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What has changed since my autism diagnosis?


My name is Mandy, known as The Autistic Teacher, and I am here to share my personal journey with you. Finding out that you are autistic can be a life-changing moment or part of a journey of realisation. It can bring a mix of emotions – relief, confusion, anxiety, and joy as you start to understand yourself in a new way. For me, as my children were diagnosed, one by one, I was travelling my own journey to self identification. Suddenly, so many things started to make sense. I realised why I struggled with certain things and excelled in others. Then getting an official diagnosis, it was a huge turning point in my life.


Accepting myself

One of the biggest changes after realising I was autistic was the way I viewed myself. I started to see my unique traits as strengths rather than weaknesses. My social struggles and sensory sensitivities were no longer something that I was just failing at, but rather a part of what makes me who I am. It was empowering to embrace my neurodiversity and accept myself for who I am.


Understanding myself and others

Another change that happened along the way, is that I became more aware of how I interact with the world around me. I learned to recognise my triggers and how to manage them. I began to understand that I was experiencing the world differently to others. I also became more understanding of other people’s differences, knowing that we all experience the world in our own unique ways.


Kinder to myself

Once I learned I was autistic, I understood why I struggled with certain things and why some things are such a challenge. I became kinder to myself. I am more patient with myself and allow myself to avoid certain situations that I would have just pushed through before. I do this because I now understand the toll that it takes. I understand that I don’t need to compete with neurotypicals. I am neurodivergently me.


Unmasking

Now I know my needs and challenges better, I can unmask in some situations. I can stim to help regulate. I find it easier to say ‘no’ and set healthy boundaries. I allow myself to be more comfortable, for example, wearing shades, ear defenders or clothes that are not so scratchy!


Community

There is a whole Neurodivergent Community that I am proud to be part of! I connected with other autistic individuals and found a supportive network of people who understood me in a way that I had never experienced before. It was incredibly validating to know that I was not alone in my experiences. That connection you get with another neurodivergent person… somehow you understand each other on a deeper level.


Advocate

After my own diagnosis, I became more open and vocal about advocating for autism acceptance and inclusion. I wanted to share my experiences and educate others about what it means to be autistic, in hopes of spreading understanding and supporting other autistic people to be proud of who they are.


Discovering I’m autistic has brought about many positive changes in my life. It has helped me understand myself better, embrace my differences, and connect with others in a meaningful way. I am proud to be autistic and I will continue to advocate for acceptance and understanding, sharing insight and hope for other autistic people.


If you would like to support me and have enjoyed my work, feel free to buy me a coffee. Please only donate if you can afford to do so. Everything given is very much appreciated. You can also help to spread the word by liking, loving and sharing my posts. Thank you!



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