Photo by Peter Burdon on Unsplash

Welcome to the Autism Experience

Jim Irion

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Thank you for joining me in my journey to explore autism. Before I begin, here are some important details from my previous writings that will explain who I am and how I got here. In August 2019, at age 37, I was late-diagnosed as autistic based on a hunch from my first modern counselor. This profoundly changed my life. Unfortunately, it took me nearly three years to understand autism. The diagnosis was not enough.

Publicly accessible research was confusing and inconsistent. I also discovered an absence of autism resources in my area of residence. I would have been ineligible for available services due to my age and lack of intellectual impairment. My resume, which includes the fact that I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, should be a textbook example of how masking ruined my career decisions.

I continued to believe that being too assertive, oversharing, and missing social cues were problematic and needed treatment of some kind. I secured general counseling and psychiatry services, but they did not seem effective in addressing my autism-specific needs. During these three years, however, I was also involved in four incidents of discrimination. Accessibility to support services was blocked, and my reputation suffered significant damage.

Finally, in May 2022, I realized how autism neurologically affects my life. While I was empowered by this late discovery, informal research soon revealed serious problems facing the entire autism community worldwide. So, I made a commitment to do something about it. As I continue this journey, I would like to share recent discussions about my autism experience that have been well received.

I tell it like it is.

‘I tell it like it is’ has thus far been the most enduring characterization of who I am. As an autistic advocate, one of the things I love to talk about is explaining what my actual thinking is. I believe this gives an important glimpse into the mind of an autistic person to show how and why we perceive the world as we do. Allow me to demonstrate. I do not like to give people a false sense of security by being dishonest. Instead, I am naturally direct and honest, using my logic-driven, analytical thinking.

I do not sugarcoat what I say just to make someone feel better, because that does not make sense to me. I often feel it is not the right thing to do. Therefore, I also do not suck up to people. I want my peers to know, understand, and accept me for who I am as a human being. I can lie, but I prefer not to, again, because it does not make sense. I believe that not being honest can be harmful and hurt people in my life that I really care about.

What happens with my thinking and judgment in positive situations? When I say I believe in someone, I can often quickly explain my thinking using several logic-driven and legitimate reasons. As a result, my positive encouragement and moral support are exceptional, and this is how they are directly linked to my autism. When I express value in the skills that someone possesses, I can often quickly explain my thinking using several logic-driven and legitimate reasons.

Basic observations, which are often taken for granted, can and do lead to accurate conclusions using logic. Therefore, when I see a problem, I am drawing on intuition, instinct, and, in some cases, long-term pattern recognition to raise everyone’s concerns because my thinking has led me to my conclusions. Then, I can explain autism using legitimate logic-driven reasoning, which constantly informs my ever-evolving perception of reality.

Welcome to the next Autism Experience.
Let That Think In.

I would like to extend a special gesture of gratitude to the humble woman who encouraged and empowered me to publish this, and additional conversations, on Medium. Thank you. We are #AuDHD.

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Jim Irion

I am an autistic advocate, writer and presenter. My writing is primary source research material. "A leader leads. They don't walk away when someone needs help."