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Room for improvement

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Lately, I have been struggling with Imposter Syndrome or what I call “not good enough.” It makes it hard to get out of bed and do anything other than read. I don’t think I’m depressed or burned out. I think that I absorbed and internalized the attitude that autism is “less than” rather than “different.”

This reminds me that it’s April and the theme for this month is “Celebrating Autism.” It’s a great idea but it rings hollow for me. So many of my peers are either not working or unemployed. Employment is really important because it’s part of being a contributing member of the community. Employment has been a constant source of anxiety for me throughout my lifetime. I’m lucky enough right now to have a great job but my anxiety never goes away regarding not being good enough for my job.

Housing is another issue as it’s difficult to find affordable and safe places to live. For me, having my own place has been a life saver. Housing is connected to so many different issues like having enough money because your employed or having the supports needed to be successful in living on your own.

Having access to healthcare is another huge issue. Yes, this is definitely an issue for lots of people, but another wrinkle comes up when it’s hard to communicate or have your doctor understand what your problems are. Having doctors who understand autism and the associated conditions that are often part and parcel of having autism is important to good healthcare. It can be hard to find those types of doctors and the waiting list to become a patient for them can be long.

Having a support system, especially direct support professionals, for some people on the autism spectrum can be lifesavers. I know this is definitely true for me. My direct support professional team has allowed me to be more independent, live on my own, and have a job. For example, they help me keep track of my appointments, help me keep my apartment clean, and they are my sounding board and a big part of my support system. There are not enough support professionals and it’s a stressful job that can easily burn people out. There are other ways to make your employment in which you could make more money and not work as hard. I believe that this is an issue because there are more people who have needs than there are professionals to support them. There’s lots of reasons why there’s not enough professionals but I think it’s important to increase their wages, provide better benefits, and support their mental health. I think their jobs are important and that we need more direct support professionals.

 These are some of the reasons why I’m not exactly “Celebrating Autism” this April. Yes, we’ve come a long way and we’ve been successful in lots of ways, but we’ve got a long way to still go. My dream, my idea of success entails a place where we celebrate all people and where everybody has opportunities to successfully move forward, no matter what. As always, I hope you found this blog interesting and thought-provoking. Best of luck to my readers in all of your endeavors.

Out-of-Sync Woman

I was diagnosed at a young age and went through the special education system in public schools. Family is incredibly important to me as I grew up in a large supportive family. I enjoy being outside in nature and arts and crafts.

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