“You don’t look autistic.” Have you heard this one before? Okay, guys, we’re going to dive in and talk about the problem is with “you don’t look autistic.”
[00:00:47] The first problem with the whole, “you don’t look autistic” thing is that autism really doesn’t have one look. When someone says “you don’t look autistic.” What that means to me is – I’m not matching up with whatever small narrow, preconceived autistic stereotype the person in front of me has in their head.
[00:01:17] The truth is autistic people come in, all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and the abilities, and there is no -no wrong or right way or wrong way to look autistic – because autism is an invisible difference.
[00:01:37] The other problem with the whole, “you don’t look, autistic” thing is whenever people say this, they seem to think they are paying you a compliment, which makes it even worse.
[00:01:52] It’s like you say that like being autistic is a bad thing. So I also know that that means you think the autistic life is tragedy and it’s not, that’s just, just another one of these harmful stereotypes that a lot of us are trying so hard to bust .
[00:02:11] Autistic people – we’re people we’re just like everybody else. We’re like you a little bit different sometimes maybe, but we are human beings.
[00:02:21] So in my experience, when someone has told me that I “don’t look autistic”, that usually means they don’t see me rocking back and forth, or they see me, you know, talking to them and they only know Rain Man or some autism stereotype they’ve seen on TV.
[00:02:44] They don’t understand that autistic people grow up into autistic adults and they may think, “Oh, this is a child thing.” They’re autistic. People are children, which is weird because autism is a “lifelong neurodevelopmental condition” to quote the medical textbooks. Meaning we’re going to be autistic our whole lives.
[00:03:04] We are born autistic. We live our lives and autistic and we die autistic and the way we interact with the world and the way we learn and experience things and the way we cope may change and may evolve over the years. And so as we develop new coping strategies, we may be better able to hide our struggles and our difficulties – more so than when we are a child and so that makes the internal process invisible.
[00:03:40] Alrighty guys, thank you so much for hanging out with me this week. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already and if you found this content useful, helpful, helpful, or even somewhat educational – share it – because hopefully someone else will find it helpful too.
[00:03:54] I’ll talk to you guys next week. Bye!
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