"Autism causes a lot of anxiety." - Suzanne

My name is Suzanne Rijken, I’m 17 years old and I’m from Den Bosch. This year I’m in my final year of secondary school, next year I hope to study linguistics. My hobbies are playing the trombone and pursuing my special interests (autism and linguistics).

I was diagnosed with ASD at the end of 2020. The reason I went out for diagnosis was that I wasn’t feeling well. After receiving the diagnosis, I felt a lot of relief. I always felt weird and different. I didn't feel understood as well.

Getting the diagnosis has partly been able to change that feeling.

Autism causes a lot of anxiety, I become easily overstimulated and I have difficulty with changes, among other things. My autism also has positive sides; I’m creative, I always go for things 200% and I have a strong sense of justice. I try to show this on my Instagram account Instagram.com/autiesuus. There are also informative posts.

I’m proud that - in recent years - I have come to know myself better and that, as a result, I can listen to myself better and therefore set boundaries.

My tip for others with autism is to look for recognition and acknowledgement. I was able to find this on Instagram. Especially fellow auties have ensured that I dare to be myself more.

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