My dad can't understand why autistic people want to be autistic, or wouldn't not be if they had a choice. I'd appreciate if as many mods as possible + followers would explain why they like being autistic. I myself have trouble explaining to him.
I wouldn’t be who I am if I weren’t autistic.
I mean I can go on but that’s the core of what I’ll say. I wouldn’t be interested in the things I like. I wouldn’t have had the experiences I’ve had. I wouldn’t have met the people I call friends, wouldn’t have met my datemate if I wasn’t autistic.
I wouldn’t be able to help my cousin understand her autistic son. I wouldn’t be able to help him understand his parents and sister.
I wouldn’t be able to comfort my mother by explaining why my autistic parent does most of the things he does.
I wouldn’t be able to draw as well as I do because I wouldn’t be as perfectionistic. I wouldn’t be able to make my aunt a crochet blanket for her birthday if I wasn’t.
I wouldn’t notice how great the sun feels on my skin, I wouldn’t be soothed by the pitter patter of rain on my roof. I wouldn’t be able to deal with everything I’ve gone through in my life.
I just wouldn’t be the same person without being autistic. And I’ve had to fight too damn hard to accept myself as I am to let anyone tell me I’d be better off without any of the things I mentioned.
I completely agree with what Wren said. There are a lot of good things about being autistic, like happy stimming and special interests. Contrary to what a lot of people try to tell the world, it’s not all meltdowns and overload and being unable to communicate.
The best way I can think to explain why I don’t want to be cured of my autism is to flip it around. You might want to ask your dad if, given the chance, he would want to take a pill that would radically change who he was as a person. That once he took it, he would experience everything about the world differently, that his interests and preferences and all of his personality would be changed. But he’d have no idea what all those changes would be until after he took the pill. My guess is that he would say no. Why would he want to change all these things about himself, things that make him who he is, especially when he has no idea whether those changes would be good or bad?
That’s what the idea of a cure is to me. Even if it were theoretically possible, it wouldn’t make any sense at all. Whoever I would become, that wouldn’t be me. My personality and my thoughts and my tastes make me as a person. To get rid of them would be to get rid of me.
If I could cure my endometriosis, I would do it in a heartbeat. This disease has only caused me pain and suffering.
If I could cure my fibromyalgia, I would be so down.
Because these conditions cause a great deal of pain and have no benefits for me.
However, autism is completely different.
Autism shapes how I see the world.
Autism shapes all of my experiences.
Autism is a fundamental part of who I am as a person.
There are aspects of being autistic that are difficult. Meltdowns really suck. Fighting against black and white thinking patterns is exhausting. The ways changes affect me are painful.
There are also so many good parts of being autistic.
There is the depth to which I feel, passionate, fiery, and with my whole being.
There’s the drive and dedication I have for the things that I care about which pushes me to always learn.
There’s my strong sense of right and wrong which drives me to fight against injustice and oppression.
The words that flow so easily from my finger tips have carved their paths like a creek through the woods making new trails from blocked mouth to swift moving fingers that tap tap tap along keys to craft the words I could never say. These creeks, born of necessity, have become my lifeblood, a place for my words to come alive.
I am passionate and fierce and tenacious. I am a writer and an advocate and orator. I am all of this and more. This is me. Would I still be me if I weren’t autistic?
Would I have become a writer if I hadn’t had to struggle so much to make myself heard?
Would I be an activist without the intense passion I feel based upon my ideas of right and wrong based in black and white thinking?
If the meltdowns and sensory overload and shutdowns were gone, what else would go with them?
Autism is the lens through which I process the world. I can no more separate myself from autism than separate the sun from its shining. I am autistic through and through.
Every experience I have had has been experienced through an autistic brain.
My experience of the world around me is through autistic senses.
The love I have shared and continue to share is shaped by autistic processing and the intensity of autistic emotion.
From the time my brain formed, I have been autistic and I will be autistic until the day I die. Because autism is the way my brain works, it affects every aspect of who I am and how I experience the world.
Yes, it is a disability. Yes, there are struggles and hardships.
But would I ever chose not to be autistic?
I like who I am and, if given the choice, would choose to be autistic.