Seven months ago, at 37 years old, I was diagnosed with autism.
What. A. Trip.
One of the many ways it’s so bizarre is discovering the bewildering reactions that some people have to the late-diagnosis community, especially on internet spaces like YouTube and TikTok.
Most of the comments tend to be positive ones from other autistic people, but it’s also common for “normal” neurotypical (NT) people to troll these posts and make disparaging comments.
In these online interactions, the motivations of the often relieved and jubilant newly diagnosed autistic person are questioned by the NT — “You’re not autistic, you’re…
For people who are Autistic, knowledge about our neurotype — how our brains work — is incredibly empowering; and for those who care about us Autists, knowledge is empathy.
The present public perception of Autism is based mostly on neurotypical (NT) observations of our behavior. Focus is on the social implications, with people often referring to how we “seem,” but the internal Autistic experience is far more crucial for people to understand.
We need people to understand how it *physically* feels to be Autistic. …
The word “normal” comes up a lot in our society.
We use it as an aspiration, “I just want to be normal,” or as a judgment, “that’s…not normal,” it’s even used like it’s a synonym for healthy, “that’s perfectly normal.”
I believe that all three uses are problematic for many reasons; but primarily because these homogeneous expectations have a very toxic effect on our mental health.
I feel that this is true even for those who feel they’ve achieved this mysteriously lauded act of mediocrity, but it’s especially toxic if you’re born in a body that excludes you from this…
In our society, with its multitude of toxic norms, people often hurt one another without even realizing it — an unfortunate fact that likely applies to everyone, and one that is a result of something called social conditioning.
Society trains us how to act, teaches us how to “fit in,” the things we need to do, and the ways we need to be to succeed.
Some of these things are helpful. …
Like many people in the United States, I was bewildered last week when I saw that we’re no longer required to wear masks if we’re vaccinated.
I’ve been keeping up with the research as best I can, and the recommendation from last month seemed aligned, safe. I also dug the easy-to-remember mandate — 2 out of 3: masking, social distance, and/or outdoors — as there is an intense amount of crucial information at hand right now, pandemic info as well as from the plethora of affected communities pleading for change.
Like so many people, since the crisis started I’ve been…
Last Saturday Elon Musk made a personal announcement while hosting the NYC-based show Saturday Night Live, one that’s upset many autistic people: “I’m the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL, or at least the first to admit it.”
It’s okay if you’re not seeing the harm in that.
US society (and global perception at large) is becoming more conscious and undergoing many simultaneous changes in perception, like a massive detox — people at large are still ill-informed of impactful issues concerning disadvantaged communities, and the autistic population is no exception.
All we can do is listen to a variety…
The journey to my summer of 2020 autism diagnosis — at 37 years old — was a lifelong one with a jillion ingredients, but my 9-year authenticity mission was certainly a crucial one.
It started one evening in early 2012, the night I realized I didn’t know who I was anymore.
I’d spent my twenties trying to find my people, my place in society — and after far too many job changes, ill-fated relationships, and moves, I’d come up short. …
It was a long and tumultuous journey that led to me living in a semi-functional 25-year-old Camry for the end of 2017, and much of 2018.
It was also wildly unexpected.
I’d graduated college with a decent GPA, had a semi-impressive career in marketing, threw charity fundraisers, volunteered and held positions on non-profit boards, cared for my people, and made sure they knew it — I had trouble managing sometimes, but did alright and was giving life my all.
If something happens to you and you proverbially fall, even if it’s not your fault, the government — whom you’ve given…
Everyone knows autism is a thing now. It’s been aware’d.
The problem is groups like Autism Speaks haven’t made people aware of what autism *actually* is, instead having the effect of “BEWARE of autism” — that organization even put out a commercial about how autistic children destroy their parents’ lives.
We don’t need a warning. We are not threats.
We are human fucking beings.
We need people to know we have different needs and when people push them it can have dire neurological consequences.
We need people to know that problems with executive functioning don’t mean that we’re stupid, it…
We need to talk about this image, because — sans red edits — this attitude is wildly popular, and wildly harmful. (I do realize the creator likely had kind intentions, but how things actually affect vulnerable folks is far more relevant, yes?)
Like other marginalized communities, our society’s idea of how to help us is very often actually harmful.
Autism is a disability.
And that’s okay — ‘disability’ really isn’t a dirty word.
Disability is a word that describes the state of not being able to do the same things as most people; and, more importantly, it’s a word that…