This post was originally published at http://yesthattoo.blogspot.in/2012/04/yes-that-too-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have.html and is reprinted here with permission from the author.
Yes, That Too to ‘I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers: #AutismPositivity2012”
Yes, sometimes it stinks. Sensory issues, not getting jokes or sarcasm, having people assume you have an attitude because YOU HAD NO CLUE they were joking/teasing/being sarcastic/asking a rhetorical question. Those parts are a pain. But:
That hand flapping? It’s a whole other language for people who understand it, and it usually means OH MY GOD I AM SO HAPPY!!!! Because Aspergers and happy are not mutually exclusive. Autism in general and happy are not mutually exclusive.
When I finally do get to an actual logic-based debate, I can do some serious damage. Like, I didn’t do my research at all, I have no evidence, but my opponent just dropped a piece of evidence that actually supports what I want to say if you look at the logic and the science of the matter. And that one mistake will let me win the whole debate anyways. That happened. In college. In an honors class.
And autism is not mutually exclusive with going to college. I don’t really do the party thing because I’m just not that interested, but I have had a roommate the whole time, lived on campus, and it’s been fine. My professors like me. Even the roommate I was a bad match with is a friend- we just shouldn’t room together. The issue there wasn’t even an autism problem. It was a “I go to sleep at 8pm. You go to sleep at 2am. That no workity,” problem. I have three majors. College is AWESOME.
And those three majors let me smunch together my “autistic obsessions.” (Life is much, much happier if you admit to having them, decide it’s totally fine, and then have fun with said obsessions. It really is. MUAHAHAHAHAHA math. Also MUAHAHAHAHAHA purple. And sewing. And geometric designs. And nanotech.)
I can’t speak for you (no one can but you, no matter what anyone says about them speaking for you,) but I know that I personally prefer to stay autistic. This preference is legitimately to the point where if the person offering the cure decided to force the issue, I would probably go into “I am fighting to kill” mode before letting the them do so. I’d go for the peaceful stuff first, but if it comes down to it, I am staying autistic. Period.
P.S. I totally was not always this cool with being autistic. Mainly when I was still young enough that special ed people could have been abusive if they found out, and gotten away with it by calling it therapy. I was actually the first person to put the pieces together that I was autistic, and I hid it for the longest time. It was seven years from when I figured it out until the second person, a fellow autistic who apparently has autism-dar (like radar) or something, figured what was going on. After that, it was another year until anyone with authority started getting suspicious. By that point, I was a junior in high school who had already gotten a 5 on the AP test for BC Calculus, so it wasn’t as if anyone was going to get anywhere trying to use the “autistic=incompetent” idiocy. And even though I really did know, it wasn’t until very recently that I fully accepted the fact that yes, I am autistic. Not having been diagnosed also meant that no one called it wandering when I went out for walks on my own. Because I did spend a weekend in Beijing entirely alone about a month before I turned seventeen. It was AWESOME, at least in retrospect.