Autism Childhood Memories & Signs

Hi, my name’s Stephanie, and today is the
final day of me uploading for World Autism Awareness Week. Just a thing here, I didn’t feel like doing
my hair. It’s a miracle that I have makeup on my face. So, today’s just been one of those days. Today we’re just gonna have a more personal
video and I’m going to tell you about some things that I experienced in my childhood. Now, I’m not saying that if you experience
this, you know, you’re autistic or if your child experiences this, they’re autistic. But these are just some quirks and some things
that could’ve pointed us in the direction of maybe getting evaluated or just to be a
little concerned about when I was younger. Now, I will also preface this with I really
don’t know if I was stimming a lot when I was younger. And I say this because when you just do that,
you just do that. It’s just a thing that you do. So, I wasn’t really aware of stimming until
I realized that stimming was a thing or it stood out in social situations. Which is when I was older. So, for that part, I didn’t necessarily get
a whole lot of response from my family on that. I do recall being told I went in circles sometimes,
but either way, I have collected some information from my memories and from my mom, from my
dad, from my older sister and here are some things that I did or experienced when I was
a child that could’ve pointed us in this direction. So, at the very beginning, when I was born,
my dad likes to tell me about this story how when I came out, I was looking up. Just with wide eyes, just looking up and he
said, you know, I always knew from there that you would be curious and intelligent and stuff
like that. Not really sure that has anything to do with
anything, but it’s just one of those things that I remember my dad always telling me. When I was little, apparently I was really
attached to my mom. Which is kind of funny, ’cause I remember
also being attached to a red car for some reason. I think it was because I was allowed to sit
in the front seat when I was little. I don’t know how that worked. I don’t remember, like, the laws and everything,
but for some reason, that vehicle I could and I really liked that red car. Okay, I loved the swing. In the winter time, in any time, I wanted
to swing. All day, every day, swing. Apparently, I screamed a lot, a lot when I
was a kid and a baby. To the point that my mom claims to have maybe
gone temporarily deaf. My older sister says “Oh, the screaming,”
when I brought it up to her. She said I would scream when we forgot something
at a restaurant, which I remember that. And she also said that if anything, like,
changed and I wasn’t, like that’s not what I wanted to happen or expected to happen,
that I would scream about it, too. My sister also remembers me lining up my toys. Which is definitely one of those things that
they ask you about. My mom said that she had to put my blanket
on me “the right way” for me to be able to sleep. So, apparently, I would not sleep if my blanket
was not on the correct way. My mom also said that I had learned how to
walk down stairs, and then at one point, I would scoot down them. Now, I have a personal theory on this, because
I had a friend, or I thought they were my cousins, they were actually not because we
called their mom our aunt, but they’re not actually related to us. And they … had a basement and they would
scoot down the stairs, you know, like, just go on your bottom down. So, maybe that’s why I did that. I don’t know. But she said I went from, like, walking down
stairs normally, to going on my bottom, to taking them one at a time. So, I still do that. Where I’ll take one step, and then get both
feet on that step, then take one step, and, like, the whole way down. Sometimes, I can take them normally, it just
takes a lot for me to get to that point. It’s very strange. Don’t know why. None of us know why. Nobody knows. It’s not like I fell down the stairs or anything. It’s just a thing. Okay, this one, ugh! I think was just one of those moments I remember
taking something literally and, in hindsight, realizing that, oh my gosh, I was just taking
them literally, like, in the context of them just saying it to me. So, we were having family pictures and this
is another thing. I’ve noticed that in a lot of, like, structured
pictures, I wasn’t really smiling. I wouldn’t actually smile at the camera, but
like, if it was a candid photo, I’d be like, really smiley and happy. So, I don’t know what that’s about. I don’t know if I just hadn’t learned how
