Autism and ADHD are NOT Bad Behavior – Ways I Was Punished for Being NeuroDivergent

Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on September 1 2022. The video’s public release will be November 2, 2022.

ID: Lyric, a pale skinned nonbinary person with short green, teal, and purple hair with shaved sides and jet black roots is sitting in the passenger’s chair in an RV with, a large window to one side and the driver’s cab behind them. The words “Punished for my NeuroDivergent Traits” floats in front of them in teal and green letters.


Hi, my name is Lyric, and I am a late discovered, NeuroDivergent adult, meaning I’m Autistic, but I didn’t find out I was Autistic until I was 29, and the ADHD wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my mid-thirties.

I went a large portion of my life, falsely, believing I was a NeuroTypical. Because I did not have the autism or ADHD labels for myself growing up, other labels were put on me as a young person: “stubborn rebellious, difficult hyperactive, poor self-control, someone who doesn’t apply themselves”.

All of these were put on me because nobody knew that I was NeuroDivergent, and, in a lot of ways, my NeuroDivergence was punished growing up.

If you’d like to know the ways in which my NeuroDivergent traits were punished, please do stay tuned.

Welcome back. I’m glad you’re still here. Talking about growing up and not knowing I’m NeuroDivergent, a lot of the ways I expressed my NeuroDivergent traits were punished growing up, especially, if they inconvenienced other people.

I’ve made a list to keep myself on track, and to make sure I can remember the bullet points I wanted to go through. I’m just gonna jump in.

The first one is: being pun- punished for being so anxious, I literally could not speak. They call it selective mutism, which is not selective at all, it is completely involuntary.

In school, I was really nervous about speaking in front of the other kids, reading out loud.

I could not read in front of the other students, because I was literally so afraid that my brain forgot where my mouth was, or how to move my mouth.

I was punished, because the teachers thought I was refusing to read in front of the class because they knew I could read. This is one way in which I was punished for being NeuroDivergent, or punished for having anxiety, because I was so scared, I literally couldn’t speak.

This happened in speech class in high school as well. I would just get so afraid of speaking in public. That I would just freeze up, and not be able to speak on the stage.

Now you would never believe I am someone who got over massive stage fright, but doing these videos, and talking alone in a room to a camera, and then sharing that later on social media, has actually helped me to get over that.

It felt safer, talking alone in a room with a camera, then I put it out and I go and leave it and if, if it resonates with someone, it resonates.

That’s helped me with that a lot, but even now, if I become really overwhelmed… My brain like… Doesn’t know I have a mouth, and I can be just like in elementary school, reading that paragraph over and over again in my head, knowing exactly what I wanted to say, and not being able to make those words come out, or I can be screaming on the inside. It doesn’t matter, when I get shut down like this, my, my mouth’s not gonna work with me, and I just have to wait until my brain remembers I have a mouth… for, for lack of a better way to explain it.

Okay… other ways I was punished for being NeuroDivergent: I was punished for having sensory issues.

In school that would be crawling under my desk, to get away from a very bright and busy, overwhelming, classroom.

Also, punished for running off in stores, eloping. For similar reasons, I would end up hiding in the clothing rack, surrounded in the dark warm embrace of all of those clothings. I would get in trouble for that as well.

In school, in general, I, I was punished a lot for not being able to sit still and stay in one place, and that, that need for sensory input, and movement, resulted in me, frequently, jumping out of my seat. When I was no longer able to be still, I would just erupt.

I would erupt like a little volcano, and pop outta my seat, and zip around the classroom or, or jump outta my desk, and jump up and down, or I would be really excited I would know the answer to something, and I would jump outta my chair, and wave my arms, and be really excited.

Too much, too excited. I needed to stay in my seat, unless I had permission to get outta my seat, and that was really, really hard for me.

Often, when I couldn’t stay in my seat for sensory reasons, whether it was sensory aversions, or just the need to move and sensory seek… when I couldn’t stay in my seat, I was often punished.

I, I needed more movement, a lot more movement, and a lot of the times the movement was taken away. I would be punished, and they would take away my recess, which was really counterproductive, cause that made it even harder for me to sit in my seat.

The sensory needs, and the sensory seeking, and sensory aversions being punished were, were big things for me growing up.

Another thing, as a young person, just because young people are less developed in certain areas… a lot of times, I was punished for things that were, at the time, completely beyond my control.

I remember really wanting to behave and just not knowing how, or being unable to meet the expectations of adults around me, and this sucked, because I remember really wanting to be air quotes, a good kid.

