I’m currently on vacation in London and temporarily stepping away from my usual routine has given me some room to reflect on what I’m doing with myself (while taking in the sights, of course). After much reflection, I have decided to put Angry Autie on indefinite hiatus.
I’m doing this for a lot of reasons and I could easily bore you with all of them. The most important reason is mostly personal. Before starting this blog, I haven’t given much thought to the question of ‘what does it mean to be autistic?’ and by keeping up this blog, while it has been helpful in the self-empowerment department, I still feel like I’m enforcing my label and letting it stick, letting it stick so much that no one can see me any other way. It’s not that I mind being called autistic (that IS who I am after all); I don’t want to necessarily be viewed in those terms anymore. By doing this blog, I’m digging myself into a niche that I really have no desire to fill. I’ve said several times on this blog that every single autie is different and that it’s unfair to pigeonhole someone by virtue of such a label. A lot of people may be interested in those questions (wazzup, literature professors?) but I’m not. I’ve always been this way and every attempt I’ve made to enforce some aspect of my identity had turned out personally unsatisfying. I don’t gain anything personally from being the ’emerged autie with a chip on his shoulder.’ I do, however, feel my best when I just am and not so preoccupied with what I am or what I’m supposed to be.
There are also plenty of people who do autism-advocacy work who are having an incredible impact on the world, autistic or not, and I feel that they’d do fine without me. I’ll just return to what I do/enjoy best: composing zany metal-jazz-electronic music 🙂 (which I’ve been ignoring since doing this blog!)
With all of this, I leave you with one last bit of advice on what you, an average person with NT syndrome, can do for autistic people (if you’re autistic, sorry for accusing you of having mundane man malady!). A basic list of dos and don’ts:
- Accept us for who we are
- Treat us like actual people with hopes and desires
- Fight against any prejudice against us that you may notice (basically anything that attempts to other us)
- Provide necessary and specifically tailored services in more extreme cases
- Research everything you can on autism, especially if you know an autistic. There’s more to the autie than meets the eye. (For starters, read this article about how autistics can be people of few words in person but very articulate and intelligent in writing. You can also start with this blog ;)) If you’re unsure about something, you can always contact me. My inbox is always open to inquiring minds!
- Read other blogs by autistic people. May I suggest the incredibly comprehensive Autistic Hoya as a place to start?
- Pity us
- Medicate us
- Equate appearance with mental health
- Speak of ’emergence.’ It represents a completely arbitrary standard for growing up and turns autism into a thing in our brains to overcome. Anyone who buys into it is a fool.
- Address all questions you may have about us to a proxy like a parent
- Think that it’s absolutely amazing when we are able to do something that autistics are generally viewed as incapable of doing (eg. driving). We have widely varied skill sets.
- Make ‘normal’ the goal. Trust me, most of us may never fully get there. Besides, being ‘normal’ is reeeeeally boring. Why would anyone want to do that?
It’s also possible that I’m not entirely happy with the way I do things here. I may just try a different approach if I decide to restart this blog.
Also, this is my 32nd post. I like the number 32. It’s a good place to end it.