to fake smile at the camera. So, we were doing family pictures and I remember
them being like, Stephanie, smile. Smile. Come on, Stephanie. And they’re like, exasperated because I’m
not smiling. I remember thinking I am smiling, I don’t
know what your problem is. But finally, the photographer says, show me
your teeth. And I look at her. And she says, Show me your teeth. And so, I do. ‘Cause that’s what you do when you show the
dentist your teeth. So, they took the picture with me going like
that because she said to show her my teeth. And I did. I did not realize that she meant smile with
your teeth out like this. She just said, show me your teeth. And that would be the picture that we got. P.S., that was my older sister’s idea to get
that picture, so, I blame her for that. Another thing is that my dad thought I was
very sentimental as a child, and he recently was telling me about this and my older sister
had also mentioned this. So, basically, like, if he had gotten rid
of an item, say, like a crib or a couch, I think he mentioned, and I saw it and recognized
that it was ours, I would flip out because it no longer belonged to us. Or, even, he said, when he was putting together
the new crib, I would get upset because I had to, like, leave my crib and I didn’t know
why there was this new thing. So, I’d flip out over new things. I would flip out over things that used to
be ours not being ours anymore, like, I could not handle that for some reason. I’ve always been considered pretty shy and
quiet, though, my mom used to think that I just sang wonderfully, and would have me sing
to strangers. This lasted until I realized that people don’t
do that. Throughout my childhood, I had, like one female
friend I would kind of stick to. And they would usually be my voice. I’d let them direct what we were doing, I’d
let them talk to other people. I wouldn’t go up to someone and, like, talk
to them, if that makes sense. That was usually their job. If we were at their parent’s, or whatever,
they had to talk to their parent. If we were in a social situation, they had
to talk to the person, not me, but it was for me. Never really was fashionable. As you can see, that probably still translates
to today. So, when my sister, my older sister, was playing
a game, whether or not it was action-packed, maybe it wasn’t really that exciting, I would
be, like, over by her watching, so I always watched her play the games. And I would be jumping up and down and flapping
and honestly, I think I may have spun some. But I do remember, like, I wouldn’t be thinking
about it. ‘Cause I’m just really excited, and this thing’s
gonna happen, and … so I was reacting that way. And I remember my older sister just looking
over and being like, what are you doing? And, yeah. Did that a lot. Apparently, I liked swimming just about as
much as I loved swinging. In fact, I remember being able to learn how
to swim pretty well when I was younger. I think the only thing that ever really turned
me off to swimming was when I would get the water in my ear. I hate that. I learned how to ride a bike. Then I forgot. Then I learned again. Then I forgot again. So. I think now, I’ve got it down. Now, my sister actually pointed this one out,
apparently, I had to have my pants, like, sit a certain way or I would not be okay. Like, I could not have it at my belly button
or above my belly button. It had to be below, right below my belly button
or it was the end of the world. So, something I forgot to mention was a story
about myself in kindergarten. And I had learned that the rule was, with
my teacher, that you do not interrupt them when they are talking to someone else as,
like, an adult, or anybody, really. So, I learned that that was a rule. Well, as a child, and even older than this
time as a kindergartner, I would have trouble with understanding, like, when I had to go
to the bathroom. And I would basically wait to the point where
it was like, it has to happen now. Of course, that’s probably pretty common in
younger children, but it lasted probably longer than most. But during kindergarten, I had reached the
point where I had to go right then, but my teacher was actually talking to another adult
at the doorway. So, I didn’t know what to do because the rule
was you don’t interrupt the teacher and bother them while they’re talking to someone else. So, basically, I ended up peeing my pants
in kindergarten. [laughs] And then they evacuated the room
