MY DA WENT TO HEAVEN

Autism and Grief (TW)

I am sharing this vulnerable moment in hope to create understanding and insight.

Many autistics are empaths (not all autistics are ) this means I feel my own emotions and additional emotions from others around me.

I am in tune with emotions of others around me. It is like I soak the emotional vibes that are circulating around me like a sponge. I feel sadness and hopelessness intensely.

Being autistic I feel emotions very intensely, always. My emotions are always heightened.

At times I find it challenging to self regulate my intense emotions.

Self regulating and trying to understand and make sense of intense emotions is draining.

My Da went to heaven under tragic circumstances. It’s a sad moment in time that has changed lives forever. I am still seeking closure, that will come in time.

It’s been very difficult processing these emotions, it’s also been very difficult navigating the emotions of others around me.

Each day isn’t easier it just becomes different.

Things I have felt helpful while grieving.

Having a good listening ear is helpful – this means just to have someone to listen , not offer advice, not asking how you are feeling , just someone who listens while you talk and process the thoughts in your head.

Reminder to eat – when I am struggling emotionally, I forget to eat and drink , if not reminded I can go for days without food and water.

Reminisce about the fun times , share stories as a family.

Everyone grieves differently and at different rates, there is no right or wrong way .Emotions can be explosive and irrational , kindness and understanding is needed. If you are concerned about your autistic loved one, please seek professional help immediately.

Summer

*** I do not represent every autistic individual as we all experience life in different ways ***

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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