I am autistic. Everything about me is autistic. I do everything I do autistically. Over my 44 years I have learned, often quite deliberately, to do things in ways that you will interpret as “normal”. But, I am still autistic, even when you can’t tell I am by watching my behaviour. I am using a strategy called masking to blend in. I am passing as non-autistic.
I’ve found a problem with taking a respectful approach to parenting my autistic children.
Evidence of a problem
“She said you are the only one in your family that goes to school because all your family is retarded” were the words spoken to my 12 year old daughter at school on a Monday that she will not ever forget. She came home angry. Her inner activist was brought out and there was a fierceness in her eyes I’ve not seen before.
“I am tired”
It’s a phrase we say and hear a lot. It could be a valid reason, or used as an excuse, to avoid doing something or to explain our behaviour. I feel like we assume “I am tired” means I need sleep, or I need rest. When I use the phrase “I am tired” it is not quite that simple, and I suspect this is the case for many neurodivergent people.
April: Autism Awareness Month. Light it up blue. Solve the puzzle of autism. Raise money for people with autism.
I’ve written about all of it before. In this short article I’m going to do something different.
I’ve been writing articles about autism for April, “Autism Awareness Month”, for 6 years now. That sounds like a lot in some ways, but compared to how long other autistic activists have been writing, it’s not much. Yet, I’m already tired of it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy and the common perception that autistic people lack it. This thought process started months ago when I read an article by Briannon Lee that I related to in many ways.
We had exciting mail from Way of the Cactus again! Do you remember the last review I did of WOTC products? I’m so glad that the great team from Way of the Cactus has agreed to let me offer readers of this site regular reviews and deals, and the next one is just in time for Christmas!!
“How do I deal with this child’s disruptive behaviour?” It’s a common question. Before I give my answer to it, I think it’s really important to understand the question that is really being asked.
“I thought you were angry.” It’s a phrase I’ve become used to hearing.
“Why are you angry?” I guess it’s a fair enough assumption. My voice was raised. My words were strong. My body language was not calm.