|It's important to keep in mind that autistic teenagers and adults can be workers as capable as any other person.|
Growing up is a challenge on its own. Kids in their early years get to enjoy the freedom of just being themselves and let their imagination loose. But as they grow up, responsibilities appear and things that used to be fun turn into serious activities. Before you know it, you have become a teenager, and another phase is in front of you.
Autistic teens do not have it easier, facing society and the future workplace you'll be at can pose difficulties because of others lack of understanding. If you feel like you could use a hand, here’s a handful of tips to help you out:
1.- No one knows you better than yourself
Accepting who you are is the main defense against people who don’t understand autism. If you’ve been through therapies before, you know it’s not easy, but you made it! You’re here now, ready to go out there and do things you didn't think you would.
Don’t let others discourage you from trying new experiences only because of their own misconceptions. You know very well what you’re capable of doing!
2.- There are good people out there
This is the first thing that could daunt you from going out there, the feeling that people won’t be as friendly or aware as you thought. It might feel like you’re going out there all by yourself, but it turns out it’s not that way.
By good, I’m not only referring to communities and people willing to help you but autistic folks that are already facing the world just as you are. Don’t let the fact that only a 1% of people have autism let you down. You’ll be surprised when you notice 1% will be enough. You are not alone.
3.- School isn’t that bad
Perhaps this is the most common fear of teenagers, mainly because school represents a significant part of their lives. Don't fear secondary or high school. There’ll be people who will accept you for who you are. Bullies are a general concern, of course, but if you manage to deal with their bad intentions and focus on your grades and friends, they’ll mean nothing to you.
After leaving school, it will just be another challenge accomplished and lots of lessons learned. If you build strong relationships, you will have some good companions for life. On the contrary, if you didn’t manage to get friends, there’s always the chance of meeting new people in the future (your workplace, for example).
4.- Keep up the pace, but your own
Imagine life as it was a race, but not one you need to get first or second. Just a race where, no matter which position you get, you’ll win. Autistic or not, each person has its own way of doing things. At this point, you know what you’re capable of as an individual, so you should never try to follow someone else’s pace.
Life’s not hurrying you to go and do everything in one day. This is your life, so you might as well just enjoy it at your rhythm.
5.- Hone your skills. Prepare yourself
Autistic people have a unique set of skills and capability, like any other person, and sometimes even more. But as much as you’re good at something, there’s always room for improvement. Find a place where you can use your capabilities while also improving them.
People often believe that academics are everything (math, English, and science), but when it comes down to the value you have as an individual, your grades mean nothing but a number in a piece of paper.
Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study or prepare at school, it means that, if you work in what you’re good at, there’ll be more value to it.
Nowadays, people are starting to become more aware of what it means to be autistic in society. Even though there’s much work to be done yet, there’s a definite improvement. If you feel like fitting in it’s still hard for you, remember there’ll always be people willing to help you.
Autism Soccer stands today as an important asset for autistic children to develop their skills, grow and become a new voice for those who are still not heard. If you’re a parent looking for a friendly space for your children to improve, you’ve just found it!
|It may take time, but most stigmas around autism are starting to fade away.|
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