The truth is I have never been properly assessed, but if I were to have been properly assessed and a percentage added as part of that assessment, I would estimate that I am 70% mentally and 30% physically disabled.
Although I have never highlighted or thought about autism and Asperger’s as part of my disability I deal with both. I make what I deal with look easy, the key difference being I have learned to adapt and conceal some of my symptoms, including my inability to feel, which comes from my brain damage with the cerebral cortex, where both my emotions and my learning ability are impaired.
When I now look back at my experiences, putting everything into place, it is easy to see my mental struggles. It’s also irritating because I can equate years of struggles in school and college and nothing was done about it and I still continued to struggle. Continually being told there was nothing wrong with me made it worse.
The chunk of my mental disability comes from my inability to grasp even the basics of learning. I make the symptoms of my disability look easy, but when combined none of it is easy. It would take me until my mid 30’s to understand, or know how to bring in my intuition and use my gut instinct. Those now help with my understanding and my learning.
When it comes to conversations, I focus on getting the facts right, literal and noticing and recalling details of who said what and when, the details tend to have to be exact. It’s not something I see in myself but recalled through others. My past memories on conversations are exceptional and recalled as they happened.
Anxiety is common with people with autism and I have been dealing with anxiety since I was a small child. I still struggle with anxiety today, made easier through my blog. Through work on myself I find it easier to deal with anxiety.
I have also learned what I need to prioritise, what I need to talk about and what I can let go of. Everything is black and white. Something either makes sense and it works, or it doesn’t work and I let go. The grey area is my lack of being able to understand, and it’s that which causes anxiety.
The 30% belongs to my physical disability and includes balance, movement, co-ordination, muscle tone and leg length. Now when you add everything up, it sums me up in its entirety.