Change can be especially difficult for autistic people. The constant barrage from sensory stimuli can be difficult to ‘tune out’, and, from personal experience, the act of doing so can be helped by maintaining routines in well-known environments; better the devil you know, as the saying goes.
That being said, I know that change is inevitable and can also be experienced in a positive way; the key to this being that I have to push myself past any initial discomfort in pursuit of my goal. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been searching for work since my father passed away last year, and after many failures I have finally found a new role.
As I prepare to leave Aspie Trainers (today is my final day in post), I feel markedly ambivalent to the point where I am only just beginning to process my emotions (a thing with which autistic people can struggle). On the one hand I feel relieved to be moving on from my “old” life, and anxious about what the future might hold (mainly in a good way). On the other, I feel grateful to have been part of such a supportive organisation which has allowed me to demonstrate my skills, realise that not all non-autistic people are numpties (shocking, but true), and hence grow in confidence. I’m certain that I will miss my colleagues and look back fondly at my time here, but at this point it's all too present to be analysed properly.
Looking to the future, I’m excited about my new role and the new possibilities I see ahead of me. In my time at Aspie Trainers, I’d like to think that I was living proof that autistic people don’t have to set their sights too low, so long as they are smart when planning their actions and break down their goals into manageable chunks (with support when necessary/offered). Above all, I hope that the trainees who attended my training sessions have realised that we (autistic individuals) are all different; that we don’t necessarily have super powers but aren’t worse for that. We need compassion and support to be the people we are, not the people others think we should be, and I think that's the most important thing to realise when working alongside an autistic individual.