Hi, my name is Amber. I am a mother to a 2 year old.
And I am Autistic.
Being disabled in society is very much a taboo, even more so having an ‘invisible illness’, and even much more so when you throw in there being a disabled mother.
Unlike many women, I was diagnosed in childhood. I spent much of my early years/teens never feeling like I quite fitted in anywhere, and is a feeling I often carry with me to this day.
Even up until my late teens I was treated like a child and I guess the expectation was there that I would struggle to form relationships, let alone romantic relationships and go on and have a child.
As it were, I met the kindest most understanding man who just got me (he is neurotypical) in 2011 and we welcomed our little boy in 2019.
Unfortunately we still live in a world where autism is viewed as a condition that effects non verbal young boys, means you have no social skills or will struggle to form relationships or friendships. This means hundreds, if not thousands of women struggle through life not knowing quite why.
The world is filled with neurodivergent women who are very much verbal, capable, sexy, have amazing partners, children and fulfilling lives. We just look at life with a different approach, and need different coping strategies.
The Coping Mechanisms That work for me:
• Having a bit of quiet time once my partner is home. He gets sometimes I need to brain dump, or just shut off for half an hour. My head is filled with so many things throughout the day I need to stop processing new stuff in order to process the old.
• Being able to have time for any special interests.
• My son goes to nursery twice a week for a couple of hours so I can get some time to myself.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t get overwhelmed, or mean that any neurotypical women reading this don’t need the same things to help them.
We all get sensory overload or overwhelm and that is completely normal and as humans, we sometimes need a break to process our lives. We spend our days accommodating the demand of tiny humans who cannot fully express their emotions. It’s tough out there!
You will probably know at least one neurodivergent woman in your life, even if she doesn’t know it herself. Because of the way autism/being neurodivergent is viewed, many women go through life thinking they have depression, anxiety and a host of other mental health conditions when they are in fact on the autistic spectrum.
I hope that by telling my story, and by reaching out to other women like me that more of us will be able to be more open about our diagnosis and these stereotypes of the condition that prevent many from getting the help they need will lessen.