I am Not a Person With Autism – I am Autistic

I realize the term “person with Autism” is supposed to be a respectful way to describe people like me, but the truth is that phrase implies that Autism is something bad.

There is nothing wrong with me. You may find me socially unacceptable from time to time or notice that my way of thinking is different from your own.

Different does not equal broken. In fact, I wouldn’t ever choose to stop being an Aspie, even if I could.

Despite what psychologists and medical professionals say about Autism, many Aspergians do not feel as if our unique way of thinking should be classified as a disorder.

Parents with newly diagnosed or severely Autistic children often wonder if their child’s “condition” is due to something they did wrong. Many people, myself included, believe that Autism is genetic. Looking around at my family only strengthens my belief that AS runs in families of exceptionally bright people.

In fact it has been said that “a touchof Autism is necessary in order to succeed in fields such as computer science and engineering”. A popular article, Autism The Geek Syndrome, suggested that most of the brilliant minds in Silicon Valley could be on the spectrum.

I truly believe that Neurodiversity is a necessary part of human evolution and Aspies habe been around throughout our existence. Great minds, such as Einstein, Mozart, and Tesla are now though to have been on the spectrum.

Autism seems to be tied to giftedness. Many of the greatest thinkers and world changers likely land somewhere on the spectrum. Wiping out Autism could very well be the end of progressive society as we know it.

Society has a bad habit of only wanting to focus on the negatives. Can you remember the last time you saw a happy story on the news? How often do your favorite shows get interrupted in order to bring you information about something positive?

Google-ing Autism brings up pages and pages of results. It takes considerable work to find information about the best parts of Autism. Our gifts are hidden online and in the media, buried beneath all the problems and drama.

You easily find stories about the severely affected child, and the nonverbal adults desperately in need of lifelong care. The parents of these children are crying for help and their stories fill the headlines, but these extreme cases are in the minority.

Nobody wants to hear about the “high functioning” adults who can pass (with exhausting effort) in society. Parents dealing with the hardships associated with having a child who has been labeled “low functioning” something feel as if Aspies like me are somehow hurting their case by saying that Autism is not something that needs to be cured.

Every time I stumble across articles talking about finding a cure for Autism or isolating the “Autism gene” my frustration and worry rises. Don’t these people realize they are talkinggenocide and Eugenics.

Aspies are just like any other minority. People would be outraged if these same articles replaced the world “Autism” with “Hispanic” or “Anglo”. I am reminded of concentration camp stories of Nazzi Germany and the quest to create the perfect race.

Stop trying to cure me. Stop trying to prevent others like me from being born. There is nothing wrong with me or my genes. Just support me, and help us succeed in this world. We deserve to live just as much as everyone else.

This is why I am NOT a person with Autism. I am Autistic and proud of it, even if you can’t understand that.

Please be respectful, and understand if I am irritated when non-Aspies try to govern what is best for us. Many of us are perfectly capital of advocating for ourselves.

We do not need or want a cure.

 

 

 

 

 

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63 thoughts on “I am Not a Person With Autism – I am Autistic”

  1. Raising 2 children with autism is a challenge, but I wouldn’t ever want to take away that whole, honest beyond belief, thinking outside the box, delightfull differentness for a billion dollars. I wouldn’t be interested in a “cure” for either of them, cause they aren’t ill. However I am always searching to ensure they can reach their best potential. It doesn’t change that they are wonderful, different and I am blessed to have their love.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for taking this approach. I feel as if treating children / Aspies as if there is something wrong with them is the worst thing anyone can do. We already feel different, and have self esteem issues. Being told there is something wrong with us is the last thing we need. We need to be built up and encouraged to thrive, using our differences as our super powers.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Do you ever ask your children on their aspirations? Why not help them to reach that areas? It’s hurting to be dictated to do it.

      According to my experiences, I feel hurt. I know my parents mean well, I don’t want to disappoint them. Therefore, I listen to them and do it. In the end, I am the one who is suffering.

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      1. Of course I ask the eldest, who is 11, she wants to work with computer programming eventually, but right now she wants to be on youtube, so we are trying to figure out how to have the games she wants to “try” and video of her commentary at the same time. What ever Bex wants to do or try we make every effort to support her. Our Morgi is only 4 and basically totally non verbal. I am sorry that you were dictated to, but at least you know and hopefully can now make the changes to make yourself happy. Best of luck to you.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I actually do not mind the “puzzle” analogy…. but I take it from a different perspective. “I am unique, and puzzling. If you love me enough to study and learn about me you will figure out my true nature, allowing you to see the whole picture that is my being.”

