Well here's how autism affects me on a daily basis and how it has affected me through me whole life.

P.S I wasn't officially diagnosed as autistic until 17 or 18,and I have other problems as well. Here are some of the other diagnoses that I have been given.

Mildly mentally Retarded <discarded at the age of 5 when It was discovered that I read on a third grade level>

Emotionally Disturbed
Attention Deficit disorder <both diagnoses given at the age of 8>
Depression <diagnosis given at the age of 11-12>
Perceptual motor disorder <given at the age of eight>

I discovered these diagnoses after reading my evaluations and testing results at the age of 18 <I think>

I developed very slowly in many areas but extremely fast in others. For example I did'nt learn to talk until 3 1/2, but my first words were Triangle, rectangle and square. According to my mother,the doctors that evaluated me at the time never knew why these were my first words,but to this day, I suspect it was because of six or seven hours a day of game shows that I watched throught my childhood =-).

I was and am very clumsly and to this day have never learned to jump ropr. Plus I have very poor handwriting and it took me unitl the age of 12 before I successfully learned to time my shoes. I also have an awlkward gait <as the diagnostictians put it> and poor balance.

I had a hard time learning the rules to games, since I was either always being distracted by just about anything, zoneing out, not being able to understand what the other kids were saying to me, <sometimes I heard the voice but just could'nt understand the words> or just being too clumsly to play, meaning I was always chosen to pe the last chosen in jusrt about any sport,which fuels my hatered of just about any team sport to this day.

Of course I never knew how to behave, or at least behave like everyone else. The most I could figure to do was to just sit there, try to observe the other kids and try to act like they did. This never worked simply because I never could say the right things and I was horrible at faking it which Is why I had few friends in my neighborhood, and as I got older and was mainstreamed into regular classes, very few friends at school, espeically high school,which was a school for at risk kids. NYC schools never really did know what to do with me. :) where all the kids were minorities <by the way I'm black,but since most of the black people that I know or knew, including my own family either thought that I was retarded or crazy or just needed to be hit or yelled at or treated like the black sheep of the family, or insulted or told that there was nothing wrong with me other than the fact that I was stupid or acted stupid or rude or just pretending to have something wrong with me or that I should be more like my cousin Shana, who like me was gifted but did'nt have the burdens <yes sometimes autism or any other disablity is a heavy load to carry> or the gifts <How many Normal people can sould exactly life just about anyone, create a Game show version of Trivial Pursuit and which is nothing like the cable version, and recreate versions of other game shows with just 2 decks of cards, a pack of Trivial Pursuit questions,a pad, a pencil and paper and 2 or three calculators.

My poor NT' Cousin never reallyu had much of an Imagination :)

But autism has given me a whole lot of problems.Even to this day, I have poor social skills,I never know what to say to people, I hate crowds and busy sidewalks and when someone tries to talk to me <which Since I moved here to Connicicut is extremely rare :(> I usually stammer an hello and quickly walk away, which means that I don't have any friends here or back in NYC execpt for the friends that I have onliine.

Well I can decribe Autism In two ways. The textbook definition or how It affects me. Since most of you already know the textbook definition. I'll describe how it affects me. Because of my autism, I have few social skills <see above> . I often have vocal stims in which I blurt words that are related to something I am thinking about, I often talk to myself nad at times I sometimes echolate prhrases to game shows when I am very nervous or lost in thought. I have the abliity to completly lose myself in whatever I am doing, and have the ability to do many unrelated things at once like playing a video game on my Atari or my Intellivision while playing Mah Jong on the Computer and reading two diffrent <usually Star Trek>Books at once. I find it uncomfortable to look people in the eye, have a very hard time expressing my emotions, In fact I keep my feelings under the surface, which is more for the sake of privacy than because of autism. I have a knack for machines and electronics, even though I have no training, I can fix my own computer and replace it's parts when nessassary. Unfortunatly I was to late to sign up for the Computer Tech course at the community college, but I have an an appointment for some kind of job training center on Tuesday,and i'll tell you all who that goes.

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