Happy Autism Awareness Month beautiful people!

I wanted to write this and tell you all about my journey with autism. Being autistic is something I am proud of, not ashamed of, and I love the amazing people in the neurodivergent community.

I was diagnosed with autism and ADD in November 2021 (I think lol). I had accepted that I was neurodivergent for months prior to my diagnosis, but it was so exciting to be officially diagnosed. Since my diagnosis, I have been able to make changes to my life that have made things so much easier, and I have embraced my neurodivergent brain with pride and excitement.

I struggle with a lot of things because of my autism, but there are so many good sides to it too. Some of the hard stuff is things like being constantly overwhelmed, sensory overload, mental health struggles, problems with communication skills, and a hard time maintaining friendships (just to name a few). Some of the amazing things are lots of special interests, weird but funny humour, lots of autistic joy, and stimming! (I love rocking, bounding my leg, and tapping.)

Having autism something I love about myself. Because of my autism, I have so much love for the things I do, and I like to think it is a reason why I am so in love with music. I still struggle often with some of the hardships that come with autism, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Speaking from experience, I know that a lot of neurotypical people struggle to know how they can help spread awareness for autism, and how to help the neurodivergent people in their life feel more comfortable. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Amplify the voices and content of neurodivergent people

  • Allow neurodivergent people to stim freely

  • Do your own research about autism, ADD, ADHD, etc.

  • Talk to the neurodivergent person/people in your life so you can understand how to help them feel comfortable. Personally, these conversations have been so so so helpful for me to be more comfortable with family and friends, and it really helped them to understand my personal needs and accommodations.

  • and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t infantilise or treat neurodivergent people as less than. We are capable, and our own people.

Autism is a spectrum, Autism is awesome. Autistic people are the best. Lets celebrate this month by educating the people in our lives about autism, and celebrate all the neurodivergent peeps in the world. <3

Kaiyah Mercedes