Normalize This

One of the most important things parents of children with autism can do is to listen to the experiences of people with autism. I’ve been reading a blog by an autistic mother and I wanted to share for other APs to get a different perspective. This post just showed up in my inbox. Highly recommend Michelle Sutton Writes for a nuanced view of how to think about autism.

There is a fairly persistent belief I come across regularly that autistic people are antisocial. I think what people mean by “antisocial” is that the autistic person doesn’t socialise in ways that are considered typical so they assume that the person does not like to be around people, or is not “good” at it.

Ah yes, the three autism behavior “challenges,” aloofness, change aversion/rigidity and pragmatic language, the Broad Autism Phenotype strand of subclinical autistic traits. Before my son was even diagnosed, I took this test and met criteria for everything but supposed aloofness. But all that means is I dont meet the common stereotype of impaired social communication. The reality is that I spend a huge chunk of time every day trying to “act normal.” I’ve internalized this crap. 

Here’s to reexamining why exactly we have to mimic NT communication. Thinking differently is actually a good thing. Instead of trying to “normalize” people with autism, why not make the way we communicate “normal” instead.

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