Autistic Spectrum Digest (Autism) Issue 22, September 2015 - Page 40

I have never been quite like most people. I was aware of my difference from a very early age. It was as though I viewed the world in an entirely different way from the people around me. “Little” things were big deals to me: my apple juice had to be just the right temperature, or I couldn’t drink it. My blanket had to be cool to the touch for me to use it — but not too cool, either. I couldn’t wear certain colours, such as yellow socks, because they were “itchy.” I described many scenarios in everyday life as “uncomfortable.” Shoes were uncomfortable. Going anywhere without a stuffed animal was uncomfortable. My parents were mostly amused by what they seemed to see as finickiness and bossiness. I would state my needs very clearly and not understand that they sounded bizarre to other people. Things that they took seriously seemed inconsequential to me. Things that I took seriously seemed inconsequential to them. I felt perpetually misunderstood. Adults were always telling me I was “gifted” because I knew so much about animals, was a very fast learner, and could write and draw very well for my age. And yet, at the same time, it seemed as though I couldn’t do anything right. I was always tripping over my own feet. I had trouble staying seated in school — literally. My body would slide out of the chair, and I would find myself on the floor. I couldn’t stop daydreaming and looking out the window, no matter how hard I tried. 40