Today is a flash blog about what autism really is. I said on twitter all that I thought really needed to be said – that I am autism and autism is me. I am what autistic adulthood looks like.
When people call autism an unmitigated tragedy, they are talking about me. When people call autism a “monster” that steals children, they are talking about me. When people do not vaccinate their children for fear of autism, they are afraid of me. When people call for autism to be cured or prevented in future generations, they are saying that no one should ever have to grow up to be me. When people say they “understand” why yet another parent tried to kill their autistic child, they may as well be saying that it would be okay if someone murdered me.
Don’t think I don’t know that every scary stereotype perpetuated my Autism Speaks and other orgs interested more in cash than in helping real living breathing autistics is ABOUT ME. I can see and I can hear and I can tell they are talking about me. Not talking to me or with me but about me and over me. And it’s time they stopped because autistics can speak / type / communicate for ourselves.
There is a person typing these words on the other side of the screen. He is me. He is autistic.
My life is autism. Everything I see and feel and do is autism. The people I love best in the world are autistic. The worldwide community I am one small yet infinitely precious and valuable part of is autistic. The G-d who made me, made me autistic and every single day I am thankful for that. I love who I am and there is no part of me that is not autistic. Autism makes me who I am and makes many of those I love who they are and makes it easier for us to love each other because we share something so intimate – a way of perceiving and being.
Autistic people share a culture, languages, customs, history… a worldwide disparate community. We have our own special days and our stories and our heros. We have international links to each other, we have a fellowship – a community. A fear or tragedy based understanding of autism could never make sense of that.
We are not lost. We are not broken. We are not tragic.
We are here. We are whole. We are beautiful complete complex human beings.
We are autistic. This is our autism.