I'm constantly confused as to what age I feel. I'm more of a compilation of ages rather than simply just being my current age of 26. Being twice-exceptional reflects my abilities as well as my maturity. The same way I have a spiky learning profile, I have spiky maturity levels. For example, at the age of twelve I had the mental age of fifty but the emotional age of about eight. Think of it as being an old soul and young at heart. I remember looking at peers my age thinking they weren't educated on the world and didn't understand life. I thought they were immature yet I was the one who couldn't process and express my emotions properly. ASD is considered a developmental delay, but that doesn't mean that my development is stagnant; I have caught up to a lot of my missed milestones in adulthood. Autistic females can be childlike, but not childish.
Samantha Craft put together a lovely blog post about female asperger traits. One of these traits really resonated with me: perpetually twelve. I couldn't put into words what exactly about me was perpetually twelve so I asked Samantha to elaborate on this bullet to help me understand myself better and this is what she said:
"I don't feel like I ever changed at puberty... didn't become catty...gossipy...manipulative...develop understanding about relationships and boys etc I never grew up"
This confused me a bit because I did go through some of the typical motions of growing up, despite not really understanding the reason behind it. I spent a lifetime mimicking other people's behaviour so I can't base my "perpetual twelveness" on actions. I asked her to give me a bit more depth. She responded:
"I am naive and often think others will have the same qualities as me: transparent, honest, straight forward, hopeful... giggly, etc. I am not sure how else to explain it. Whatever clicked for everyone else at puberty, didn't seem to click for me."
Call me a spiritual-nut if you wish, but I truly believe that Autism reflects the nature of our souls in many ways.
"My autism means I don't lie, I am shy with strangers, I dance, I laugh and show myself how I am. Why would you want to change me?"
J.M. Barrie based the Peter Pan character on his older brother, David, who died in a skating accident. The boy never grew up because like me, he lives where souls Neverland and time is never planned.
Samantha Craft's blog post I referenced: