There are some of us that aren’t what society would ever refer to as ‘normal’. The path that is meant for these people are extremely unique and the complexities can be rather unpleasant at times.
The key to coping with being different is adapting to the expectations of society while still being able to be an individual.
This can be quite challenging when an individual suffers from a disability that affects their ability to socialize. There can be legal implications. Also, relationships can be difficult to maintain because friends have to be understanding of the difficulties that individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorders face and how it can get annoying for their friends, family and other people around them at times.
I had many health complications alongside having Asperger Syndrome when I was younger. I was misdiagnosed with Epilepsy when I was 8. Subsequently, I was treated with medication far too strong for me. That affected my schooling because the medication made me unable to learn anything.
I was taken off that medication at 11 years old. This is when my Asperger Syndrome behaviours started manifesting. I got criminalized for those behaviours because they were completely misinterpreted by the law.
There was no malice intended in my eyes. I wanted friends. I wrote to school and college tutors because I didn’t want friends my own age. I got charged for harassment because of that. I tried to retaliate with someone I knew to try to get a college tutor (one that had previously charged me with harassment) arrested for carrying a bomb at the airport while she was going on holiday.
It was a stupid teenage idea which got me treated harshly for the rest of my life. I ended up being put under a Section 37 hospital order because it was classed as serious enough that I had to be punished. It was either that or prison.
I have since tried to do things in my life but been prevented from doing them due to this making risk assessments too high. I have lost a university place and my son was forcibly adopted due to how my disability traits have been perceived. I have recently been able to get into university. I managed to get in but I still have to face a lot of questions and genuine assumptions that I am not a trustworthy person.
I constantly don’t feel supported by social services because it always seems like they’re assessing my risk towards others and subsequently setting up interventions. These interventions can be frustrating for me. I find that being treated unequally makes me feel worse because I feel like I don’t matter as a person. I don’t have an opinion. I’m seen as lower than others who are not disabled and whom don’t have a past like mine.
There are many things that need to be changed concerning how the system currently supports people with ASD’s. I run AS Support Group Online. We actively campaign in order to change the system for the better, acting as advocates for those with ASD. Individuals should not be prosecuted for their difficulties; they should be helped instead.
As someone whom has Asperger Syndrome, I feel we are persecuted for our problems instead of helped. Many of us has been treated extremely poorly because of how our condition is perceived by others.
I’m not a malicious person but people misinterpret my behaviour as being that way. I’m not the only person with Asperger’s that has had that kind of experience. It happens time and time again every single day. There has to be a change because the current system isn’t helping the majority with this condition.
Emma Thomson currently studies Single Honours Journalism at De Montfort University, Leicester, residing in Leicester. Joint Site Manager of AS Support Group Online www.assupportgrouponline.org . Author of Tortured Soul: A Female Aspies' Story Part 1, currently being re edited and due to be re released by the end of 2015.
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