First, my story so far, and this will not be all of my story because I am working on a book. I have had the opportunity to share more of my story and experiences in the past few weeks as another disabling medical condition that is life threatening in nature was discovered through some testing that is nowhere near over yet.
Whenever appropriate, I do share my story. So that hopefully others will learn from it. It happened over here: http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/docsoup/2016/04/andrew-wakefield-vaxxed-documentary-autism/. While I will give props to the author of the blog post for having the bravado to attend a controversy bogus film and then write a review about it, I wish that the film would quit being shown. It is dangerous at best and further perpetrates the myth that autism is damaged at worst.
My own story is that I was born with congenital rubella syndrome. My mom was exposed in early term when she was pregnant with me. Early enough that I somehow survived despite the fact that she had a very complicated pregnancy in the months that followed the exposure. As for the woman who exposed her? She lost her baby shortly after birth.
Congenital rubella syndrome is often lifelong with clinical manifestations that can occur later in life. I am just fortunate to have lived despite the exposure.
Mom always knew something was different about me. Always. Long before the first vaccine was given. Mom, like me, was diagnosed autistic late in life. She was diagnosed after me. Her autism is level one - mild. My autism is level two-three moderate-severe.
But what is autism you may say? Because you're so smart and you can communicate. Yes, I am smart, and yes, I can communicate. But that's not autism. Although I did have clinically significant speech delays and do have trouble with functional communication. Autism varies from person to person, hence the reason it is a spectrum disorder. It impacts social skills, imaginative play, and can be comorbid with sensory processing disorder which can lead to a lot of meltdowns.
Here's the response to AutismDadd who had the audacity to try to invalidate my diagnosis today (two months after I shared my story with the writer of that post linked above):
AutismDadd, first you cannot spell. So what right do you have to try to invalidate anyone? You're not a psychologist. Only psychologists are allowed to diagnose. Only medical doctors are allowed to diagnose. As long as stupid people like you exist, autistics will never have acceptance in society. Acceptance. Acceptance means that autistics like me are accepted as the people we are and allowed to attend church and school and be gainfully employed as long as they are physically able. They are not judged for being different or told to stop their fidgets or to be something they simply cannot be. AutismDadd, I am clearly a threat to you somehow because I clearly don't fit in your little preconceived box of what autism should be. And that's good because it means all the hard work my mom put into me getting therapy paid off. It means that those who invested in me had a return on their investment because I don't fit your ideas. And that's wonderful. I am clearly also more intelligent than you will ever be. Because I don't insist on trying to bully and invalidate people or their diagnoses. And I definitely have a lot more compassion than you ever will. But maybe that's because I am sick and tired of idiots like you who think they have the right to try to invalidate people. Am I sensitive? Yes, but it's because of idiots like you who falsely judge people and try to invalidate them that I am now an advocate for those same people and a self-advocate. I may not get paid for my work in advocacy, but I love what I do. Because hopefully, one day, there will no longer be idiots like you trying to invalidate people or their diagnoses. Oh, and you have been flagged and reported to Disqus using their form, something I wish Facebook had when reporting. I looked further into your comments. You're always an idiot and a jerk from what I could tell. And guess what? After this, I am done with you. Period. So say what you want, but you get no sympathy from me because I don't have time for that crap.
Anyway, like I said, I am not sharing too much of my story beyond this on here because I am trying to work on a book. And here's something I do know. If AutismDadd tries to come at me on my blog, I can ban him.
If nothing else, I hope more people learn from my experience and learn how to better advocate for autistics and autism acceptance.