Hey everyone, I’m here to share my best tips on being a confident young autistic neurodiverse adult. It’s sometimes hard being myself in a world where it’s easier to be someone else, but the following strategies have helped me many times over and they’re shaped me as the person I am today. I don’t want to be perfect because perfection is boring and being my technicolor, complicated, fascinating self is the best way to go.

  • Challenge yourself, even if just a little. Challenging myself means I go in ways I don’t expect and since I’ve never had any life regrets it makes me become a learner of life and in life. For example, getting my provisional red driver’s license a couple of years ago was one of the hardest experiences I ever had to face, but because of my sheer determination and because my second and long-term driving instructor was understanding of autism.
  • Set small or big goals for yourself regularly. This is so you’re moving forward, doing something productive and at the same time you’re growing in your own personal development. Development doesn’t stop when you’re a child as a person’s development continues over the course of their lifetime. For instance, my major goal this year is to study for a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care (birth to five).
  • Have a network of people around you that lift you up, not bring you down. Surrounding yourself with positive people that cheer you on, encourage you to take healthy risks and empower yourself is something that works. For example, I have some friends over the years that I have trusted in, and my online mental health peer support groups have been a fabulous source of support, respect, inspiration, love and maybe most importantly hope. It helped me become a better listener and talker, and well… going to peer group is free!
  • See the future with hope. It’s sometimes hard to believe in hope if you’re currently or in the past have seen the worst things possible, but hope is somewhere, at some point. To illustrate, because I’ve participated in online peer support zooms with enthusiasm, I’m starting to facilitate some of them, and this is a great way for me to remain hopeful. Of course, in times when I’m not feeling hopeful my peers are there to talk about how they got through hard things, and the connection I have with many of them is very powerful so yes, now I do believe in hope, and I hope to believe in hope in the future too.
  • Be in the right workplace and industry for you. Sometimes it takes trial and error to know which job and workplace is right for you but once you find it it’s a wonderful feeling knowing where you belong, who you belong to, and what you belong to. For instance, I’ve found such lovely companies nested in the autism field online and it’s amazing that I’ve worked for them and often I still work for them, and…maybe the best part is I don’t have to mask and pretend to be someone else to fit in and keep my job.

What are your tips?

– Suzanna Poredos

A List Socialite

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