- I am autistic, not just an adult with autism. It’s part of who I am. Autism is part of who I am. I was born this way. I would not choose to change that. Acknowledging my autism as a part of me is entirely compatible with respecting me as a person with thoughts, feelings, and talents. I am a human being like everyone else and deserve the same dignity and respect that any one else deserves. Please consider whatever term I prefer and do not use language that suggests I suffer from an unfortunate disease.
- Autism is a neurological variation, not a disease, or mental illness. Autism often includes differences in social behavior and practical skills. My behaviors and learning styles might vary. My perceptions may differ. I may learn and understand things in a way that’s different and process the world in a different way. Please do not judge me or other people with autism for our differences.
- Who I am and what I am capable of is not defined by medical diagnosing criteria. I am born with my own set of abilities and difficulties, autism included. Those who use it to tell me who I am and what I can do are using it as a stereotype. Please do not make generalizations and assumptions about me or other individuals with autism.
- I am not going to be cured. Nothing will change me, and if it could, it would destroy who I am completely and would leave me worse off. I have the right to refuse questionable or risky treatments. My life is my own, I do not want to be cured and I think the idea of curing me and other people with autism is wrong. Please respect my individuality and do not try to fix me, because I am not broken.
- I may be your adult child, but my life is my own. Parents do not have the right to choose questionable or risky treatments without my consent. I have my own mind. I can think for myself. I know what I want and don’t want.
- Focus on the positives. I am living my life as best as I can, I want to make the most of it every day. Talking negatively about individuals with autism and focusing on our weaknesses all the time causes us emotional distress. Please do not use language that suggests that being autistic is bad.
- I am a logical thinker, that is one of my strengths. It can make me take words, literally, or misunderstand jokes. Also, I may be misunderstood equally by others, if you do not understand my own logical style. I do have my own sense of humor that is unique to me, it’s a stereotype that people with autism have no humor.
- Socializing is not always easy, if I don’t want to join in, that’s my choice, and I will avoid a situation if I am uncomfortable with it. I am not trying to be rude or impolite. It is simply better for me to participate socially when I choose, rather than feeling forced.
- I do have emotions, people with autism are not emotionless like some stereotypes suggest. However, I may express them in a different way. What may make someone else cry, can be different for me, it doesn’t mean that I don’t care, or am an uncaring person. My facial expressions might not always reflect my emotions.
- If you have an adult with autism in your family, try to find out information about autism. Many articles in the media only concern children, try to find out the differences in an adult with autism. Some adults with autism do get married, have jobs, leave home and some don’t. We are all unique. Please do not use language that suggests that being autistic makes a person violent.
There is a team of adults with autism running a project called “Autistic People Speaking Out” to show the world what they have to say.
Here’s the website: http://autistics-speaking.tumblr.com/