Outdoor portrait of young woman with short Hair

My Response to 'You Have Asperger's, You're Not Autistic.'

Trending

When You're 'Too Functional' to Have Your Mental Illness Taken Seriously

23 Signs You Grew Up With Depression

Inside the Mind of a Chronically Ill Person Debating If They Should Post on Facebook

291

My Response to 'You Have Asperger's, You're Not Autistic.'

291

Not too long after I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, I had a phone conversation with a friend. I chose to tell her I had Asperger’s, even though that wasn’t technically the diagnosis. It would be if I’d been diagnosed a few years earlier. I made some type of joke (can’t remember exactly what it was about) and said, “now that I’m autistic…”

She said, “You have Asperger’s; you’re not autistic.”

But Asperger’s is on the spectrum. The DSM doesn’t use it as a diagnosis anymore, but I still find myself using the term every once in awhile.

What she probably meant is what a lot of parents of autistic children would mean if they said something like, “You’re not like my child. You can speak and have a job as a writer.” Or, “You have an apartment and live on your own.” The stereotypes seem endless.

I was autistic on the phone with my friend, I have been all of my life, and I will remain autistic until the day I die. I find it unfortunate that certain beliefs still exist. I’m supposed to look or behave in a certain way, otherwise there’s no way I could be autistic in some people’s eyes. I wish more people would read about autism or listen to autistic people and not just remember the movie “Rain Man.” No, I can’t count toothpicks that have fallen on the floor. I am a decent artist, though. I will give myself that.

I am autistic, like it or not. And I’m no less than a neurotypical person.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by Lisa Anfisa


Follow:
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Real People. Real Stories.

We face disability, disease and mental illness together.

5,000+
CONTRIBUTORS
150 Million
READERS

We face disability, disease and mental illness together.