An #ActuallyAutistic fact about me.
When i was 8 and 9 years old, i had a childhood friend who liked to promise me we were going to go to her house and we were going to play all these exciting games with her dolls and toy trucks, and do slip n slide, etc.
We’d get to her house, and her mom would serve us a delicious lunch of sandwiches, and all different kinds of snack chips, and flavors of soda pop.
Then this friend would suddenly turn mean, and start teasing me and saying she hated me. She would take her dolls and other toys away from me, and tell me “No, i’ve decided i don’t want you to play with my dolls, trucks, etc. after all!”
I would end up hanging out with this friend’s mom. I’d go home upset.
The next day i would go to school, still upset, and the way this childhood friend treated me, would gravely affect my entire day at school. And often the entire week at school. I would meltdown at the least little thing, both in my classroom and on the playground at recess. I couldn’t concentrate on my schoolwork, do any of my schoolwork, and i would even wet myself.
As an autistic adult, guess what? I am still gravely affected by people like that childhood friend. No, i don’t wet myself anymore, but when people won’t listen, let me talk, and believe me when i say i can or can’t do something, or they are harsh and insensitive towards me, and say things that are harsh and insensitive, then not let me defend myself, i still get upset, and stay upset for sometimes days—-i cannot sleep, or walk as well, nor can i even hold a decent conversation. I still meltdown at the tiniest things. I now get bad sick stomach spells over this.
It really does matter that neurotypical people really listen and learn about us autistic people, because to not learn, and then get impatient when we don’t or can’t do things, or life, the NT way, hurts us more than you can know. To reject us hurts us more than you can know.
Because an autistic person’s brain is wired neurodivergently, instead of neurotypically. We see, smell, taste, hear, and touch things much more deeply than a neurotypical person.
A person’s words can literally mean life or death to an already marginalized and misunderstood person. When you take the time to read and watch autistic people’s blogs and videos, and learn about us, and then befriend us, and really get to know us and accept us, not just “tolerate” us, it makes a real positive difference to us.