April 17, 2018

Tonight at an advocacy event, a parent tried to assure me that autism doesn’t define me.

“It does, though,” I said.

“It may be 95% of who you are,” she insisted, “but you’re still beautiful and amazing.”

“I need you to trust me about something,” I said, forgetting to thank her for the kind words. “Will you believe me?”

She nodded yes.

“100% of me is autistic, it makes me who I am, I would be a completely different person without it, and I LOVE IT.”

She cheered, high-fived me, and told me I was cool.

Parents want to reassure their kids that they are “more” than their autism because they don’t see:
1) how absolutely central it is to our identities, and
2) how absolutely beautiful it can be to see the world the way we do.

I want to change that. 🙂

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.