On the news segments, we regularly see those victory despite adversity stories. The latest story was regarding those achieving high A level results despite her brother having been one of those that lost their lives in the Manchester bombings. There have been similar stories throughout the years of Cancer survivors obtaining high grades and all other kinds of physical disabilities. This article isn’t written to discredit those individuals. They’ve worked hard and deserve the praise and recognition that these news stories have given them. On the other hand, if you happen to be from a background or have a disability that isn’t widely understood, then, more often than not, you do not receive the support to be successful and achieve your highest potential.
I am going to focus on behavioural issues in this article. I am an adult diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and have been suspected of PDA (a part of the Autistic Spectrum which the public do not understand). There is a wide belief within society that those of us with behavioural conditions have the help available to us which we need in our everyday life. Sadly, this isn’t true. There may be help out there, but it is far from appropriate and, in most cases, not helpful to the conditions whatsoever. Most of the ‘so-called’ help is punishment based. This isn’t constructive with someone who has a behavioural issue. Recently, research has released the shocking finding that those on the Autistic Spectrum are one of the most likely groups to take their own lives. There are those on the spectrum who are successful, but for each of them, there are most likely hundreds across the UK alone, which are not able to have satisfying full lives because they aren’t given adequate support for their Autism.
This year I tried to take my own life because of literally having everyone and everywhere I went turn their back on me and, alongside that, I had a legal case for harassment (caused my lack of support and mishandling of my case) active against me. There was no attempt to work with my ASC traits. I was given a restraining order, which I broke and I even told the court I couldn’t stick to it when they made it. That was made indefinite, so I felt like I’ve been given a life sentence. That will always keep my record current. I was labeled a criminal as soon as I reached adulthood. I wasn’t diagnosed until 16. This has resulted in me never being able to gain employment and my baby son being removed from me, then placed for adoption. I do not feel that it is fair to label those with behavioural or intellectual conditions in a negative way. There has never been any attempt to meet me half way in regards to supporting me and attempting to understand my condition.
In all honesty, most of the education I’ve managed to get has been purely down to my sheer determination. I have got very little support. I get asked to leave places (eg. Colleges and Universities) before others have the chance to get to know me. This is due to the label that has been placed on me for my disability problems. I’ve had to save up and pay for some of the qualifications that I need to study Psychology at degree level. I was completely failed by school. I’ve had to go back as an adult to GCSEs. I’m still behind because I do not have A Levels. I get extremely disheartened because I feel left out of life. Those like myself will never get the stories giving us praise and recognition because everyone assumes that behaviour problems are a choice. It is certainly not a choice. I wish that it was because it would be possible for me to lose my issues like people seem to think they can demand by clicking their fingers and threatening me with punishment or sanctions if I can’t do it. I just want society to see that they certainly aren’t a choice. I just wanted love and acceptance. The things that have been done to me have triggered my problems to get worse because I wasn’t getting that. Instead, all my care plans have been completely inappropriate and made me feel like I was being treated unfavourably, placed below other people. This needs to change before it causes many other suicides or other negative situations that can be avoided by changing how behaviour problems are seen by professionals and managed.
OMP Admin Note: Emma Thomson is a guest blogger for the #OneMillionProject. Her writing is straightforward and enlightening as she offers insight into her life. Emma was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, undiagnosed but suspected of PDA and some form of Personality Disorder. She was born in the Midlands on the week of the hurricane of 1987. She has her own blog where she reveals the everyday struggles of living with Asperger Syndrome.
Link to blog: https://diaryofapainfullyshyinterovert.wordpress.com/