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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Welcome Back

"Welcome back," he said. It bothered me, and I wasn't entirety sure why. I did know why it confused me. 
"But ... I didn't go anywhere."
"Part of you was very far away, and it took speech with it."
No. There was no part of me that was far away to bring speech with it. No part of me had went anywhere. Part of my brain had gone on strike, sure, but nothing had left. It's a part that is very useful for communicating with other people, mostly people I am in the same place as since I don't like phones. I prefer email or instant messaging when I can't speak with someone in person, and sometimes even when I can.  Speech is a utilitarian skill more than an inherent part of me, and it not working does not imply that part of me is elsewhere or somehow missing.
That's why it confused me, I think. It was simply inaccurate to tell me, "Welcome back." But I was bothered in addition to confused, and my dislike of inaccuracy was not enough to explain how bothered I was. 
I'm still working on exactly what bothered me, but I think it was the similarity between the presumption that some part of me had been gone that I read from the welcoming back and the assumption that Autistic people who do not speak are somehow not fully there, that they do not understand. When I was unable to speak, I still understood what was going on around me as well as I ever did. I was just as there as ever- there was just a disconnect between my bran and my mouth that I couldn't get words across.
No part of me is missing when that happens. No part of any non-speaking Autistic person is missing because speech does not work. I think my problem with "Welcome back," is the implication that I was somehow not there. It's a scary assumption to have made, even temporarily. I know it's not what was meant, but it's what I heard and it scared me.

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