Saying No
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The ASERT Resource Center serves as Pennsylvania’s leading source for up-to-date and accurate information and resources for individuals with autism, their families, the community and the professionals who support them. Contact the ASERT resource center to speak with a resource specialist who can help you learn how to discover and access resources in Pennsylvania. The resource center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

When should I contact the Resource Center?

If you have additional questions about information you found on PAautism.org or would like to invite an outreach specialist to attend an event, conference, or support group, someone at the resource center can assist you.

Be sure to visit the following pages below here on PAautism.org to find helpful information. If you still have additional questions, contact the Resource Center.

By phone
M-F 8:00am to 5:00pm EST
1-877-231-4244

Are you located outside of Pennsylvania?
The ASERT resource center is focused on specific resources in Pennsylvania. If you are in another state, the resources specialists will not be able to help you. Please visit the resources section of PAautism.org, as some of the online resources may be applicable to residents of other states.

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Saying No
by Out of Sync Woman

I found that speaking up for yourself is difficult and that saying "no" is not a popular response. Sometimes others encourage me to do something that I don't feel comfortable doing. Sometimes when I say "yes", there is a high price I pay for being so agreeable. I used to say "yes" even when it was a terrible fit, and afterwards I would fall apart. I would get so frustrated that I would feel like banging my head against the wall. Not a good idea as that just hurts your head and doesn't get you what you want.

 During the past year I have had to limit my time spent with family, especially siblings, as I realized that my past few interactions were not good for my mental health. I could only stay an hour or two as multiple conversations, familial "chaos", teasing, criticism, and kids everywhere was overwhelming. I try my best, get so exhausted, and have a "meltdown." I get into arguments with siblings even though I hate negative interactions and I try to keep things positive. I have decided that if I want to "boycott" these family get togethers, that is okay. It is better for my mental equilibrium, and they know I care about them.

 If you say "yes" to something, make sure you are doing it for yourself. I write blogs since I enjoy expressing myself. Gratitude is elusive and often not expressed in the way you want, so say "yes" to the things you enjoy and to the requests that may "stretch your comfort zone" but that you feel won't be detrimental to your well-being. Sadly, most people may not understand how difficult it is for you. Try to do things for people who care about you, and that you care about, as they are more likely to appreciate what you do. Helping someone you like and who is grateful makes a big difference for me. I will do a lot for someone I care about and feel good about it.

I think in the future I will be more careful about what roles I take on and what requests I choose to say "yes" to. To make sure things are a good fit for me, I like to ask a trusted family or friend for their insight and support in making the best decision for me. Ultimately, taking care of yourself should be your #1 priority, and nobody else can do it for you!

Out of Sync Woman

About the author

I was diagnosed at a young age and went through the special education system in public schools. Family is incredibly important to me as I grew up in a large supportive family. I enjoy being outside in nature and arts and crafts.

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