Watch Caitlin’s story to discover how connecting with people like you can pave the way to self-acceptance.
Donate now at autismbc.ca/donate
Hi, my name is Caitlin. I recently realized I was autistic while researching the subject for my 4-year-old daughter, Ayla. She was diagnosed as Autistic with moderate support needs in March of 2022, which came as no surprise to me.
When she was a baby, I was always examining Ayla’s behaviours and comparing her to developmental charts. By the time she was almost 1 year old, I’d sensed something was different about her. I call it mother’s intuition, I guess, or knowing deep down something about myself. I figured out my daughter was autistic by watching videos of other autistic children and babies close to her age at the time and comparing them with her and it seemed to fit. She wasn’t “just a late talker,” it wasn’t “just the pandemic,” and her regressions were not in my head … she was autistic.
I took a deep dive into learning about autism – I read research papers about Autism in children and adults, I read blogs from actually-autistic adults, I read and absorbed everything I could find about autism—I’d say it became a special interest of mine. Autism explained what my daughter was experiencing, but the more I learned, the more it also explained who I was. I am still waiting for an official diagnosis for myself, as this country makes it really challenging and expensive for adults to be diagnosed, but the support I’ve received in the support groups has really helped me find my self-acceptance and where I stand in this community.
My Meets. My Validation.
Then, I joined the Getting Together on the Spectrum group, and it’s safe to say it’s like looking into a mirror. It’s amazing to talk to others that are like me. Now, I help facilitate this group and it’s been such a fantastic and meaningful thing to be a part of.
Honestly, I owe AutismBC Meets a lot in my life. I mean that truthfully. Meets really helped guide me on the right path to accepting my daughter’s diagnosis and also accepting autism as a part of me too. Learning something so huge about yourself is earth-shattering at first. It tears down the image of who you are in your mind and in the ruins carves out the pathways toward acceptance and loving yourself for who you truly are. There is a huge amount of life-long trauma that comes with a late-in-life diagnosis—being neurodivergent and never knowing, the trauma associated with growing up different. I am humbled by the fact my story is not unique–a lot of parents figure out after their kids are diagnosed that they too are also autistic, as I’ve heard from many other parents in both groups I’ve attended.
AutismBC Meets gives me a place to relate to others in a way I never could before. I feel incredibly validated, I feel seen, I’m able to learn how to take off the masks I’ve taught myself to wear my whole life and be authentically myself.
My Meets. My Self-Acceptance.
When you donate to meets, you are supporting the autistic community as a whole. You are providing autistic people with a place to connect with each other and find self-acceptance, and you’re also helping parents find the resources they desperately need and a safe space to vent about the frustrations that come with having a child with autism. By donating, you’re helping break down barriers.
Everyone needs a place to Meet.
Everyone needs a place where they feel safe to open up and share their challenges and triumphs.
A place to connect with a community of people who understand and can offer advice.
A place to listen, learn, and laugh. AutismBC Meets provides opportunities for people in the autism community to connect, empower, and learn from one another. We believe in the power of community to uplift each other through all of life’s ups and downs.
Help autistic people and their families find a safe, judgement-free environment to be themselves. Donate now at autismbc.ca/donate