Maybe autistic

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  1. Butterfly
    Hello-ilikepizza013 / Dec 06 2020 21.50

    So I have always struggled with life like I can never do anything right like loading the dishwasher or putting stuff in the washing machine and my parents say I never show any emotion so I searched up symptoms and I think i may be autistic my dad, cousin, grandad and sister are all autistic so I don't know whether to tell my dad or not pls help

    Eva

  2. Top dog
    GoldenRetrieverPuppy / Jan 22 2021 16.30

    Hi Eva,

    I have been in the same position as you. I found an article about Greta Thunberg, which mentioned that she was autistic. I looked up the signs of autism and they seemed to describe me as well. I did eleven months of very detailed research, to get a better idea of whether autism seemed like a good fit. I don't know how much research you've done, but if you haven't done a lot, then it might be a good idea to spend some more time looking at signs of autism, to see whether it could be a possibility. Not doing things correctly could be a symptom of executive dysfunction, which affects your ability to:

    • Remember what you are doing

    • Figure out all the steps to complete a task

    • Plan and organise certain things, such as homework (although autistic people may enjoy organising objects and having a daily routine)

    • Start something new

    • Stop what you are doing

    • Move onto the next thing

    • Control your impulses

    • Adapt to changes in routine

    • and many other things that I haven't mentioned, because executive dysfunction is so complicated that it would be impossible for me to describe it in one post.

    Nearly every autistic person struggles with at least some of the things I have mentioned. I can hardly get dressed or have a shower. Not showing emotion is also a characteristic of autism. I was always called serious at my primary school, because I had a blank facial expression. Autism also runs in families, so if your family members have it, it's more likely that you have it too. Do some research, but don't jump to conclusions without a doctor's advice. Try reading:

    • The diagnostic criteria

    • Information from autistic people

    • The NHS information on autism

    • Reputable organisations, such as ASAN, the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network and the National Autistic Society

  3. Top dog
    GoldenRetrieverPuppy / Jan 22 2021 16.47

    (Continued)

    Autism also looks different in girls and women (this includes anyone who is assigned female or who identifies as female) Do some research, but don't jump to conclusions without advice from a professional.

    Once you have found out more about autism, you will have a better idea of whether you could be on the spectrum. If you think it's a possibility, the next thing you will need to do is tell someone, so that you can be assessed. I know this sounds scary. I kept it to myself for ages, because I was worried that my parents would get upset, or that they wouldn't believe me. However, in the end, I thought I needed some help, as I was really struggling. Adults who don't get a diagnosis until they are grown up often find life a huge struggle a d many of them develop serious mental health problems. Your parents would be more upset if this happened to you, especially if they found out you'd been keeping it a secret that you thought you were autistic for years. Anxiety is common in autistic people. It makes things seem a lot worse than they actually are. Fear of a thing is always worse than the thing itself, so it's best to be brave and do it.

    You might wonder how you are going to tell someone. I had a 1-2-1 chat with Childline to explore my options, and we decided that I would talk to my key worker first (I have a key worker at school because I have a condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome). Talking to a trusted adult other than your parents may be a good idea if you're worried about telling your parents. We then discussed how I would talk to her, and I decided to write an email.

  4. Top dog
    GoldenRetrieverPuppy / Jan 22 2021 16.59

    (Continued)

    Writing a letter or an email can be a great way of opening up. I sometimes lose the ability to speak when I'm stressed and I can't control my facial expressions (so sometimes I smile and laugh when I'm talking about something serious), which are both potential autistic traits. This means that speaking out loud can be very hard. If you have these traits too, or if you're too nervous to talk out loud, then writing or drawing something can be a brilliant way to tell someone. It is nowhere near as scary as speaking face-to-face.

    You could try talking things through with a Childline counsellor. They can help you to work out who to talk to and how to tell them. They really helped me. The Childline website also has a page about autism and a page about asking an adult for help, which you might want to read (if you haven't already).

