This is my post for Autistics Speaking Day. I realise I’m a bit late, but here goes anyway.
There are things that each of us wishes we knew when we were younger. As an autistic, what did I wish I knew, and what would I tell young autistics today? I came up with a few things, but they all apply to neurotypicals as well. I just think that autistics will benefit disproportionately.
Item 1: get organised.
There were times in my life when I was very well organised. It’s a skill that can be learnt and practised. It’s also a skill that can be weakened through non-practise. Being properly organised helps you get things done, and not get into a flurry when things threaten to overwhelm you, not least because it stops the buildup.
Item 2: be willing to try new things.
There is a saying that regret is worse than failure. This is certainly true. Autistics like routine, but some of the most fun I’ve had was when I was prepared to try something new. And some of my biggest regrets are because I never tried things that I could have when I had a chance.
Item 3: learn Martial Arts.
I learnt goju-ryu style karate for 5 years. I had to stop because the kicking gave me a bone spur on my right knee that’s still there. It’s very disappointing, because I would have continued and would probably still be doing it today.
Martial arts are disproportionately beneficial for autistics, perhaps more so than anything else. They are good for fitness, balance, coordination, self control, and dealing with bullies.
There are other things, but those are my top three things that autistics should do.