What are my thoughts on reclaiming the word autistic for myself? In many ways autism is a word, but words have power. Perhaps this means that I have to come out of my autism closet and decide how I am going to define autism rather than letting the word define me.
Most adults on the spectrum prefer to be called autistic, rather than a person with autism or a person who has autism. The general consensus is that autism is not a separable entity. To be “with” something or to “have” something implies that we might somehow be able to rid ourselves of that thing and still be the same person, much like someone who has been cured of a physical illness.
I have always been autistic and always will be. If I was not autistic, I would be a completely different person. My autistic neurology affects how I experience the world and how the world experiences me. I am autistic. This feels very simple and logical to me.
It is not, however, always as simple for others. I’ve noticed that a lot of people in the autism community (which is different from the Autistic community) find the use…
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