In this life I am missing the ability to go out into the world and just be accepted for my natural autistic self. I must inhibit so many of my natural responses just to fit in enough for others to allow me a place in the world. I have discovered that to have a place in this world I need to fit into it in a way that makes sense to the majority. For me, this isn’t a good or a bad thing – just merely the way it is. Fitting into the world is something I need to balance with the essence of my being so as to come out in the most positive manner possible.
As an autistic, I know first hand how my communication abilities are different from the neuro-majority people around me. Most people do not understand my differences because I can speak. On the surface my communication abilities appear normal. This make it very difficult for people to understand when I need accommodations they are just that – accommodations – not personal preferences.
As an autistic getting through the holiday time can be quite tricky. As an autistic parent with children who had different needs it was even trickier. Routine and structure can go a long way! They anchor the days that can otherwise be perceived by an autism neurology as totally chaotic, which in turn, often leads to being overwhelmed and experiencing meltdowns.
Ever since the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial and more recently, after a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, I have been and continue to be very much afraid in the pit of my stomach. The not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman and the dragging on of the no fault attitude in Michael Brown’s shooting for months with a resulting “no charges to be filed” in regards to the police officer who shot and killed him underlines the fact that in our society it is perfectly ok to track down, shoot and kill someone perceived to be acting different.
A challenge I am continually faced with as an autistic adult is the misinformed presumption and resulting behavior of neurotypical people when I do not look at them the in way they expect, want or demand of me. It is challenging because society has put the onus on me to change. Often it does not matter to others why I am different. They just want me to stop being different. Recently I was told directly, “If you want to be treated like a real person then act like one!”