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      1. I totally agree that people with autism are not defective. I tend to use children with autism a lot because I want my child to be seen as first a child, and then a child with a need that we can help to make him shine even more.

        I always remember my education mentor telling me that in Australia, they would call a child by his or her name first, e.g., “That is Dave, and he is hearing impaired” rather than “That is hearing impaired Dave”. From where I come from, there are lots of times when people would call my son, “The autistic child”, “The retarded child” which I totally abhor as I know the meaning is not well-intended. I am thankful in recent years, due to widespread awareness, more people are aware of autism and are having a change in their perspectives.

        Agreeing with what you have written, which is my belief too, any individuals/human beings should always be viewed as human beings first, and not anything else.

        Thanks for this insightful entry. It certainly opened up my mind.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you. Thank you for saying this. I’m not Autistic, myself, but I’ve got a few other issues people want a “cure” for. Among them ADHD and Transgender. It’s refreshing to hear another who would rather claim the challenge and be an individual than be “cured.”

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    1. I really do not believe there is anything wrong with me, other than the stigma that society has. My Autism makes me smart, artistic, brilliant, funny, honest, and allows me to see the world in ways others can not. Take away my AS and I am just another boring average person… no thanks, I like my 142 IQ and ability to day dream on command. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh goodness, the IQ is definitely subjective. I think it would have been more useful if adults and teachers in my life would have recognized me as smart vs labeling me rebellious and stubborn. I’m recovering from adolescence and years of being dismissed and misunderstood. My brilliance was muted and dismissed as a child because I had extreme difficulty fitting into the “box” everyone thought I should be in. Now, I have realized that I don’t care if I fit into anyone’s metaphorical box.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Yeah, rebellious and stubborn seems to come with the territory, especially dealing with public, state education. Though in my case, the most-used was, “If only he’d try harder.” Or variants to that effect. Now I find myself free to pursue my own passions, and “try” doesn’t even play in. It’s only “do, because I want to, can, and enjoy it.”

            As for boxes, I only think inside the box when it’s bigger on the inside. 😉

            Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this phrase. I used to work in schools with autistic children, and I once met a professor in special education. When I told her I worked with autistic children, she looked stern and said “Children with autism. You work with children with autism. People first language.” I know she was correcting me with good intentions, but it did make me wonder–was I really incorrect? And your idea that the phrase “with autism” makes it sound bad makes sense. We seem to always use adjectives for good things–gifted, talented, creative, etc. But “with” makes it sound like an illness. So next time someone corrects me, I’ll share this idea. 🙂

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  4. I really enjoyed reading this post – I had personally never realised that by saying ‘person with autism’ I might be implying autism is a bad thing. I am the first to support everything you’re saying in regards to celebrating autism and how brilliant autistic minds are – society has benefitted and progressed more than anyone realises because of aspies! I entirely understand where you’re coming from, how it can be insulting to hear so much about trying to ‘cure’ something that makes you special.

    You mention that you can easily find stories about those desperately in need of lifelong care, but that these stories are in the minority. I’m not sure that they’re in the minority as much as you might think. I love my sister, and I never want there to be any stigma attached to autism, it’s true that far too much of what your read/hear focuses on the negatives. I just hope that you remember that not all autistic people are gifted or able to use their unique perspective in the way that some are. Around half of autistic people also have a learning disability, and a third of those with a learning disability are autistic. Unfortunately for my sister, her ‘severe’ autism and learning disabilities have meant that she misses out on so much in life – I hope that you don’t begrudge those of us who would still like to be able to find a ‘cure’ (as naive as that sounds) for people like my sister – because I don’t begrudge you not wanting to be ‘cured’.