and got me in a diaper because that’s all they had. They had to borrow it from the Pre-K and then
I denied wearing a diaper to the people who returned to the classroom. So. That was a thing. And then another minor thing was that I had
trouble learning how to tie my shoes. I remember my sister kind of mocking me that
I didn’t know how to tie my shoes. Of course, she could’ve just been older, so
she didn’t understand why I didn’t know how to do that. But I remember my mom telling her to basically
be quiet and teaching me how to do, like, the two loops and then tie those together. And to this day, I still do it the “easy”
way. I don’t know how to tie my shoes any other
way. My older sister also said that I would have
my room a certain way and it had to be that way, and I would notice if people moved things
and I would be mad at them for doing so. In fact, I remember my mom saying, oh, you
know, it’s so strange about you, because we thought we were so lucky, because all of a
sudden, one day, you would just pop up and re-organize and clean your room however you
wanted it and we’re like, cool, great, this is … working. I will say, that kind of changed later on
in life. I usually had a messy room until I felt like
dealing with it. But I also had a computer, so that’s where,
like, the important stuff was going on. So, I wonder if that kind of changed that
dynamic in my life. I don’t know. And my older sister liked to point out that
I was very stubborn. My mom also pointed this out, too. She said, you know, I always – I remember
her saying, You always have to have the last word, don’t you? Never understood what she was talking about. I thought, you know, what I’m saying is the
right thing. Like, I know that I’m right. I don’t know why I have to… I don’t understand. So, apparently, I would just argue until they
gave up. And then my mom also said that I’d often go
to my room and read and she’d, like, hardly see me. Of course, that’s kind of when I was getting
older. And I was pretty advanced in reading, actually. But. Not to say that I necessarily comprehended
a lot of it sometimes. But it was just that I could understand the
words. Sometimes I tried to go beyond what I really
was comprehending. But that’s just what happened. So, those are some things that could’ve pointed
to autism or just were weird about my childhood and I wanted to share those with you. I think it’s interesting, because I remember
my mom, when I first mentioned the idea of autism and stuff, she was like, oh, really? Well, okay. And then later on, I ask her about this, and
she’s like, oh, well, you know, we always just thought, oh, that’s just Stephanie. Those weird things are just Stephanie. I’m like, thanks. Great. I don’t think I ever really noticed the whole
eye contact thing. Also, just a note here. I do know that I learned that a part of good
listening is facing the teacher and looking at them. So, I know I at least looked at their face,
because that was what was a good thing to do. So, I learned how to do that. But I do remember very specifically having
trouble with eye contact as a teenager. Which is interesting to me, because I thought,
you know, if I have communication issues, or whatnot, that maybe I would become better
at them as I got older and I didn’t see that happening as a trend in, you know, looking
back. It’s almost like I got worse at it. And that’s actually a thing. I looked that up in just kind of looking for
things that maybe I could relate to. I look like I have shaved my head and I did
not. So. So, it was just kind of interesting to look
into some of those things and realize that maybe if anybody thought, hmm, that’s … kinda
weird, they might’ve taken me in to be looked at. But they didn’t and here I am and now I get
to tell my story to you guys. In retrospect. And as it happens. So, this is kind of a ramble-y video. I’m sorry. I just wrote down the things that I could
remember and that people have sent me to let me know about. Thank you so much for watching. Thank you for being here during World Autism
Awareness Week. And I hope that you’ll stick around. Let me know if you can relate to any of those
things in the comments below or if you’ve had signs that maybe your family missed or
something like that, let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this video, go ahead and give
it a thumbs up and subscribe for weekly content every Thursday at 4pm Central Standard Time. I hope you’ve enjoyed this week with me and
I’ll see you next week. Bye.

