Autism

What’s in a name? – The Autistic Advocate

Autistics are very concerned by words, by the meaning held behind them. Take a brief walk in the minefield that separates “autistics” from “people with autism” and you’ll see what I mean. My written diagnosis refers to Asperger’s Syndrome when describing my autistic symptoms, and I’ve used that as short-hand to describe what my autism is like to others. But I didn’t know about the controversy surrounding “Asperger’s.”

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Autism, blogs, Writing

A Diagnosis

Something that I was a little surprised by when I started looking into getting a diagnosis was the antagonism directed towards the self-diagnosed. In the online communities, I’ve run into several people who haven’t pursued a clinical diagnosis but still call themselves autistic, and then there are diagnosed members of the community who feel that these people are either lying about having autism or pretending to have it. Like most of these things in online forums, there’s no evidence to back up these claims, only the poster’s personal experience, so really they’re stating their belief, not a fact. Still, there’s a lot of resentment towards the idea that someone would pretend to have autism in order to get accommodations, presumably because accommodations have to be fought for, but again, there’s no evidence that the self-diagnosed in the forums have done this. I think there’s also a sense of horror and frustration that someone would want to have this condition.

It’s tricky. In my personal experience, I didn’t declare myself to be autistic until I had a diagnosis. I said I suspected that I was, and part of the reason why I got the diagnosis was to establish whether or not it was true. I don’t know if it’s really possible to truly self-diagnose autism within yourself. I mean, yeah, I could look at a list of symptoms and say I think I experience all of these, but I think that’s something different than sitting down with a trained professional and having them examine you. But apparently it’s hard, or it’s not possible, for some people to go after a diagnosis.

I don’t know. I think I would have a hard time taking the mantle of being autistic without having the diagnosis. I got the diagnosis because I wanted to know. I wanted to be sure, and have another person verify what I was seeing.

But still, when I see someone rant about the self-diagnosed, I can’t help but feel a little bit sympathetic, a little bit like I was once part of that group, even though I didn’t say that I was autistic until I had the diagnosis. I lurked about the forums for a long time before I got the diagnosis.

Autism, blogs, Writing

No Regrets Coyote

I’m sitting in my living room, sitting in the chair in the corner. It’s late. The room is only lit by the little white lights on the little plastic Christmas tree perched on the end table next to me. I was exhausted earlier today, and I was sure that I was headed for an early bedtime, but once again here it is late at night and it’s just me and the cat up in the dark living room.

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Autism, Writing

Anxiety

Nothing bad is going to happen. You seriously need to relax. I was sort of thinking that this anxiety thing was just an excuse for slacking, for getting drunk, but it’s real, I stress about things a lot, I just bury it, try to forget about it, try to pretend that I just don’t care, and even now, when I’m telling myself that it’s all in my head, and there’s nothing to worry about, I still don’t believe it.

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Autism, Writing

Shadow Boxing

One of my goals for this year has been to write more on my blog. While I’m a longtime blogger with an archive of thousands of posts stretching back to the turn of the millennium, I’ve always had problems with voice and with audience when writing original content for my blogs. And while writing is something that is important to me, something that I do daily, very little of what I write ends up on the blog. Continue reading