For a long time I thought I was basically “cured” of autism, but now I realize that I’m not cured and never will be cured. Autism is a way of life and even though I learn the norms and expectations, I still don’t have the adapting skill that others have. More specifically, I realized that I plan my interactions. I practice my communications and when I am thrown into situations that I am unfamiliar with I often stumble and am unable to recover at the time. I usually think about these conversations later and come up with ways that I could have responded that would have been socially acceptable instead of the awkwardness that ended the conversation.
I feel that people think of me as a regular person. They do not see me as someone with autism because I don’t portray myself in that way, but inside I still do have autism. Every day is harder for me than for the average person in my interactions. I have to try harder to understand the communications of those around me and try harder to make sure I am understood in the way I intend to be understood. My autism may seem invisible to others, but I still feel it. I may make living with autism look easy, but the truth is that it is as hard now as ever before.