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Michael Theo: What others should know about autism

22 March 2024

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What you should know about autism

Everyone is different and on their own journey. I know, we’ve been told this many times before, but it’s definitely true. People with autism are no exception to this either. Some have more severe cases of autism and others are more high-functioning. Autistic people want to be able to have a purpose, be loved, make friends and live life to the fullest, same as everyone else. Some people on the autism spectrum may need more time than others to tackle challenges, assistance with building their employment skills, and possibly more than a week to prove themselves in any employment. Some people on the autism spectrum can have difficulty maintaining friendships and I am definitely one of these people. It’s hard work for me personally. I put in a lot of effort.

Because they require additional time for these obstacles, that doesn’t mean they are falling behind or will fall behind. In schools, teacher’s aides are absolutely necessary. It certainly helped me in my school days. They helped me stay up to speed with the other students, I found that very beneficial particularly if the teacher discussed something that I had trouble following. It went well into high school too. During that time, I found that I work better with my hands rather than my head. Hence why woodworking was my favorite and strongest subject in high school. Some Autistic people don’t always travel on the same wavelength as neurotypicals but they can still learn just as much but just in a different way.

We can’t hold people back based on what condition they have. It’s wrong and we just cannot do that! A person’s worth is based on their independence, intelligence and their capabilities.

Why autism is a different brilliant

Autism is a neurological condition that impacts the brain and its ability to function. Some of the most brilliant people in history who invented devices that are still operational to this day were Autistic, and an example of the brilliance that can come from the most unlikely places and people. Autistic people are incredibly gifted but sadly, a lot of people are still yet to recognise their brilliance. Autistic people are authentic, straightforward, loyal, extremely honest, and are some of the most kind and sympathetic people in the world.

Many Autistic people tend to feel a sensory overload. I also plead guilty to that. When we have an overload, it may result in a meltdown. To avoid that, a sensory room free of all noises is what is necessary to help us calm back down again.

I’m hardworking, extremely honest, and loyal, I have a strong work ethic, I am punctual, and I follow instructions very well. I accept advice, I am always open to learning more, and I possess a strong moral compass.

My different brilliant

My condition is Asperger’s Syndrome. I am aware that the public doesn’t use that word anymore, but that’s what I was diagnosed with. Autism is an umbrella term as there are many branches of autism. Because I’m on the autism spectrum, I have wandering eyes and therefore notice things others may overlook which can be a big help to others. That doesn’t mean that I’m not listening to others. I do my best to maintain eye contact but the wandering of the eyes is something I cannot help. I’m hardworking, extremely honest, and loyal, I have a strong work ethic, I am punctual, and I follow instructions very well. I accept advice, I am always open to learning more, and I possess a strong moral compass. I don’t try to be funny or be like anyone else, because when I try to be funny, it doesn’t work. I have always been advised and encouraged to just be myself. I consider myself a very complex person. It’s something that cannot be explained easily.

The opportunities that I have had since the diagnosis and realising my brilliance are as follows; Love On The Spectrum, acquiring casual employment with Aspect and the public finding my authentic, unfiltered self refreshing, something that somehow surprises me from time-to-time.

Michael Theo Aspect Autism Consultant, Marketing and Communications

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