My name is Philip and I am proud to be Autistic. I write to communicate. Authors who write about us should first learn from us. I am letting authors know Autistic people are awesome. In their stories they should present us as whole characters with interests and personalities. I am naturally an introvert but not all Autistics are. We are many varied people with different interests and personalities.
It is common to think Autistics are in their own world. We are treated as if we don’t belong here in this society. We are often separated into our own schools and places. People do not want us around to upset their perfect view of an orderly world. We are more than what we seem. Autistic people need characters we can identify with. Neurotypical kids need better understanding of us.
There are things about Autistics many people don’t understand. I would like to explain myself. I am non-speaking. My voice is manifested in my writing. I need support from someone to hold my letter board or keyboard and keep me on track. Without support I have no voice that is understood. People don’t always believe it is me talking, but the more they see me and get to know me, the more they believe. I talk out loud through Assistive Express, an app on my iPad that speaks what I type. Technology is an important part of my life. People should respect my communication. People should be caring to allow us accommodations in school and society.
I am listening. I am very much a part of this world. I hear everything around me. When people talk as if I am not there, I still hear it. Autistics are used to hearing about how burdensome they are. They hear about how upsetting their actions are and how much they still need to fix about themselves. I am worried someday people might want to prevent Autistics from being born. Mean actions and alarming messages from misguided autism charities hurt us. Acceptance and love is my soul’s desire.
Neurotypicals see the world differently than me. In my experience, many are pragmatists. We Autistics are artists and mathematicians and philosophers. I am a thinker about the world. I am resistant to questioning my worth based on my performance in the world’s standards of productivity. I go by God’s standard that I am worthy because I am made in His image. Pragmatists address getting things done. The faster the better. I am a philosopher. I think deeply. I use my senses to enjoy God’s creation. I listen closely to the sounds of nature so that I can appreciate a momentary wandering wind or the call of a robin to its babies. I see vividly. I love looking at nature closely. A crawling ant can lift a leaf many times its size. Water in all its ways soothes me. I delight in seeing my reflection in still water. Blue water mesmerizes me like nothing else. I love a sunny beach. Like me, waves go on quests, bringing with them fish to share their journey. I need others to travel with me. Each wave is always changing like questioning minds. I am an explorer. Part of me wants to live in the wilderness. I am aware of God’s presence all around me.
Autism affects not only my ability to communicate, but also how I move. A lot of my flapping, jumping, and pacing helps me feel my body in space. I often feel like I am floating in space without gravity to anchor me to earth. A lot of energy is spent spelling because of the concentration it takes to move my body precisely. But it’s worth it. The motivation to be heard is the greatest of all.
These are some thoughts about my life as an Autistic. People should be able to read about Autistic people from their perspective. Authors should write about us respectfully. I love my quest to bring Autism awareness to the world. I blog to tell people what Autism is really like. Although I don’t talk with my mouth, I have a lot to say. An Autistic mind sees things others miss and feels things as would a person who feels the earth with a different set of rules and gravity. My aim is not to become more normal but to become part of normal life. The life we all want is to be valued and accepted. People are more understanding now that I can communicate. I wish all Autistic people could be understood. I dream of a world in which all people are valued equally. I think we can achieve it if we start listening more. We each bring our gifts to the world.