Ludovig struggled for a long time, and was diagnosed as autistic after a series of life events resulted in him seeing a psychiatrist. He feels his autism gives him a unique and original point of view, is now fully aware of who he is, and is venturing into exciting new ventures.
This is his story.
Tell me a bit about yourself
Well, it's kinda long and convoluted, but the short version goes like this. I was a very bright kid in primary school. I wasn’t very social, so I was pushed a lot to go out and “see other kids”. If I ever showed any specific signs, it was either ignored, or pushed aside and seen as quirks that shouldn’t be there. I always felt weird, out of place with the others, and I had few activities that really brought me comfort.
I make music, I sell weird computers from a website with my father, and I work on building a brand new theory that I call “the quantum mind”, and I have on average 5 other projects in the work, or waiting for me to have time for them. Life is good now.
In my close future, I will find collaborators to make and patent an invention that I think can be a great tool for a lot of people, and particularly, people with autism.
What was school like for you?
While in primary school, I was so bullied that I told myself “if I hide my intelligence, it will be fine”. So I hid amongst other students. My grades went down, I never worked. But I showed a particular interest in English.
In fact, I never learnt anything at school, and only cared about my interests. Computers, music, composition, the English language… I loved, and still love, the excitement of learning something by myself, only using the internet for specific answers to problems I cannot solve by myself. Finding my own solutions is what drives me forward.
What led to your diagnosis
I hid myself for a very long time, for more than ten years, I wasn’t even aware that I had a very intelligent brain. I didn’t even know I was on the spectrum. It was just anguish, depression, guilt, loneliness… and to top it all, I was in a destructive relationship which drained me of what little space I had for personal thoughts.
4 years ago, I underwent a series of major crises in my life. Even if they were particularly hard to withstand, it opened the opportunity of seeing a psychiatrist, with whom I discovered that I had Asperger’s syndrome.
Things were still not great though. I was still in a terrible relationship, and it got to such a point that it drove me very close to suicide.
Has your diagnosis helped you in any way
I am fully aware of what I am, and I am venturing into some very exciting territories.
How do you process information?
With my syndrome comes hyper sensitivity. Especially on the auditory spectrum.
It allows me to experience music in a particularly profound and transcending way. I have used that gift to make my music and reached very good results that would've been only done by a sound engineer.
Are you impacted by your hyper sensitivity?
Yes, a lot actually. I only wear specific types of fabric. I can't touch water in the morning, so I need to take that into account.
Traveling is always a terrible experience, so I do that as little as possible.
Dealing with people has always been hard. Even though it is a bit easier now, it's always very tiring, so I need to manage that carefully.
What strategies work for you?
The auditory sense is the trickiest to manage. When I go out, I always have active noise reduction headphones, so that I'm not overwhelmed. Even when I'm home, I sometimes need it if my neighbors make too much noise.
Sometimes, I also put a blindfold on to reduce the quantity of stimuli.
I have two meals each day, and one of these two meals is always the same. It's a structuring habit. I tend to go out every two days and rest every other day. I practice meditation and exercise and walk regularly at night.
I avoid crowded places, social gatherings in general, going out when it's too cold etc...
They all aim to reduce the quantity of stimuli my brain has to process in order to avoid meltdowns.
Do you think your autism benefits you in any way?
It's more than helping, it allows me to see, to think differently.
I have a unique and original point of view. To solve problems faster and more efficiently. With that, I feel I can contribute in a big way to society, and harnessing that power is still a challenge for me, since I still don't know the full extent of my capacity.
What do employers need to think about
I think that most of all, employers need knowledge on how other people like people on the spectrum need to have an environment tailored for them.
Also, they should be more informed about neurodiversity and how this diversity could be an asset. Most of all, they need to show compassion and understanding, even if they cannot understand what it really means, to have a brain working differently.
To sum up : Knowledge, compassion, comprehension
What can employers expect from Neurodivergent employees
They will have extremely efficient, creative, and devoted employees who will actively put their enormous brainpower to the benefit of the company.
Seeing things differently is an undervalued quality. I think neurodivergent people will be able to show how good they are at it.
Overall, that's what today's society needs the most.
Any final thoughts
We could be a force of actual, real, effective, long lasting change. Thank you for giving us, the neuroatypical people, a voice.
If you are autistic, dyslexic, dyspraxic, bipolar, Tourettes, OCD, ADHD, ADD, or Neurodivergent in another way, and would like to share your story and thoughts then please contact me.