Accepting impairment

Posted on the

One of the thing i find most challenging about autistic life is accepting that often I am very impaired and there isn’t much I can do about it.

I choose the word impairment carefully. By impairment I mean that I have difficulty in something measurable. Or to put it another way, my capability changes often

This has become really noticeable over the last few weeks. I’ve been trying different ADHD meds and the impact has been really significant..

The meds change the way I am impaired in ways which effect my daily life.

I become less Impaired in some areas. For example they meds allow me to focus and task switch much more easily. They also slow down my thoughts and in turn make me feel a lot calmer. With the ADHD meds in my system I am much more productive.

However, the side effect is that I become much more impaired in other areas. My speech & communication impairment is much more noticeable, I have more trouble with movement and not falling over. I generally end up a little floaty. I bounce around, stim and move in a much more distinctly autistic way.

Accepting the impairment side of things can be tricky. I’ve learnt that it’s normally not worth fighting it. Even if sometimes to urge to fight it is strong.

My goals are autonomy and productivity. I don’t have a goal of ‘being less autistic’. Being less autistic is daft goal as it doesn’t achieve anything much.

My current discomfort is with the change more than anything. I’ve always had a ‘spiky’ profile of skills and the ADHD meds just make it more spiky. The strengths get stronger and the difficulties deeper.

I am focusing on accepting it. It’s part of how I am and I can’t change it. Making my peace with it frees me up to make the most of life and that’s ultimately more important than anything else.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

Social Links

Get In Touch

Jamie: @JamieKnight
Lion: @Lickr