What Being Autistic Means to Me | Autistic Voices | Olivia

29 Mar 23
Olivia, member of the Autistic Young Experts Panel, smiling at the camera. 'Guest post' written in overlaying text on the image.

What Being Autistic Means to Me | Autistic Voices | Olivia

Autistic Young Expert Panel member, Olivia, talks about what being autistic means to her, her deeply sensitive side & how every autistic person is unique. Read Olivia's own words...

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 37 seconds.

It is important to remember that the experience of being autistic is different for every autistic person. 

I am someone who is chatty and thrives in a quiet, structured and predictable environment and also someone who's very withdrawn, and can become quite overwhelmed and non-speaking, in loud, busy and unstructured environments.  

The ways that I might communicate may vary from what's perceived as the ‘norm’, but this is totally okay because everyone communicates differently. 

Communication isn't always what we'd expect is just oral verbal communication.  

Being autistic to me also means being someone who has an altered perception of our sensory world. 

I am someone who is sensitive to light and sound. I might wear headphones a lot more than you think would be socially acceptable. I might wear sunglasses inside, a lot of the time. I dislike light touch, but I love deep pressure and hugs.  

I'm someone who might need those extra few seconds in a new and different environment to be able to communicate in a way that works for me.  

Other people’s patience and time in those situations is so important to me, and so valuable. It makes me feel able to enter those situations that I might otherwise find really difficult. 

There's no ‘one look’ to autism, not that autism in itself has a physical outward look! 

There's no one singular image or description that an autistic person could meet and every individual could match.  

Every autistic person is unique.

Thanks for sharing, Olivia!

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