The artist from Understanding The Mind of Autism speaks out

I’m Joyce

Meet my daughter, she’s in college and autistic, she has asked that I not reveal her name or show her face, just the portrait I did of her. We recently conducted a live interview on Instagram, and I want to share a short summary with you. BTW she wore a mask in the interview, and that’s part of what autism is all about.

Notes From our live IG interview.
I asked my daughter how she feels, and how she copes…

I feel things intensely, maybe more intensely than most people

It’s draining, I need support, and true understanding

And I need to rest and regroup; I’ll play video games to get out of the world for awhile, then come back
Oh, and, about coping, I should add, whenever I go I take water bottles and earphones

Can you talk more about autism ? 

Do you feel like you “own” it?

Can you help everyone understand some of the salient characteristics ?

Yes, I am autistic,
but I want to be treated
as a person, not a label
First of all, you need to know my anxiety is off the charts, and I can experience hyperfixation with certain topics (often esoteric topics) like how big are the stars in our galaxy
Also, it’s important to know that you are born with it, autism is genetic, it’s aways there, yes, you can change, but it’s part of you

What are some of the biggest challenges you face?

Well, here are four big ones:
The future is overwhelming,
School is hard with other people,
And jobs do not seem to be a comfortable place
Relationships are hard, and there is a fear of abandonment