Steve awareness month.
That is Autism Awareness Month almost over for another year. I have kept back from posting this year, it felt too compulsory and I do not like being compelled.
The special month and day thing adds to the pressure. We are already under pressure to “act normal,” whatever they mean by that. We are normal, our brains are wired didderently, differently to neuro-typical people, and different to each other. I like to arrange things, like making faces out of plates, but I’m not sure if that is down to autism or not, it’s just me being me.
Which is what I want people to be aware of – just let us be ourselves. Don’t crowd us if we are looking agitated, actually that is good advice on how to react to anyone being agitated, not just to people with autism.
Unuasually for me I used person first language there, something I tend to restrict to treatable conditions. I am a person with arthritis ans a person with diabetes. I put the person first because the condition does not define me. However, with autism when speaking about myself I tend to put the person last. I am an autistic person. It is how my brain is wired and it is not a negative thing if people will concentrate on what we are able to do instead of what we do less well. Need details looking at or a anylitical mind on a subject, I’m your man.
It’s not a disease that needs curing, in fact it isn’t curable, it is a different way of being that we cannot help. Trying to change the unchangable and blaming the person you are trying to change is abusive and puts us under too much pressure. Having a meltdown or shutdown is not normal autistic behaviour. It is a reaction to sensory overload. The world is designed for people who like a brighter, louder, faster lifestyle, it can be overwhelming to those whose senses are on all the time and cannot be switched off. Shopping malls are among my least favourite places. I wish that shopping was a more relaxing experience for me.
I appreciate that not all people with autism would use person last to describe themselves, some prefer person first, as in this sentence. Ask people how they would like to be addressed, it isn’t difficult.
This is my problem with autism awareness, it becomes another part of the bombardment. I would prefer to move on to autism appreciation. Tell autistic people how much they are admired. We are not a problem in the same way that neuro-typical people are not a problem. There are times we act like jerks in the same way that people without autism can be jerks. In the end we are just human, no more or less flawed than any other humans.