On being angry and frustrated at the celebration at children’s “recovery” from autism, by people who will not actually bear the consequences of losing that diagnosis, for the rest of their lives.
David Gray-Hammond, photo courtesy author [image: A white man with short brown hair, a beard, and glasses. He is wearing a teal shirt and light brown pants.] David Gray-Hammond @emgntdivergence Developing skills in self-advocacy can often seem confusing and frustrating. It requires us to be aware of our needs in a detailed way, while also being able to communicate them in a world that so often seeks to silence us. I have always argued that self-acceptance is the first step to self-advocacy, but in order to accept ourselves, we must first know ourselves. When I found the autistic community, I found thousands of people who understood my experience in a way that others simply could not. It was in this understanding that they taught me the vocabulary that I needed to describe my strengths and struggles (in fact, I did not even know the words to describe my most basic…
Do autistic people suffer? Sadly yes, lots of us do. Do we suffer from autism? No, I do not think so. That is why I do not hate autism.
Everyone in my life knows that I’m transgender. Comparatively, very few people know about another major part of me: that I’m autistic.
The next time you are tempted to tell an Autistic person their interest is silly, trivial, a waste of time, weird, or pointless, stop—and remember why we love what we love. We are somebody, too, and we must be respected, protected, and never rejected.