On the Outside of Life Looking In: Trapped Inside an Autistic Body

anita-lesko-1-500pxBy Anita Lesko, BSN, RN, MS, CRNA

Imagine going the first fifty years of your life with an invisible disorder that you don’t know you have.  It affects every move you make, every word you speak, and simply everything you do. You realize you are different than other people and never fit in, only you don’t understand why.  As a child, other children run away from you.  You try and make friends only no one wants to be your friend.  You have all kinds of sensory issues that others don’t seem to have.  Your sense of taste, smell, touch, hearing, and vision are amplified as if you live in IMAX 24/7, 365 days a year.   Every social interaction seems to end up as a negative one.  When you attempt to join in on conversations at work, everyone ignores you as if you are invisible.  You are a target of bullying and harassment, not only throughout your school years, but at your workplace as well.  You spend fifty years feeling like you are on the outside of life looking in.  As if there’s a glass shield keeping you away from joining in with others.  You see people together out in restaurants, in malls, everywhere you go, you see them laughing, talking, having fun. Yet there you are, alone.  You try and get used to it, but deep inside you long for even just one friend.  The feeling of loneliness at times totally consumes you.  Holidays are the worst, as you are aware that others are gathering for big celebrations, as you are home alone yet again.  Sadly, this is all common to individuals on the autism spectrum.

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“All Autism Wedding” to be Officiated by Dr. Stephen Shore

September 25, 2015, SAN DIEGO – International “Autism Expert” and IBCCES (International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards) board member Dr. Stephen Shore will be officiating an “all autism” wedding this Saturday in San Diego. The couple being married, Anita Lesko and Abraham Nieslon, are both on the autism spectrum, and will be joined by a wedding party (ring bearer, harpist, wedding cake baker, groomsman, usher, etc.) who also have ASD.

The two met in the spring of 2013 at an Asperger’s support group. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at San Diego’s Love & Autism: A Conference with a Heart, a conference organized by Dr. Jenny Palmiotto to bring awareness to the fact that every individual – including those on the spectrum – wants to be loved.

“Through the power of love, this conference demonstrates that individuals with autism can have fulfilling and meaningful relationships such as marriage – just like everyone else,” Shore said.

“For two individuals who have gone through their lives feeling alone, it is beautiful that they have finally found companionship and understanding,” Plank, told PEOPLE Magazine in an interview. “It gives hope to those of us on the spectrum who wonder if we will ever find our other half.”

Lesko, 54, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 50, which shed some light for her on why she may have been perceived as somewhat different throughout her life.

“We’re trying to show that autistic children can grow up and have a happy, fulfilled life, just like everybody else,” Lesko told PEOPLE. “It’s not uncommon for people on the spectrum get too comfortable – get in their comfort zone, and it becomes scary for them to step out of their shells. Abraham and I have stepped far beyond our comfort zones to get where we’re at – and in the process, we learned how to be spontaneous.”