    You might want to know what happens after you've told someone. If you go to your parents first, they are likely to take you to the GP, who can refer you to an autism specialist. If you tell someone at school, things might be a bit different. I am going to share my experience of talking to my key worker, so that you'll have some idea of what to expect.

  5. Top dog
    GoldenRetrieverPuppy / Jan 22 2021 17.18

    I chose a day when the school closed early, because another year group had a parents' evening. This gave me time to do my maths revision, exercise and piano practice early, so that I'd have a lot of free time later. After dinner, my family were watching a TV programme that I wasn't interested in. This was the perfect opportunity to write my email. First, I logged on to the Childline website and wrote all my worries in the mood journal, which helped to lower my anxiety levels. I still felt a bit nervous, so I did the breathing exercises in the calm zone. After that, I was ready. The previous day, I had sent an email to Childline, in which I wrote the email I planned to send to my key worker. This was useful, because it meant I didn't have to think of what to write when I was anxious. The reply also helped me to feel more confident. I went to my Childline inbox and opened the email. I then went to my non-private window and opened my school email. I wrote everything out and sent it. Afterwards, I did some of the activities in the calm zone to deal with my emotions and then I went to bed.

    The following morning, in Tutor Time, my key worker came in and took me out of the classroom. She said I had done a brave and positive thing. She took me outside, so that my classmates were unable to hear what was going on, and we had a conversation. She explained that she would have to tell the SEND manager. In science, the SEND manager came in and took me to her office. She said that she wanted to phone my mum and she asked for my permission. I said yes. In maths, which was my last lesson, she came in and said that my mum was fine about it. All that worry had been for nothing! She also told me that she would contact some people, in order to start a diagnostic assessment in school.

  6. Top dog
    GoldenRetrieverPuppy / Jan 22 2021 17.33

    You asked whether or not you should tell someone what you suspect.. My short answer is yes! As you can see from my message, it's absolutely worth it. It means you will get the support you need.

    I know that talking about a problem can be hard. I have written a plan to make it easier. It's called the Who-What-When-How plan. You need to decide:

    • Who to tell. This could be a family member, a friend's parent or carer, a neighbour, an adult at school or someone else.

    • What to say. They will need to know some things, but you might not want to tell them everything. There were a few things I didn't feel comfortable talking about yet, so I left them out of the email. If you decide to send a letter, email or text message, you could post on here and I could give you a plan to follow, if you wanted me to.

    • When to tell them. Choose a time when neither of you are busy or stressed. If you talk out loud, ask them whether it would be a good time for you to discuss something important. If you decide to write it down, do it when your family aren't around. I was lucky to have a very convenient day two days after the 1-2-1 chat.

    • How to tell them. Some people, like me, like to write things down, while others prefer to talk out loud. You could also draw a picture. It's about finding what works for you. If you tell them in writing, think about privacy- if you have a nosy sibling like I do, an email might be better than a letter.

    I hope this advice helps you. It's not a fun situation to be in, but I hope you know what to do after reading my replies. Be brave and talk to someone.

    Good luck,

    GoldenRetrieverPuppy

  7. Top dog
    GoldenRetrieverPuppy / Jan 22 2021 17.53

    That's very strange. My last two posts have been accepted, but my first three posts didn't seem to go through moderation. That must be confusing for you. What I was saying in my first message was that you should do some research into autism. Try to read the NHS info on autism, information from the National Autistic Society and autistic people's views. Avoid Autism Speaks! Once you have done that, if you still think you're autistic, tell someone.

    Another suggestion is to talk to Childline. They can help you decide who to talk to and what to say. I had a 1-2-1 chat with Childline and we decided that I would write an email to my key worker. I explained this in my first message, but it didn't send.

  8. Top dog
    GoldenRetrieverPuppy / Jan 23 2021 9.51

    Oh, that's weird. My first posts have now been approved.

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