Autism Awareness training contribution

I wrote the below poem which has been chosen to be included in my local council’s Autism Awareness training programme. I feel a sense of real achievement when my campaigning gets acknowledged, it encourages me to keep speaking openly about my life experiences as an Autistic adult. I aim to continue documenting my journey; this is my way of raising awareness and helping to educate. I hope my poem will make you think about how life on the spectrum can be challenging, yet there is hope, thoughtful and simple actions could make all the difference…

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I am Autistic.

I live independently,
I socialise in a recreational manner.
I work full time.

I enjoy running.
I bake cakes.
I love to read books.

I don’t seem Autistic, is what some people say
I function in society, nearly everyday.
I can hold a conversation and meet all the social cues.

I mask everyday, at great personal cost.
I experience the world in a unique way.
I hear noises you will not hear and notice details you would not see.

The sounds never cease.
The lights are always blinding,
The people are judging me and I’m overwhelmed.

I don’t like to cause a scene.
I won’t always ask for help.
I wish I didn’t draw attention to myself.

I collapse every evening.
I’ll shutdown for hours.
I need time to regain my energy, knowing, I’ll have to face it all again tomorrow.

I’ve found ways to cope.
I’ve discovered ways to blend.
I wish I felt like I didn’t have to hide.

I need acceptance.
I need help to be offered.
I need to be understood.

I want to disclose my condition, but I fear you won’t understand or know how to help.
Please take the time to learn.
The simplest actions could change my life.

I am Autistic.

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