I have bad Autism days sometimes.
Days where my anxiety sky-rockets for no reason at all. Days where sensory issues are heightened and everything feels wrong and irritating. Days where my motor skills regress so I drop and spill everything. Days where I struggle to string two words together. Days where my vision swims and I cannot focus to read. Days where my brain works extra slowly so information is misunderstood more than usual and jokes I might normally ‘get’ are lost on me. Days where I end up with countless bruises from walking into furniture and tripping over my feet because the connection between sight and movement is blurred. Days where I stutter and stammer and mix my words more than the norm. Days where I’m too hot and can’t regulate my body temperature. Days where every part of my body itches like mad. Days where the slightest irritant sends me into overload which quickly leads to meltdowns. Days where I cry and yank at my hair wishing I could shave it all off because I simply cannot stand the feel of it for one moment longer. Days where I struggle to smile and feel like snapping at everybody. Days where I need distance from other people and the thought of anyone being within arms reach makes my skin crawl. Days where I have to shake my hands in order to ‘make them work’. Days where I feel down for no reason. Days where I don’t want to get out of bed but the bed is too annoying to stay in it. Days where I just can’t.
Bad Autism days.
Everybody has bad days. Days where everything seems to go wrong. Days where they don’t want to do anything all day. I don’t know what it’s like for non-autistic people, I only know what it’s like for me.
For me, my body doesn’t work right. My brain is slow and sluggish. My skin itself feels extra sensitive. I think this is similar for most Autistic people.
I’m lucky, I’m an adult. I can work around bad Autism days. But what do Autistic children do when they are having a bad Autism day? How do they express how they are feeling? Are they still send to school? Are they still expected to learn? Are they still expected to perform both behaviourally and socially? Do adults recognise when children are having a bad Autism day and give them room to recover? Because they do need room and time to recover. Just like when you’re ill you need time and space to get better. What about children (and even some adults) who cannot express their needs except with behaviour. Do adults understand when they cry and scream and lash out because their bodies and brains aren’t working, when their sensory sensitivities are through the roof? I’m sure many adults will look for the trigger, not knowing the trigger is invisible, because it’s how they are feeling, not something external that has affected them.
I know when I am having a bad Autism day that I want space, quiet, peace and relief. I know that I can be crabby, bad tempered, prone to aggression and rage. I’m like a bear with a sore head, or rather, a bear who just rolled in some itching power. That’s what it feel like to me.
If that’s what it’s like for me, then what’s it like for everyone else. For those who’s sensory issues are far more sensitive than mine. For those who struggle with motor skills, vision, mental processes, understanding and interpretation etc.
What’s your bad Autism day like?