I’ve been around for almost 36 years. I’ve heard, asked, answered and wondered about 1000s or maybe millions of questions so far. And yes, a few of them have to do with my being autistic. But I never knew how to respond or what to think when being asked. Just “Huh?” or “What the fuck?” or just going blank.
I know that the people asking these questions usually mean no harm. But whether you do or not, you’re being kinda dismissive. You’re basically saying that our struggles and our issues aren’t that a big a deal. They may not matter as much to you, but they matter a great deal for us. We have to live with them every day.
So how do you respond to questions like….
Everyone’s a little autistic?: Says who? The 2% of people who are autistic? Or the more than 2% who don’t know that they’re autistic yet? Lack of proper resources, ya know? Sure, a person can have certain symptoms of autism, but that doesn’t they’re “a little autistic”. It means they might have something else.
Everybody goes thru that!: Really. Do they? Why didn’t they tell me? I guess it’s true to some extent. People have communication issues sometimes. They get anxious in certain social situations. They have food they don’t like. So on and so forth. But Auties go thru that far more than NTs do. How often do you go thru that?
You’re being a drama queen or “king”!: Drama people live for drama. They need it like food. But when we are overstimulated, get talked over or just have problems most people just don’t have? We’re just drama people? NO, we’re misunderstood. Try living in a world where you’re constantly misunderstood. You’d react the same way. Or maybe you won’t? I don’t know.
You’re too sensitive: That might be true, but there is a very good reason for that. It isn’t to annoy you. I’ve told you this before…..
You don’t seem autistic?: I’ve spent years studying people, psychology, learning body language, social rules etc. I’ve learned to be great at pretending to be normal. I should get an Oscar nod for my performance. Wait, is that too arrogant?
You don’t look autistic: Well, we don’t really have a “look”. In fact, you wouldn’t really know that an Autie is an Autie unless we told you. Or unless, you’re well-versed in autism. Because like mentioned above, we’re award-winning actors.
I’m sorry 😞: Why? I’ve been autistic my whole life. It has ups and downs like….anything else. It isn’t horrible at all. I’m good. I like who I am.
Any more well-meaning questions I forgot to add? Let me know in the comments, if so inclined.
Until then, see you next time!