One thing I had not discovered until recently, is how much words matter and how long this guy hangs on to every word spoken. He’s literal, black or white, all or nothing and no in between. Everyday conversation can spike his anxiety through the roof and spark panic attacks, which trigger the downward spiral. "Remember when I was 4, little baby Jake, and you told me I could do things on my own... well now I'm 16... I'm doing this Jake's way, you told me I could."
He holds on to EVERY word, ever spoken... plan ahead before the words leave your mouth.
Here’s Jake’s literal and fearful view of growing up. Anxiety rules all. Autism is the least of his challenges. -Jenn
I’m nervous about when I turn 18 and accidentally lose control the consequences are bigger and more serious. I find it very ridiculous and very counterproductive because that is giving me stress. I do struggle and do make poor decisions and because of my Autism behaviors, don’t always realize it until its too late.
My behaviors have even gotten bigger and more serious and when my body is very high it’s very hard to follow laws or police commands and rules even at home. I do struggle with staying in control and being safe. I have a hard time controlling myself especially in overwhelming settings.
I want to help everyone understand that if kids with a disability might get in trouble with the law when they are 18 years old and lose control. The most important thing to do is talking it through and help them feel comfortable and calm. We need more intensive help and support. I struggle with behaviors because of my very fast brain and I’m getting older. Some people that don’t know me, already expect me to behave like an adult because I’m really big and strong.
I’m very scared of my future and people not understanding. We need to teach the whole world about Autism Super Powers. I would make a speech about autism, IMPORTANT JUST LIKE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR at Jeni’s & Mattie’s park. There would be food and police friends and fire rescue friends as well and other fun stuff. Then make a parade with all our families by marching in front of the Police headquarters.
We should rally around people and families who struggle. They should not be judged by what they look like or their size. People need to accept us as we are because we are gifted and amazing. We can be big and still like the Cookie Monster, Wiggles and Santa. We cannot be judged by our behavior because we are scared and make mistakes sometimes. Just be nice and calm to us.
Let’s make the change for the best of everyone with faith, confidence, bless, grace lord and hope. And for not just me, but for everybody all over the world.
Oftentimes, Jake's biggest challenges are fear based. Along with Autism he is also diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder - NOS... among many other things. He writes to calm himself and to let others know what's going on in his head. As you read these snippets, read between the lines and feel his fear. Fear of someone being upset with him. Fear of Jail. Fear of not being perfect. Fear of people not understanding him. Fear of not being in control or able to control others.
Jake sent me a series (20) text messages to write this story. When he's upset he purges into notes/texts on his phone. They are in no particular order, but fascinating nonetheless. I've edited so they make sense, have some appropriate grammar, while keeping his message.
I have a hard time understanding when people are emotional. Everyone is entitled to have emotions as well, but because of my autism, I get confused and scared. All those emotions come into my body at once.
When others are having an emotion I feel it deeply but don't understand, I automatically think I'm in trouble and I don't like when I see people having emotions with me... especially seeing the reactions because that will make me scared because I have a hard time understanding it.
And I don't like it when people have strong emotions because I feel them too. I like it when people are chill with me instead of full reactions... but that's hard because everyone is entitled to have emotions.
When I feel others' emotions it actually hurts my body. I feel jumpy all over the inside and like sharp tasers in my stomach. It starts in my neck, then shoulders then down my arms and stomach. If i'm really stressed my body wants to crash and bash down. If I am doing that, it is very hard to make me stop and can be dangerous.
Down the road in my head I'm afraid that autism may limit me and I will always be confused. I am working very hard at understanding everyone and the world around me. When I'm overwhelmed and people are pissed off with me, I don't like it because my autism super powers allows me to feel all those emotions.
Mom says we do not punish autism.