Okay, so, I was diagnosed at 2, but they did not tell me until I was 15.
As I got a bit older and they got a sense of-
because obviously there’s a lot of ableism in the diagnostic community,
especially when I was born,
right when you had Aspergers getting added to the
DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders],
I eventually got shifted to that [Aspergers] when they were like,
“she seems normal enough”
It’s important to me to define it
because the spectrum part is
often misinterpreted by people
who are not more familiar with it.
That’s why you see people throwing around
which is bullshit because
it’s just how non autistic do you look.
You could be completely nonverbal
but having an amazing career
and making a shit ton of money
because now you can work remotely
and be perfectly functional in every other way
but they will label you as
because it doesn’t look neurotypical enough to them.
I actually like talking about this stuff
You don't have a lot of outlets to talk about it typically.
I often times feel sort of
isolated from an autistic sense
more than I do isolated from a queer sense,
if that makes sense.
I feel like I have more avenues to where
I can find people who also aren’t straight
and can relate to me on that.
And with being autistic, even within progressive spaces,
I find that a lot of people
don't understand the nuance of it
and don't know how scary
a lot of the ways it's depicted in the public is.
I guess what’s funny to me is how
You can go up to a lot of people
who are in one of these communities
You ask them about standard autism treatments,
They’re probably going to think it's fine.
They’re not going to realize
the number one autism treatment in the [United States]
is conversion therapy.
It goes back to ABA [Applied Behavioral Analysis].
That’s still sort of the primary method
to train people out of displaying things that are obviously autistic
through positive or negative reinforcement.
This guy [Ole Ivar] Lovaas.
Mostly known for treatments of autistic kids,
but when you go down to see his full work it is
experiments on gender variant children.
I think that a big reason
why you can associate mental health issues with being autistic is
many autistic people have been through this.
They have developed an internal need to
repress everything about them,
and this whole thing of like
you just can’t show anything that’s autistic.
It’s still extremely hard for me sometimes
to act without thinking about it.
It always feels like
I am sending something through a filter.
It doesn’t feel like things can happen automatically
and I think a lot of that is because
you are told to correct every single thing
about how you externally emote.
Because first the ABA people will treat you
they’ll go to your parents and they’ll be like,
“Oh! This is what you have to do for your kid to have
the best chance of like living a normal life
and being able to do normal things”
and your parents are like,
They continue the training when you get home,
You are training constantly.
“You can’t do that kind of emotion,
and you can’t do this kind of emotion”
It’s a level of monitoring
that you don’t get with neurotypical children.
In more extreme types of ABA,
You have times where you will be going through
something actually painful.
They will not stop you from going through
the actually painful thing because
you’re not raising your request to get out of it politely enough.
The expectations are
beyond even what would be expected of
a neurotypical child.
I would have a cold and I would be covered in snot,
I couldn’t ask properly for a tissue,
because I was too stressed out
and I was in melt down mode.
because I was covered in snot.
They would be like,
“Well you’re not asking for it,
so I’m not going to give it to you
and you’re going to sit there
and be covered in snot”
I like natural light from windows.
I know I feel really relaxed in my office
because it’s a lot of windows
and I can see the outside
and get sunlight.
If I had like one wall of big windows,
and the rest with cool wall paper,
that would be a win.