Doing Harm When You Mean To Do Good

Being autistic often means that, as a community, we experience the brute force of social inequity on the daily. Even those of us who are unaware of our neurotype know what it’s like to be othered. We are spoken over by those who have our ‘best interests’ in mind. We are pushed out of interactions and opportunities for being different. Yet, if we beat the statistical mortality odds, we forge ahead anyway in the face of opposition non-autistic people would likely find insurmountable.

So when our already marginalized autistic community becomes that…

My Ridiculous Morning Is Not For You.

A young Black woman sitting on a yoga mat in lotus pose. A spitz dog sits at her side.
A young Black woman sitting on a yoga mat in lotus pose. A spitz dog sits at her side.
Photo credit: Cottonbro on Pexels

Last Thursday started off in a bad way. I woke feeling disconnected and anxious, overwhelmed by the smallest things. Ever have days like those?

Feeling that way used set me on a search for The Problem. I spent a good chunk of my life rooting around for the thing I could set straight. What was I upset about? Was I depressed? Where was the unresolved issue, the forgotten responsibility, or the festering interaction that needed attention so I could feel right again? …

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It’s possible that you, right now, are living a lie and have no idea.

You know yourself, right? I was sure I did too. After all, I’d lived. Forty-two years, two successful careers, awards, magazine covers, and friends in high places, as they say. I was a rocketship. If you would’ve said, “Autism.’ I would’ve said, “Wut?”

I promise you. It’s not just me. Even people who should know — psychologists, medical doctors and other who’ve dedicated their professional lives to the field of autism — had no idea that they themselves were autistic.

If the people who should know missed it and I missed it, you might be missing it, too.

How can…

Back in the 90’s, I did backflips to convince the people who signed my checks that I would actually be working when working at home. Often my persuasive gymnastics failed. It was a different time. Trust was not in abundance. If you couldn’t see a thing with your own eyes, it didn’t happen. I suppose in that regard, the times haven’t changed all that much, have they?

Flash forward to 2020 where everyone and everything is carried around in our breathable tech-fiber pockets. If we’re not on camera right now, we’re about to be, whether our own or someone else’s…

Hi there. Here is your uncomfortable reminder that when you’re attending the accessibility hour at your local grocery and you see someone who is not visibly a senior citizen, not visibly using an assistive device, and/or not visibly accompanied by a support provider, it’s a good time to ask yourself why they’re there. If your first thought is that they’re perpetrating an elaborate scam, it’s also a good time to remind yourself to move on to your second thought which hopefully will be that invisible disabilities exist.

If invisible disabilities are not on your mind then you enjoy the privilege…

Diane J. Wright

Spawner of big ideas at • #AutisticBIPoC community builder • Champion of late-identified autistic adults. @WeAreAutastic everywhere.

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