Today we have added something to our public perception of autism. Historically that perception has been one of an isolated small child rocking or head banging, oblivious to the rest of the world. Even though that perception is wrong, it is the public perception. There is an addition to that perception in the past few years. It seems society has added an adult image of autism. It is another false image, but never-the-less, quickly becoming an accepted public image of what it means to be an adult autistic. Unfortunately for all of society, that image is of a shooter. Not any shooter, but a mass shooter.
I am an autistic woman who has lived both in poverty and as a middle-income person during my adult life. I am noticing how self-advocacy is typically geared toward middle-income status. This could be problematic since many autistic adults live in poverty. Based upon my experience I have come to realize that middle class self-advocacy works fine if in fact you are a middle-income person, but doesn’t work well if you are a poor person.
The visual sensory aspects of the way autism plays out for me most of the time means that I get too much information delivered – things are too big, too bright, too bold – typically too much to endure all day. Practically, this means I need to accommodate my sensory system in a variety of ways.
My autistic neurology means that I am not good at picking up typical social cues, understanding complex social situations, automatically picking up meanings of idioms, or understanding the hidden curriculum that most others automatically pick up (Endow 2012). This means I often look naïve and gullible. The fact is I AM naïve and gullible when I try to use the social constructs of neuromajority folks to navigate the world around me.
I am an autistic woman. Most of my life people have let me know they think I am stubborn and controlling. Over time I have learned to hide the behaviors so people do not think I am stubborn and controlling. I understand you view my stubbornness as a bad thing so I have learned to hide it.