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

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

To You, the Children

You're not wrong. You're not bad. You're different, and you're disabled, but you are not broken or wrong or less and you don't have to be indistinguishable from your peers. You can flap. You can rock. You can write or type instead of speaking, even if you can (usually, sometimes, with more effort than you ever dared admit) speak. You can even admit to how much effort it takes, to how slow speaking really is. And that's OK. Impairments are much less disabling when you accommodate for them, and you can't accommodate for something you can't admit you have. You can admit it. You can bring a pen and paper out with your friends, just in case. You can bring an iPad out with your friends, just in case. If they are really your friends, they will be fine with it. Curious, perhaps, maybe confused, but they won't make a fuss. Because you're just doing what you need to do in order to enjoy your time with them. 

There may be people who bully you, who make fun of you, who beat you up. They might call you horrible things (or things they think are horrible but really aren't if you think about it.) They might tell you it's because of the ways you are different. They are either confused or lying. The bullies who tell you that's why are probably lying. The adults who tell you that it's your fault and that it would stop if you just stopped acting so autistic are probably confused. That doesn't mean you need to be confused. It also doesn't mean that you have to act less autistic. Or that you can't act less autistic, if you think it is worth trying. It might even work, if you can stick out less. (I was never able to- I could get rid of a lot of the more obvious things, but I always stuck out as somehow different.) It might even be worth it, as long as you recognize it for what it is. (It's not you being weak, by the way. It's staying safe in whatever way you can. It's also doing something that you shouldn't have to do, because the way you are is not wrong.

The bullying isn't about the specific ways that you are different. It's about people going after anyone who doesn't fit and trying to make them fit, and it's about power, and it's about people who want to hurt others choosing victims they think they can blame for their own victimization. It's about patterns in society that need to be changed, but that doesn't mean you have to change them in elementary school or middle school or high school. (No arguments if you think you can, but you should know that the bullying will get worse before it gets better if you do it that way, and your teachers might well join the bullies rather than simply ignoring them if you try. I had teachers among my bullies.)
No. The important thing is that you know what it is really about. Biding your time until you have a chance to make the changes you want by being the wonderful person you are reasonably safely (never perfectly safe, but worth the risk) might not look much different than hiding because you think they're right and because you agree that you are broken, but it is different. It's very different.

This post has been added to the Down Wit Dat October 2014 Blog Hop.


  1. Beautiful. Let them know there's a whole wonderful world of autistic people and allies who will welcome them.

  2. people with autism are very different but difference is a good thing I agree with you

    1. :) Difference is good. I think it would be pretty boring if everyone were the same. Or pretended to all be the same.

  3. The last comment was written by my eleven year old autistic daughter.

    1. It is a good comment. I like it. If your daughter ever wants to type to me more, she is welcome. I like kids, and she's close to my sister in age. (Fairly large age gap between me and my younger siblings)

  4. Very well put! I like to compare disabilities to nearsightedness, which used to be extremely disabling, and is now totally "normal" ( Reading this post I thought, "Yes, that would have been the experience of being bullied ostensibly for wearing glasses a generation or 2 ago.". I especially like your suggestion for people with speech impairment to just take their AAC along for social occasions. Like the girl who had to muster up the courage to wear her thick glasses on a date, it is actions like this which will bring true acceptance and inclusion down the road.


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