For the first time in my life I am taking pride in the work I do. When I worked at the video game store my job was about me and trying to break the region Game Informer sales record. When I worked at the racing school is was about me being paid to drive fast. Now though my job is about telling my story and trying convey that there is hope and to bring about awareness.
In my presentations I am amazed at how much little people know about autism. I guess I shouldn't be because I am just as uniformed on how the "normal" person works.
At one of my recent presentations someone asked me if I could simply, "ignore the drums". For me, the sound of drums is a violation of every sensory nerve in my body. Within 2 seconds I can feel the sound throughout my body and it feels as if I am being burned throughout my body.
I use this sensory story about the drums in most presentations and to the person who hasn't experienced this I know it's hard to understand. I've been asked the "ignore" question a couple of times and I take it as they think I have the choice. Trust me when I say I wish I had the choice, but where I am lucky is that I am able to voice what it is that creates such a brutal pain.
This is why awareness is key. The autism spectrum isn't a choice and for some on the spectrum they will not be able to express what is causing the pain. To the uninformed it may seem like a choice, but it's not.
I don't want to simply raise the awareness of the fact that more and more people are on the spectrum (they are), or simply that eye contact is difficult (it is), but I want to raise the awareness of what it feels like. From this I hope that I get the chance to express that there are therapies that work, but these options have got to be utilized as soon as possible. There's a race going on, a race against concrete. Tomorrow I will post on the importance of this race and why this race must be won.