Weird title I know but trust me it will make sense. I’ve been out quite a lot the past couple of weeks since it’s the school holidays and I don’t have to work. I recently saw the film Finding Dory, I’m not a film reviewer and will never profess to be but this film was amazing. For those who live under rocks and don’t know about this film essentially it is about a fish, Dory, with short term memory loss looking for her parents. It’s a sequel to Finding Nemo and usually they are not as good as the originals but in the case of Finding Dory it is so much better. It’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen. The rawness and trials that Dory goes through to find her parents along with the unique way in which she does things really resonated with me.
My whole life I’ve done things differently. Before I knew I was autistic I used to say to people at school ‘I just think differently’ or ‘I’m not like you’. It was so isolating not knowing what was different about me. Anyway once I knew I was autistic I realised that yes I am different and I do do things differently. A lot of people ask ‘why do you do this?’ and ‘why do you do that?’ So I wanted to explain one of the things I sometimes do, this is where the title comes in.
So ‘why do I wear my cardigan back to front?’
There’s a basic reason. For example I’m sitting in the staffroom and I’m feeling cold. My back is against the seat and is not cold, it’s just the front of me that’s cold. So I don’t need my cardigan on my back I need it on my front so I turn it around and place it on my front and put my arms through the arm holes. This is not the conventional way to wear a cardigan. People will stare and often ask the obvious question: why? It is a perfectly logical way to solve my problem but because of society’s ways of thinking people can’t handle it.
Also there is the psychological reason. Back in the staffroom and I’ve had a tough day. I want to feel comforted. Therefore I turn the cardigan back to front to protect myself, like a barrier to stop emotions from getting in, to feel safe.
Just like Dory I do things differently. I have a reason for doing them. I think when people see someone autistic doing something that they deem to be unusual they think it is for no reason or random. However, I can almost guarantee that whatever that autistic individual is doing and the way they are doing it is for a specific reason. Autistics don’t have the same restrictions that others do because of society, it’s just not how we process things. We don’t process our actions and reactions relating our surroundings and the ways of others. Just because others don’t understand what we do does not mean they don’t have meaning. Everything I do has a meaning and a purpose because I can’t function without it, that’s why typically autistics don’t like small talk because they don’t see it’s purpose.
Next time you see an autistic doing something don’t assume it’s for no reason or it has no meaning. Whether a basic reason or a psychological reason, they’ll be some kind of reason. Doing things differently is just apart of an autistic’s life. Accept it. That’s one part of being autistic I do like, doing things differently. For the most part it’s freeing and fun!
Thanks for reading. Hope you liked it. Peace out!