Help Siara Get Autism Services And Medication

Hello, my name is Siara. I am 20 years old and autistic.
I have been unable to pay my phone bill for about 3 months. (Right now that is $300)
I have been unable to pay for insurance for 4 months. (That's being worked out still)

I would really like to be able to pay for an official diagnosis (up to $3000) so that I can receive the services that I need but I am unable to work.

Due to my autism I lost my last job, I also failed and was dismissed from college because I was unable to do the work without services or medication. I currently am unable to work.

To give an idea of why my autism makes it hard to work:

My autism means that I cannot handle too much sensory input without getting overwhelmed I the point of not functioning. I wear noise canceling headphones in my own home because sounds can make me physically sick. Social interaction can drain me a lot, a few hours can give me burn out. 

When I am burnt out I physically and mentally function worse. Basic instructions can be difficult to follow, interacting with people becomes a huge difficulty, and my senses are heightened to a distressing degree.

I have fibromyalgia which can feel worse during these times due to the stress. My fibromyalgia makes it hard to do physical activity, like squatting and going up stairs, at times.

I also struggle with basic executive functioning. For me this means struggling to shower for periods of time. I struggle going to the bathroom for hours and hours at a time. I will be unable to clean my room or do laundry for weeks. Along with these things at times I struggle to eat, get out of bed, and change my clothes. It can be really hard to do school or work even part time when one can hardly shower.

Before I knew I was autistic I was very very depressed. I have survived through two suicide attempts. These attempts were driven by a pervasive feeling of not belonging here, and being unable to live my life like everyone else. I truly felt like such an alien, whose existence was a fluke. knowing that I am autistic has meant being able to accept and understand why I have struggled with all of the things that I struggle with. 

I truly believe with services and with the right medication I will be able to work towards a job that will help support me. For the time being I am living at home with my family.
Having a diagnosis means receiving the care I need to live a full life. It means getting the medication I need to be able to work! It would mean getting the services I need so that I can try to renter school! It would mean so much to me.

How do you know you have autism without a diagnosis?
Growing up I have had almost every hallmark symptom of a "high functioning" autistic child. I have always struggled socially especially with females. Socialising has always been intensely difficult and frustrating. I have never been very comfortable interacting with others and have been excluded a lot, particularly by females.

I have sensory processing issues which have made it difficult to function my whole life. My sensory processing difficulties mean that I need to carry wear noise cancelling headphones everywhere I go. If I need them and do not have them I can meltdown over how overwhelming sounds can be. Sometimes light can be too much. Different textures are really hard for me to tolerate. The biggest for me is human contact. I do not enjoy being touched, even my loved ones. Hugs, cuddles, kisses, and back rubs are very very unpleasant for the most part.

I have always struggled with emotional regulation which has led to meltdowns of various degrees of violence to myself and and other objects. Frustration over social situations or sensory complications has lead me to meltdown bad enough to hurt myself. This is the case with all of my emotions (watching frozen 2 made me physically sob) 

I do need to stim regularly (any form of self-stimulation common in autistic people) some stims are standing on my tip toes, jumping, skipping, rubbing my fingers together, and shaking my leg, rocking. Stims can be happy or negative (hitting myself in the head is a big one for me)

I struggle very much with eye contact, I always have.

I have dealt with severe hyperfixations throughout my life, for example I was up for almost three days straight painting once, because I was just so hyper-focused and couldn't break my intense interest in it. Other hyperfixations of mine have been African Grey Parrots, Dinosaurs, and ants.

Changes in routines can be extremely distressing for me. (I once cancelled my own surprise birthday trip because I had a panic attack about not going to church as I did every single Sunday) I have to bite the corners of my bread before I toast them, I struggle stepping on the lines between tiles, unexpected plans can cause me to panic very much.

The biggest of all of these is that I have masked my whole life. Masking is what autistic people do to compensate and blend in with those of the typical neurotype. Because I grew up not knowing why I was so different I thought that everyone around me was trying just as hard as I was. I still struggle with interacting with and maintaining female friendships, as females are very socially complex. I grew up practicing smiling in the mirror, and I still do at times.

Bottom line is: I would not go through the distress and anxiety of sharing this with my friends and family and others if I didn't know and believe I was autistic. Accepting my autism has saved me so much heartache and self-hatred. It has validated my entire life experience. I love myself so much knowing why I am the way that I am.

I am happy to answer any questions! The second link is to my facebook and I would love to clarify anything you might need clarification on.




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Siara Byers 
Philadelphia, PA
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