– Are you out as autistic? –
Almost everyone in my life knows that I am Autistic. I am not shy about telling them. Now that I have the words to better explain myself and my issues to people, I make no effort to hide who I am. If someone is like “Why are you doing that?”, I can be like “Because I am Autistic!” and then give the exact reasoning for whatever I am doing.
– How have people reacted? –
Most of my friends were perfectly okay with my actions after I explained that I was Autistic to them and how my traits came into play. Some were confused and had very outdated stereotypes of what autism was, so they tried to assure me that I wasn’t. So I explained it better to them, which then changed their whole attitude about autism and gave them a better understanding of both it and me. The majority of my friends are very supportive of my Autistic advocacy efforts.
My family has reacted very positively, as they knew I wasn’t a normal kid by any means. I was pretty weird and had a whole host of issues, but they still loved me and accepted me. Now they know why I had the issues that I had when I was younger and still do. They are very supportive of my Autistic advocacy efforts as well.
– Do they treat you differently after they found out? –
So far none of my friends and family have treated me any differently. I explained that learning that I am Autistic didn’t change who I was at all. It gave me the words to explain my life to others. I am still the same weird girl I have always been.
On the other hand, many doctors and other medical professionals treat me differently now. I get treated like I am stupid by them and they talk to my husband instead of me, which pisses me off. Besides that, no one has treated me any differently.
-Do you attempt to pass as NT? –
I used to attempt to pass as NT (Neurotypical) when I was younger. Though I didn’t know I was doing it at the time; I mostly thought to myself “don’t be weird in public”. Now that I know I am Autistic, I don’t care if people see me stimming or such in public areas. Sometimes I need to stim to help regulate any sensory issues or keep track of where my body is in space. On top of that, I want to help normalize Autistic body movements so that we aren’t ridiculed for them. So yea, I am going to keep on stimming in public when I need to.
– If you do try to pass have you experienced autistic burnout from trying to pass? –
I did hit autistic burnout from trying to pass for far too long, which was compounded with other issues. I hit burnout very hard and lost many coping skills I once had to pass as NT. I am still going through burnout, but I am learning how to work through it. I am having to relearn a lot of coping skills, but this time I am learning them the Autistic way, which has been much better for me.