Saturday, 2 March 2013

Autistic People Are

Autistic People Are Beautiful.
There’s a kind of purity of soul about all autistic people, even the ‘grumpy’ or ‘difficult’ or ‘further-out-there-than-most’ sorts. There’s a kind of integrity about us, by which I mean a wholeness, a directness of purpose, a solidness of the spirit; that exists even when it’s covered over with layers of ‘adaptation’ and ‘social skills’ and the often deep scars from the damage that the world has done to us. We simply don’t have it in us, it seems, to compromise that. And I’m darned if I see why we should. It’s just beautiful.

Autistic People Are Honest.
This is part of that beauty – an unswerving and totally inborn honesty, that often sees us get into trouble for being ‘too’ honest, but which is as natural to us as breathing. Yes, it can sometimes mean we come across as rude or insulting – usually (though not always) without realising it, but it is still a beautiful thing anyway. NTs should take some lessons from us. Honesty often is the best policy. And of course it means we usually have a high degree of integrity and reliability as well, both in our personal lives and in our workplaces.

Autistic People Are Funny.
Despite what some people seem to believe, we have a great sense of humour. I have has more genuine laughs in the company (online or IRL) of other autistic people, in the last few years since starting to associate with them, than I had in the previous twenty or thirty years. It’s true we tend not to find some things funny, eg sexist, racist jokes, or jokes that put people down (having been the victim of them ourselves, too often), and we often don’t react to NT jokes, sarcasm, etc, because we’re not sure if they are joking or not, but we can and do crack plenty of our own jokes. Reading humorous threads online has often had me literally falling off my chair in laughter!

Autistic People Are Compassionate.
Yep, folks, despite all rumours to the contrary, we do have empathy. And sympathy, and compassion, and whatever else you’d like to call that ‘fellow feeling’, when you realise something’s up with someone, or something bad has happened, and you respond to that with feeling of your own. We do it. We may not know how to do it in the manner an NT would recognise, or in ‘socially acceptable’ ways, but nonetheless, we do do it. In fact sometimes we are so overwhelmed by our empathic reactions, we have to shut down or leave. Not what people expect, and we can be condemned for this too, but the feeling is there. And amongst ourselves, the compassion, empathy, sympathy, is displayed frequently and freely, even if only by a sad face icon or ‘I’m sorry to hear that’ post.

Autistic People Are My Friends.
I’d given up trying to have friends before I discovered my autism. It was simply too hard, too fraught with misunderstandings and rejections and convoluted interactions that left me feeling bewildered and stressed out. But when I found other auties… suddenly, all that went away. If one of my autie friends doesn’t like something I did or said, they say so. I know exactly where I stand, there are no undercurrents, no ‘hidden agendas’, no unspoken demands or expectations to trip me up. I can breathe easily, speak my mind, let down my guard and trust again. I can speak the truth about my life and my experiences, and find understanding and support. Sure, I like some better than others (and a very few not at all), but on the whole, autistic people are my friends, and I hope they will be so for the rest of my life.

I love autistic people.


  1. Thank you! I added your post to the postroll. Would you like this post to appear in its entirety on the flashblog (with links) or would you like an excerpt and a link to your post?

  2. I think i'd like it to appear in its entirety, with the links so anyone can follow it back to this blog, thanks Brenda.

  3. My undiagnosed abilities led me to reject the world and become a broke spiritual humanist minister. I can agree with you on this. My children are this way as well. While others say "Why do you let them?" I say "Why do you not?"