Monday, November 18, 2013

This is autism (Autistic Speaks)

Written by Lydia

Originally published at Autistic Speaks

I can remember 10-digit phone numbers, months after dialing them exactly twice.
Just don’t ask me to write a check, because no matter how many times I’m taught, I can’t remember how.
This place, where incredible gifts meet surprising deficits, this is autism.
I graduated from high school a year early at the top of my class, finished college in 7 semesters, and now maintain a 4.00 average in grad school.
I am also affected enough that l qualified for and received Adult Autism Waiver services through the state for two years.  I stopped them not because I no longer needed them but because my health issues made me unable to participate.
This too is autism.
I’m hyperverbal, if by “verbal” you mean able to lecture on preferred topics and express myself in writing.  If, however, you define “verbal” as having the ability to tell the doctor what hurts or being able to say, “Hey, that hurts my ears, could you please stop?” instead of growling and yelling, well, no, I can’t do that.
As I’m sure you know very well, this is autism.
My interests include synthesizing new ideas at the intersection of literature, language, and disability studies, cats, free-hand needlepoint, pink, speaking to young girls about disabilities and bullying, linguistic (but not semantic) battles, Disney, and medicine.
This is absolutely okay– for this is autism.
I’m 25, but I look 15 and have the spiritual maturity of an older adult.
This is awesome.  This is autism.
I am quirk
and enthusiasm
and confidence
and joy
and brain power
and compassion
and charm
and innocence
and spunk.
THIS… is autism.
Suzanne, you sell us so short.  My autistic friends are the kindest, most genuine, most brilliantly unique people I have ever known to grace this world. Though I know that you will never realize your sickening goal of eradicating my people, I also wonder how long it would take you to realize that you had eliminated the greatest minds among us.  You have something to learn from the autistic people among you.
We are loyal, gracious and graceful.  We respect others for their differences… in fact, we welcome them.
They make the world more colorful.
Don’t apologize to me.  I mean, should you like to do so, I’ll accept your apology, because I believe in grace.  But it’s the kids who need an apology.  You’ve denied them the chance to become great before you even took the time to know them.
I’m sad for you.  This world is infinitely more awesome than you’ll allow yourself to know.  You’re the only person standing in your own way.

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