The difficulty of this task has real consequences for autistic people and contributes to our high unemployment rate, including autistic people with high educational backgrounds. We often undersell ourselves, but only because many neurotypical people have no problem embellishing their traits.
Here are the most common questions I see from parents of autistic kids, answered in this blog post.
Honestly, this misinterpretation of my signals is one of the things I have struggled with the most for my entire life. It’s caused me a lot of fear and pain. And so many non-autistic people don’t see it. They don’t see the problem and they don’t see how they misinterpret me. To them, I don’t have a disability, I am just judgment #1, judgment #2, and judgment #3.
No matter what, people will make assumptions. Both ableism and cisnormativity are baked into our brains and our society. The things people have to do to accommodate us and acknowledge us involves unlearning their preconceptions.
My autistic traits were obvious! But the Spoiled Brat archetype worked against the assumption that I needed support, and instead adults believed I needed chastising or ignoring.
It's okay to be not okay, and to take some time to adjust to everything. For many of us autistic people it may take a lot longer to adjust, and that's okay!
Remember that it’s okay to be autistic. It’s okay to wear headphones or sunglasses, or use weighted blankets or fidget toys (lots of us autistic adults do!). It’s okay to want things a certain way. It’s okay to not look into people’s eyes. It’s okay to be you. Don’t let people, or society in general, take that away from you.
I want to let you know that autistic adults are here. Autistic adults exist. Most of us have had tough experiences in elementary school and junior high school. Personally, I felt rather isolated growing up in school.
In case you missed it, I recently wrote a guest blog post on StairwayToStem, a website which provides resources for helping autistic students transition to college and graduate school. They kindly split up the series into 3 parts for me: Part 1: Transitioning to Grad School and Adjusting to the New Environment Part 2: Challenges …
[discussed: ableism, cure rhetoric, abuse] (One caveat here: I know nothing about film making, and I'm not trying to say I do in this post. I'm also not trying to assume that everything I say here will be true or happen in the movie - but they did make a trailer, and that is what …