"But everyone does that!" - Learning to Identify the Divergence within Ourselves
Aug 25, 2020
Autistic people aren't only building bridges for non autistic people to understand us, and to learn to communicate with us. We're also building bridges in order to remain connected with people we love, and to build resilience around the challenge associated with those same people that we love being unidentified autistic people in our lives; including family members who are still projecting trauma out into the ether.
It is far less of a challenge to have non autistic people believe in and understand our divergence, than it is to have the same understanding from a person who is just like us.
This is because those unidentified autistic people aren't always able to identify the divergence when it's their own experience.
Ever heard someone respond to an explanation or experience of being autistic with:
"OH rubbish! Everyone does that!"
Or "Oh come on, this is 'normal'!"
Ahuh. That's because it's **their** normal. Autistic normal.
When I was in my Grad year of Teaching, I sat in front of a presenter who was speaking on Autism. She handed out a list of characteristics and I chuckled and said to a friend "This is all me, how is this a thing?" She looked at me and said "It really is you, Kristy. You're autistic!" and we laughed. I completely dismissed it. I even KNEW I had a gift for energetically KNOWING when a person was autistic. And I didn't think anything of it.
I taught autistic students in primary and secondary settings, worked in early childhood education with autistic toddlers, and honestly..it was all very standard to me. I would often ask "But what makes them autistic?"
I'm laughing writing this.
The next time you think to yourself, or you hear another person dismiss something they learn about autism with - "But everyone does that!" - maybe it's worth digging a little deeper.
Image Credit: Startup Stock Photos