39 thoughts on “Autism Childhood Memories & Signs

  1. Holy crap Stephanie I also loved to swing. For hours. In the heat with long sleeves. I don't remember feeling hot or anything but my parents tell me now that they were concerned for awhile. I also had the ONE friend I stuck to. It still happens today but it's more like I have one friend from a group of mutual "friends". Groups are hard. It's really nice to be able to relate to someone, especially with childhood years.

  2. We appreciate that you pulled yourself together to put this video together. 🙂
    (What you ought to do is get your own branded beanie and sell it as merch. Then you
    Can wear one whenever you want and it wouldn't seem too weird, for viewers
    Would consider it a visual plug for your apparel. So there's something you could do.)

  3. I like rambeling videos! You should totally do them more often. Or you know, as often as you feel like.

  4. Given me a lot of #foodforthought this week, Stephanie. One of my main conclusions being, autism can be an outright disability, in the classic sense, depending on how bad a given case is. But for many, it's simply a solid disadvantage cause the world hasn't figured out how to bridge and accommodate a very real chasm of differences in how autistics think. Let me know if that's a fair way to describe it, or if you'd add anything. #WAAW19

  5. U sound pretty similar to me lol I was diagnosed at age 7 but it was pdd I was right under aspergers. Had to google it lol didnt realize what that ment and that I was autistic until my 20s though. I also didnt get any jokes or smile much until 7

  6. We have such a similar speech pattern, mentioning that you’re not really related to your cousins when you’re trying to make a whole different point! That’s relatable as hell, sometimes you make a video and you go onnnnn about something way different just to include everything cause we can’t filter what information isn’t supposed to be there

  7. Praying for you my friend. I hope all goes well for you. I hope you feel better soon. I wish you the very best. God bless you my friend. God loves you.

  8. Omg so many things you said is me. Especially the stubborn part lol. So me! I am almost 42 and still not diagnosed because I cannot find a decent psych2who understand about masking. I know I habe several family members on the spectrum who need to be diagnosed as well but back then nobody thought about it or cared or just thought we were weird. I have been treated poorly from so many people who thought I was a weirdo or unfriendly. Lost jobs as well even though my work and dedication was stellar. No diagnosis yet. I don't know where to go from here 🙁.

  9. Holy crap i didn't even realize showing your teeth when told to was an aspect of my autism but it makes so much sense because i just like you obviously just took it very seriously. For years in photos when i wasn't just smiling naturally i smiled showing only my bottom teeth biting my top lip with my bottom lip pouting down in order to properly show my teeth like i was being told.

  10. When you talked about learning how to ride your bike and then forgetting and relearning… this also happened to me and I thought I was the only one – so I suddenly realized that I was flapping my hands because I was excited lol. And you know, you hear the expression, "oh, it's like riding a bike" when someone is talking about something you'd never forget how to do. Only… not me, because I literally forgot. So thank you for making me feel better about not being the only one lol.

    Since my doctor mentioned that I may have ASD (I haven't been officially diagnosed yet, but my doc suspects that I'm on the spectrum and all of the research I've done since points strongly in that direction), I've looked back on my childhood and noticed so many "quirks" as well. The thing that I think my Mom thought was the most odd or funny was that when I was learning how to read, she would take me shopping for a new book and it didn't matter so much what it was about, the pages had to be the right texture (glossy) and have a certain weight to them. If they didn't, I didn't want the book. Lol.

    I also didn't know how to smile for pictures. In most of my baby + toddler pictures I was either crying or staring, but in my kindergarten pic I had a sort of lop-sided smile that made me just look annoyed, but I thought I was smiling. They don't teach you these things lol.

    Thanks for sharing this! 😄

  11. I was diagnosed last year and when I told my mom she said “that makes sense. you didn’t talk until you were 2 and you didn’t play with other kids for the first few YEARS of preschool and elementary school.” We went through a bunch of the other signs and she said there wasn’t anyone to evaluate me where I grew up (very rural) and she didn’t want me to have a label.

    To this day I wait until the last minute to pee! I can’t tell when I have to go until it’s dire, it’s an issue with interpreting the signals from my insides. Also causes problems understanding my emotions and when I’m hungry or thirsty. I kind of feel everything as levels of anxious and it’s taken a long time to understand what kind of anxious means my bladders full and what kind of anxious is tired or sad or hungry.

