I'm not sure if this needs a trigger warning or not...
What is the price of success?
For you, it is merely the work and the time involved, with the loss of whatever else you might have done with that time. If you can find the time and the starting resources (these will come back many times over, so while they are required, they are not truly part of the price, not one of the things that you will spend and not see return in order to get your success,) you can have have it.
When I succeed, there are many who will say I have no right to claim my own neurology.
When I succeed, I will either have to hide away the brain that got me there, accept the "no excuses!" inspiration that will be made of it if anyone knows, or be told that I am an exception no one with my sort of brain could hope to match. Maybe I will get all three at once.
And if I refuse to pay?
If I'm lucky, I can keep my success anyways, but the other costs will get steeper and steeper the more I refuse to pay the price of disavowing my own neurology.
I'm expecting it.
Being told that I can't understand what it's really like to live in my brain because I can do things?
I've already gotten that one. I've already had people telling me how excited they are that Asperger's is not a thing anymore, forgetting many important details.
Like the fact that, I'm not actually Aspergers. Nice try, still here.
Like the fact that you who told me I would no longer exist doesn't know nearly as much about autism as you think you do, and I know far more than you realize. You think Asperger's isn't a thing, with your justification being the (likely mistaken) belief that you meet the criteria for it. You think that it is simply being smart and awkward, ignoring the echolalia and the obvious sensory issues that are sitting in front of you to make that claim.
Like the fact that you don't know what difficulties, what disabilities I might have, no matter how much you want to believe you know me better than I know myself.
I know what it is to live in my brain.
I know what it is to be Autistic, and I won't be forgetting just because my label now includes the word "Autistic." That doesn't even make sense.
Being told that I am not like their child?
Already happens, sometimes with people whose children are, in fact, almost exactly how I was at their age. I am more like their child than they are.
Articles that attack neurodiversity questioning my diagnosis and my character both?
If they manage to do that to non-speaking Autistics, I'm sure they'll do it to me if I won't disavow my neurology or claim exceptionhood first.
And I won't.
The only way I am truly an exception is that my abilities were presumed and built upon instead of ignored to work on deficits and differences. The rest, while perhaps not the median (can we have a median on a nearly infinite-dimensional spectrum?) or mode (does anyone know what that one would mean either?) is not unusual, is not a shocking outlier no one can hope to match. It's the right person in the right place at the right time, that's all.
And part of "right person" is the right person's brain, you know, that Autistic brain?
Hiding my brain might be the price they will try to make me pay, that they will try to deduct from my account if I will not pay it on my own, but they will find me a difficult one to push into hiding.
My brain is mine, my brain is Autistic, and that means that I am Autistic.
You're just going to have to deal with it.