    You’re right, as a non-aspie I would never try tell you that you shouldn’t be proud of being an aspie! But as you say, you can advocate for yourself, and my sister can’t – so I have to for her. I hope you understand though, I’m not disagreeing with anything in this post – it’s great to read 🙂 I just hope you see where people are coming from, when they have different experience of autism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your deep and honest thoughts. Different opinions are always welcome here as long as they are coming from a place of kindness. The main point is that there are a LOT of diagnosed adults, especially women. We are missed because of our intellect or ability to pretend that we are someone we are not. Not knowing what is “wrong” only makes you feel more defective yet there are doctors out there who refuse to give the diagnosis to adults or people who they think are “too smart”. It worries me when we look to doctors to “help us” with Autism, since there is a lot of information that supports it being a natural genetic condition. (Meaning you get a certain number of traits you are more Autistic or very few to no traits and you are Neurotypical). I completely understand not wanting someone to be born into a hard life and wanting to ease suffering but I think “cure” is the wrong thing to look for. We need to understand what Autism really is and learn more about human genetics. Just looking at my family and my husband’s family tells me there is NO way we could have a child who is not Autistic. Which is a bit terrifying. Trust me, I understand that this really is a spectrum. ❤

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      1. Thanks for your informative reply! Though I’m not on the spectrum myself, I have never been a part of any autism community, so it’s been really great to hear what you think. My experience with autism has been quite insulated and intense, and very heavily weighs on the negative. You’re right that ‘cure’ is the wrong word, and can be a damaging attitude to many on the spectrum. Really all I would like is to understand autism better, and if possible make life easier for those that need help. Thanks for all your insight – really enjoying your blog!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Very well put and very insightful. In mental health some people blame themselves for being “flawed”. Yet, for example, many famous artist`s have bipolar and use the “symptoms”-as if it were a sickness- to drive them to produce art.

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    1. I agree. I think that society says we are defective, and that causes us to think of our unique gifts as weaknesses. When we are told we are bad, wrong, or broken we will be broken because that is what is expected of us.

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  6. Yes!! I love what you said, especially about the NT parents seeing us as an obstacle; truthfully, we probably are, since here we are, Aspergian and everything, comfortable with who we are, not needing a cure, and speaking out in favor of neurodiversity (of which I’m also a huge proponent). :). When we speak the truth, they get taken a little less seriously about their “need” for a “cure”, the only outcome of which (if it were even possible), would be a more convenient a life for themselves as parents, but also a huge spike in the suffering of their children as a major part of their identity is denied and driven underground. Love to you! -The Silent Wave writer 🙂

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      1. Thank you! That gave me warm fuzzies inside :). Also, thank you for following my blog! Yours is too good not to follow, too, so I’m following yours as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Anna; am enjoying your articles, but this one especially caught my attentions since I often write about what it means to be a “person” (over against what it means to be an “individual”). You may not be “a person with autism” – but I might re-emphasize the reality that “you are a person” – while all the rest is semantics. Your discussion challenges my discomfort with labels, and how “reductionistic” they can be. You give nuance to this, and I am grateful to look through lens – especially your insight to about “the concern to cure” something that need not be seen as a disability. This rather philosophical post speaks to what I am getting at. Please forgive me if attaching this is out of line: https://moreenigma.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/being-as-communion/
    By way of disclosure: I have a “low functioning” autistic brother, and a “high functioning” friend – though I have never identified them this way; they are “my brother” and “my friend.” Shalom.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Everything that I know about survivalism says that you want to have as much diversity as possible in the population. If you have an airplane go down you don’t want everybody to be a doctor. I look at how human beings normally live in tribes and I think about how my father and his brothers and looking through the genealogy of ancestors who were the first mechanics working at Ford and then the first teachers of mechanics – without all of these family members on the spectrum (I don’t know the correct words yet) what would be built? I know that it is stereotypical to link Aspergers with engineering but it’s something I see as such a good thing that I actually was very surprised when I grew up and found out that people hire plumbers and electricians. My father drew the blueprints to our house , he and my mother Build it together in one summer off the grid aside from somebody with a bulldozer making the ground flat and another day when some people help to lift the beams, my father created a shower by taking a 5 gallons bucket and poking holes in the bottom and having a wooden slats to slide to “turn on the shower” – these were just things I always took for granted. Who buys anything new? Just go to the dump and wander around and then fix things. My father actually was a medieval art historian Professor but where he really shined was building – and we moved for some reason more than once a year around the same town and he had made model furniture of our furniture that was perfectly scaled that he kept in a folder and whenever we moved he would just measure square footage of the rooms and the doorways and on that drawing arrange the furniture. These things seem normal. These are things I do. I don’t really understand not doing them.