  12. When I was little I lived in the countryside where you know everyone. If we were outside I could recognise the sound of everyones cars and could tell my parants who was coming. I still know what cars all people I know have so that I can recognise them if we meet them in the street and can wave to them. I see this as normal. I have don't think it's 🤔
    When I was 5 my best friend started school and "left" me in kindergarten (in Sweden you start school when you're 6). I was so sad that I started to pee in bed when I sleped. Looking back I probably couldn't handle the change in the routine.
    I started to notice that I have problem with eye contact around the same time I started to read more about autism last summer. Sometime before that I have started to notice that I often reacted different in socal situations compared to others.
    I have since realised that one of the main reasons that no one saw that I have autism probably is because I'm really good in masking. Which is good and bad at the same time. I learned from an early age that you need to be socal and speak to people. My dad had a store when I was little so he did know almost everyone that we meet when we was out and about. So I'm extremely socal which is an act. It's how everyone expect me to be so I'm.
    I hate new situations because I haven't learned how to act. I get extreme anxiety from new situations until I learn how to act.

  13. I'm always fascinated listening to another person's recollection of their past through an autistic perspective. I've regretted that my parents are both gone and I cannot get their perspective to find more evidence of my autistic behaviors. Your video made me realize that even those in our family filtered all our behaviors through a Neurotypical filter as well. That their recollection may be even more distorted than ours. I also realized watching your video how we have also make neurotypical associations with all our past behaviors and can so easily pass them by STILL as just being "normal" for Tom or Stephannie… I've started noticing how literal I took everything then and still till today, though I'm a little better at seeing when I do this.. I still want to talk about my topic of interest with people.. and tend to talk on and on and on…. Same with writing ….. LOL even responses on YouTube can be a bit long…. Speaking of long… Ummmm…… Keep up the great videos!

  14. Oh my gosh, I am so excited to find your channel. I am a mum of a 13 year old boy and 10 year old girl with high functioning autism. Helping my children as they get older negotiate life is so different than when they were little. hearing your perspective is wonderful. Thank you. I am also very intrigued by your computer space. It looks like a great space for chilling out. It also looks like a space that would help with the dreaded homework. My kids have such trouble with staying on task. Can you tell me about it? How does it work for you?

  15. You tend to feel worse as you get old because you get left behind with social development compared to the people around you.

  16. Oh my goodness, I totally peed my pants in first grade because the teacher was in the middle of reading a story to everyone 😳

  17. i never liked eye contact, i forced myself to do it basically my whole life – i thought it was hard for everyone but just something we were supposed to do for some reason. I've stopped forcing recently and it feels weird/rude sometimes but it makes interactions so much easier and more comfortable for me

  18. I also only ever had one friend, if any. My friend would always have more friends then me, sometimes id be in the hubof those people but id never talk to them or lead anything.

  19. As I'm going through the assesment process at the moment I've been thinking a lot about my childhood memories.

    My best friend pointed out recently how I always used to line up my toys (something I remember doing) and some other repetetive behaviours I did, like rocking (something I'd rarely notice myself doing, just kind of happens). In elementary school I had one best friend (not the person I just mentioned) and she was my voice. This worked pretty well up until middle school. I'm still pretty quiet I guess but back then I spoke a lot less. Actually my mum says I didn't really talk at all until I was 3.

    I had some difficulty with shoe laces too and haven't gone beyond the "easy" way.

    The topic of bikes is one my mum and I have been discussing recently. She thought I'd never be able to ride a bike. Probably because I couldn't keep a bike upright until I was 9ish and I wasn't good at keeping it going and stable until I was maybe 12 or 13.

    In elementary school I was taught it was a rule to not walk between people that were in a conversation. In theory this is a good rule. The problem was that teachers often spoke to each other from their side of the hallway to a teacher on the other side. I'm sure I was slow getting places a number of times because I'd wait for a signifcant pause in conversation before I'd walk between them.

    The list of memories that I now think could be autism related seems endless.

    This is embarassing to talk about but I had accidents at school as well. I'm pretty sure I had a number of accidents in kindergarten. The most memorable accident at school was in grade 6 though. I hated asking to go to the washroom and worse yet I had something of a fear of most public washrooms (more so an extreme discomfort regarding them really). As a result (starting in grade 4 as I'd previously gotten used to the primary grades' washrooms) I would always wait until I went to daycare at the end of the day. One day the routine changed slightly and at 12 I had an accident. I think the experience had me more willing to give public washrooms a shot at least.

