WHAT IS IT LIKE TO HAVE AN AUTISTIC PARENT?

I asked my Mum what it was like growing up as an undiagnosed autistic?

Her response was,” I felt misunderstood and always felt like I didn’t belong”.

My Mum moved around a lot when she was a kid, she said each move meant that she could take on a new identity.

A new identity meant that maybe this time it will be someone that others could connect with.
Because she felt that no one seemed to like the real her.
She said over time she forgot who she really was, burying her true self down deep inside.

Kristy Forbes – Autism & ND Support did a post today igniting this conversation.

Would having an earlier diagnosis or even knowing that my mother was autistic at an earlier age made any difference?

Knowledge is power.

My Mum grew up thinking that there was something wrong with her. She said at times she thought she was just bat crap crazy.

Having my diagnosis wasn’t an excuse for it was a reason for.

Now I have a diagnosis
I can now start to understand myself, accept myself and begin to embrace my true authentic self.

*** This photo is of my Mum hiding her identity, I thought it was very fitting photo for this post .***

 Summer

Published by Autistic Perspectives

__________ Summer Farrelly is 15-year-old Autistic Advocate, Public speaker, Inclusion & Education Consultant, Artist, Chicken Whisperer, Animal Assisted Learning Program Creator & Facilitator , Animal Therapies LTD Ambassador and The A List Ambassador. A daughter of a late diagnosed autistic mother and a sister of two autistic brothers. Summer believes her lived experience as an autistic individual and living within a family that consists of multiple autistic members, each with their own complexities, will provide both a relatable and diverse perspective For the last 5 years Summer has been sharing her personal insight and the benefits of human and animal connection. Often stepping out of her comfort zone sharing vulnerable, raw, and real moments of life challenges faced by young autistic teens in hope to educate and inspire others. Summer has become a recognised and valued contributor within the Animal Assisted Learning and Therapy platforms. Summer’s connection with animals has provided her with the strength needed to navigate life as an autistic teen who faces daily challenges of self-harm, ADD, PTSD, anxiety, Reactive depression, and Dyslexia. Summer’s journey is about understanding herself emotionally through their connection with animals more importantly this journey is about understanding herself and practicing self-care. About Animal Assisted Learning Program ‘Chickens to Love’ Summer developed Animal Assisted Learning Program Chickens to Love for Autistic and other Neurodivergent people (this includes anyone who may be ADHD, ADD, ABI or anyone whose brain is not considered “typical”). I created Chickens to Love as an inclusive program, to benefit everyone and include everyone, because neurodiversity is part of biodiversity. We all can benefit from understanding ourselves, our emotions, and the perspectives of others. Our communities must understand and learn the importance of a deeper level of compassion, empathy, and acceptance of differences. Neurodivergent people, are often encouraged or forced to fit in to everyone else’s way of seeing the world. The Cultivation of self-esteem in ones self-starts with self-love, self-acceptance and having the ability to embrace one’s true authentic self. Chickens to Love is designed from a neurodivergent and animal (Chicken) perspective to better understand social dynamics, emotions (ours and other people’s), other people’s perspectives, consent, respectful touch, resilience, self-acceptance, empowerment and how to self-advocate. Animals can change our lives. Never underestimate the power of them!

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