Daily living

Autism changes how we get around in the world. It changes how we think, how we feel, and how we communicate.

A lot of autistic people need help in our daily lives. We can have a hard time with some things, like moving our bodies. We might have a hard time talking to people, or doing things that have a lot of steps. For example, cooking can be very hard for us, since it takes a lot of time and has a lot of steps.

But people have to do things like cooking every day. It takes more energy for autistic people to do these things. We may not be able to do everything we need to every day, or we may not be able to do some of these things at all.

For example:

Cass is autistic. They have work today, and go to a long work meeting. When they get home, they don’t have the energy to cook.They can’t figure out the steps to cook, but they need to eat. They can order food instead, or they can get someone to help them cook.

Roland is autistic. He can’t cook because figuring out all the steps is too hard for him.
He lives with a support person, who cooks for him. Roland helps around the house in other ways.

It is normal to need help in your daily life. All people, autistic or not, need help to live. Think about yourself and the people you know.
Let’s say someone can drive a car, and they don’t need help driving. But, can they fix their car by themselves? Did they build the car by themselves? Did they make all the parts for the car by themselves? Did they build all the roads the car drives on by themselves? You might know someone who does one or two of these things, but no one can do all these things on their own. We all need help.

Autistic people might need more help, so we might go about our daily lives in a different way.
Here are a few examples:

  • Someone who needs help being safe might live with a support person.
  • Someone who has a hard time listening at school might have someone take notes for them.
  • Someone who has a hard time shopping might get their groceries delivered instead.
  • Someone who has a hard time remembering what to do might have a job coach at work.

It is okay to need help. You should always get the help you need, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help.

Autistic people have lots of things we’re good at, and lots of things we need help with. We are not like non-autistic people, and that’s okay. We shouldn’t have to act like non-autistic people, and non-autistic people should respect us as we are.

Only autistic people can say what autism means to us, and decide how other people can help us.