I made a Facebook page called Autism Spectrum Disorder Acceptance, hoping that many of my Facebook friends and family would “like” it and learn more about ASD. But I was wrong. There are many people in my family who refused the invite–that is hurtful. They will continue to be ignorant about autism. Oh, believe me–many are. The things I have heard are unbelievable. “Oh, you’re not autistic. You just have Asperger’s,” for example. I hope you know that Asperger Syndrome is part of the autism spectrum, dear reader.
Just because you can’t see my inner world, doesn’t mean it’s not dramatically different than yours. You have no idea how exhausting it is just to accomplish daily tasks. And I’m a single woman. I can’t imagine having anyone else to care for.
I’m so glad I’ve been able to network with other advocates online, otherwise I’d be doubly frustrated.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s more difficult (in some ways) being more articulate and having less visible, stereotypical signs of autism. I have a flat affect most of the time (sign), chew on a stim toy in private, have a strange nose twitch (sign?), have a lot of trouble with eye contact (sign). But other than that, I’m probably just seen as shy or maybe even mean, since I don’t make many facial expressions.
Sometimes I forget what the fight is for, and I have to remember it’s not just for my selfish desires. Educating people can do a world of good, even if they’re not in your own family.