The past few years, I’ve always tried to put a lot of effort into educational/informational posts during April. As always, it gets exhausting.
There are so much negativity around autism. Society paints our existence as a tragedy- portrayed as something to be feared, focusing only on the difficult things.
Is being autistic difficult?
Yes, it is – especially in a world that’s not built for you, that sees you as less.
That said… there’s a lot of joy and beauty that comes along with autism. You know – just like any other human experience.
I’d like to focus on that this year.
Being in the presence of my fixations and special interests?
It’s having some stability in a chaotic world, somewhere I can take solace in.
Flapping hands and bouncing around?
It’s the feeling of overwhelming joy, the need to move because I cannot contain it within.
The excitement that fills my soul from the things people rarely give a second glance to?
It’s wonderful to find happiness amongst the mundane.
If others understood that joy, maybe we would have a much nicer Autism Acceptance month.
Growing up, I never thought I would experience acceptance. Trauma made me feel like that was impossible, and that I was broken.
But now that I have a support system, access to better communication options, and people who love both me and all my weirdness?
I was never broken or “bad at being a human.” I was just autistic, and needed more supports to thrive.
What I needed was acceptance – radical acceptance.
Acceptance to me feels like:
- Having fun with friends. Not because they feel obligated to or for a program, but simply because they want to spend time together.
- Loved ones who know what things delight and soothe my sensory system, happily sharing what they find.
- A pet that loves me unconditionally.
- A loving and supportive partner, who accepts my communication and access needs.
- Classmates who value my input and ideas, and actively want me involved.
- People who push for change; those that fight for better supports, respite for families, accessibility, employment, housing, and so much more.
Acceptance isn’t ignoring the difficulties.
It’s learning to embrace who I am as a person, knowing that life is a beautiful thing – even if it deviates from the norm.
It’s learning to understand what I need, figuring out how to advocate for myself – even if my self-advocacy is simply saying “no.”
It’s others learning that different is not such a terrible thing after all, and that different is valuable.
Acceptance, in its many forms, is an action.
One thought on “Acceptance and Actions”
Re: “Being in the presence of my fixations and special interests?
It’s having some stability in a chaotic world, somewhere I can take solace in.”
And there may also be an element describable as, “My special interests are where I can be me, are where I am me. A place, one place, where I know who I am.”