    A tribe without autism would be really screwed up. A lot of innovation and problem-solving would be impossible. I know that having ADHD means I have never seen the box – it’s a mysterious box that people somehow think inside of – but the more I’ve been reading about British computer hacker Lauri love and how he is a genius who kept having to leave university and return home and went into major depression feeling like a failure a lot of the time and his family saying that he’s an idiot – that upsets me just as much as the fact that he’s facing 98 years in prison for a prank that I honestly don’t believe he understood the legal possible repercussions of just because I wouldn’t. My father wouldn’t. My uncles wouldn’t. The more I listen to him talk about himself the more I can relate – he has a lot better skill with emotional words than men in my family so it’s different for me. He was only recently tested for autism because of his lawyers suggestion. So he’s never known . And even though this is a giant international law issue and also we know that he will kill himself if sent to American prison, I’m still wanting MORE for him than freedom. I want him to love himself.

    In the 1970s radical disability movement, from the UK came a statement “We have impairments, but society disables us.” I used to pick my skin until I bled working in offices with fluorescent lights. But that seems like a normal response. Sensory overload wouldn’t have existed until recently. I worked a summer as a migrant farm worker. Picking berries all day calmed my anxiety.

    Then I have a friend whose son at age 13 was hitting her, still had no language and she’d tried everything. She’s a co-editor of the book My Baby Rides the Short Bus anthology about raising special needs kids, the inspections parents face hiding all signs of being a lesbian, real life stuff to counteract the “It’s such a blessed joy every moment” inspirational pornography books that make parents feel horrible for being human. I don’t know what to say to her about the importance of autism. She’s really radical. Organizations lots of parent groups.

    Or mothers who tells they went to a support group for parents of autistic children and the majority of the problems others mention seem so mild compared to what they are facing. I heard there’s no more Asperger’s label, everyone is autistic. But I’d read Asperger’s folks liked to have friends, high functioning autistic people didn’t care. It seems like the labels are being changed about? But what about parents with a child who attacks them (my cousin, they fear for their NT daughter safety because of my nephews forceful Tourette syndrome – Tourette syndrome? Is that connected?) in a group where people have kids who speak and do well in school?

    I’ve learned a lot in the last few days, especially from your blog linking me to great vloggers (I really appreciate Amethyst’s style). I do stim, I just didn’t think spinning as a teenager to self regulate was swimming, or that my parents put a trapeze in the living room and I felt much better upside down, or I’ll play a song for 2 hours and be far deeper affected than I “should”. Or that my crying jag since reading a book series where the main character is killed feels more real than when I have seen people die. And the skin picking in office jobs. Plus having to stroke a pillow I made to go into deep relaxation.

    I don’t think aleximythia is necessarily an absolute must. My PCP you can have high empathy but not understand expression. I’ve never been aware if someone was flirting or dangerous. I don’t see those signs. Until too late. I’m tactless. I talk super fast. I can’t tell by faces what someone thinks of me, I need words direct. Subtlety I don’t understand and small talk is almost abusive feeling.

    But because I don’t have aleximythia none of this counts? I’m going to get the book you mentioned. Also a lot mentioned by some people sounds like mild MCS. Neurological no filters on many levels.

    Thanks for educating so much!!!!

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  9. A friend of mine recently asked me for evolutionary psychology book suggestions recently and I’ve picked up stuff from physiology/embodiment, living in Africa having wired us to feel safe by trees, eyesight developed to not step on snakes, how we evolved in relation to the parasites and predators, gatherer hunters culture of 97% of history and the beginning of slaves, war, personal/family wealth, women as producers of workers only, ecological damage with big agriculture, and how oxytocin (which I’m sure stimming causes, like me with spinning in place and jumping to loud music or shuffling cards for 20 minutes or even the weight of an animal including human on me, wait, sex isn’t a full body contact event for everyone?) and the bonding of oxytocin with tribes creating a sense of contentment.

    It’s been all on the outskirts. Can you suggest books? It’s very unfashionable to discuss with all the cognitive behavior people saying the brain is plastic and can be rewired. This seemed like an illogical fight: why wouldn’t evolution give us some somewhat plastic brain? That stopped my CBT therapist short.

    I’ve been showing videos and reading things to my mom and she said 90% of it she saw when I was younger. She just knew she had to protect me because she never knew when something would suddenly hurt. I’d meltdown. She thought it was my brain’s superfast processing that caused it.

