Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Monday, April 30, 2012

By Whose Definition?

Autism is a word. It's the word which is a noun and which applies to people whose brains are wired differently in certain ways. I am one of those people who can be labeled with this word. Disability is also a word. It is the word for what people have when their abilities are different from what society thinks their abilities should be.
Don't take this to mean that I'm saying that as words, these do not matter. Everything you have read on my blog, everything you have read about autism or anything else, every moving speech you have read or heard, were all made from words. If words didn't matter, I would have no reason to write this. But specific word choice does matter, and I am writing.
I am totally cool with the fact that I am autistic. I am totally cool with the fact that being autistic means my abilities are different. But according to my view of what I should be able to do, I'm not disabled. (According to society's view of what I should be able to do, I am disabled. But I think society is 笨死了, which essentially means REALLY STUPID.) See, if a person can handle three majors, two jobs, nanotechnology research, and two sports, I happen to think that's enough. Speaking two languages is an added bonus.
Society apparently wants me to be able to live alone, which is probably a bad idea (not impossible, just not a great idea either.) My brain and keeping a space in liveable condition without reminding don't get along so great. With reminding, I can do it, but just living with someone who will remind me is much simpler. Society also thinks I should be able to go to bars and parties and malls. I have no interest in bars, since I don't have any interest in drinking or in socializing with drunk people. College parties are loud and scary and full of drunk people. They also have a tendency to have flashy lights if there is dancing. I don't get seizures from it, but I am not a happy camper when there are flashy lights. Malls are loud and crowded. If I'm just passing through quickly to get one thing and get out, I can handle it. But I would find a day at the mall to be a horrible punishment, not something to look forward to. Society thinks I should be able to wear stockings, leggings, tights, and blue jeans. They don't think I need to be able to wear all of those at once as far as I know, but even one can drive me absolutely nuts. It's just not going to happen. I have a few pairs of really loose men's khakis for when I'm in the chemical engineering lab, and that's about what I can handle. Society thinks that my flapping my hands is pathological. In response, I again call them 笨死了. Society thinks I should make eye contact. I point out several cultures in which eye contact has been considered rude, and I also point out that being able to fool you into thinking I'm making eye contact should be enough, since you don't know the difference.
I could continue, but I think I've made my point. What society thinks I should be able to do and what it actually matters that I'm able to do are 两件事儿. (two completely separate matters/situations). By what society thinks I should be able to do, I'd have to admit to being disabled. By what I think I should be able to do, not so much.

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