One of the most popular posts on this blog is Steve Summer’s 10 Tips on How to Communicate with Autistic People. He also wrote the moving Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Steve has, kindly, given me permission to post his latest note here. Thanks Steve and I hope you feel less exhausted soon, my friend.
I am Autistic and I am Tired.
Today I feel tired. —
Tired of being rejected.
Tired of being ignored.
Tired of being excluded.
Tired of being treated like an outcast.
Tired of being treated like a misfit.
Tired of feeling like others look down on me for being different.
Tired of being expected to try and act ‘normal’ to have a ‘normal’ life. — I am not ‘normal.’ I am Autistic.
Tired of people who think that just trying harder will make Autistic people ‘more normal.’ — Would you tell a blind person to try harder to see? Would you tell a paraplegic to try harder to walk? Would you tell a colorblind person to try harder to see the colors that they can’t see?
Tired of people who don’t understand Autism and who don’t make any effort to learn about Autism so that they can cure their own ignorance.
Tired of people who refuse to accept Autistic people just as they are.
Tired of people who presume incompetence.
Tired of neuro-bigotry.
Tired of the silence of others. Silence is *not* support.
Want to help us? —
Listen to Autistic people.
Make an effort to learn about Autism.
Educate yourself about what we go through each and every day.
Learn about how negative attitudes make us feel.
Practice Autism Acceptance.
Accept that we are different, not less.
Accept that we are different, but *not* defective. Don’t try to make us into a poor copy of your idea of ‘normal.’
Accept that we are okay to be ourselves — just as we are.
Accept that we are humans with feelings just like everyone else.
Accept that Autistic rights are human rights.
Presume our competence.
Don’t avoid us, include us.
Most of us have have social anxiety. Please be kind and reassuring to us.
Please reach out to us. We won’t often make the first move after suffering from a lifetime of rejection, exclusion, and being bullied.
Please practice inclusion.
I am Autistic and I want to be valued and accepted for simply being me.
I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (part of the Autism Spectrum) as an adult. I was diagnosed following my 11-year-old son’s diagnosis with Aspergers. I am happy to have my diagnosis. It was like a light being turned on that illuminated my entire life in a new way. Now I understand why I never really ‘fit in.’ It is like having a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders to have my diagnosis.
I don’t feel that people should make divisions between parts of the Autism Spectrum. I am autistic and I want to work to make the world a better, more understanding and accepting place for all autistic people. We need to work together for the benefit of all on the Autism Spectrum.
I wrote this list due to continuing difficulties that I have had with the give and take of communicating with others. Many people seem too easily offended because they fail to understand these things about me. We all need understanding and acceptance.
Want more guest posts? Click here