Dear Autistic Kid, on being at home

I know it might be hard being at home right now and not at school. It might seem really chaotic and foggy and dreadful even. You might be anxious, or worried about school work, or having trouble focusing because of lack of routine, or because teachers are talking through screens. Many of us autistic adults are feeling the same exact thing right now that you are about feeling unproductive at home, feeling anxious, and having difficulty with the lack of routine in our lives.

I’m usually very productive when I’m not at home, but I’ve gone from 100% work to 0% work in the last few weeks. If you can, try to focus on feeling better at home, even if you can’t get everything done that you would typically get done at school. I know that feeling of guilt very well from being not as productive as usual, but I’ve learned that it actually goes against my goal of being mentally healthy enough in the future to possibly get back into a routine. And I also remind myself that a lot of other people are having problems getting stuff done too! It’s not just me. So I know it’s hard, but try to find calming activities to do, and try to just give yourself a break! It’s okay to be not okay, and to take some time to adjust to everything. For many of us autistic people it may take a lot longer to adjust, and that’s okay! Do what you need to do to self-regulate and decrease your anxiety, like using headphones/earplugs/sunglasses to reduce stimulation, listen to your favorite song, scream into a pillow, do physical activities that help to get your energy out, or punch a pillow if you’re really frustrated or angry.

Even us adults aren’t getting anything done right now because we’re riddled with anxiety and don’t have new routines. I’m trying to give myself praise just for eating regularly at this point (yes, that’s a goal for me right now! And yes, I did have ice cream for dinner last night, but I did eat..). I hope you feel better soon, even if you don’t get everything done that you were expecting to, or even if you’re feeling super overwhelmed still about being at home. I’ve had to learn, especially as an adult, that sometimes you don’t get everything done all the time, or not the way you would like to. And I’ve had to remind myself that that’s okay and it really does happen to a lot of other people too. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it’s just part of the imperfection of life. Being at home all the time is new to everyone, autistic adults included. It’s okay to not be able to do stuff right now like you used to. Not getting assignments done on time, at all, or not fully completed does not define your worth. You’re a valuable person whether or not you are doing “perfect” or “good” or any schoolwork right now. Plus, if life was perfect, it wouldn’t nearly be as interesting! You’re not alone in dealing with this overwhelming time right now – autistic adults are right here with you.

6 Replies to “Dear Autistic Kid, on being at home”

  1. This is phenomenal. Autism is quite an interesting medical condition. Seeing this site has sparked, once again, my desire to study it in my own time. This time, however, I’m determined.

    Like

    1. I’m only approving this to reply to you. Autistic people are not lab rats or science experiments. We’re human people. Please don’t be simply “curious” to study us like we’re not human beings who live our lives just like anyone else does. Too much research focuses on studying us, and not, actually listening to our voice and thoughts and feelings on anything. Dehumanization is not okay.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Not getting assignments done on time, at all, or not fully completed does not define your worth.” As an adult with ADHD I wish I had known that sooner. I hope it’s okay to say that your thoughts and feelings as a person with autism are insights that the rest of us really need to hear, even though it may not impact us the same way as it impacts people with autism. Thanks for sharing your voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so awesome! I actually shared it with my special needs education specialist! She tries so hard to understand and listen to every student. She is challenged a lot because some students just don’t quite trust her yet, but I believe she has a very good way of trying to see each student as someone who has needs and validates them! We are very lucky to have her! There are some who don’t quite understand all that she does or doesn’t do, but that’s because they don’t know what they don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

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