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This Is Autism

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We asked 5 people and 1 parent to share their experiences with autism.


Joelle: “This idea of disability, whether autism is a disability or not. What’s been most disabling about being autistic is the outside observation and treatment that I receive because of misunderstandings of what I’m doing.”

We asked 5 autistic people and 1 parent to share their experiences with autism.

The Mighty Presents: This Is Autism

Justice: “I get to explore the world with a different mindset. I think I’m awesome. I think different, I look different, but I’m super smart.”

Chase: “We do things differently than other people would. Living with autism you can think more creatively.”

Joelle: “Autism is what paints and constructs my world. My brain is different, that my neurology is different, my perception is different and really all we are is our reality and our experiences and our perceptions. I am autism. I am autistic.”

Coby: “A really cool example, I don’t know the name of it but it’s this thing where you can taste colors or as a kid I always thought numbers had certain genders.”

Joelle: “Something that I definitely struggle with because I’m autistic is that there’s a lot of expectations that people have of me before they know that I’m autistic and after they know that I’m autistic.”

Coby: “Having social problems, dealing with change, dealing with sensory issues, noises, lights, crowds.”

Chase: “We’re living life but we just need a little more help so we can get the hang of things.”

Joelle: “If I tell somebody I’m autistic, my actual experience is questioned and I’m challenged on do I really have autism or am I really autistic. It’s very heartbreaking.”

Shakti: “I don’t think she knows what autism is. I think that this is her normal. If you ask her, ‘Oh, do you feel different? Are you autistic?’ No, she doesn’t think so. She just doesn’t think that she can read as well as her sister.”

Coby: “As I grew older I  realized what autism was. At first I didn’t like it. Going through all those hard moments in my life, they made me who I am.”

Justice: “Just because we don’t look or do things the same, we are very much present.”

Chase: “‘Oh, so you have autism which means you’re probably not going to  live a normal life like everyone else.’ But then I’m like, ‘That’s not true.’ We can pretty much live a normal life.”

Joelle: “The thing that people so often get wrong about autism is broadly that I can’t be autistic. They are comparing the the 5-year-old they know to do the 36-year-old that I am. They have one idea of what autism looks like.”

Coby: “Honestly, I just want them to see me for who I am, and if they know I have autism, then I have autism, it’s not a big deal. It’s just part of me, just see me for who I am.”

Chase: “I just feel like it’s just me, Chase, I feel like I’m living a normal life and I just so happen to have autism.”

Justice: “For us non-speakers, just because we don’t speak doesn’t mean we don’t have much to say.”

Joelle: “I think some strengths that I’ve definitely developed because I’m autistic, is this definite understanding through understanding myself that people do have a lot going on inside that maybe you will never see and never fully understand.”

Shakti: “She’s very, very, very caring. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She senses emotion from people.”

Justice: “I’m fabulous. I’m a force to be reckoned with. I love all people, I am a good friend.”

Shakti: “As far as keeping up, she can. She can put a whole full  face of makeup better than most adults can.”

Kaya: “Do makeup. Lipstick and eyeshadow. I take my mom’s makeup. I do her makeup too.”

Joelle: “When I’m talking to parents who have autistic kids who think they’re nothing like me maybe consider your 5-year-old just can’t express some of the experiences that I can express now. And I think we can all help each other.”

Coby: “I’ve been wanting to be an actor my entire life. I kept following my dream also with my autism on my shoulder. Just because we have autism, doesn’t mean we’re incapable of following our dreams.”

Justice: “I love to be different, and I love to know I can teach the world that we all should be included, differences and all. People should know people with autism have bright futures.”

Coby: “This is autism.”

Chase: “This is autism.”

Kaya: “This is autism.”

Joelle: “This is autism.”

Justice: “This is autism.”


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Originally published: May 1, 2019
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