WARNING LONG, WORDY POST- JUST LOOK AT NICE PHOTOS IF YOU'RE NOT UP TO IT, I DON'T MIND!
Imagine that the label on your t-shirt felt like a little razor cutting into your skin, and that the seams on your socks, felt like someone had placed small stones into your shoes.
Imagine that all the clothes worn by girls your own age, make you feel like you want to scream, they feel awkward on you body. Image hyperventilating in a changing room, because the dress you've just tried on feels so alien you begin to panic. GET IT OFF NOW! Your body shouts to you. No you'll stick to the tried and trusted leggings and top, at least one size too big! Worn to within an inch of their life.
Imagine the dread of needing a new pair of shoes, you knew your old ones, you knew how they felt. New shoes are different, you don't yet trust them. Imagine, this one 'small' event being a HUGE trauma!
Imagine having such an acute sense of hearing, that the sound of a clock almost makes you demented. Someone crumpling up a tissue enough to make you run from the room, hands over ears.....STOP THAT NOISE!
Imagine when you feel stress, which is often, that your hearing is even more acute!
Image how hard it must be to get through even one day, in a large school, almost 2000 other, rather loud teenagers, shouting, laughing, and dare I say it...swearing! Imagine the assault on your ears. The trauma. It's no wonder you:
a) burst into tears on returning home.
b) retreat into your room and emerge much later.
c) scream and shout, have a meltdown.
d) sometimes none of the above...just chat about your day. (Bliss, love those days!)
Imagine having such a brilliant sense of smell. That would be good, wouldn't it? You could have a great career in the perfume industry. But what if the smell of a soap offended you, certain food smells turned your stomach preventing you from trying anything new!
What if smells actually had the power to change your mood, Make you so cross? In an instant. You can dislike someone intensely, just because their mum washes their clothes in a different detergent to yours.
Imagine you hate to be touched, kisses are revolting. You want to scream if someone accidentally bumps into you (easily done when there are 2000 pupils!). You wish you had an invisible shield around yourself, so no one could touch you.
Imagine hating to have sun cream put on your skin, you hate the smell, the feel of it, the fact someone has to touch you in order for this to be done. It equates to someone smearing manure all over you. You wouldn't like that now, would you? (I only realised this after 9 years, boy did I feel bad!)
Imagine you loved GREAT BIG BEAR HUGS, but only at the right time, and because you aren't able to ask for them, you have to rely on those who love you being able to know when one is required.
Imagine human beings being sooooo hard to understand. You can't quite work them out. Sometimes, actually a lot, you get their body language wrong, you think they are cross when they're not. You take what the say literally, which is soooooo confusing, for them and you. Sometimes it's like you all talk different languages. (This isn't helped by the fact that your mothers 'relaxed' face can look a bit like a wet cod, and you often think you've upset her when you haven't! She's tried smiling all the time, but soon reverts back to wet cod mode as it hurts her cheeks!)
Imagine wanting friends but not really knowing the ingredients needed to nurture friendships. Imagine hating parties, but then crying so hard when you don't get invited to them. Why would you cry over something you don't like anyway? Imagine hating EVERY new experience that comes your way. Imagine not feeling comfortable talking on mobiles, to people you can't see. Another stumbling block, in a world of social media!
Imagine wanting to live in a world that you've created on Minecraft (computer game for those without children!) it's safe there, you know where each block has been placed. Just you, a few animals and a few zombies! (She doesn't mind the zombies, they are a doddle compared to humans!)
Sometime I think, I can't do this, be the parent I need to be. I feel too tired. Then I image, what it must be like. I just imagine. Image how it must be, if it wasn't imaginary. If it was real.
There's a lot I could write about Autistic Spectrum Disorders. I'm no expert. I'm learning all the time. But this isn't really the place. I have to respect my families feelings too. But if I can get those who've read this, (well done if you've got this far!) to understand just a little, that's good then, isn't it?
Ada Bea, mum who doesn't always get it right, but who tries her best :) xxx