UNMASKED: Snippets & notes from a lifetime collection of journals  (pre-diagnosis).
Advocating for autistic acceptance.




August 7, 1994,

Sometimes Z  [friend] has these fits that are somewhat scary. She frightens me when suddenly her temperament plummets …


Kalpita Pathak
Age 19


The world can be dangerous for us, neurokin. I hope you have a safe place where you can exist as yourselves without fear and/or repercussions. ❤️




Autistic people can have a difficult time reading tone, facial expressions, body language, and other nonverbal cues. This can create a unsafe environment. The people we are communicating with may be expressing something we don’t understand. Eventually, they lash out at us in frustration and/or rage. To them, there has been a build-up to this strong response but to us, it comes out of nowhere. That sudden, unexpected explosion can be terrifying.


Now that I know I’m autistic, I inform others of my inability to read nonverbal cues. While the explosions still happen, I advocate hard for understanding and acceptance. I know it can be difficult for people who do use nonverbal cues – it is an innate to them as my inability to understand the cues is to me. But that does not mean I deserve to be screamed at, demeaned, or treated with contempt. And neither do you. I can give someone grace and space to apologize and try to do better next time but I will not listen to justifications for that behavior.


To be clear: raging at autistic people because of how they communicate is not only ableist, it is emotionally abusive. I am physically disabled, too. This is akin to raging at me for not being able to use the stairs.


And the hypocrisy is evident. When we are overloaded and have meltdowns, it is unacceptable but many allistic people believe their micro (and macro) aggressions are warranted. We autistics are always in the wrong in their eyes.


At the very least, accepting our way of communicating is an accommodation and we need accommodations. This is another reason why autistic acceptance is more important than mere autistic awareness.