I am Autistic

I am a lot of things. I am bookish and interested in fashion, I am too blunt for my own good, and I send pictures of my dogs to everyone I know. Who I am - who anyone is - is complex and mismatched and wonderful. One specific part of who I am defines how I see the world and how I react to it in ways that others might not understand. I am autistic.

I flap my hands or repeat phrases when I feel strong emotions

I can’t eat spaghetti sauce or touch cardboard with my bare hands

I can locate electrical outlets by sound and I know when the tv is on by smell

These are all things influenced by my autism and they are important aspects of my identity that fit right alongside all the other parts of who I am.
In many places I have been made to feel bad for these traits. In school, my hands were taped to my lap so I couldn’t flap them.

At work I was scolded for using rubber gloves while flattening boxes. In stores, strangers whispered and pointed as I plugged my ears to walk down the electronics aisle. There is one place, though, that I have never been shamed or meant to feel bad for being who I am.

Here, in the Ackerly Green Community, I have flapped my hands during a live stream, and no one told me I was disgusting. I have had fellow Mounties kindly explain to me that they were being sarcastic when I took them seriously, and when I don’t understand something, there are so many people willing to help, with not even a shred of judgment. This really is a special place, and I want everyone else to feel that way too. If any of you ever feel that you’re being discriminated against, or being misunderstood, whether it be because of a condition or disability, your gender or sexuality, your race, anything, please don’t be afraid to bring it up to a leader. None of us are perfect, but we want to make this place - this corner of the internet founded on wonder and a love for magic - safe and accepting for all types of people.

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In addition, because April is coming up, and various charities are about to start campaigning, I feel obligated to remind everyone NOT to donate to Autism Speaks. I know they are the largest, most visible organization dedicated to autism, but they do not work in the best interests of the autistic community.
A better organization to support (and also has useful resources for people trying to understand autism from the point of view of autistics themselves) is the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. (ASAN).
https://autisticadvocacy.org/

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You cannot believe how amazing it is to see this! I’m autistic as well and it feels so great to know that not only have I found a welcoming and accepting community but that others here have had similar experiences to mine!

And so lovely to find people who get it about Autism Speaks, too! It’s crazy how much I get shut down when I try to tell people about them. It’s especially weird because my college campus has a dedicated Autism Speaks club.

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A dedicated club :grimacing: goodness that’s kinda intense

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Just dropping some useful images here. I’ve been posting them on Facebook on comments and such so I can educate where needed without having to write. Feel free to download and use these however you like. I don’t own any of them.

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omg sel! this is all amazing information. My son was diagnosed as Autistic about 2 years ago now (he’s 4 now), and this is exactly what everything we’ve researched about has been talking about. There is also a possibility that I am i’ve never been tested but my family shows traits, and there is a genetic component which could have been transmitted father to son)

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It’s great that you want to support him correctly as he grows up! My family has that slow slide genetic pattern where each generation has more and more of the symptoms until it popped up into diagnostic range with me. I assume this is because people labeled “weird” tend to find one another and make babies who are more “weird” until someone ends up at peak “weird”. Quotes are because I actually quite like my family’s weirdness, and my own for that matter.

If you have questions, I can only speak for myself but I’d be happy to give my perspective as an autistic adult. So much of the research is about autistic kids (and so little involves autistic scientists) but it can help to see what it looks like to be a functional (mostly functional, anyway) autistic adult. Most of my coping skills for that I learned from other autistic people I met on my own. It’s definitely a Your Mileage May Vary thing, but if I can pass on what works for me, I’d be happy to.

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Seconding this ^ if you need advice or a window into what might be going on in an autistic mind, I’m right here.

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