Autism Reflection

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It always seems odd to me when people ask me what it is like to be on the autism spectrum. Often, I notice that I forget that everyone around me is not autistic like I am. But sometimes, something will happen that snaps me back into painful awareness that I am not neurotypical. I have noticed this most when it comes to my experiences with school. Because autism is such a huge part of who I am as an individual, autism has impacted my education in many different ways. Ultimately, this presents itself in two major ways: the way in which my thought process is different from my peers and my ability to engage in and understand social situations which greatly affect my educational experience.
As Temple Grandin describes it, autistic people tend to
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One of the most frustrating things about being autistic is my poor social skills and lack of social understanding. While I have always been of the mindset that my education is more important than socialization, it has always been very clear to me how intertwined the two are. It seems to me now that the thing which prevents me from learning more is that I simply cannot seem to learn how others communicate. Any activity that involved interaction with others sent a wave of anxiety through my body before it even began. When I was very young, my peers were more understanding; all young children can be awkward or shy, it seemed. But the older I got, the harder social interactions became. In middle school and early into high school, I missed more school due to the anxiety attacks that came from my failed social interactions than I did from illness. As someone who is sick often, this was unacceptable to me. Autistic people often obsess over the things that interest them, called “special interests.” Body language became one of these special interests for me in high school as a result of the tedious research I began to get out of this feeling that I was alone in a world where everyone knew a secret I could not find out. My knowledge of body language allowed me to finally learn to decipher social situations in a way that not only improved both my communication and understanding of others’ communication, but…show more content…
I think differently, I communicate differently, and whether it is convenient for not, I am ultimately very different from my peers. At the end of the day, I would not have it any other way. Being on the spectrum is both frustrating and beautiful, and I look forward to furthering my education from my unique
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