The ability to express one’s authentic autistic self is much more complicated than an individual choice to unmask. Dr. Amy Pearson explores why this is, and what we can do in order to make the world a safer place for autistic people.
Maybe there’s a reason autistic authors have often opted to write neurotypical characters. Maybe it’s proven to be more sellable and “believable” than their own experience. I’m upset, wondering how many wonderful autistic stories we’re missing out on as a world because of neurotypical gatekeeping.
It’s not okay to dismiss one autistic person’s lived experience as having nothing to do with “real” autism simply because you don’t understand what autism is like for them.
Full normalisation of autism would require a substantially broader concept of ‘normality.’ It would mean acceptance of autistic people who are non-speaking, an understanding of meltdowns, and general awareness of the dangers of sensory overload.