My brain works differently from others: hyper-sensorial, as opposed to expressing something in an understandable language, a lack of overall vision, some communication obstacles and an effort to express myself. A journalist once asked me to define autism and I replied: “You have to get out of many cages, but you do not have the keys. The world is beyond the cage bars, you see it but you cannot get there without help.”
As a child, I already felt the sensation of being different from others; the external environment confused me. Everyone spoke naturally and I could not. I tried anger and I raged at my mother. Love reached me inside but the anguish and frustration in me also grew.
One summer evening, while on vacation at the beach (I think I was about 7 or 8 years old), I was in tears as I asked my mother what I had.
I don’t usually speak but words of anguish just flowed out of my mouth. My mother explained it to me and, for the first time, a world was opened by a word: autism.
Then I asked her: “Why me?”
Mom told me that many people in the world suffer but my family continues to fight this battle with me and choose to love me as I am.
Since then, I have fought in the first person, making me an active participant in mitigating my condition and aiming to adapt socially. I continue to work for myself and for those who are not as lucky as I am to be aware of this mental condition. There is so much to do to include everyone. Each of us is precious.
Frederico De Rosa
De Rosa, a person with autism, is an Italian correspondent for Città Nuova. He offered the response above as a definition from his experience and perspective, and for awareness.