  20. I can't even believe someone else still ties their shoes the "easy way"! I've never learned the real way, either. Another thing I had issues with was using scissors, but I managed to get the hang of that one later on (maybe my motor skills developed later than usual).

    But as for the smiling thing… Uh… I never got the hang of that, either. And people really expect it of you as a girl. I think in highschool I just didn't show up on picture day. And now I just have to hope someone will catch a good candid shot, because I simply can't do it, the smiling on command thing. I can half-smile, and that's gonna have to be good enough.

    This has been really validating, hearing your experience with being autistic. I'm just partly amazed and partly enraged that I'm 30 years old, and I've never had so much as an evaluation. Getting churned in and out of the mental health system, and no one, not a soul, had the sense to suggest it as a serious possiblity. I go in for an evaluation this Monday, though. I'm guessing it'll come back "positive", but I could be wrong. I just wanted to comment something: I guess I'm jumping the gun, but I'm sure I'm borderline autistic. But I relate to your experience regardless of diagnosis!

    Oh, and swimming = stimming, for me, even as an adult. Riding my bike, too, come to think of it. So at least I get exercise! I should get back into swinging, too: go to a playground in the dead of night and just swing my heart out! I loved it, too, as a kid: all recess long.

  21. In kindergarten I didn't speak for the first month, not responding to the teacher's questions, nothing. Teacher finally got in touch with my mom — so she asked me why i didn't participate in class. I told her "Nana told me not to talk in class." 🙂

  22. As you can probably tell by my comments as I've been making my way through your videos, I think you're pretty awesome. 🙂 I remember having the same thing happen in Kindergarten, too, only my teacher (nice lady) called everyone's attention as I was headed for the door. She was giving end of the day information, and the rule was something along the lines of Stop and Listen. I also didn't learn to tie my shoes the 'normal way', and learning to type on the computer was hard, even though that's no longer an issue because I wanted to write stories/homework faster. I was a late talker but did kind of a baby sign language. I also outread all my classmates in 2nd grade because Pizza Hut had free pizza coupons (you'd read X amount of books for a personal pan pizza– my parents got sick of it), but I really struggled with basic counting (my cousins skipped grades and I should have been able to if not for terrible math skills and being small for my age). Any opportunity I've gotten, I'd talk to my teachers/professors before talking to peers. I did come home from elementary school and have meltdowns(?) in my room for reasons I do not remember, but my "friends" were also terrible and played mind games a lot. Same thing happened in college (also kept it to myself) but my roommate was also terrible. I've had meltdowns in my 20s but they've been brought on by social interactions that bothered me, or stress that normal people would understand but not feel as deeply, I guess. I'm going to keep an eye on it from now on. Additionally, I've had several friends in the past be my "middleman" voice advocates (boyfriend helps with this but I'm actively working on that). I'm sure there's other stuff, too, but I've already generated a large paragraph. <3

    Also, funny story, there's swings at my nearby park. I reallllyyy wanted to swing this spring, and went during a time of day when I thought nobody would be there. I was like eff it, I want to swing, it's a free country. Who cares if I don't have children to make it look 'normal.' I was there maybe 10 minutes before having to leave because this 3 year old was trying to talk to me and get me to play with her, and her parents weren't like hey don't talk to strangers. I was more concerned for her to not get her used to talking to weirdos, so I peaced out, lol.

  23. I had trouble tying my shoe laces, even aged 8, now as an adult, I only have trouble tying my laces when I'm late for work or an appointment or something. I'm easily frustrated.

  24. My mom tells me when I was born I lifted my head up and looked around. Tying my shoes was really difficult too. However it was kindergarten when I realized I was different. The other kids could not read yet and they kept talking about trivial stuff to the teacher. I wondered how long it would take the teacher to fix the other kids. lol

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