Sunday, 13 January 2013

Truths About Autism

I suppose it's possible that there are no universal truths, but in my 20 years of living with autism, I feel like I've picked up a thing or two about autism.  And maybe you don't agree with everything in this list.  And this list is probably not exhaustive.  But this is a list of what I think.
- Every autistic person is unique
- There is no such thing as a "high-functioning" or "low-functioning" autistic person
- Every autistic person has unique skills and abilities
- Every autistic person has difficulty with some things
- Every neurotypical person has difficulty with some things, too
- Nobody's autism is "more severe" or "more mild" than anyone else's
- All autism is equal, but all autism is different
- Autism is not a disease
- Autism doesn't need a cure
- Every autistic person has a different relationship with his or her autism
- It's all right to have a love/hate relationship with your autism
- Meltdowns are normal
- Stimming is normal
- Autism is not something to be ashamed of
- There are some things that, despite all the advocacy work, only autistic people will ever understand
- There are also things about NTs that autistics cannot understand
- Autistics are more adaptable than you think; we've been coexisting in a NT world for this long, we can keep it up forever
- Each autistic is the most knowledgeable person there is regarding his or her own autism
- It is all right to want to be "normal"
- It is also all right to want to be unique
- Some things are harder for autistics, but other things are harder for NTs as well