I am an intelligent autistic woman. I manage my own business, have raised three great kids and interface with the world around me with a fair amount of success. Not too shabby considering I lived in an institution as a kid, was homeless as an adult and used public assistance for some years.
Each individual who has an autism spectrum diagnosis got that diagnosis based on deficits. That isn’t good or bad, but rather, simply the way diagnosing works. Diagnostic deficits are based on the social and expected norms exhibited by the majority of people. Deficits are determined by a significant deviation from this majority norm. And, if you deviate far enough from the norm you get a label. If you have a group of deficits that line up with the autism spectrum disorder label then you get that label.
Autism is a developmental delay. This is particularly important when it comes to our youth who are at the age typical youth graduate from high school and launch into their adult life. Typically developing youth are ready to go off to college or become employed in a full time job upon high school graduation. For a few, this happens immediately upon high school graduation, but for most it takes another process where they work a job, attend higher education, and move away from the family home – either all at once or a little at a time so that over the next few years the high school graduates find their starting place in the big wide world.
When I was a teenager, the “too much” of life caught up with me. Everything in the world around me was just too much.
…too much noise with the varying sounds of the world clamoring to grab my attention, their pitches and tones wildly crashing into each other as if competing for a speed prize on a race track – or so I wished … If only the cacophony of the world outside my skin would at least line up and compete in some orderly fashion – like race cars on a race track – it would then allow me to watch the color of each sound going around and around, and thus enable me to keep track of this forever multi-tonal, warped schizophrenic sound in the world all around me –
It has taken most my lifetime for me to begin figuring out stuck emotions in relationship to my autism. In discussing this with other autistic adults I have discovered many share this problem. Some describe the stuck emotions as being shut down. There are variations of experience, but there seems to be a shared experience of stuck emotions in autistics. Everyone I have discussed this with agrees that stuck emotions are quite difficult to deal with and, in fact, have led to much misunderstanding and sometimes to psychiatric hospitalizations.