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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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Changes

By Sarah Matincheck

To me, growing up means having to deal with change. While many people aren’t a real fan of change at times, it can be extra hard for people with Autism, and if there’s any changing involved I know I always appreciate when someone can notify me in advance.

I’m learning that when your becoming an adult there more new change than ever! Such as how to do things on your own, or maybe learning how to drive, overall becoming more independent. When I was about 12 years old I was allowed to walk to the grocery store by myself since it’s close to home and walk around my Nan’s neighborhood. I want to learn to drive so that I can get around more places I need to be – Maybe visit family, go to school, or even drive myself back and forth to work.

Sometimes I just wish I could stay a kid longer and not have to worry about college, finding a career that is a good fit for me – things like that. These are things that kids don’t really worry about much and probably why I love being around them so much.

People can change their own thoughts on life, how they act, what they like, and how they dress. I would often start to question it – Why is it taking effect? How did it come to this? And does it even involve me? I would worry if the change was made because of me, or if I am to blame for it. But that was before. I used to do that ALL the time, but now I am able to control my emotions a little bit more and no longer blame myself for small changes. I’ve learned that I can’t always blame myself because it will end up with me a being push-over, taking on blame for things that I can’t control. Now that I am getting older I am working hard to speak up for myself, but part of me continues to worry about how others will react – Will they be shocked? Mad?

Dealing with change is different for everyone but for people with autism we have to put a lot of focus on staying calm because if not, emotions can get out of hand and it then can be hard to calm down. I try to stay positive and calm as best I can, but sometimes when my day takes a wrong turn, it can be hard to stay positive and I start to feel like I can’t do anything right.

Those with Autism can often feel uncomfortable around change. It is a common symptom, but I think it’s worth saying that people without Autism can feel also uncomfortable with change.

My parents are there to help guide me through change and explained that often, change is a good thing that will only help you later in life. So now I try to give change a chance. I’m still not a fan of change, but then again, who really is?

I’ll be back again soon – See ya next time 😉