Posted in Advocacy, Autistic Identity, Identity, intersectionality

Dear Late Diagnosed Person

To the Late-Diagnosed Person–

I hate that term, Diagnosis, since it sounds like someone had to validate your very existence.

I prefer the term “awareness” or “validation.”

Awareness is when you knew your brain operated differently.

Validation is when someone said, “Hey, your brain works differently” and they didn’t mean it as an insult.  It just was a fact.

How do we ever know what it’s like in our heads, as compared to someone else’s?

I think one of the interesting things about finding out that we’re Autistic in particular, though this really goes for any Neurodivergent quality, is we get to actually think about what other people see inside their heads, and then we encounter a whole lot of interesting information when we realize that everyone is not doing what we’re doing.

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Posted in Advocacy, Autistic Identity

I Wish I Could Say I’m Aspergian: Why We Have to Join Up “For the Team”

Every so often, you’ll meet an Autistic who insists on saying that he or she has Asperger’s Syndrome.  That term has been removed from the diagnostic manual because people OTHER than us decided on Autistic being the blanket term.  While there’s good and bad in that, the gist of the reasoning was that those who got the Asperger’s label weren’t getting help, so it was better to call us all Autistic.

That was remarkably helpful of the medical establishment, which is sort of rare.

But had I been in the meeting, I would have said, “Can’t we both be Asperger’s Syndrome, instead?”

But since Asperger’s ONLY (to them) meant “high-functioning,” to ask that question would be tantamount to saying that I wanted to erase the “low-functioning” people from existence.  I don’t believe in functioning labels, but if I DID, I need to support my Neurosiblings who have been considered “low-functioning” first.  As such, I have to bury Asperger’s Syndrome.

Which is sad, I think.

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Posted in Autistic Identity

On the Things I Ought to Have Been Able to Do Revisited

This is an oldie that I’m bringing back again.  In this blog post, I reflected on the three things I’m good at, and why people assume I’m “high-functioning” because I am good at those things.  I scratch below the surface to point out that I am not all that “high-functioning” if we take into account the difficulties I have on a regular basis.  This is why these labels of “high” or low” functioning are useless.

There have been changes over the year since I wrote this.  I was promoted to principal, but this promotion comes with a heavy price: I can no longer find the time to do my extra job, and had to leave standardized test assessments.  The raise was minimal, and we are struggling more financially than we were last year at this time.   I was given this job because no one else would have taken it.  It is up to me to do my best to right a potentially sinking ship around for very little pay.  I am doing my best with that task, but still, I think about what I ought to have been able to do given my seeming “giftedness.”

Read on to hear more about the burdens of being supposedly “high-functioning.”

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