Autism, With Autism, On the Spectrum – Oh My!

Transcript

Autism, autistic, on the spectrum, Asperger’s what does it all mean? Let’s dive in.

[00:00:46] Guys. I want to share a word of caution – warning – for your consideration as we dive into all of the different ways that autistic people may identify themselves, or autism may be identified that the way autistic people full themselves choose to identify a very personal choice and it is my personal belief that we should not tell each other, other autistic people, how  they should choose to identify.

[00:01:24] Each person, person makes these choices on their own and the thoughts and comments expressed in this video will be my personal experience and will deal with how I personally choose used to identify my self as an autistic person, and as someone who has an autism diagnosis.

[00:01:47] So first we’ll say my personal preference –  I called myself an autistic person over a person with autism. Some autistic people will choose to identify themselves as a person with autism. And that is okay. That is their choice. I am not trying to say anything bad about people who choose to identify differently. This is just why I myself identify as autistic versus person with autism.

[00:02:19] Um, so first I would say that I say I am an autistic person because there is no version of me that exists or that I could imagine existing that is a non-autistic version of myself and I say that because being autistic has very heavily influenced basically every experience of my life.

[00:02:46] Because my brain is autistic the way I interpret and process the world and interact with the world is influence by me being autistic. The relationships I have with other people and the way I interact with other humans and the way I interact with the things that bring me joy – my interests and my passions and the way I engage in the world and the person that I am, my morals, my perspectives, and everything about me is touched – ick – I don’t like the word touched. Let’s not do the word touch. That one sounds creepy.

[00:03:25] We’ll say is influenced by the fact that I am autistic and if somehow there was like a magic laser gun that could take away the autism I would be a completely different person if I wasn’t autistic, I wouldn’t be me and that’s not a reality that I care to ever see, come into existence.

[00:03:52] And linguistically for me, you know, I see autism as such a core and integral part of myself that it is not like an accessory that could be put away or left behind. You know, I’ve got my hat. Autism is not like my hat. You know, I can’t like leave my hat behind. I can’t forget my hat under my chair. I can’t take my hat off. I can’t take the autism hat off. I can’t leave the autism. You know, I’m not with autism, I’m not with my hat. I am my hat.

[00:04:25] Okay. That’s not really it either, but you know, you, you get the point like autism is not this separate thing that is separate from myself. That can be like, Oh, autism is over here. And I am over here to make it visual for those of you who are very visual, like I am.

[00:04:39] Some autistic people will choose to say that they are a person with autism. That is okay. I just want to say that is okay if you are – that is how you personally choose to identify.

[00:04:52] And then the other term, and I actually will say this sometimes is on the spectrum. It is not my favorite way to identify myself, but I do like it because it highlights that the autistic experience is very vast, very varied, very, very, very vary-  from person to person.

[00:05:15] There is not one unified or unique autistic experience. We all have different – a – ways we communicate and we all have different sensory processing issues. We all will have different memory and focus and comprehension and processing issues in  that way as well, uh, autistic people, you know, we all look very different. We all sound very different. We are all a very diverse group of people.

[00:05:46] And so. Part of me likes the word spectrum for that but at the same time, I’m not in love with the word, the spectrum, because it’s sometimes feels like you’re afraid to say autistic or autism as if these things are dirty words who were like dancing around and saying spectrum, or because some people think they hear spectrum and they think, Oh, a spectrum. That’s they think of this very linear spectrum. Uh, when really it’s more like around umbrella graph spectrum instead of like a linear spectrum, like people don’t get it that it’s not like this spectrum like line where it’s like less autistic, more

[00:06:23] autistic. No, it’s like this whole circle where it’s like sensory processing and social communication and motor skills and memory and, um, you know, those things, they’re all like, An umbrella in there.

[00:06:37] And then some of us will have other co-occurring conditions such as epilepsy and IBS and insomnia and migraines and other issues as well. It’s, uh, the autism cocktail, so to speak. That means that each of us is going to have a very different experience within that space.

[00:06:55] There’s the Aspie’s -Asperger’s – and, you know, these people get a lot of hate sometimes for using the term Asperger’s or Aspie to identity themselves. Uh, but it is important for us to consider that there are actually parts of the world where despite, you know, and where are my part of the world Asperger’s is no longer a diagnosis. Some people are still being given this diagnosis to this day, depending on where they live.

[00:07:28] And it’s important for us to realize that that Asperger’s and autism are the same thing. And, you know, in many parts of the world Asperger’s is no longer diagnosed. So if you would have been diagnosed as Asperger’s, and it’s not a diagnostic, uh, code where you are living, you will be diagnosed as autistic.

[00:07:48] And that’s why a lot of autistic people say it’s all autism, autism is autism. You know, why do you want to separate yourself and be, you know, Asperger’s when you’re, you’re autistic like us.

[00:07:58] Uh, but some people, you know, they’ve gotten that Asperger’s label and just like, you know, when I got the autistic label, I became very attached to that label because that label really gave me an explanation of myself that I had needed so desperately.

[00:08:16] And so that label means something to me and so I want us to remember that we have autistic people in our community who are just now discovering themselves and believe it or not, depending on where they live, they may actually be still given this Asperger’s label and this label is, you know, the first key to them coming to this world off self-discovery.

[00:08:40] Uh, so sometimes we will still people who have the Asperger’s label or maybe they have had the Asperger’s label for a long time and they are just now finding the online community and they don’t keep up with the latest medical mumbo jumbo and the DSM-V and the IC-, you know, they, they aren’t keeping up with this because they’re just autistic people trying to live their lives.

[00:09:05] Um, but you know, my diagnosis, my own diagnosis was autistic at the age of 29 and that’s because, uh, you know, where I am since 2013 Asberger’s has been phased out of the diagnostic manual. But like I said, again and again, that is not standard globally just yet although it does look like that is the direction things are headed.

[00:09:29] So whatever you call it, autistic, with autism, Asperger’s, on the spectrum. The point is. All of these things are describing one thing, it’s all the same.

[00:09:47] Although autistic people, we are all not the same. We are all very different. And that is why we use so many different terms to describe ourself. I hope that helps alleviate some of the confusion between all of these different things that you may hear in relation to autistic humans and the artistic experience.

[00:10:10] Thank you guys so much for hanging out with me this week. If you found this content helpful, don’t forget to give it up, thumbs up and subscribe if you’re new. Welcome. I put out new videos every Wednesday.

[00:10:22] And if you would like to suggest a comment for next week’s video, drop your comment below, and hopefully, you know, maybe I can do one of your comments or one of your suggestions on a future video, I’ll talk to you guys next week. Bye!

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