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What’s So Good About Being Autistic?

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

When you know you’re autistic, you treat yourself differently. You give yourself permission to live in a way that is true, natural, and healthy for you.

Embracing my autism has been a tremendous gift to myself. Looking through the autism lens is like having a decoder for myself: Why did I do that thing? Why did I show up in that way? Why am I so sensitive about those details, and spending so much time adjusting them to make things right?

Before, I chided myself for being “difficult.” Now, I listen to my needs and search for language to express them diplomatically. If I can have favorable conditions, I can show up as my best self. I think of it as “tuning.”

Lights are too bright? Replace the bulbs.

Rattling is too distracting? Stop it at the source.

Tag is too itchy? Cut that motherfucker right the fuck off, with scissors, because who the fuck needs to be reminded every single day that their shirt contains 50% polyester and was made in Macau and could create carcinogenic fumes if burned? What oblivious, inconsiderate, isolated-from-the-end-user legislator decided that I need to carry that information around with me for access at a moment’s notice all fucking day fucking long?* Is it really necessary to irritate my neck, ribs, or waist 1,000 times before my garment is eventually sent to the scrap heap?

I’m autistic, bitches. Not on my fucking watch.

Expressing my autism (in healthy ways) allows me to protect my thoughtspace for brain work that feels meaningful to me. Ultimately, it enables my richest contributions to the grand collaborative computation of reality.

*H/t to the loud and persistent hollering from autistic folks that has finally prodded major clothing manufacturers to start printing tag information directly onto clothes. Hanes introduced tagless shirts in 2002, and all Hanes underpants are now tag-free. Target recently launched a whole line of "adaptive" clothing for kids. And my favorite: Kohl's has begun marketing adaptive clothing "that provides everybody the opportunity to express themselves." Boom!

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