“I’m in the middle of the process of what autism means to me.”- Isa

My name is Isa. I'm 20 years old. I was born and raised in Rotterdam. I’ve been living in Capelle aan den IJssel for 5 years now. In my daily life I work 3 days a week as a janitor’s assistant at the secondary school where I was a student for 7 years myself.

I've only known for almost 2 years that I have autism and ADD. That means that I often find it hard to accept that I have these diagnoses. As a result, I’m in the middle of the process of what autism and ADD mean to me. I deal with this on a daily basis, and some days things go better than other days. That is why I see this project as a big step in my acceptance process of my diagnoses.

My autism means I cannot tolerate a busy environment and lots of stimuli. It means that I'm always tired. That I like clarity. That, when things change unexpectedly , it is difficult for me. Unless I chose it myself. And that I always compare myself to others. And that I find it hard to accept that I’m different than other people.

For a while, I struggled. That’s why I spend 11 months in treatment, where I got to know myself. That’s why I’m proud of myself, of where I am now in life.
What I want to pass on to others with autism is: accept who and how you are and don't let other people influence you.

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