"My parents noticed from birth that I was stimulus-sensitive." - Tess

I am Tess and almost 11. I am living with dad, mom, Moos our doggy and my fishes. In 2021 I was diagnosed with autism.

My parents noticed from birth that I was stimulus-sensitive. I am verbally strong, but find it difficult to automate learning at school and also have difficulties with the daily routine at home. My head can “fill up” quickly and at such a moment it will be chaotic in my head. My parents hesitated for a long time to give me medication, but it helps me well with, among other things, concentrating better and I am less tired.

When I am overstimulated, I get hyper, don't listen well or get angry and start swearing. Moos helps me de-stimulating. He feels like a little brother. When he lies with me and I cuddle with him and smell him, I calm down.

I love structure, regularity and predictability. I have a good sense of humor and love to act a little crazy! I also see many details and remember them well. I am creative and love drawing, painting and dying.

In regular elementary school, I developed an anxiety disorder to go to school and had a lot of psychosomatic symptoms. I was completely overloaded and had a very difficult time. My parents fought for my well-being for three quarters of a year and made sure I was finally allowed to attend special primary education. I am showing a beautiful growth curve now that I can follow the education at my pace, experience less pressure and am offered the material in a way that suits my way of processing information. I gained more self-confidence through moments of success. At the new school, I now have many friends and also still see my old girlfriends.

My tips: Are you overstimulated or tired, take a moment of rest for yourself, by cuddling someone/your pet, do something creative or be outside.

For parents: Keep monitoring what suits your child best. Don’t compare things with other parents. Every child is a different individual and raising children that are not autistic is very different. Stay close to yourself and the structure your child (does) need.

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