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Authors: Donna Williams

Somebody Somewhere (44 page)

BOOK: Somebody Somewhere
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What Autism Is to Me

—

A
utism is something I cannot see. It stops me from finding and using my own words when I want to. Or makes me use all the words and silly things I do not want to say.

Autism makes me feel everything at once without knowing what I am feeling. Or it cuts me off from feeling anything at all.

Autism makes me hear other people's words but be unable to know what the words mean. Or autism lets me speak my own words without knowing what I am saying or even thinking.

Autism cuts me off from thoughts and curiosity, and so I believe I think nothing or am interested in nothing. Or autism makes my mind almost explode with the need to reach out and say what I think or show what I am interested in…but nothing comes out…not even on my face, in my eyes, or from my words.

Autism cuts me off from my own body, and so I feel nothing. Autism also can make me so aware of what I feel that it is painful.

Autism makes me feel sometimes that I have no self at all, and I feel so overwhelmed by the presence of other people that I cannot
find myself. Autism can also make me so totally aware of myself that it is like the whole world around me becomes irrelevant and disappears.

Autism is like a seesaw. When it is up or down I cannot see a whole life. When it is passing through in the middle I get to see a glimpse of the life I would have if I were not autistic.

The most important thing I have learned is that

AUTISM IS NOT ME.

Autism is just an information-processing problem that controls who I appear to be. Autism tries to stop me from being free to be myself. Autism tries to rob me of a life, of friendship, of caring, of sharing, of showing interest, of using my intelligence, of being affected…it tries to bury me alive.

The second most important thing I have learned is I CAN FIGHT AUTISM…I WILL CONTROL IT…IT WILL NOT CONTROL ME.

Author's Note

For more information about sensory-perceptual problems and the location of the nearest Irlen Center for Perceptual and Learning Development, please contact:

Irlen Institute

5380 Village Road

Long Beach, CA 90808

Phone: 310-496-2550

Fax: 310-429-8699

BOOK: Somebody Somewhere
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ads

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