April is Autism Awareness Month.
Remember to be unaware of autism between 1 May and 31 March!
Some activists are trying to change the narrative to “autism acceptance month.” I can’t say I disagree, because yes, I am “aware” of autism. I am also aware of rabid dogs, my allergy to orange peel, and of the slugs in our garden. I’d argue, however, that “autism,” as in the word itself, is already widely accepted. Autistic people, not so much.
Among many other fun things, about which I’ll write some other time, autism is a communication disorder.
#ActuallyAutistic people are only acceptable to most neurotypicals (NTs) when our lives are either a motivational “success” story or a tragedy.
Autism is accepted when it’s either undetectable or crippling
We don’t understand and we don’t know what we’ve done or what you mean. When we ask questions, we do so to learn how to make you more comfortable. We adapt our behaviour and reshape ourselves based on this feedback. This costs us a lot of energy and destroys our sense of self. If you don’t tell us what you want us to be, we won’t know. We won’t earn the “you don’t look autistic” prize. (I told Husby that the next time we hear this he should say “Bjørn, please perform An Autism for the lady.”)