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

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Invisible or Simply Unnoticed?

On AllisticNTprivilege, someone asked:
Doesn't have to do with allistic privilege specifically but I noticed it on your blog. Ableism is when people call disabilities hidden/invisible instead of UNNOTICED. Because I notice things like people sitting a lot or not eating certain foods and stuff like that. But abled people don't like to notice stuff like that so they call it hidden or invisible. But they're the ones hiding it- from themselves.
It got me thinking. Because hidden might not be fully accurate, and invisible is definitely inaccurate for certain things. I mean, offline people have this tendency not to believe I'm really autistic even when they have seen evidence of, well, every autistic trait I have, or close to it. It's not hidden. I'm standing in front of them, not looking them in the eye, talking about a special interest, and flapping. Yes, that's right. I flap in public. I visibly flinch at loud noises. I curl up and close my eyes and cover my ears and hold my breath. And yet no one sees, because no one wants to see.
Or there is E. Her autism is showing too. She has, of course, been taught not to attract attention when her autism shows, to become invisible her self as best she can. But it still shows sometimes, in her bounciness learning about her special interests or in her reactions to sensory overload.
Or we have Autistic Hoya. She's had people assume she was drunk and maintain the assumption after informing them that no, she's not drunk. She has a disability. She's had to leave department stores over the scents. She jumps and flaps in public sometimes too.
Basically, no matter how much you classify our disabilities as invisible, neither the disability parts nor the pathologized differences parts are actually invisible or hidden. Our differences are just ignored unless they are being shamed, pathologized, or attributed to something else. (I think that there are some things which are disabilities under the social model because of improper supports, like sensory issues, and some things which are just differences people pathologize because they are different, like the flapping, and I don't consider my flapping to be a disability. So I do consider those to be two separate categories.)
At the end of that, it seems that perhaps invisible and hidden really aren't the right words. Perhaps unnoticed or ignored is more accurate for those disabilities that we really can see evidence of if only we look?
(This does not apply to certain illnesses, like pain disorders, MS, etc. It mostly applies to things where if you know what you're looking for and you are paying attention, you can tell if it applies to your friend. Like "autistic" you can figure out.)

1 comment:

  1. Actually, I think this applies for pain disorders and MS as well. It's remarkably easy to see someone trying to hide their fatigue or pain, especially if you pay attention. It shows in their faces, their bodies, their avoidance of certain activities. I can usually tell when someone is hurting, even though I suck at recognising most body language. But pain is so primal. We just don't want to see it. Pain makes us uncomfortable. That's what I think anyway.

    Thank you for another thoughtful post!


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