This month’s post is slightly different. Megan, who is the author of the blog ‘From an Autistic Point of View‘ reached out to me and asked if we could collaborate. I read a few of her blog posts and was confident that we were both trying to achieve the same outcome from our posts; raising awareness and educating. So, of course I was more than happy to work together.
Megan is 29 years old and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome around the age of 14. She lives in America so her experience of diagnosis and medical follow-up support differ to those of mine in the UK. Unfortunately, what both countries do have in common is that they need much more funding towards Autism services. As such, there is also a massive lack of awareness of Autism from the general public in both nations.
That’s where Megan and I come in to the equation. We speak out about our experiences, through our independent blogs, in the hope that they will contribute towards a much needed cause.
Megan’s main focus of her blog is to speak about what she likes to call, ‘artistic autistics’, something she herself identifies as. When time allows, she enjoys the more creative side of life, working on her own blog. It was interesting for me to read what it is like for her, as she writes about being the minority. Most people assume that Autism comes with an association of excelling intellectually – that is, your Steve Jobs and Issac Newtons of the world. However, contrary to popular belief, we can also excel artistically such as in the cases of Tim Burton and Wolfgang Mozart. If you don’t fit into the intellectual category then you can feel misunderstood and unseen. This is something Megan is working to change.
I on the other hand, feel like I fall somewhere in the middle of the two descriptions. I have always excelled in my education especially in science and english, but math has always been my idea of hell! I never did well in art class, nor I do I have the patience for drawing or painting, but dancing and music I adore.
I think the point Megan is trying to make through her writing is that Autism is a spectrum. Each individual has a unique personality and interests just as neurotypicals do. We’re not a ‘one size fits all’ as is too often perceived.
If you would like to give Megan’s blog a read, which I highly recommend you do – and you’re an avid Star Wars fan – then please click here.
Below is a small profile write up by Megan herself:
Hi everyone, I know there are many autistic blogs out there, but this one is mine. Originally I began it with no real idea in mind. All I really knew was that writing was and still is my passion. From there it grew into a form of therapy allowing me to release my emotions to basically anyone who would listen.
Since then, however, it has transformed into a way for me to show people that there is more than one type of autistic. Sure, you may hear about the more “intellectual” autistics getting hired by places such as IBM, Microsoft, Google, Apple and the like, but that’s not me, nor has it ever or will ever be me. I can still clearly remember being a young girl walking down my elementary school hallway and thinking that when I grew up, so long as I wasn’t doing anything with math or science (as I’ve always struggled with those), then I would be happy. So far, that is mostly true. There are things in my life that I would change, but that’s a story for another post.
In the meantime, I’m simply working as a respite provider (link to what that is here), while doing what I can to grow my blog. Ideally I would love to use it to become an activist for those like me. Until then, I am currently pleased with where it’s at. I know that’s a strange word to use there, but I wouldn’t quite call myself content with where it’s at. To me, that would mean I would be happy not seeing it grow, and that’s just not true.
It wasn’t until 2020 funnily enough, when I was watching a special with my mom on “Intellectual” autistics and where they were getting hired, that it finally clicked for me. That was my niche, talking about what I call “artistic autistics”. That is, that is autistics who are interested in the arts (reading, writing, singing, painting, sculpting and the like), rather than just math and science. Contrary to popular belief, not all autistics are automatically smarter than the average person. We’re just like our neuro typical peers in that respect. There is more than just one type of us. To group all autistics as such, does such a disservice to those like me. On the night I watched that special with my mom, I actually remember shedding a few tears over that fact before things finally clicked and I really began moving forward with my blog.
After so long, it finally had a true direction to separate it from many others I had come across. It is with that direction in mind that I hope to share my thoughts and emotions with others so they can see what it’s like being similar, yet different to those around me. While I’m not as accomplished as others like me, all I want at the end of the day, as cliche as it sounds, is my chance to make a difference in this world; to show people that others like me can be just as successful if only we’re given the chance.
In closing, who am I? I’m Megan Rickards, the Founder of From an Autistic Point of View. Please feel free to check it out by clicking here.