Picking up Nails

I am admittedly frustrated at, to little avail, spending so much effort trying to find understanding about Autism (not just for me, but for all Autistics – diagnosed or not). There is a meme “A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it.” But, well… a difficult environment is like a flat tire in a field of nails. It doesn’t matter if you change the tire unless you also change the environment that it exists within. Being Autistic is like that. People have accused me of having a bad attitude. I struggle sometimes, certainly, but I only wish to struggle less. I wish that perhaps those around me might help me pick up nails, rather than throwing them at me. People who love you should care to make your way easier, rather than criticizing you for finding it rough terrain sometimes. If you have not cared enough to understand what Autism is like, or to try to realize how being Autistic particularly affects me, then you have not helped pick up nails. And worse than not picking them up, but to drop the analogy, you haven’t understood what they are. Don’t just learn about Autism for me, learn about it for the (up to 40% of the) people who are also Autistic, for the many who go undiagnosed, but who struggle with an unknown condition, not even understanding why they struggle. I am fortunate, in a way, that I was diagnosed before I even knew what Autism was, but unfortunate, like so many others, in that I although I understand why I struggle, I don’t understand why I should have to – why I can’t hope for understanding and bits of “nail picking-upping” from those around me. Not a lot, just a bit… Autistic or not, if we each picked up a nail or two from each other’s path, it would be such a better world for everyone.

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