    But this is what is kinda bothering me.

    All I’m hearing people say are normal things. None of it sounds unusual, it sounds normal. They’re just “m y quirks” that I enjoy about me. That there’s a label for what to me is normal kinda scares me. ADHD books never really connected with me because they are all about organizing. Um, I’ve had boxes labeled, back up copies made, food arranged by type and frequency of use in the fridge, very detailed budgets, terror at the very idea of losing something and find most people (except people with Asperger’s) to be too… half passed and stressful, how they manage just “going with the flow” or “play it by ear”? I thought until now something was wrong with me for being so rigidly organized. But I am the weird one after all? But they cause chaos everywhere! They’re so high maintenance with problems proper planning would prevent. And after a while I don’t have any compassion, I’m annoyed, can’t fake it, say a fact, they cry, friendship over. But their special needs to “see what happens” endangers everyone. Just make a flow chart, 10 lists, consider every possibility, then prepare. What is “in a while?” 20 minutes? 2 weeks? And why are they so upset when I have to show them how to make it more streamlined?

    My mom always loves Sheldon on Big Bang Theory because she says he’s me as a small child. It’s kinda insulting to me. But the roommate agreement would solve problems. I don’t understand what’s weird about anything is writing on Asperger’s blogs or saying on vlogs. The moving the head and hands as you talk and eyes roaming and the gasps for breath in between paragraphs – vlogging about SPD as a cat is distracting the viewer, that I can relate to. I know I have some ADHD (impulse control like interrupting when excited, not respecting lines, and hypertalkativity – fast talking, but it’s a stim for me, I transition best if talking and Hyperfocus – if I’m involved with a project or topic it’s hard to disengage, like physically impossible, and I can’t hear what people are saying, unless it’s related to my “pit bull” brain (Mom calls it) – I shut out everything else) but nothing with the stuff books try to help with. Some try to teach social skills for ADHD like remember to say goodbye, don’t just leave, which helped, but honestly aren’t I friends with people because they’re interesting? Does dip matter? Just be on time. And please don’t look at me like I’m circus entertainment or mystical unicorn or be angry when I say you agreed to mail something and didn’t and I’m having trust problems. You’re the one who messed up the plan.

    So seeing and reading this is making me anxious because I thought this was normal and other people are difficult. I thought living in a dark room with organized project space and schedules with inner freak outs that make you call in sick because I just can’t go to that building or subway because I’m panicking is normal. That spending half of the time at a party I throw alone in my bedroom is just I do.

    Others do it and they understand the pain – I had no idea. Also autistic people are nicer online. No emotional hysteria. We just don’t go online when we can’t deal I’m guessing. I seem very high functioning overachiever gifted blah blah, but get to know me and the interesting stuff is the result of boring to others work. It doesn’t magically come together. I make it work and then hide.

    Since I had no idea what Asperger’s was, how diverse it’s almost meaningless (media determined: Silcon Valley geeks breed autistic kids who are megageniuses with no emotions when I heard of it as a kid; now people who will always be in an institution or “quirky” people who are fun and creative), saying I am autistic must be scary. When I falsely diagnosed with cerebral palsy by a neurologist I was seeing for eye tic, he said I walk like I have it although no other neurologist ever said that and all since disagreed – my gait is just off, when I’d call doctors and say I had cerebral palsy they’d assume I’d never been on my own and talk weirdly to me due to assumptions that weren’t true. Same with ADHD. Saying it to others, the first time anything has “fit” aside from child of borderline personality disorder parent or sensory defensive, seems weirdly personal, just like the two I just mentioned. All the misdiagnoses felt safe because they didn’t connect deeply. The ones that do I don’t like sharing and rarely think about because I don’t want to defend reality.

    Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a subversive diagnosis that threatens everything that should be threatened. I’ve never met a blue collar or cubicle worker or artist who doubted me. Just wealthier people, oddly very wealthy liberals who are superecological but they don’t understand SSI is $700 a month and i can’t afford their solutions. It’s a sci-fi scary feeling of being in the future NOW with terror of homelessness always there as nowhere makes safe buildings. Plus 30% of people have it to a lesser degree.

    I live in a Lyme epidemic, so people understand that.

