I Am Not a Person With Autism. I Am Autistic.
Some people believe the term “person with autism” is a more respectful way to describe people like me. But the truth is, I believe that phrase implies that autism is something bad.
There is nothing wrong with me. You may find me socially “unacceptable” from time to time or notice that my way of thinking is different from your own. But different does not equal broken. In fact, I wouldn’t ever choose to stop being an Aspie, even if I could.
Many people, myself included, believe that autism is genetic. I truly believe that neurodiversity is a necessary part of human evolution, and Aspies have been around throughout our existence. Great minds, such as Einstein, Mozart, and Tesla are now thought to have been on the spectrum.
Society has a bad habit of only wanting to focus on the negatives. Can you remember the last time you saw a happy story on the news? How often do your favorite shows get interrupted to bring you information about something positive?
Google-ing Autism brings up pages and pages of results. It takes considerable work to find information about positive parts of autism. Our gifts are hidden online and in the media, buried beneath challenges and drama. You don’t often read stories about adults who “pass” (with exhausting effort) in society.
Every time I stumble across articles talking about finding a “cure” for autism or isolating the “autism genes,” my frustration and worry rises. Don’t these people realize they are talking genocide and eugenics?
Stop trying to “cure” me. Stop trying to prevent others like me from being born. There is nothing wrong with me or my genes. Just support me, and help us succeed in this world. We deserve to live happily just as much as everyone else.
This is why I am not a person with autism. I am autistic and proud of it.
Please understand if I am irritated when people who aren’t autistic try to govern what is best for us. Many of us are capable of advocating for ourselves and do not need or want a “cure.”
Follow this journey on Anonymously Autistic.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Image via Thinkstock Images