UNMASKED: Snippets & notes from a lifetime collection of journals (pre-diagnosis).
Advocating for autistic acceptance.
January 28, 1994,
Time for an analogy: I guess maybe I was like in a fishbowl where my world is lovely and beautiful. And I could look out and see this incredibly magnified and intimidating world, and, like a fish, I attempted to take a simple gasp of that other world … and I guess it wasn’t for me. I was a fish out of water!
So many of us are autistic in plain view though we are invisible. 🐟🌊
Even during an autistic evaluation, an outsider’s viewpoint carries more weight than that of the person who’s seeking the diagnosis. Therapists often require a parent or partner to participate in the process for adults seeking confirmation they’re autistic. Autistic adults are denied autonomy in their own evaluations because the diagnosis itself is biased – based on how traits present rather than how autistic people interpret, experience, and perceive the world.
In my case, my mother had died, my father wouldn’t have known the answers to the questions, and my partner had only known me since I was thirty, by which point I had mastered masking. Who can better describe 18-year-old me? A parent who lived across the country? A partner who only hears what I’ve chosen to share about that time? Or my journals and memories?
Also, why does a history of visible suffering and pain have to be part of the diagnosis? If we stop pathologizing autism and start recognizing it a s different neurotype, what would happen to the meager accommodations autistic people currently receive? Does society have to change first?