For November 2018, I’m exploring different things people have said to me, then the internal thoughts those remarks stirred.
What do I seem like, then? Half-autistic? Like a half elf in Dungeons & Dragons?
Or maybe I seem “high function.” All those meltdowns and stims I rotate through at home: I bet those are unfathomable to you.
It really feels like I’m screwed coming and going. If I learn to behave neurotypically enough to “fit in,” you discard my autism as irrelevant; but if I’m shutting down, rocking and humming, you treat my autism like intellectual disability.
I’m either too autistic to deal with right now, or I’m not autistic enough.
Instead of this hyperbole thinking, you might try visualizing my differability as a spectrum, as a myriad of complexities that shape my everyday reality.
You could abandon notions like “not autistic enough,” (and think more highly of those of us you consider “severely” autistic), since this isn’t about setting numbers and intensities, measuring sticks and frivolities.
You can just accept my autism as-is.
I’m authentically autistic.
That should be enough.
Kourtnie has an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Fresno and a BA in English from CSU Fullerton. When she isn't writing or making art, she's moonlighting as a professor at community colleges. Read her writing at Kourtnie.net or Wattpad.com/user/KourtnieNet.