2010 I have started to enjoy helping out by clearing the dinner table after meals and collecting my laundry for washing. I can also be encouraged to make my own bed and tidy my room with a little assistance.