I Am Autistic

This submission is from Alana, who blogs at sleep wake hope and then. The text here is reprinted with permission from her original post.


POINT: I am autistic.

COUNTERPOINT: I can’t be autistic because…

  • I love holidays! Many many many people don’t seem to, for understandable reasons.
  • I hate video games. I just find them non-interesting, loud, and loud, and loud. And also we were never allowed to play them/own them growing up, so maybe I just never started in by the necessary age. (All the socializations/meet-ups for autistic adults in my (home) area seemed to involve video games).
  • I am not always bothered by fluorescent lights. I live in a very environmentally friendly house and my father is obsessed with lighting. (We get some sort of light every year for Christmas) so my house has always had CFL’s. I thought that was just what lights were. (Although sometimes when the fluorescent lights are panels like in some classrooms, they flicker and hum. But not all the time, so I am not sure.
  • I love fireworks and lightning (such pretty patterns!)
  • I have a boyfriend and friends.
  • I was never horribly bullied (I was mildly bullied, but not frequently or really with all that much effort. I think I was usually just ignored.)
  • I care about my personal appearance when I go out in public (because it’s a rule). (Am I successful at actually being presentable… not always, probably. But I do CARE.)
  • I love grocery store shopping. (Usually. Although the actual process of getting to stores not so much.)
  • I wasn’t diagnosed until after I graduated college. Surely they would have caught it earlier in my life if I was really autistic. (And even now, I’m not really “officially diagnosed”, but no one even thought of it until I did as an adult.)


I have a habit of overgeneralizing. I read all these lovely people (there’s a whole list of them on the sidebar). And then if I see general trends, of anything, things people all seem to do that I don’t, or things that I do that they don’t, or hobbies or activities, I tend to worry.

And any time I perceive that anything I do is different, I feel a desperate need to justify it completely to everyone else around.

And it’s silly.

It’s something I shouldn’t do. (Because it makes me stressed and sad.)

There is nothing about being autistic that says I have to love video games. There is nothing about being autistic that says I have to hate holidays.

And things like these are almost always little things.

Little, tiny, specific things that don’t matter much.

So I should stop worrying and just be.

(but it’s hard)

Sometimes I just need a friendly reminder to myself about this.

That it is ok to be different.

I’ve spent so much time worrying and trying so hard to fit in to a world that I don’t fit in to, that now that I think I may have found one, the old habits still kick in. Everyone else does x, so I should too. Or at least pretend. Normal people do x. Normal autistic people do y.

I can be different from the internet autistic people, and still be autistic. I can be different from the meet-in-person autistic people, and still be autistic. And I can certainly be different from stereotypes of autistic people and still be autistic. Because I am different. That’s why I am a different person than they are.

CONCLUSION: I am autistic, and that is ok. (Actually, that’s awesome.)

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