Autism, Autistic, Neurodiversity, Neurodivergence - inTune Pathways
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Labels, labels, labels.

Trigger Warning: swearing, harsh words.
 
 
I hear families often speak about their fear in "labelling" their children autistic, ADHD, among other neurodivergences because they worry their child will be judged, defined, misunderstood, overlooked, *insert very valid fears here*.
 
I always come back to reminding myself of this:
 
Being different is hard. Challenging the status quo is hard. Having a loud voice and big mouth is hard (maybe this one's just for me 😆), BUT if we don't start standing up, there will NEVER BE CHANGE.
 
I'd like to offer an alternative perspective to "labelling" if I could.
 
I'd like to ask my neurokin if they feel able, to share in the comments all the labels we have worn throughout our lives when we ourselves, and others, did not know we are autistic.
 
I can start.
 
Selfish, self-centred, queer (not in the LGBTQIA+ way), weird, a lot, challenging, insubordinate, lazy, bitch, stuck up, thinks she's better than everyone else, a snob because she doesn't speak, odd, different, unsafe, a bad influence, mental, fucked up.
 
These labels are just a handful of the things I heard about myself almost daily. At home, at school, at work.
 
When we don't know who we are; that being autistic is our identity and our culture, that there is nothing "wrong" with us, these are the thoughts, beliefs and words we carry on down through our bloodlines.
 
This is the intergenerational trauma we contribute to; often unknowingly.
 
Almost everything I see and read and hear about autism from non-autistic people does not apply to a single autistic person I know.
 
Because I see them beyond their "behaviour"; their "presentation".
 
I know who they are.
 
If I tried to see them through the lens of pathology, I'd not recognise them.
 
We are different beings.
 
We need different things, a different lifestyle, a different "way".
 
Some birds use less of their wings and use their feet to swim atop of ponds flawlessly, some have an array of stunningly beautiful feathers, some take powerful flight and are great protectors, some sing the most beautiful song, some are loud and obnoxious but remind us of the beauty of the dawn.
 
We never call a duck a swan with duckness.
 
We don't force a rooster to practice not crowing to sound more like the sparrow.
 
Do we set up contraptions to enable a chicken to fly so it meets the eagle in flight?
Never.
 
We accept that they are all birds.
 
And they are all different.
 
And valuable.
 
And beautiful in a variety of ways.
 
We see them in their true nature and we see them in their true beauty.
 
They are all birds.
 
And they are all different.
 
 
- KF
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