Autism

#ActuallyAutistic and rejected by the autistic community

#ActuallyAutistic autism mom blog theautismcafe actually autistic

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#ActuallyAutistic: I’m in the gray area between the neurotypical and autistic communities.

I am stuck in the middle.

I fight to help neurotypicals realize that no matter how “normal” an autistic person looks, their disability is real. I fight to help neurotypicals see autistics as their equal. I fight because I don’t want a single autistic person to be bullied, and I fight to normalize non-harmful stimming. You’d think that makes me an excellent autistic advocate, but somehow, it doesn’t. Large parts of my community reject me.

Rejected by the #ActuallyAutistic community

I’m rejected because I believe ABA therapy is great if done right. I’m rejected because I think that neurotypical parents of autistic children absolutely can speak about autism from their non-autistic perspective and that the attempts to quiet or shame them, primarily, are toxic bullying. I’m rejected because even though I respect others’ right to say it how they please, I don’t always say “autistic” over “person with autism”, and I’m not offended by either term. I’m rejected because I don’t reject the color blue, nor the puzzle piece symbol.

I’m rejected because I don’t share the same views as the most vocal autistic subgroup who label themselves “advocates” or #ActuallyAutistic.

So I’m stuck, then, between these two worlds. I’m not neurotypical and nor could I pretend to be, and I’m not severely autistic either. I don’t see autism as a life sentence, nor as a gift for most who have it.

I want people to know that autistic people deserve to be loved as hard as any neurotypical. But I also want them to know that not all autistics are dealt the same hand. Some will learn to communicate and live independently (like me), but others will never be able to.

Stuck in the middle

It’s a challenging spot, this gray area. I hear about similar issues in many other communities, like deaf people who are shunned for getting cochlear implants.

If we were to remember one single thing about this, it’s that no one person or group can speak for an entire community. I indeed do not. But they don’t speak for me either. They don’t speak for anyone but themselves.

#ActuallyAutistic autism mom blog theautismcafe actually autistic

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Scully
    2021-05-12 at 4:03 AM

    Eileen <3

    It is so very hard to endure this. So many of us are getting hit with it. Be it not using the word Autistic or using the puzzle pieces or discussing our medical diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome. Or even being Aspies.

    I don't understand why they have to tear our community apart nor what they gain from doing so.

    Thank you for your blog and the space to share.

  • Reply
    Sav
    2021-06-23 at 12:39 PM

    Any community which has the expectation of total agreement across a broad range of subjective single issues can only be a community of people who have given up thinking or actively engaging. Bitter and angry people trying to enforce a self-created orthodoxy is rarely a good sign for them or anyone else.

    How ironic and sad that the loudest people in the fight for acceptance of unconventional minds should be so concerend with policing dissent, heresy and wrong thoughts. ‘Neurodiversity through puritanism!’ is one of the worst rallying cries I’ve heard in a long time.

    I might be being too optimistic but we seem to have a tendency to swing backwards and forwards between less and more tolerence of individuality in society. Perhaps we’re due a correction soon.

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