Nate: Sophisticated, Hard-to-match, way too not-in-the-mix and proud #Aspie

NateWatkins

Autism Unveiled Week 6

NateWatkins

I think maybe my childhood could’ve turned out better had I known about my diagnosis sooner. I was diagnosed with Aspergers at age 3 but I didn’t find out until age 13.

My parents don’t really understand my stimming that much despite claiming they know almost all there is to know about Aspergers. I like to hum sometimes. Sometimes I like to make hand motions. This helps me to express myself.

Because my diagnosis was concealed from me for 10 years, I wasn’t able to defend myself from people who weren’t being nice to me because of my stimming or from people who weren’t being nice in general.

I grew up in a very socially conservative Catholic household, so I wasn’t really free to challenge some of the things my parents were doing, like making me go to mass. It bothers me going to Mass because I’m forced to concentrate on what’s going on. I’m thinking about becoming a spiritual but not religious Christian.

My Aspergers helps me look at the world a lot differently. It helps me challenge the status quo.

Here is some of my digitally-produced art.

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Nate Watkins, North Carolina

Nate is part of the Autism Unveiled Project – 6 weeks of posts by Autistic people commencing on April 2, 2015, World Autism Awareness Day.

4 Comments

  • MariaT says:

    My son has autism and we are Catholic too. I am doing my dissertation on being Catholic with Autism. What would being able to participate in the Mass in a way that is most comfortable for you look like? Would it help to have a special area at the side where you could just listen, rather than be in the middle of the room looking forward? How can we help Catholics with autism feel welcome? Thanks.

    • admin says:

      Maria, maybe you can submit to the Art of Autism – I would say that would be relevant for many who attends a church, synagogue, or mosque.

    • Nate Watkins says:

      Since this was posted a year ago, I’ve decided that maybe the Latin Rite would do me best. It was suggested to me by someone with ADHD. I’ve noticed that the Novus Ordo masses are not at all spiritually charged like the Latin Rite is, and I would prefer something that’s so much more spiritually charged. Unfortunately, Americans don’t seem to even understand the importance of focusing on God instead of on ourselves. I mean, my congregation plays “Go Tell It On the Mountain”. Yeah, TOTALLY Catholic.

      • MariaT says:

        Perfect! This is precisely what I needed. I believe God has gifted the church with autistic individuals in order to help us do just that. I am writing my findings now and would love to use this as a good example of autistic spirituality. The focus on God is EXACTLY what we need! Thank you for responding. This study will be presented to my bishop once published, and I will be citing your blog as a good example. Thank you again!

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