“Autism is seemingly intertwined with everything in my life.” - Jonina

My name is Jonina and I’m a Dutch teacher at an MBO school (secondary vocational education) in Rotterdam. I live together with my boyfriend, his son (half of the week) and my dog ​​Loes. I read a lot and I like to be in the woods.
Autism is seemingly intertwined with everything in my life. I don't know yet how this works exactly; the diagnosis is still fresh. It confuses me how I suddenly have a diagnosis that feels so fitting. I don't understand why I didn't realise this before, since - as a teacher - I have been a learning coach for students with ASD, among other things.
Talking about autism in education is laced with prejudice. Unfortunately, there is still little knowledge, and that’s reflected in statements which have touched me a lot lately. Since the diagnosis, I seem to be even more sensitive than I already was.
However, I’m very happy with that sensitivity. I see, feel, hear and experience things much more intensely than others. That breaks me up regularly, but it also gives me some kind of superpower. Now that I know that this is part of autism, I also know that others don’t have it. I always thought that everyone experiences everything the same way I do.

In addition, I’m also happy that I work in a quite structured way, even if it sometimes seems like I am chaotic. I'm not, but sometimes I find it hard to act. I really need a push if I haven't yet figured it out entirely.
I don't have any tips for people with autism yet. I’m still such a rookie when it comes to this diagnosis. Ask me again in a few months; I may have plenty of tips by then.

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