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Devaki Sokaris

Live the life your soul wants

Neurodiversity

In light of autism

A neurodivergent person is someone who thinks differently from the way the majority do. Autism is a neurological condition and is there from birth, and there is no cure.

People who are autistic have their own unique qualities just as non autistic people do. Autistic people may share some similarities, but just like anyone else they come into the world with their own personality, values and purpose in life to fulfil, thus it doesn't mean we will necessarily get along with them just because we are both autistic.

It could be said that these gifts may shine through in the light of neurodiversity, and they may shed an unconventional light on life. Autism for me is not so much as seeing outside the box but rather I see diverse perspectives other’s do not see inside the box. This afforded me a 25 year career in soul mentoring others. More on my background can be found on my website about page.

Whether we are autistic or not, it isn’t good to compare ourselves to other people. Comparing ourselves to others robs us of our true selves, and does not allow us to see our own unique purposes in life. Many people end up living a life that society dictates or ones their families prescribe for the illusion of success, comfort and security. No doubt there are many autistic people who follow this recipe to fit in with the so-called norms society dictates.

I have autism spectrum disorder and only discovered this in 2021 at the age of 63. I also have chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, which I had diagnosed nearly 30 years ago. I was also diagnosed with anxiety disorder in my late twenties, and it turns out that autism is the main cause of it. Apart from my husband I have told very few people. Their responses were to go on speaking as if I had said nothing. Many people face this dismissive behaviour everyday for disabilities, mental illness, and differences.

When we ignore someone who tells us they have a disorder, disability or mental illness it says we do not want to know or do not believe them.Comments like you don’t look autistic, we all get anxiety, autistic people could be normal if they tried, are all hurtful and dismissive. It is gas-lighting. They also fail to recognise a person with these conditions as having significant daily difficulties that impact their lives.

Saying a person on the spectrum does not really have autism is creating division. The term high functioning is not an official term. High functioning is a lay term formed by society and some so called autism experts because they see many autistic people can go to work, feed, and dress themselves, giving the impression they do not live with difficult daily struggles.

When we call someone high functioning, we are minimizing their struggles and difficulties. Terms like these shed very little detail about anyone thus mean very little. Most people seen by society as high functioning are masking their autism to appear so called normal. I have been doing this my whole life. I have started to stop masking, because it is exhausting, and fuels more anxiety in me. However, it would be unrealistic of me to believe I will stop all masking given I have been doing it all my life.

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