Not knowing I had Autism as a child and growing up knowing nothing about my disability, made it more difficult for me to notice or understand my symptoms of Autism in myself or others.
Even when I came into contact with someone whose behaviour was rather pronounced, and their behaviour seemed slightly odd, I couldn’t work out why their behaviour was odd, and didn’t know it was Autism.
When I was in this person’s company he would often pounce, waving a book in front of me talking to me about cricket, football or rugby: reciting chapter and verse on each subject, giving me facts and figures.
He didn’t know he had Autism. Seeing him occasionally now and knowing I have Autism, it is clear he also has Autism. Growing up in comparison to this person’s behaviour, my behaviour seemed almost normal.
Because I was able to conform reasonably well, all my presenting symptoms were ignored. Growing up, no one stopped to question what those were. Up to the age of 46 and a cerebral palsy diagnosis, I still wasn’t aware I had Autism.
But Autism comes in all shapes and sizes. Having Autism confirmed at 55 and being scaled at 108 on the Autism spectrum, this guy would probably be scaled at between 200 and 210. He struggles much more than me.