My Ontario Autism Plan Story

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This isn’t a story about my child on the autism spectrum, this is a story about me: an autistic person.

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What Do My Neurodivergent Habits Look Like?

As a neurodivergent person, I struggle a lot with building habits. It’s hard for me to do the tasks that I want to become habits. It’s hard for me to continue to do those tasks consistently for any length of time. And most of all, they never become automatic. Perhaps a neurotypical wouldn’t consider the end result a “habit,” but you can’t get far as a neurodivergent person by trying to adhere to neurotypical standards.

So, what do my habits look like?

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Growing Up Under the Autism Radar

My mother may have been a nurse in a psychiatric ward, but she could never seem to accept that I am disabled. I don’t know whether either of my parents ever suspected I was autistic, but they never pursued a diagnosis for me. Even when I was a teenager and my difficulties managing a neurotypical life became more and more clear, my mother still couldn’t accept that the reason was anything other than laziness. She opposed me getting evaluated for depression, she opposed me getting evaluated for ADHD, and I still don’t think she believes that I’m autistic.

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You’ll Be Able to Do It Without Thinking— and Other Lies

One thing I’ve always struggled with since moving out and starting university has been self care. Eating healthy, exercising, showering, brushing my teeth, socializing, keeping a clean home. Most of these likely come naturally or easily to neurotypical students but, to me, they are all a massive and draining undertaking.

I’ve consistently been told by my therapists and psychiatrists that the key to solving my difficulties is to build habits and routines. The concept they can’t seem to grasp is that I can’t do things without thinking.

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An Autistic Love of Physics

It’s hard to describe the relationship I have with physics.

One one hand, it’s a captivating glimpse into the inner workings of the universe. Within the lines of mathematical equations, there is no room for social subtlety or faux-pas. It doesn’t matter if you chew on your eraser while deriving expressions to approximate the densities of celestial objects. Deep understanding of concepts is required in order to use them, so spending your days fixated on newly-learnt ideas and theories puts you at an advantage. Have you ever asked how something worked, and the answer was beyond what you’d ever dreamed was possible? That’s physics.

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