Posted in Advocacy, Autistic Identity, Neurodiversity

Ableism, Underemployment and Disabled Guilt

Yesterday’s post about not feeling great at work (or at life, I guess) was bleak, and I apologize for that.

Today, I guess I just want to write a little bit about how all that negativity about the limits of being Autistic has to do with the Neurodiversity movement, which I strongly support.

In our “outside” circles, I guess, we Neurodiversity folk get a bad reputation for focusing on the positives about what it’s like to be Autistic (or otherwise Neurodivergent) and I generally do try to do that.  In fact, I firmly believe that what’s happening to me right now has nothing to do with me as a person or even the employers of the world out there as much as I believe it has to do with society; society Disables me and because I’m privileged enough to be white, raised middle class, and can hide my Disability if I want to (or, at least, I can try to hide it; it takes getting to know me before people might see it).  Because I am so privileged, I end up acting sometimes like I don’t have the sense to realize the ableism around me and how it impacts my life.

But I am very aware of it.

If anything, I’m more aware of it because I still have that “manifest destiny” thing inside me (as racist as that is besides).  I firmly believe I should be able to author my own fate and change everything.

But then I realize that despite it all, I can’t do it.  I will always be less because my view of the world impacts me considerably.

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Posted in Advocacy, Autistic Identity, writing

Missed Opportunities: Why I am Underemployed

I’ve mentioned, before, that I’m doing a job for which I would be paid at least triple what I’m making now, with full benefits when I now have none, if I could work in public schools.

I’m not unhappy I landed in Catholic ed., but even then there are different types of Catholic school jobs.   I’m meant to lead the outcasts.  On the plus side, we are the only school in town that would be actually making a difference because we are arming our kids to move into the middle class and self-advocate.  We take the time to find the right place to succeed.

But on the other hand, the lack of compensation and access to health insurance at a better price than on the health insurance market (our premium just doubled, and we were struggling to afford the price that it was to begin with) is stressful and takes its toll on my health.  Among Autistics, this problem is somewhat normal as many of us are underemployed.  We can find a job, but it’s the best we can do since the primo jobs are saved for people who can navigate the social structures better than we can, so we continue to struggle.

Here are times I had chances at better jobs, but simply couldn’t land them.

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