    I’ve never hidden a diagnosis before. But since they’ve removed Asperger’s and its all autism, if even me immersed in autistic family (who scare me, they’re like robots and can’t validate or understand feelings and then “turn off” if I push it which is scarier, the power to make a parent shut down), didn’t understand how varied it is. I’m thinking of my own ignorance. I am wiped out from four painful hours in a car to see PCP (otherwise I’m bedridden) and we couldn’t get a natural light room, so the florescent lights are my main memory and it’s the first in person contact in 5 months I’ve had and the excitement of talking to her about neurologically diverse stuff we share causing insomnia. absorbing what I’m reading and watching, with the genetics doctor telling me about autism, with my fever back and i have to stop all Lyme and malaria meds if I have any symptoms because MCS means I’m not detoxifying the dead bugs and the 10 days of PMDD are starting so I’m weepy, so it’s probably all that…. As an activist who believes the personal is the core of the political, I’d normally be jumping up and down educating everyone.

    But I thought this was MY stuff. It’s kinda hard to think there’s others. I feel less… like me, more like a symptom. You’d think I’d be excited but part of me feels like all these amazing people are stealing my identity. And also maybe the NT people are right. I’m the problem with my frustration with their lackadaisical attitudes that cause anxiety. I never expected to find a community of…me. I’m the weird one. In my way. That others understand being like me in so many ways is exciting but also scary. What I’m redundant? Or not autistic enough?

    And if I didn’t understand, then I’m guessing no one else does. Unless they have the same… mind? I mean these aren’t symptoms, these are what makes me. Who am I if all of you are also what made me different from other people? I don’t know how to share being… me. It’s not similar interests or ideas. It’s… existing. I’ve been told how different I am my whole life and never been understood about why I need what I need. I’m amazed there are husbands who would say “do you need to stim?” I’ve missed out on something I still can’t believe exists. If I understand it better I might be able to bridge the gap? Not just apologize for being weird and hate myself? And people could believe me that it’s necessary i do things that embarrass them but harm no one? The “cute and adorable at home, stop it in public” stuff? There’s hope with NTs?

    But even more, there are people where I don’t have be drained explaining defending and apologizing for them not understanding why I need to leave right now but I do? I don’t really understand that part.

    Does it sound weird to feel like some of my special “”what makes me me” is lost if others can explain just like I would, that it’s so obvious to me, I wouldn’t even think about it, but this means it IS different from most people (I AM weird) and I’m not even special, my weirdness is commonplace. So I’m just… autistic. Nothing is MINE or PERSONAL the more I learn. It’s like my identity is being stolen.

    Do people ever feel that? I feel guilty. But it’s true.

    I shouldn’t be bugging you with it all. Do you like any online places to discuss? Online support I’ve found is usually very volatile, people go to attack each other in weird ways. The internet in general. But everybody I’ve read with comments etc is nice to other. MCS online is hard, if someone has exposures they’ll be in rage or panic unable to control the inTOXICation so it’s scary. PTSD groups everyone is triggered. So they were never supportive, just made it worse.

    PS A lot of my “PTSD” is really SPD. A woman I know is raising her SPD granddaughter and even with all the specialists and tests the school makes the girl go to a PTSD therapist! Because anyone who cries when barely touched, it must be psychological to them. I told the woman my friend to not focus on the diagnosis and all these freaking treatments (I’m worried about what SPD treatment is), and to treat her like a child first. Don’t make it her internalized identity. And when I became intolerant of all ink I gave her Too Loud Too Bright Too Fast Too Tight (the only book I found for me. BTW not one book for adult children of autistic parents. NOTHING to help me understand Dad and why I felt he had no love for me). I keep saying adulthood is easier, you can choose jobs unless broke that meet your stimulus needs. Working from home is all I can do ! But it’s when I made the most money. Freelance writer. Yes, all my new clothing was bought in the sleepwear section. I had choices about people around me. Food. Light. Noise. It’s not like school. It’s not that bad when you know yourself and get away from judgmental people as much as possible. Cities helped for that. But a college town will be more tolerant, especially if there are artists. I don’t think she believes me it’ll be easier for her granddaughter. No one invites her to parties or play dates because she meltdowns so fast, but I’m like have them at your house where the stimuli is controlled. And let her stim – I’m worried the daily exercises are to stop stimming. To make her “normal.” Well meaning torture. Sugar heavily impacts her….

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