Autism Acceptance Day Wish List

This year for Autism Acceptance Day I have five wishes. Some day they may come true – then my work blogging will be complete.

  1. I wish everyone would be aware of Autism, what it really is, and what it really isn’t. Too many misconceptions about Autism are out there, what causes Autism, what Autistic people need. Someday I hope the rest of the world can accept the truth.
  2. I wish Autistic people could be accepted for who they are. In my dreams People would not ask us to change or be more “normal”. Sitting a chair, rocking back and forth while humming would not be thought of as strange. Eye contact would not be forced and passing would be a thing of the past.
  3. I wish Autistic women and adults would stop being overlooked. The media, Autism organizations, and Autism service providers are often focused only on children. People seem to forget about Autistic adults, as if we grow out of our brain types as we age. For me, the older I get the more Autistic I feel – but since I “function so well” cant really be that Autistic or need services (sarcasm).
  4. I wish Neurotypical people would understand what passing is. Maybe if they understood the work that goes into pretending to be “normal” they would not ask this of us. Maybe if people understood passing they would not doubt me when I tell them I am Autistic. I hate being called / thought of as a lair.
  5. I wish we could stop pathologizing Autism. Maybe if people understood, accommodated, and accepted us we could start thinking of Autism as a difference not a deficit. Yes, I know we have our difficulties and commodities. Trust me I have my own, however a LOT of my disability comes from the fact that people around me are unaccommodating of my requests. They call me dramatic and high maintenance, when the lights above me are making my brain throb and I ask to sit somewhere with better lighting (or ask for other accommodations).

 

#ActuallyAutistic #SheCantBeAutistic

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25 thoughts on “Autism Acceptance Day Wish List”

  1. Although autism is NOT an illness it shares (unfortunately) a lot of the problems of invisible illnesses like my Fibromyalgia. “You look okay, there can’t be anything wrong with you” or “you’re just faking for attention”. I share a few of your wishes.🌹💞

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for this. Your perspective is gold. We hear so much from parents like me, but less from those who actually have autism. What you have to say about it matters so much more. Thank you for sharing your words. I will share them as well. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me:

      It’s trying to look people in the eye for the right amount of time. Did you know looking into someone’s eyes too long is intimidating, a dominance behavior, while not looking into someone’s eyes means you don’t care about them? I can’t read people, so I don’t know when they’re getting nervous about being stared at or feeling like I dislike them unless they come right out and say it.
      It’s trying to follow an intimate conversation when I can’t read facial expressions, and to respond appropriately to non-verbal cues. I don’t take hints, and it’s likely I missed on many opportunities to have relationships because flirting is invisible to me.
      It’s trying not to stim when I need to. Most people don’t talk to themselves, tap various body parts (arms, legs, knees, chest etc.), twitch regularly, and so on.
      It’s being, most of the time, inattentive in many situations but highly focused on certain things that catch my eye (patterns, I count obsessively, etc.). Note these behaviors overlap with ADHD.

      There’s more, but sometimes it’s hard to put into words.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. A good wish list; thanks. My take on it varies slightly, but only in prioritization, sort of. What I mean will be come clear almost immediately.

    1) I like this one (be aware of autism). One could make the argument if #2 were true, not just for people with autism but for anyone different from “cultural norms” (e.g., LGBTQ, Blacks in the US, etc.), this would not be as necessary, but still important.

    2) We should accept any person as “who they are”. That is probably the hardest thing to do on this list. Evolution has ground into us the instant fear of people who are more different than certain narrow limits. That unreasoning fear is at the root of almost any prejudice; blaming “the other” is a side effect of that.

    3) Don’t overlook autistic people. ‘Nuff said, you put it beautifully.

    4) Neurotypicals need to understand passing. So true. The idea that the “majority” runs a limiting factor on the minority and, to gain basic human needs, that minority has to lie, is lost on practically anyone. As a white person I don’t understand Black “passing”, even though I have to pass as a neurotypical. I can sympathize with their plight, but I don’t “get it”, which is really strange. Now, in the US, put a Black, Muslim woman with autism on the table and whoa – what crazy crap SHE has to go through! Why do we DO that to people? Can’t we all just get along? (Sorry for the rant.)

    5) Stop pathologizing autism. Absolutely. It’s likely some of the world’s most inventive and creative people (Henry Cavendish, Isaac Newton, and Wolfgang Mozart come to mind). But it doesn’t mean autism might equal genius; lesser lights like us are different, sure, but we’re different, not sick or disabled. You wrote, “… a LOT of my disability comes from the fact that people around me are unaccommodating of my requests”, and I find that true in my own life, too. I’m fine until I do something different – suddenly I’m “creating a hostile work environment.” I could equally argue, in some of those cases, “No, you’re just being stupid,” but that hardly helps my case.

    So yes, my opinion differs slightly, but only in small degrees. You’ve given many people good food for thought; thanks for that!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hear you. ❤ I think anyone with an invisible condition feels this way. Had to remind myself recently that humans are only a few generations from blatant brutality, so any acknowledgement of invisible conditions – even if those acknowledgements are, in and of themselves, slights against those of us suffering – is an improvement. We work not for us, but for future generations. Keep wishing, keep writing, keep fighting!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m okay with lights. It’s being on a computer screen too long, or being on a long bus/coach journey, which turns my stomach. Yesterday I was on a bus from Dublin to Cookstown and after three hours and five minutes of anxiety, I was never as glad to get back to my car as I was then; I sometimes had my window down in the car to get some fresh air.

    The previous two Sundays, after driving over three hours in total heading to and from a Theatre to see a stage sitcom and then being on a coach last week from Glasgow to Belfast, I was sick. I was making a Skype phonecall to America fifteen day ago after my long drive and I was constantly sick with the screen.

    Ginger helps, but sometimes I also need Co-Codamol; paracetamol and codeine combined.

    Also, I need to be more accepting of myself and not stretch myself so thin. I get out and about with Meetups in Belfast and Dublin, but yesterday I only completed 20% of a scheduled walk as I was so unfit. I’m not a hill walker, but I am a creative. That should be my focus.

    Also, I’ve had the runs recently due to dehydration. :S Need more fluids.

    Liked by 1 person

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