“Look in the mirror and see, Autism is different, and that’s okay. Don’t laugh. That is the truth. The prettiest thing Autistic Girls can wear is themselves.” – Student at Limpsfield Grange School from the ITV documentary Girls with Autism
So, that first post was scary for me to publish. And last night, I did something even scarier: I finally told my dad about this journey.
Now, you may be thinking, “well, surely he’d be accepting and understanding, so no big deal,” but I know my dad and I worry like he does, and the last thing I wanted was for him to get upset or start blaming himself for this.
They live about 45 minutes away from us, and the last few months we’ve not really seen each other much. I was determined to not bring this up over the phone, but it was about when we would get together again, and how easy it would be to bring into conversation.
There were fireworks in my local park last night, and Dad and Rita (stepmom) love fireworks, so I texted them to let them know. We were able to meet up to watch the fireworks, which were quite possibly the best I’ve ever seen before, and I suggested that we go grab a drink afterwards, which we did.
After several minutes of chatting and generally catching up, I took the plunge and brought it up. Both of them were very receptive and grateful that I decided to share this with them, and didn’t say anything to the contrary to dissuade me from investigating this. As I started explaining some of my “quirks” and how they indicate Autism/Aspergers, my dad seemed to become a bit reflective. I reiterated that a diagnosis would not change my day-to-day life, but rather would give me a simple signpost for people rather than trying to explain every difference and “quirk” that I experience (which will be the subject of future posts). Dad said that he’d like to know how I get on with the whole assessment process when it commences, and I’m just so relieved to finally have that out in the open. I can’t help but feel like this is kind of similar to what it’s like for someone to come out as gay, but obviously very, very different; I’d never say that it’s the same, because some of the horrible experiences gay people have of being disowned to being physically attacked, which I highly doubt anyone who suspects they’re Autistic would have to endure in the same way (I hope that makes sense).
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. I think for my next post, I’ll start sharing some of my sensory issues/needs/”quirks”.