I am one of many anonymous invisible Autistic women. We are invisible or anonymous for many reasons.
Some of us are anonymous because we fear the world is not ready to change the way it sees Autistic people. There is something wrong with the world when a common response to an Autistic person trying to come out is “You’re nothing like Rain Man!”
Of course I most of us are not like a fictional movie character. Most of us are unique individuals. That is like me comparing all Neurotypicals to the cast of Beverly Hills 90210. Not all NT’s are hyper social just like not all Aspies are like Raymond Babbitt.
Some of us are anonymous because we like our privacy. We may tell our closest friends and relatives but find it hard to talk about our Autism with people we are not close to. Those of us who choose to remain anonymous are lucky.
There is one group of anonymous invisible Autistic women that I am particularly worried about. It is a group that the world ignores, because many people still don’t know to look for them.
I was once one of these women. I am Anonymously Autistic now because I was missed and dismissed by doctors over and over again.
Growing up I was one of many invisible girls on the Autism spectrum. I felt strange, inadequate, and out of place.
My great grandmother died when I was in the fourth grade. I remember feeling defective because my sadness did not come out in me like it did in the people around me. I wanted to feel sad, and even though I might be sad, but could not act sad.
What was wrong with me? I felt defective and for the first time I questioned my own sanity. I was in firth grade wondering if my lack of expression meant that I was doomed to grow up into a psychopath.
This thought worried me for a long time and messed with my head quite a bit. If only I had known back then that I was Autistic. Maybe I would have known that inappropriate affect was normal for kids like me.
I didn’t find out about my Autism until much later in life, when I was almost thirty and my coping strategies no longer kept up with the demands of holding an adult job.
It was as if everything broke. Like a train off the rails, I was moving too fast and not respecting the boundaries that I didn’t know I had. If I had known about my Autism I might not have made an ass of myself at so many networking events.
I didn’t know about my Autism. It was invisible until I heard the words of another amazing Autistic woman speaking about the way her mind worked. Temple Grandin is my hero because her words woke me up.
I always knew I was different, but now I have a better understanding of those differences. Knowing your weaknesses allows you to strengthen them and I am my own biggest project.
Temple was the spark that burned my invisibility cloak exposing me to the world of Autism and eventually lead to me bringing my world to this blog.
I’m no Temple Grandin but I am going to keep writing about Autism until we are no longer invisible. I may need a new laptop though – the letters are wearing off my keyboard already. 😉