Monday, 7 January 2013

Autism Is NOT An Excuse

I wrote this on tumblr.  I'm new to tumblr, but so far I'm sort of enjoying it.  It's complicated, but I like it most of the time.  I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually.  Tumblr is a weird little creation but one I'm remarkably fond of, even considering the short period of time we have known each other.  Tumblr is challenging sometimes -- there are some pages with such an assortment of bright colors and moving pictures that sometimes I just can't bear to look at my screen -- but also there are pages with photographs and quotations and videos, all of my favorite things.  Regardless: here is a little piece I wrote on tumblr and entitled "Autism Is NOT An Excuse."

Dear World,
When I say I’m autistic, I’m not telling you to go easy on me.
When I say I’m autistic, it’s not an apology for the way I react in some situations.
When I say I’m autistic, it doesn’t mean I don’t have thoughts or feelings or want to make friendships.
When I say I’m autistic, it’s not an excuse for why I’m not good at some things.
When I take medication for my autism, it’s not to make me seem “normal” or act “normal” - it’s to help me cope with the stresses of a neurotypical world on my autistic brain.
I love being autistic even though sometimes I get frustrated being autistic.  And if I tell you I have autism, it’s just information.  I also have blue eyes.  But you’re not going to think my blue eyes are an excuse for being bad at making friends or for waving my arms around too much or for making funny noises.  
When I say I’m autistic, don’t use “autism” as a cover-all excuse for everything you think I cannot do or everything I do differently.

Useless piece of trivia: if you're a tumblr-er, my tumblr address is fearhopedietcokeandrainbows.  You can check it out if you want.  It's all right, if I do say so myself.  I'm just starting at this whole tumblr thing, so presumably I'll get better.