By Dani Alexis Ryskamp
Yesterday, I gave the first academic conference presentation of my career: a paper on narratives of cognitive/developmental difference vs “monstrous”/changeling difference in late antiquity and the Middle Ages.* You can check out the livetweeting from it here.
Overall, the talk went well and seemed to be very well-received. The Q&A session immediately following was very productive, from my point of view, and I had several people thank and/or congratulate me over the course of the day – not just people who knew it was my first talk and were offering support, but also people I’d never met before who were responding to the content.
And, as has become my norm in any setting where I’m talking about autism, I told them I was autistic.
I always wonder what people think when I disclose in an academic setting. No doubt some of them think I’m either “surprisingly articulate for an autistic” and/or “so high-functioning” based on the impression they’ve formed of me while I’m talking. I consider it my duty to give my audience the best work I can provide in the time I have, and I literally prepare for days ahead of time to ensure I can navigate venues smoothly, have sufficient “word power” in my reserve to talk through the allotted time,** and can generally give the best presentation of my work that I can. My work and my audience deserve no less.
But when people see me in that sort of venue, there are two things they don’t see…
Read the rest of this powerful and important post here: http://autisticacademic.com/2015/05/15/autistic-academic-on-acceptance-love-and-self-care-autismpositivity2015/