Date: November 1, 2019
Author: Christina-Marie Wright
CN: mention of suicidal ideation
On Autistics Speaking Day, it seems appropriate to reflect upon the importance of community, but in doing so, I couldn’t help but think about what life was like, before I found it.
I was not a child who was indistinguishable from my peers.
Instead, I was a child who stood out for various reasons:
My mom says when I was a toddler, I didn’t point out things that were readily apparent to others. That is to say, when we were in the car and drove past a herd of cows, I didn’t point, and say, “Cows!” because obviously, there were cows. Why point it out? Everyone can see them, so what’s the purpose of exclaiming the obvious?
When I did speak at that age, people thought I was older, because I spoke like an adult. And that “tiny grown up” perception followed me throughout my childhood and youth, and a lot of times, it stood in the way of making friends, because kids my age thought I was arrogant, or weird, based on the way I spoke and tried to engage.
When I started school, I interrupted and corrected teachers and other students, and never understood why that was viewed as rude, disruptive, or inappropriate — and certainly never understood why I was reprimanded or disciplined for it.
I had vocal and physical stims that were pointed out and mocked so many times by teachers and fellow students, I learned to try to stifle or hide them. I’ll never forget my…
From: The Gonzo Mama. Read more here: http://www.thegonzomama.com/2019/11/autisticsspeakingday-growing-up.html