Deep down, I was a good, really sweet kid, but I just struggled with some things that other kids around me didn’t struggle with, and the adults held me to the same standards as they held other kids my age… which, now that I know I’m Autistic and ADHD, I now know were, very, unfair standards.

I’m Autistic, and I’m also a visual thinker. Part of my visual thinking means, when people are talking to me, I’m drawing pictures in my mind, or it’s making videos play. I’m seeing a visual representation of what they’re saying, and then I have to translate that into words.

People’s words give me visuals, and that can result in me taking things literally, which can result in humorous situations.

For example, when I was young, one of my guardians told me they were gonna draw me a bath, so I quickly ran to get them a pencil because, in my head, I thought he was literally going to draw me a picture of a bath. That guardian thought of me as “too smart” for this, I must have been pulling their leg, and I was scolded and called a “smart Alec”.

 It was a very non punishment, kind of a punishment. “Oh, smart Alec haha!” Laughing at it.

They still, probably to this day think it was a joke, but I wasn’t making a joke. I had literally thought I was going to get a picture of a bathtub drawn for me.

It’s like things like that, these little misunderstandings, where people think I’m being intentionally difficult or, stubborn, or a “smart Alec”.

I wasn’t diagnosed Autistic until I was almost 30, and that ADHD wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my mid thirties, but this doesn’t mean there were no signs that I was Autistic or ADHD when I was growing up. There were lots of signs, but the signs were missed, or discounted as other things.

In fact, in elementary school, when the school wanted to have me tested for learning disabilities, my guardians pushed back, and declined having me tested, because they were afraid I would be labeled, and have labels that would follow me around for the rest of my life.

Without the appropriate labels, I was left with all of these other labels: “stubborn, difficult”, and my NeuroDivergent traits, were labeled “behavioral problems”.

For most of my life, people treated me like I was the problem, and because people treated me like I was the problem, consistently… for part of my life, I believed I was the problem.

Until I was diagnosed Autistic and ADHD as an adult, I started to realize that I have been struggling again, systems that weren’t designed to take my needs, my learning, my communication style, or any of those things into consideration, and it wasn’t my fault that educators weren’t teaching me the way I needed to learn, and weren’t nurturing me and my needs, and whenever I tried to express my needs, or have my needs met, it was punished.

People didn’t understand that I had needs that they didn’t, and because I didn’t know I was Autistic, and nobody around me knew I was Autistic, nobody knew I had those needs either.

All right, everyone, thanks for hanging out with me this week. I would love to ask, if you’re willing to share: if you’re a NeuroDivergent, were you punished for being NeuroDivergent, growing up?

Were your NeuroDivergent traits punished, and were you scolded for expressing your NeuroDivergent traits?

A lot of us have been molded to be ashamed or to hide our NeuroDivergence.

I’ve been on a journey to heal from that trauma for the past, almost six years now. I’d love to hear other stories of what this was like for you. Hopefully it’ll be helpful to other people out there who are starting this journey.

Thank you all so much for hanging out, hit that thumbs up button, if you made it this far. This is the end of the video, that lets me know that I was on track, and I didn’t lose you before we got to this point, thanks to everyone who gives me feedback, comments, video suggestions, who shares your own experience.

That is helpful to help everyone else learn and see that Autistic and NeuroDivergent People are not a monolith, and we do have unique and different, diverse, experiences. I appreciate every time you share your experience as well.

Thank you to the Patreon subscribers, Facebook supporters, YouTube channel members and Twitter super followers, those of you that do that little monetary subscription- I’m really grateful for you. You helped me with things like: website hosting, transcriptioning, and closed captioning software, the technology which this blog is filmed on.

None of this will be possible without the help and support of the readers and viewers like you, so I’m really grateful. I’m grateful for all of you. I always wanna express my gratitude. Gratitude’s really important to me.

I have a lot of gratitude for every single one of you. Thank you so much.

I will see you all next week, next Wednesday. I put a new videos each and every Wednesday morning. I hope to see you then.

I’ll talk to you next time. Bye.


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With gratitude,

– Lyric

One thought on “Autism and ADHD are NOT Bad Behavior – Ways I Was Punished for Being NeuroDivergent

  1. Brilliant blog! I will check out your videos. I was diagnosed at 39 and I feel you on the labelling, I believed in alot of these labels growing up. Naughty, out of control, aggressive, lack of concentration and a favourite from my dad “you’ve been nothing but a little shit since the day you were born”… NO, we’ve been autistic since the day we were born and persecuted for it even tho it was something out of our control. Thank you for sharing

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