- Go into a shop/supermarket
- Use the phone and book a table at a restaurant
- Go to a party
- Talk to someone I don’t know
- Go for a meal out with friends
These things are frightening, in fact I have to build up myself up before I do any of these things but the thing is I can do them now. I’ve learnt to cope with each individual situation listed above, for example I can go into a shop/supermarket and buy an item, yes it might take a lot of encouragement but I can do it. “I can do it”, if you’re reading this and after some inspiration as a fellow person with autism, it’s that motto “I can do it”.
“If you go to that party you’ve done it, you’ve broken the barrier.”
See, I’ve grown to become more and more confident in life, I’ve done this through slowly processing each outcome and each situation. Say for example, I’ve got to go to a party, this is the hardest one on the list I’d say. My brain is like how do I process this? What do I do when I get there? Who do I speak too? What do I speak about? Where do I stand? When do we eat? All these things run around in my autistic head if I have to go into a party environment.
So, how do I cope?
Firstly, if you’re autistic and about to head to a party you’re probably wanting to know how I cope, the answer is I don’t. Well, hang on a minute I do cope, but I break the situation down into small sections. The first section is arriving at the party, I’ll plan when I’ll arrive and then go in. If you have someone you know already this is a bonus as I can talk to them when I arrive. Of course, you can’t always have someone so I’ll try and connect with another human being I know I can connect well with. See there’s no answer here, it’s about using your insight, who do you know already? Can you connect with them? What’s the plan for the party? Is there food? Is there an event you can get involved in?
Now ironically, I don’t go to many parties but when I do I usually just sit their, find a space to have a drink and watch everyone have a good time. I try and connect with people I know already or people I’ve talked to in the past as much as possible but it’s hard. But the thing is, if you go to that party you’ve done it, you’ve broken the barrier and you’re there, look at the positives, forget about the negatives…