However your condition affects you, having a sense of acceptance and belonging are powerful feelings that go a long way towards a healthy wellbeing. We have first hand experience of knowing what it is like to not be accepted because of your differences and know just how damaging that feeling can be. The opposite can be a spark of creation that can help people thrive and grow.
Where possible try different methods that suit you and your situation to connect with family, friends and peers. Each person’s situation will be different but we have outlined three ways below that you could do this.
Having open and honest conversations with people close to you about the issues you are dealing with can help you feel supported and listened to. Acknowledging and voicing your feelings and ways of coping with things can sometimes be beneficial just by itself.
Sometimes it can be difficult to talk to people for any number of reasons. If you are finding it difficult to speak to loved ones and friends you may find speaking to people who are dealing with similar circumstances to you of benefit. Talking with people that have genuine empathy and an understanding of your situation can help you.
“A brand new feeling for me since my diagnosis has been of acceptance and empathy when I have been introduced to other individuals like me. I am learning so much from these incredible people and they have been so willing to share their experiences to help. I’m hoping my experiences can do the same for them.” Mike W
I used to be so envious watching all the children play.
Wishing that my daughter would join in and be that way.
But then I come to realise she is not missing out,
preferring her own company she likes to wander about
For children can be noisy and unpredictable
and to my little girl that is just despicable
So now I've come to realise that uniqueness is the way.
I embrace all her behaviours and encourage her own play
For my daughter is so special and sees things her own way
I wouldn't dream of changing her, she's so special every day.
A poem from lived experience by Julie, an En-Fold mentor/befriender
Local support groups, online forums and communities as well as charities and non profit organisations can be a great place to start looking for voluntary work too. Autism Links has curated a list of local support groups within Northamptonshire that can check out here.
The action of doing something for others to benefit their situation is an excellent way of not only giving back to the community you live in but it also can offer you a sense of purpose and worth, two feelings that can positively affect your wellbeing.
Voluntary work is one of the best options to achieve this and there are numerous ways to get involved in your local area and online.
Check out Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire and Northampton Council Volunteer Opportunities for local roles to apply for. For national roles please look at Do It where they have a database of volunteer roles throughout the country which you can search for by location or postcode.
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Disclaimer: En-Fold does not endorse treatments, interventions and therapies but lists them so people can make informed choice. This site is for information purposes only and is a starting point for readers to look into options that may fit or resonate. Remember, therapies for autism, like any condition, should be discussed with a trusted medical practitioner or certified therapist before use. All information, data and material contained, presented or provided here is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as reflecting the knowledge or opinions of En-Fold, or as providing legal or medical advice. All treatment decisions should be made by the individual in consultation with a health care provider. Case studies provided are done so in good faith, and based on the personal experience of the individual submitting them. En-Fold are in no way endorsing the establishments that are mentioned but offering peer reviews to inform readers.